The political dimension
1) The world has two zones of destabilization. To be safe in Europe we must be able to control Zone 1. Zone 2, which covers the area south of the Sahara and east of the Urals and Palestine, will need to be sorted out later.
Figure 4: Zones of destabilization
2) Europe can do nothing in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so long as Israel is backed by the USA. Of about ten million Jews now alive, fewer than half live in Israel. There are as many Jews living in the USA as there are in Israel. About half of American Jews live in New York. For Europe it has been a sit-back-and-watch situation with a bitter taste.
3) Iran is now challenging US supremacy in the Middle East. Israel will either have to fight Iran or negotiate. It cannot win a war without US support, so until the US gets another crusader-president Israel will need to be diplomatic.
4) The Communist system disappeared because it was not able to adapt to the pace of the world. It fell apart like a pack of cards. The dead Russian bear was not even able to show its teeth before it fell. World competition is fierce.
5) Since then the Cold War has ended and the order of the day is disorder. The goal of our strategy of stability is to manage the visible part of this disorder.
6) We are already experiencing the great problems of the immediate future: continuing disintegration of the Communist world, mass immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, and pollution.
Realpolitik, the self-interest of the nation state
1) Politics has now been reduced to crisis management.
2) Real political truths are never written down. Instead, there will always be a hidden agenda and a media strategy.
3) Politics is compromise, the art of the possible: and therefore no profession for an idealist. You may get elected for your idealist views, but those same ideals will get you removed or sometimes even assassinated once in office. The most successful politicians are those who appear to be idealists.
4) Man's most important responsibility today is to make sure that he does not destroy himself. The planet does not really care. Give it a few hundred million years and it will restore its balance, whatever happens. What a sad species we would look in retrospect.
5) The only wars which interest the general public are those which have been fought in the past or will be fought in the future, not the ones being fought now. This was evident in the conflicts in Rwanda, in the Balkans, and today in Sudan, Somalia, Niger, and Sri Lanka, just to mention some of the bloodier examples. It is always easier to feel sorrow afterwards than to intervene in real time.
6) The main problem with our present-day democracy is the same as it was for Communism, only to a lesser degree: it honours loyalty above merit. These are not societies for heroes.
Machiavelli realized the importance of this when he said (1532: chap. 21): "A prince must show himself a lover of merit, give preferment to the able and honour those who excel in every art". And "he (the prince) should offer rewards to whoever does these things; and to whoever seeks in any way to improve his city or state".
"A prince ought also to show himself a patron of ability, and to honour the proficient in every art. At the same time he should encourage his citizens to practice their callings peaceably, both in commerce and agriculture, and in every other following, so that the one should not be deterred from improving his possessions for fear lest they be taken away from him or another from opening up trade for fear of taxes; but the prince ought to offer rewards to whoever wishes to do these things and designs in any way to honour his city or state."
According to tradition, Confucius not only said the same thing two thousand years earlier but practiced the idea as governor, with considerable success. It is the current Chinese model, replacing Leninism and Marxism. As Germans have their Goethe Institute, so the Chinese are building their Confucius Institutes.
7) Machiavelli said "When engaging in war campaigns you must crush all states where the citizens are used to freedom because they will always complain, like the Romans did in Capua, Carthage, and Numantia. In kingdoms it is often enough to eradicate the royal family line". That is not an option nowadays and that is all to the good, but instead we have gone to the other extreme.
8) When parents let their children do as they like, when children no longer heed their parents, when the teacher trembles before the pupil and prefers to flatter him, when the young disregard the law because they accept no authority over themselves: that is the beginning of tyranny, according to Plato. This is just as true today. We are living in the tyranny of democracy, where citizens tyrannize over one another and no elected representative keeps his place long enough or has enough courage to plan for the future. That is what we understand by mass democracy. How can you expect this society to be competitive?