The Corrosive Legacy of the ‘Good War’ Standard

April 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm (tWP) (, , , , , , , , , , , )


The Second World War is still held by many intellectuals as the best example of ‘the good war’. Hollywood often pays it tribute by devising heroic epics that depict Allied courage in the face of Nazi barbarism – the same honour is not bestowed to Vietnam War films… Pundits in the West spend their days portraying contemporary conflicts in the light of WWII teachings: analogies with Munich or Pearl Harbor are invoked ad nauseam, Churchillian anecdotes and quotes abound.

For Liberals, WWII represents a true victory of good Vs evil and no other conflict comes close to such a clear moral crusade. In fact, it is probably the worst possible conflict to admire. Yes, Liberals won, and yes, a very destructive force was defeated but it is not a coincidence that it was a ‘moral war’ that caused the greatest conflict the world has ever seen. While technology played an important part in the scope of the war, it was conventional means that caused the most causalities; gas chambers , atomic bombs and planned starvations being responsible for roughly only 15% of total casualties. The key factor was in fact the totalitarian nature of the conflict. If states had not been fighting wars of absolute survival/annihilation, the methods employed would not have been equally absolute. Also relevant are the exceptions: liberal Finland was an enemy of the Allies and an ally of the III Reich, the totalitarian USSR was an ally and did most of the leg work of the ground war – not to mention co-presiding over the Nuremberg Tribunal… – and then of course it was the Allies that burned Dresden, used atomic weapons and equally starved indigenous populations.

Yet, it is crucial to realise that the current narrative is highly pernicious in this regard: a student of International Relations or History will learn that the Bismarckian balance of power system was very flawed and that WWII’s outcome – however horrific – was in fact a blessing in disguise because it set the world on the righteous path of progressive ethics. Then there are those who believe that the result of WWII was not even a matter of chance but that Liberal values would have always triumphed, given their natural superiority.  In truth, as Azar Gat demonstrated very lucidly, WWII was won largely because of “contingent factors”, not because of any practical superiority of Liberal ideals. If the Axis powers had enjoyed the large imperial holdings of the British Empire, the USA or the USSR, they too would have won what it ultimately became a war of attrition.  

The Second Great War should instead be regarded as  the worst possible conflict because it consisted in a complete erosion of the Westphalian system in Europe. Whereas Münster and Osnabrück had established a structure averse to moral/ideological interventionism and reliant on geostrategic alignments to ensure a balance of power – and, in turn, limited war – the outcome of WWII was precisely the destruction of Westphalia by allowing as victors two out of three universalist powers. If in the east of the old continent the Brezhnev doctrine was to rule until 1989, in the west the Washington Consensus would, in its triumphalist moment of the post Cold War, seek to intervene to punish dissenters on a regular basis and even promote gratuitous evangelizing interventions.

The direct result of the victory of one of the ideological empires was a predictable hegemony of the values of said empire in the predominant political narrative; it helped that the United States also functions as the main source of Western soft power and lingua franca. The American revolutionary enlightenment and liberal exceptionalist narrative has in time contaminated states that used to be particularist by their very nature, namely in Europe. The commonality stems from the replacement of utopian internationalist and universalist ideologies of the past such as communism or Christianism, with democratic liberalism. The idealists of the past have either left politics/political philosophy behind or converted to the doctrine of the temporal winners of WWII – and only consequently, spiritual winners.298822-alexfas01 - Cópia

Problems arise when the very structure of polities around the world is incompatible with a specific ideology which is why universal doctrines are usually a bad idea. In Europe, those facing such a reality eventually turned to the European Union and NATO as the natural bridge between their admiration for their new Church/International – carrying the mantle of ‘leadership of the free world’ – and the millenia of antecedents sustaining political power as a measure of local ethnic identity. In the case of such nations as Britain or the Netherlands, it is actually easier because much of their historical experience has been based around liberal values such as Grotius’s Mare Liberum or England’s parliamentary system. In more homogeneous and unitary nations such as Poland or France, more perverse forms of populism come to the fore as a consequence.

The most serious problem of American/Liberal exceptionalism is not however related to the domestic dysfunctions that it causes in nation-states – and not, as in the case of America , idea-states – but rather in the overall conduct it incites in Western states’ foreign policy. Every conflict that pits a Western democracy against a non Western or non liberal-democratic regime is automatically viewed as a Manichean moral contest whose outcome must be an absolute victory of the ‘good’ against ‘evil’. Apart from a complete absence of consideration for the national (not ideological) interest, there is also an inherent and fundamental strategic incompetence of not considering means when advocating for ends. In other words, the moral cause is the casus belli, not whichever specific political grievance motivates it. This implies that a limited political settlement involving territorial or economic concessions is not the desired end but rather an unconditional surrender of the morally inferior opponent.

WWII has been reified by its own ultra-normative admirers because they mythologize it. Had they been in power then, they would have never allied with the USSR and probably would have gone to war with it over its invasion of Finland by the time Berlin arose as a threat. Finally, there is enormous danger in looking at the least ‘normal war’ the world has ever seen and viewing it as an example to follow and emulate.


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Of Westphalia and Appomattox

May 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm (tWP) (, , , , , , , , , )

Capitol_painting - Cópia

Angela Merkel, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron have all declared multiculturalism a failure. Berlin, Paris and London all realise that in the continent where nationalism was born, the harmonious melding of cultures is not achievable.

In Europe and much of the old world, History has served the purpose of separating cultures. Europe especially, due to its geography, has been a perfect case of identity politics trumping any ideology. It was in Europe afterall that nationalism was born. Unlike what many believe, nationalism was not born in the XIX century. Identity politics had been an integral part of the Scottish rebellions, the German reformation and countless other phenomena prior to the modern era. Modernity codified these trends but it did not inaugurate them.

The ultra-nationalism of the XX century was short lived, yes, but this trend was extreme and in many ways self-consuming. The reaction to ultra-nationalism however has been equally extreme, being characterised by universalism, radical individualism and pacifism at any cost. This recipe is beginning to crumble since the European Union is now more than ever a project in distress. Those who dread disintegration claim more integration is the only alternative but this does not stand to reason: if integration was the answer Europe would not be in distress after having begun political on top of economic integration. What could Euro-bonds and ECB fiscal controls do to prevent dissimilar productivity in the different European states? Monetary and financial engineering cannot prevent radically different work ethics and civic mentality. The Greeks will not become more individualistic anymore than Finns will become more collectivist – barring any totalitarian social engineering practices of course.

Instead of uniformity, the only enduring reality in Europe is that of disunity and dissimilarity, however close the civilisational contacts may be. The Treaties of Westphalia epitomised as much by bringing the concept of sovereignty into current use. European sovereignty though can only exist through ethnic homogeneity and the subalternation of  the normative. This was the political translation of the end of the Thirty Years War which saw the crystallisation of multipolarism in Europe. After Rome and the Franks, the Habsburgs had been the third polity to vie for continental domination and fail. At the same time, Europe being the smallest continent had allowed for cross-cultural interaction to an extent whereupon the different peoples shared a common cultural legacy. Westphalia was thus the codification of ethnic separation (proto-nationalism) with normative consensus (Christianity). The respublica christiana was politically disunited but ideologically cohesive – with theological divides often serving only to make salient the ethnic fault lines (Catholicism/Presbyterianism in Scotland, Catholicism, Islam or Orthodoxy in the Balkans, etc).

Among the necessary consequences of the Westphalian system in Europe (especially Western Europe) has been xenophobia but also internationalism. It is inevitable that stark frontiers and centralized states will invariably lead to cooperation: European states are small and multipolarism requires geostrategic variable geometry. On the other hand, in a hermetic ethnic monopoly, minorities will invariably find it hard to integrate as Jews and Gypsies would attest. Both these tendencies are perhaps better observed in simplistic regime types of the totalitarian tradition, namely with both communism and fascism.


American Colonization Society ship the Elizabeth sets sail to what was to become Liberia, a colony of American slaves in Africa and today known as a failed state.

In Asia multicultural empires have rather been the norm, with eastern Europe and the Balkans corresponding to some standard somewhere in between western European nation-states and Asian multi-ethnic empires. This is why sovereign borders are notoriously difficult to create in the Middle East but multi-ethnic harmony comes naturally (Istanbul, Jerusalem and Baghdad or Persia, Asia Minor and Mesopotamia being good historical examples). The artificial emulation of western state apparatuses in the Middle East leads to necessary ethnic tensions given that within a small state, unlike within an empire, ethnic identity is crucial to the monopoly on legitimate violence. Empires demand at most an ethnic core but due to their extension it would make little sense to fear one or another minority.

The colonisation of the Americas originated a peculiar misfit: the settlers were European but the territory did not lend itself to European style nation-states. Quite to the contrary, America’s near absence of major topographical barriers and the mixed nature of its settlers favoured an Asian type polity formation. The initial immigration was largely comprised of Europeans which meant that integration was easier given it was intra-civilisational. African slaves, Hispanic-Americans or Asian migrants either did not possess citizenship or were too small in number to be of consequence. The system endured and prospered until the War of Secession when apart from all the economic tensions between North and South, national identity was propelled by abolitionists as a fracturing issue.

Now, unlike what the founding fathers had intended, economic and political liberalism was beginning to spillover to society at large and the fundamental incompatibility of liberalism with raison d’état began. To be clear, America was only a multicultural society so long as it remained a European anglophone republic in its core. The next question then should be whether the US could have afforded to remain a slaver state: it doesn’t seem very likely given the incompatibility with liberalism. However, the rejection of domestic slavery is a very different proposition from the promotion of individual freedom abroad, from the automatic granting of citizenship to millions of the illiterate and economically disenfranchised overnight, and finally from forceful universality of the abolition.

Other societies have evolved very differently and cannot require the same cultural and political solutions as the anglophone ‘new world’. Citizenship is not equivalent to nationhood and ultra-inclusiveness risks cohesion – one wonders what would have happened if Spartans had granted Helots their freedom as well as full citizenship rights in Laconia… Finally if abolition was indeed a social concern of the American people, why not simply allow each state to approve it in their own timing – surely there was no doubt such a path was unidirectional?…

The Confederacy’s decision to press for independence was a dramatic one but not illogical. The South was betting on a North American Westphalia. They had the precedent of Yorktown (1783) – continental secession from the British empire – and they had the sympathy of overseas powers as well as Native Americans. This could have meant a partition of north America and a multiple state balance of power in the long run. As Grant would come to prove however, North America is not Europe: Appalachia cannot be ruled by more than one power and the Atlantic ocean is too large to allow European polities to project much force into America. Topographical and geographical obstacles made the Habsburg quest to control central Europe too much of a logistical challenge: the ‘Spanish road’ was vulnerable (i.e. Palatinate), the western approaches and the English channel too risky (Spanish Armada), all this even with the advantage of superior numbers as well as tactics; the North Sea and Baltic polities always free to project uninterrupted influence over continental Europe. Conversely, the battlefields of Maryland and Virginia were almost always chosen by generals rather than imposed by geography, armies were free to roam around the great plains of the Midwest and rivers proved to be avenues for troops rather than natural defences against them. Unlike Europe, America cannot be divided from within and is too far to be divided from without.

Therefore, the significance of Appomattox was the very opposite of Westphalia: like Worms in 1122, Appomattox in 1865 meant that normative power bests temporal power,  ideological identity trumps cultural identity. Above all, the extremism of abolitionists lay in them being constitutional fundamentalists – which the same founding fathers who signed a peace treaty that saw the need for all the Dunmore Proclamation black freedmen to be exiled, were not. Some might say ‘so much the better!’ since that allowed for the liberation of the slaves but it did also sow the seeds of systemic dysfunction for forthwith the question of identity would be one resolved by the supremacy of beliefs over ethnicity, values over interests, ideology over identity. As the last US election of 2012 proved though, the interests of minorities (loose immigration laws) trump their ideological background (Catholic, Methodist, Southern Baptist conservatism) as it trumps in almost every polity. The inconsistency then is that of identity: if minorities vote according to their ethnic identity rather than according to their ideological identity, how can they then be American?

Decisive Battles: Where King Charles Lost His Crown

English-Americans or German-Americans do not rush to defend Britain or Germany whenever these nations disagree with the US or when their brethren have disputes with the Federal government on national soil but contemporary minorities do the opposite. Worse still, unlike Italians and Irish whose integration was already made difficult due to their non-compliance with the WASP standard, Hispanics and African-Americans do not even originate from the same civilisational setting as European America – Hispanics have European roots but also Amerindian and African ones.

(Perhaps this reality helps explain how easily the US find themselves involved in the causes of minorities around the world from Jews or Armenians to Albanians)

The imagery of Monrovia and Liberia is a profoundly ironic one since the same historians who so readily admit the enterprise of resettling American slaves in Africa was a failure, have scarcely a word of doubt about the success of their adaptation to anglophone North America.

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Samantha Power, The Millennials’ Savonarola

October 29, 2011 at 8:52 pm (tWP) (, , , , , , , , )

Like the sensationalist political pamphlets of the early stages of the printing age, today’s humanitarian activists’ purpose is to, artificially, stir public sentiment through their writing. Samantha Power’s manifest A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide and the professor’s rhetoric seem to nowadays produce the same effect on those who read it.

Early in the last decade, when the name Paul Wolfowitz was controversial, Power had nothing but compliments for the Bush Administration’s “Iraqi Freedom” hawk. An uncomfortable truth considering that the Democratic Party withdrew its endorsement of the invasion of Iraq once weapons of mass destruction were found not to exist. Certainly if one takes into consideration that for some in the ranks of its pro-war intellectual base, the weapons were never the issue (a propos, a mirror image of French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner). But an even bigger embarrassment if we take into account that she currently sits on President’s Barack Obama’s National Security Council.

This should not come as a surprise since both the Republican neoconservatives and the Democratic liberal interventionists aspire to the best tradition of no other than John F. Kennedy. A wildly loved, charismatic and young president whose term was cut short right before it actually had to pick up the pieces of the many idealist policies he enacted.

This Peace Corps generation keeps leaving its mark on the minds of the youth MTV humanitarians and Bono-Brangelina peaceniks with wars of excellence such as Libya, where the no-fly zone was actually an intervention, where the “matter of days” timeframe turned into months, where the war is to be called only conflict and all to avoid a genocide that wasn’t.

In the run up to the Libyan campaign, Power’s voice was heard loudly, as The New York Times reported that she was one of the main instigators of action. Once again the Rwanda precedent was used to incite military action where few American interests were actually at stake. 

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Rebecca Hamilton writes of the inceptive influence that A Problem from Hell had on Lorne Craner, an assistant to Colin Powell who in 2004 organized the State Department investigation into whether Darfur should be classified as genocide or not. And who really would be surprised today if rumors surfaced of her militancy for action in Uganda?

Afghanistan was before Libya, the main focus of Libints and Constructivists in the Obama Admin. as Samantha Power's article "Keeping Canada in Afghanistan" in Time magazine demonstrates.

Power’s activist legacy stretches as far back as the Yugoslav wars and the Clinton Administration. For her Kosovo is the model to follow—which bodes poorly for Libyans. But Samantha Power isn’t alone. Other high officials of the Obama Administration like Anne-Marie Slaughter certainly harbor the same fantasies of the liberal interventionist creed and the biblical terminology is ever present in their language. One of Slaughter’s friends (Sarah Chayes—surprise, surprise, a former Peace Corps volunteer) who was advocating for an American nation building effort in Afghanistan wrote a book entitled Punishment of Virtue.

Like the high priestess of the Church of Human Rights, Power and the Libints embody today what the papal envoys represented in Europe up to the sixteenth century: diverters of national interests on behalf of a morality which they alone could arbiter. The Treaties of Westphalia would eventually redirect Europe and its dominions into the path of sovereignty and rational diplomacy but only after the bloodiest conflict since the Hundred Years’ War had ravaged the old continent. Who better than the Jesuit of humanitarianism to let us all know what awaits those of us sinful enough to ignore “a problem from hell”?

Many pointed fingers at George W. Bush’s lack of tact when in one of his many slips of the tongue he called the intervention in Iraq a “crusade”. Would they by as critical of Power? The term suits her agenda so well.

For the politically correct academia and civil society the hallmark of sophistication is now “Responsibility to Protect” (or R2P for the t-shirt makers). R2P is a humanitarian’s “limited sovereignty” doctrinal version. It draws on international humanitarian law—a field of law which is still in its early stages and being written based on principles instead of practicality or empiricism—to claim that states are obligated to protect their citizens and that whenever they fail in this mission, the international community gains the legal right to intervene. In its light form, the territory is to simply be “civilized” by the missionaries of liberal democracy. In its worse form, military force is to be applied promoting forceful regime change.

As strategy blogger Joseph Fouché put it, R2P is for Libints what Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) was for neoconservatives—a doctrine in which to ground the Pentagon’s approach to belligerence. RMA was supposed to allow small deployments of hyper sophisticated forces to promote regime change en masse and simultaneously in different theaters around the planet in an effort to overcome undemocratic regimes. It didn’t work because as it turns out some populations aren’t that eager to be freed and as in Iraq, they must be helped to “liberate themselves.”

R2P on the other hand bases itself on international law (unprecedented and inapplicable) to argue for small deployments of military forces in service of transnational human rights, mainly in a peacekeeping capacity but able to rapidly change into peace enforcement. If Iraq was the neocon moment, Libya is the Libint one but if Libya is indeed Obama’s Kosovo, then the post-Cold War reality of America is one of centrist consensus on idealist interventionism.

Neocons failed because they put belligerence at the service of ideals rather than interests and attacked a regime which actually served American interests—by keeping geostrategic balance in the Middle East. Libints and R2P will fail for the same reason. They abandon allies that don’t comply with their version of morality and without courage (or money) to go after big targets, they occupy themselves with campaigns in insignificant countries. Insignificant countries bring insignificant gains and what little is gained can quickly turn into a big loss when regional powers that don’t share American interests decide to exert influence against it in the political vacuum the idealists don’t want to fill with troops or support for less moral proxies.

Ultimately, because Libya isn’t essential to American strategy, there’ll be no incentive to keep American involvement which will award the country’s foreign policy with yet another example of erratic and counterproductive interventionism.

(Originally published in the Atlantic Sentinel)

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Thus Spoke Fukuyama

May 12, 2011 at 5:55 am (tWP) (, , , , , , , , , , )


Having had the chance to listen Francis Fukuyama speak in the Netherlands, I came out of the lecture with mixed feelings. It was good to understand that Fukuyama no longer believes in the end of history and in fact he values geography as an explanation for the many development differences between civilisations. That said, he still takes a distinctive western approach to history and IR: he speaks of rule of law and democratic accountability as essential building blocks for the future of human society. This is by no means certain if – as he posited – normative civilisation characteristics are afterall circumstantial. Why then does he believe in this? Because he is still limited by the “linear progression” frame of mind. In other words, since he believes that western liberal democracy is the pinnacle of human social evolution, all civilisations must ultimately adopt some form of it in order to thrive.

Obviously this is a fundamental contradiction but it is important to go further and assess why it is that many westerners – inclusively in the political arena – eventually go down this road.

While profoundly sceptical of modern constructivist institutions one cannot also refrain from acknowledging that constructivist inroads into areas of former sovereign state control, keep getting made and at an accelerated pace at that.

  • The False Laicité between Bureaucratic and Political

Something apparent in the West nowadays is what could be called, the normative republican convention. The values of the bourgeois republics have been made the standard in the West and in the world. Any ideology, form of government, legal system or economic model seem to have to be compared a priori to the normative republican standard of the Atlantic liberal democracies.

Just as the Church was once the source of normative standards, today republican bureaucracies have replaced it as the general norm. As per the trend set by the British, the civil servants are to be a separate class, independent from politicians but under their hierarchical command – elections and office terms being a check on an overwhelming institutional superiority of the political class.

Theoretically the bureaucratic apparatus isn’t supposed to be a part of policy making but in fact, as ideologies fade and moderate centrism rules more and more supreme, bureaucrats tend to have a gradually superior say in politics. They deny they have it of course, because they know they’re not supposed to have it. But the reality shows us the opposite. Having had contact with Brussels administrative eurocrats and the Hague’s international juridical community, I now reckon that the independence of the bureaucrats is gained at the expense of that of the politicians’.

While war is as present as always in the international scene for example, numerous conventions attempt to forcefully take Kellogg-Briand to the next level. Thus last year in Kampala, aggression was elevated to the purview of the ICC.

Of course jurists are correct in pointing out that politicians ultimately have the last word in such decisions but as Judge Theodor Meron once cheekily added in the context of the approval of further blurring between internal and international armed conflict as far as international jurisdiction was concerned (speaking specifically of the Tadic Case and its precedent): “I was quite surprised they let us keep it in”. What is more important, since Hitler is often condemned for democratically revoking democracy, jurists should be condemned for legally revoking separation of powers.

Security for example, is perhaps the most important matter which the State is supposed to manage and yet the right to wage war (jus ad bellum) is normatively becoming more and more a competence of the courts. Lets be clear: war didn’t come about because of a complete absence of social mechanisms to resolve disputes between groups or individuals. War has been a constant in human history because social organisations compete and have divergent interests in a world of finite resources and dissimilar cultures.

Law on the other hand, depends on morality. The set of norms that guides us depends on our ideal of justice which in turn depends on a social ethical convention. If theft is a crime common to most cultures, promiscuity is not (some criminalise it, others don’t). Social sciences aren’t exact sciences and therefore there are no rational logical empirical evolutionary grounds as to why some cultures should identify with certain values.

The morality which currently guides the world is not ultimate or absolute – at least it hasn’t been since the Catholic Church stopped dictating it – and just as the clerics were rightfully expelled from the temporal domain, so too the jurists ought to be. Otherwise the claims of those who want democracies to refuse to do business with dictatorships, or of those who wish developing states starved developed nations of natural resources, might very well be heeded.

Even Fukuyama, who still cannot get rid of his western perspective, recognises the importance of geography in denying Africa wealth and stability. Even he can discern that the world’s social chasm derives from different historical experiences. The Professor however always optimistically concludes that liberal democracy and the institutions of the West will win the day. While he is right in pointing out that countries such as China lack the same level of rule of law that we see in the West, he fails to even ask himself if such a characteristic is essential to the future development of the world. One suspects that moral prejudice rather than rational deduction drove him into this conclusion.

Wondering for instance which civilisation would be most capable of amassing the necessary resources or mobilizing the manpower and technology for a programme to explore and settle space, one seriously doubts such project would be commenced in the West. Even India would be a doubtful option and Fukuyama himself attributed to the subcontinent’s timid experiences with historical centralism, much of the blame for their lagging behind China…

With all this said, it is imperative to stop and think why someone who knows history and reflects on it would still allow himself to be seduced by petty contemporary delusions of justice. This is an important question since the universalist obsession infects much of the academia e perhaps even more of the world’s intelligentsia.

  • The Transformational Critical Mass

When trying to rationalise the Arab Spring, the paramount importance of the divide between the globalised intellectual elites of the Arab countries and their traditionalist masses, becomes apparent. But there is more than that at work. The resilience of universalism is based on more than just the West’s prosperity and subsequent influence on the global narrative through West-encultured-brain-drain-origin elites preaching the West’s canon to the ‘Rest’.

Ultimately, we have to face the fact that while the world is by no means normatively universal, the western universalists still manage to push their agenda through the multilateral fora. The answer here is but one: critical mass. The West continues to be able to dictate the narrative because even if growing weaker, its paradigm will continue to be forwarded by the sheer comparative weight of the western civilisation.

Unlike the Asian and African civilisations which survived the wave of Western colonisation by being remote, inaccessible and compact enough to avoid being permeated by the Berlin Consensus, the world as a whole is not. When western philosophy and values rule unopposed in the Americas, Europe, Oceania and even parts of Asia and Africa, it is difficult to avoid consensus being generated around the one discourse which seems to be the only minimum common denominator: liberalism. This is why even minority western states with particular traditions cannot escape being further and further integrated into constructivist structures: the UK into the EU, the US into the UN, etc.

Samuel Huntington when dividing the planet into civilisations adopted biased American criteria. In fact, the West as a category should not be merely reserved for the north Atlantic. Latin America and Eurasia also base their values on the Eurocentric space, if for no other reason because they were colonised by it. The fundamentally different cultural areas of the world are Africa, the Middle East, the Subcontinent and the East. But these areas aren’t strong enough to resist the philosophical synthesis that the West impregnates the world with.

  • Worms Vs. Westphalia

The obvious next step is to reflect on what the world will evolve to be. If the current dilution of executive strategic power in favour of normative based prerogatives proceeds unhampered, then will James Burnham be vindicated? Will we observe a Hobbesian technocratic compact of Judaic style Kritarchy, ruling a centralised world? In any event it is very telling that Fukuyama elevates the Worms Concordat as a more seminal event to the western civilisation than the Treaties of Westphalia…

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