Η επόμενη μεγάλη αντίθεση 
Από τις απαντήσεις που δόθηκαν στην έρευνα του περιοδικού “Prospect” για τη νέα μεγάλη αντίθεση του 21ου αιώνα επέλεξα να καταχωρίσω εκείνες των Neumann, Giddens, Grant, Hobsbawm, Leonard, Moravcsik, Campbell και Desai. Απόψεις και θέσεις αποκλίνουσες μεταξύ τους – με άλλες συμφωνώ, άλλες με εντυπωσιάζουν και με προκαλούν και άλλες, καθόλα σεβαστές, έχω την αίσθηση ότι ανήκουν στο χρόνο που έφυγε ανεπιστρεπτί…
‘Οποιος αντέχει, ας φθάσει μέχρι το τέλος.
Peter R Neumann, political scientist
21st-century politics is no longer about the tangibles of economic policy. It is about the intangibles of culture, religion and ethnicity. It is about values and identity. And it is here that the ideas are now clashing as passionately as they once did over nationalisation and the size of government.
Our politicians and the media—all of them products of 20th-century politics—have been slow to grasp the challenge. The debate about immigration, for instance, is at least as much about identity and the fear of alienation as it is about economics. Indeed, while members of the “old” political establishment throw statistics at each other, the BNP is thriving on the discourse of “them” and “us.”
For many commentators, people who blow themselves up in the name of religion are “members of a death cult.” In reality, they are representatives of the “new” discourse of culture and identity which will dominate politics in the 21st century. This is a challenge we need to address rather than ignore. In doing so, the first step is to accept that there are issues that go beyond the question of “who gets what?”
Anthony Giddens, sociologist
“The future isn’t what it used to be,” George Burns once said. And he was right. This century we are peering over a precipice, and it’s an awful long way down. We have unleashed forces into the world that it is not certain that we can control. We may have already done so much damage to the planet that by the end of the century people will live in a world ravaged by storms, with large areas flooded and others arid. But you have to add in nuclear proliferation, and new diseases that we might have inadvertently created. Space might become militarised. The emergence of mega-computers, allied to robotics, might at some point also create beings able to escape the clutches of their creators.
Against that, you could say that we haven’t much clue what the future will bring, except it’s bound to be things that we haven’t even suspected. Twenty years ago, Bill Gates thought there was no future in the internet. The current century might turn out much more benign than scary.
As for politics, left and right aren’t about to disappear—the metaphor is too strongly entrenched for that. My best guess about where politics will focus would be upon life itself. Life politics concerns the environment, lifestyle change, health, ageing, identity and technology. It may be a politics of survival, it may be a politics of hope, or perhaps a bit of both.
Charles Grant, EU analyst
The big divide of the 21st century will be between supporters of openness, globalisation and multilateralism, and partisans of introversion, protection and unilateralism. Do you welcome the competition and opportunity that comes with international capitalism, or do you want the state to constrain it for the sake of greater equity? This is not the old left-right divide. In most of Europe, far-right nationalists and the hard left oppose EU enlargement, the WTO trade round, more powers for supranational institutions, and mass immigration. Moderates of the left and right believe in international trade and investment, global governance and multiculturalism.
The apostles of openness are right that open economies grow faster and create the wealth that can be distributed to poorer citizens—or poorer countries—through various sorts of welfare. But the introverts have strong arguments too: the embrace of globalisation in countries such as Britain and America seems to require degrees of inequality and social stress that scare those who feel insecure. Continental “altermondialistes,” socialists and nationalists argue that a state which limits immigration, imports and the freedom of multinationals to buy local companies is good for social cohesion. The same divisions are visible in the US, where populist Republicans and left-wing Democrats oppose international trade agreements and support economic nationalism. Britain is a partial exception to this big divide: all its mainstream parties favour an open economy. But the Conservatives remain virulently anti-EU, having failed to see—as have most continental parties—that the EU is an agent for globalisation.
Eric Hobsbawm, historian
None of the major problems facing humanity in the 21st century can be solved by the principles that still dominate the developed countries of the west: unlimited economic growth and technical progress, the ideal of individual autonomy, freedom of choice, electoral democracy. As is evident in the case of the environmental crisis, facing these problems will require in practice regulation by institutions, in theory a revision of both the current political rhetoric and even the more reputable intellectual constructions of liberalism. The question is can this be done within the framework of the rationalist, secularist and civilised tradition of the Enlightenment. As for left vs right, it will plainly remain central in an era which is increasing the gap between haves and have-nots. However, today the danger is that this struggle is being subsumed in the irrationalist mobilisations of ethnic or religious or other group identity.
Mark Leonard, political writer
The world will split along two axes: between democracies and autocracies; and between countries seeking a balance of power and those that want to build a world organised around international law and institutions. The most powerful pole in this “quadripolar world” will continue to be the US, which will seek to create a balance of power that favours democracy. An expanded “Eurosphere” will share the Americans’ belief in democracy—but be divided from them by its support for international institutions and the rule of law. To Europe’s east, Russia and China will lead an “axis of sovereignty” that seeks to use law and multilateral institutions to protect states from western interference. The middle east and north Africa could form a zone defined neither by democracy nor the rule of law. All attempts at solving global problems could be hampered by the battle of ideas between these different tendencies.
Andrew Moravcsik, political writer
How quaintly European a question. Left vs right may be passé in Europe, but not here in America. Here it is not just an important issue—it’s the only issue. We Americans inhabit the only major industrialised democracy still fighting the domestic battles of the 1930s (or 1890s) essentially unchanged. Unlike Europe—in this regard, Britain is fully European—Americans never reaped the fruits of progressive victory in such battles: the establishment of social democracy, secularism and anti-militarism. Instead we remain a firmly libertarian nation. The costs are evident: 40m without health insurance, the west’s highest infant mortality, a tragic chasm between black and white, widespread religious domination of personal life choices, an aversion to the application of international law, and still an unhealthy fascination with imperial military might. In Europe, all this vanished a half century ago. Here, after a generation of conservative domination, it is resurgent.
Menzies Campbell, leader, Liberal Democrats
Liberalism vs authoritarianism is fast becoming the philosophical divide within developed societies. 9/11 and other terrorist atrocities have heightened a sense of anxiety about security in an increasingly globalised world. The response from governments has been to try to gain ever greater knowledge and control of the lives and activities of their citizens. The British government is one of the worst offenders. Identity cards, the excesses of the DNA database, and a relentless drive towards extending the period of detention without trial are all symptoms of its authoritarian tendencies.
There is no “war” against terrorism. The terrorist is a criminal and should be treated accordingly. The creeping power of the state is the order of the day, but terrorism thrives where civil liberties are denied. Liberals must make that point forcefully and oppose and reverse the trend towards authoritarianism.
Meghnad Desai, economist
Left/right, north/south, east/west are dead. Politics will be global and/or personal. What little the state will be asked to do—mainly local issues—it will fail to do. People will devise their own solutions, however imperfectly. They will move across borders and create the preconditions of a global polity, not as a behemoth but as a beehive.
Αναρτήθηκε από Κ.Τ - FREEBLOGGER στις 9:06 μ.μ.