Old World Order New World Order, Chaos And Change

Thursday, April 17, 2014
By Paul Martin

By: Andrew McKillop
Market Oracle
Apr 17, 2014

Geopolitical Harbingers

Certainly by the closing decades of the 19th century, geopolitical theory was splitting into two camps, that we can call the global seaborne Hegemon theory of US admiral Albert Thayer Mahan, and the pan-Asian landward Hegemon theory of British academic and director of the London School of Economics, Sir Halford Mackinder. In both cases however, whether the coming single global superpower attained that status by sea wars or land wars, military and political-economic conflict was certain as the power blocs collided and the seats of global power shifted. In both cases, either or both land areas and seas or oceans – pivot or shatterbelt zones, and blue water seas and oceans – would remain disputed.

As only two large examples of their influence, Mackinder’s theories certainly encouraged Nazi Germany’s disastrous attempt to invade and conquer Russia, while Thayer Mahan’s theories have a present and current major influence on China’s expanding military naval strategy.

The New Inquiry (TNI) non-profit group of academics, writers and historians in the US pursues a standing program of publications that analyze and comment the underlying theses of geopoliticians, of chaos and change. One key critical example was the 1930s era of the Great Depression and the failure of capitalism, overlain by a veneer of only-apparent stability. Historians published by TNI, and political economists tracing the causes of World War II, say the 1930s were the harbinger of the post-World War I Old Order shifting to the New. Necessarily there was coming global conflict terminating with the first and only – to date – use of atomic weapons in 1945.

Groups like TNI bolster the thesis that the current global situation, and the domestic political-economic situations in the former global hegemons, including the G7 countries and Russia, are now inherently unstable. No stability will be possible until there is the emergence of some kind of new order. In that perspective, the gathering global crisis symbolized and made concrete by the Ukraine crisis, the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the growing and real threats to the continuing existence of Nato and the European Union, the post-2008 global finance, banking and economic crisis and other harbingers such as rapidly-growing instability of the pan-Islamic world, are all vastly significant.

This is because they fundamentally and firstly underline the collapse of ideology. Previous mega-change on the global geopolitical chessboard always featured, usually at an intense level, a clash of ideologies. One major example in the current world is Samuel Huntington’s supposed but easily contested “Clash of Civilizations”. In fact Islam, exactly like the other major world religions faces a potent set of life-sapping threats. The appeal to “hardcore Islam” ideology such as Hanbalism, dating from 850 AD, or Wahabism dating from the mid-18th century, can be seen as an ideological attempt at clutching straws in the wind.

This key role of ideology is not the game-changer, this time. It also underlines the critical role of chaos in the process of change. Neither Huntington nor any serious historian can signal the presence of ideological dictatorships, today. Instead, there is a much more sombre and threatening mass confusion of the elites, rank political incompetence, and constant prevarication – playing for time when time is counted and nearly up – pushing the geopolitical time counter back to World War I.

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