I rather prefer KANT to RAMBO
By José Adelino Maltez
Considering this early millennium, the end of the former world order, established by the winner’s peace at the end of the so called Second World War, we continue to search of a new world that, could be or not, a better world.
Thus, globalization, as a universal seed, hasn’t yet been universally understood.
The economic and financial sphere of that globalization has already found out that every Earth inhabitant is both producters and consumers, but hasn’t yet concluded that this is not the end of the history and that the journey for justice regarding income distribution hasn’t started yet.
Rich people are more and more less, richer. Poor people are more and more more, and poorer, making the demographic revolution even more serious, with rich people having less children and the poor ones in the rhythm of the grow and multiply (…).
Politics is safety and well-fare, but not only safety and well-fare, it demands that technical rationality of the market, by the ascension to the justice of the ethical rationality, that constitutes the polar star of the political sphere.
It could happen that the economists haven’t not yet understood that economic problems, even knowing that their resolution only happens by economic means, as the IMF teaches, are not only solved by economical means, as we know by common sense. If economy (the oikos, house in Greek, domus, house in Latin) is the starting point to politics, and not the other way around, so the economic globalization has to be understood in an armillary perspective, as a challenge that can only be won as far as there is a political regulation to what nowadays already is a one-dimensional planet, in terms of communication and of information society.
As far as the planet is concerned, and if we already are at the commun house stadium, we need to overcome the domestic sphere in order to reach the public sphere politics, where you have to create something beyond the ownership and that could offer you the rationality of what is fair.
We live in a time of global revolution, more, the first global revolution of human history. Where global isn’t necessarily economic and financial globalization itself, proclaimed by a certain one-way thought, deriving from Hobbes’s possessive individualism, but a feeling of one-dimensional planet, born from the existence of global threats that steal the dreams of our society, that civitas maxima, where everyone can be a world citizen, on the prophetic and poetic fields.
Threat no longer comes only from other political entities different from ours, from an inimicus, neighbor or similar, but from those things that really threaten every men: from the major technological risk, to starvation; from the disease provoked by something which knows no frontiers, to the security issues; from the environmental problems, to the silliness of a concept of quantitative development that forgot entropy, generating a waste society, full of physical and moral garbage. That hypocrite so called abundance society, that exists just because of the creation of artificial consuming needs in absurd places where people die from overeating, while in the rest of the world people starve.
Far beyond international organizations, ruled by the inter-statehood of nowadays States, with the consequent Realpolitik temptation, there are also sgins and seeds of international integration, with the creation of new poles of super-statehood power, again centers, of new acropolises, of new supra-domestic spaces, polished and civilized, where individuals can transfer expectations and loyalties, generating a plural network of belongings, a mass activity constellation, where only a plural perspective towards politics could contemplate and where only the principle of subsidiarity could reach.
Old States, born from the primitive occidental modernity, still submitted to obedience habits, to the fears towards the Leviathan of THOMAS HOBBES (1588-1679) and of the complexes of anthropological pessimism of NICHOLAS MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527), could probably be sons of that vision from Constantine, Saint Augustine, Mao, Martin Luther, that considers politics as a divine punishment, because of the original sin, considering that there are always those who submit and those who are submitted by the fear of violence, stating that the ruler, and not the true itself, is what brings obedience. Those who view man-wolf–of-man and continue to reduce politics to the vertical form of the pyramid or from the elite in power. Even because of the so called machiavelianism, mistaken by appearing to be right on the short term, far from just being a non-moral behavior it is also a terrible politicy, with no right on the medium and long term.
The old international order, born at Yalta, Breton Woods, San Francisco and Potsdam, the one that conducted the Nuremberg trials, against the nazis, but that as amnestied the massacre of Katyn, in favor of the Stalinists, and that consolidated itself by the so called Cold War, was symbolically overthrown by the fall of the wall, in 1989, because it mentally reproduced itself by fear, it didn’t allow us to launch sufficient seeds of hope to a new international organic. Because a public international law model is still in the making, with probably no sufficient justice to become an effective law, no sufficient self-determination to become inter-national, or bigger goals to become public. By other words, the new order cannot have a minimum of world justice, because that law is not sufficiently valid, because it doesn’t have the adequate requirement of enforcement and efficiency the three law dimensions needs so that justice is not impotent. Thus, we have to conclude that, by now, we are condemned to continue to livings in a regime of lack of world justice.
That order that we have since 1989, as the former one, despite the long time periods of imperial peace, does not yet obey the civilization minimums of the so called peace through law. It is not yet polished or civilized, or, by other words, it is not still stressed by the higher goals that made men construct a polis, or a civitas. What was possible, at home affairs, was possible by the so called Rule of Law, that is, the reinforcement of the power institutionalization that made us go beyond the level of private revenge, still do not represents the dynamic of the relations between States, considering that they continue living in a satet of nature regime. A fair world is missing because the world powers, that share enforcement and efficiency, are not yet valid, as they do not regard law as a fundament and as a way of limitation.
According to what as been said, this international order is still dictated by the regime of the winner’s peace, where iss right that who wins and where doesn’t necessarily win that who’s right. So, the day after to the so called peace treaties, concerning the armament limitation, as more to do with the right of force than with the force of being right. That’s the reason why international order nearly approaches a well organized disorder, a mature anarchy, becoming qualitatively distant from the one of the power institutionalization from a polis, from a civitas or from a Rule of Law.
We would need, firstly, an idea of justice reflecting a universal consensus, mobilizing an institutional force than would turn it independent. By other words, we need that politics will no longer obey to the reasons of the State, but be guided by a reason State.
That was KANT’s message, at the end of the 18th century, where, against some particular views, the classical need of a power jurisdiction or of a moralization of politics gained its way again. So that States weren’t just creators, but also objects of law.
And it was not by chance that in 1995, during the 200 year after Kant’s idea of the so called perpetual peace, two of the main contemporary political authors came again with those ideas. On the one hand, JOHN RAWLS (n.1921), with a proposal for the return to the ius gentium in The Law of Nations. On the other hand, JÜRGEN HABERMAS (n.1929), with a rereading of Des ewigen Friedens. As before, JOHN PAUL II, in the Centesimus Annus, 1991, followed the theories of the international community of VITÓRIA and SUÁREZ.
Because we have always admitted that there are acts of violence less violent than certain states of violence. And we even turned nobel the former terrorists that became Statemen. Faithful to that hypocrisy that still doesn’t let politics, moral and law communicate, when the important thing is to find a spiritual basis to the world order. And the only way that would allow us to win the violence of this winner’s peace, close enough to the peace of cemeteries, is to implement peace by law.
Winner’s peace, one that admits State as wolf-of-State, where even the international community is nothing but a war of everyone against everyone, opposed reality of a new world, through a global revolution. After all, between the Desert Storm in the Desert, the so called gnostic end of history was nothing but merely a return of History.
Only from now on KANT left the fields of metaphysics and became a realist. If it's true that each human group is awake of himself only when establishing a frontier with the other, overstressed the threat coming from outside, as the main element of disintegration. Only then the global threat appeared and, consequently, only by now men begun to interiorize that Weltrepublik need, with realism of the dream of being able to win over anarchy which threats rotten.
It is probably worthwhile to think about some time signs hidden by the hiperinformation of the global village. It would be quite interesting to try to penetrate the causal constellation of our circumstances, in order to be able to detect the deep history thesis that drag us. The usual short run analysis, which is pretty much concerned with the trees in the forest, or even with its rind or leaf, and do not let us have the entire perspective of the forest itself, which could only happen by the technique of understanding and by the classical scientific method that teach that you should replace opinion by knowledge.
We believe we belong to those who would like to subscribe KANT's Project of Perpetual Peace and we would even like to participate in a universal law making process, which would put war out of law standards, turning it a number one public enemy of all mankind.
Nevertheless, we do know, by experience, that in the name of ilusions, WOODROW WILSON (1856-1924), with his 14 Points and the Briand-Kellog Pact, did not prevent, after the Great War of 1914-1918, the growth of animosity that conducted to Second War World. This means that most of the main causes of hell are good intentions with no strength.
In fact, if we look upon the sky of the principles of peace by law, we will also feel our feet prisoners of the reality ground. Even if we believe that it is not a utopia thinking about a universal organization able to establish, a situation similar to the one already achieved by States, having law rather then private revenge, supported by the monopoly of legitimate physical strength. We do think that only after a long period, that could take centuries, will we be able to banish war and to establish peace by law.
After half century of the so called Cold War, that pleonasm that almost erased the existence of several hot ideological wars as well as diverse effective wars by proxy, what RAYMOND ARON (1905-1983) classified has a mix of possible war and unlike peace. World has been searching for a new world order, everyone hás been making theories about what globalization should be, regarding the fact it is still a kind of organised anarchy.
In that sense, as ALMADA NEGREIROS stated, if the sentences which will save mankind have already been all written, we continue without knowing how to really save mankind.
The entire hearth became an effective one-dimensional planet and we begun to recognise that, finally, we overcame the Earth’s Ptolomeic conception, by implementation, somehow, the deep Project from the Portuguese discoveries that, going oversees and passing through Good Hope Cape, has launched that Good Hope which offer us the circum-navigation. Better saying, we started to tell that we have reached the end of that secular idea of calling barbarians to those who didn't belong to our cultural sphere. A simple article from SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, published in the summer of 1993, in Foreign Affairs, clarified the clash of civilizations, maybe because European orthodox Christians claim for equality regarding western catholics, protestants and massons. To turn back to a certain ethnocentrism which, recently, has been worsend by the episode of the Twin Towers and by the consequent retaliation on the Taliban's regime, and on Saddam's regime.
It is important to remember that, after being christianized, the european medieval barbaric kingdoms decided to spread, as a mission, the good word through the world. So did the Chinese, with their idea of the Celestial Empire, an Empire under the sky, considered as the centre of the world, calling kuai lou (devil-men) to those who didn't live there. If, with rational modernity of the dead of God, we, as westerners, had the illusion that the former catholic, protestant and jewish inquisition belonged to history. We have, on the contrary, to be aware that with the individualism born from illuminism, usually based on tyrannical despotism considering itself enlightened, did not give up from their censure habits on though and plural knowledge.
By the end of the 19th century, we reached what RUDYARD KIPLING (1865-1936) used to call the white man’s burden, exporting the colonialist model, when we've tried to spread around the world the Modern State, creating a kind of a politically correct universal. Following this perspective, only be considered as developed countries those who possessed State organization models, market regulation and institutionalization of political fight, as our countries.
The Society of Nations assumed this objective, regardless of the western rivalry, with demoliberalism, and the consequent market economy, on the one hand, and marxism leninism, on the other hand, but both were nothing more then the two sides of the same western coin, where each side had always made itself as similar as possible to the opposite side, at the same time enemy and equal ...
It is, in fact, pretty much needed a public world authority and to be rid of the memory of the world empires from the past, because their power are still very real when we remember the idea of police of the universe from the superpowers during the Cold War and now with the one who as enough power to continue with such concept. The important thing is to think abaout the reason why you submit to a executive organization or to a government. That should be communion, rather than obedience.
Therefore, there will never be an organic world community, not even a universal law, as long as we do not rationalize a world order based on a just global dimension, in a pactum constitutionis, able to seek good society, or the best political regime (politeia).
Nevertheless, by now, we still look at international relations as a mere field of strength, without considering the multidimensionality needed to understand it as a field of symbolic fights.
If it’s easy to recognize, at a formal basis, the existence of a common good for all mankind, the problem is still, as said, in 1955, CABRAL DE MONCADA (1888-1974), in the determination, at a material basis, of that concept, mostly as far as its juridical, political, social and economical content is concerned. On the contrary, this search was far from usual within the great universal religions.
Curiously, nowadays (at the time of the so called clash of civilizations, almost reduced to holy wars, conducted by some fundamentalisms) we have testified those great Assis ecumenical meetings, promoted by the catholic Pope, that have been much more universal then other political, economic, social and juridical world summits.
By now, and maybe during many centuries to come, we would only be able to stress some aspects of the world heritage. Undoubtedly, we all assume the idea of planet or nature safeguard, but we do need to go further regarding a global regulation.
The same logic goes to the wish of a growing of knowledge and of fortune, side by side with the wish of its fairest distribution by all men, trying to fight asymmetrical realities.
Nowadays, we all find important need of global respect for human life, with no prejudice and no ethnocentrism, as well as the promotion of habits of hygiene as a global movement.
All this to conclude that we do not live as we say we think, feeling everyday the difference between life and spirit. After all, probably this is not the best of the possible worlds, because, even in dreams, we still are not a global unity in the search for a better world.
Taking into account the thesis of FRANCISCO SUÁREZ, we can say that, on the international level, we still live in a imperfect society regime, and not yet in a perfect community.
Obviously the concrete world is not going to win the battle against hell and reach salvation. Human beings are not angels, but not beasts either.
World is not perfect, but we can make it better by creating tools.
Although I am not an enthusiastic of pacifism of the peace cemitery, I think that war is unconscientious regarding its deaths.
In all wars of good against evil, and even when good won, we always lost a great deal of good. In every war, soldiers always accepted that acts of violence are less violent than the state of violence they fight.
I fear that the world turns into a regime of madness without return, if we ever decide to choose the crazy Talian’s Law and that the instinct of legitimate defense may destroy the sense of the rule of law.
It would be tragic to fall under the temptation of the clash of civilizations, of crusades against holy wars, where christians and muslims would be conducted by the blind fanatic behavior of all talibans and inquisitors we have inside of ourselves.
Terrorism is one of the permanent roots of contemporary societies.
We tend to abandon Hobbes’s theses when we fear that violence could reach the flowers of our garden. Most of the time, winners are right because they win, but they do not win because they’re right.
There are killing words. There are silent words that are terror’s accomplice. There are ideas that, when misunderstood, can lead us to the hell of terror.
We have all already contributed to that great sin of transforming evil into a banal outcome, registering thousands of deaths in statistic data.
Please have in mind that, this time, we will win if we combat crime ourselves, not by war, but by law. I rather prefer Kant to Rambo. The first one it’s real, the second one is just a fiction.
I rather prefer Kant, not only for moral primacy of politics, but also for the justice’s primacy over legality and, in the name of realism of someone who is a citizen from a little State, would not like to submit to the despair of a great power hierarchy.
I fear that this fake international order could become a well organized anarchy through a predator neo-feudalism, where the medium and little States lose their main ally, the so needed universal law, even the hypocrite one of the UN Security Council. I fear that future international public law again become the law of the winner’s peace, where there is a possibility to win without beeing right, transforming it in the opposite of the universal Rule of Law, where law is no longer law, because it depends on the great powers’ balance.