Long cycle and hegemonic stability theories - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Ongoing wars and conflict resolution, international agreements or lack thereof. Nationhood, secessionist movements, national 'home' government versus internationalist trends and globalisation.

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#14130339
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hegemonic_stability_theory

Nutshell, history repeats itself, so America won't be the last hegemon; a single hegemon condition is required for relative stability in the World. So we are heading for higher volatility in the World when the US is no longer the only kid on the block.

Seems to me to be a very strong theory, well grounded in historic facts. See: 20th Century

I am quite certain that when China is strong enough to seriously start to challenge the US in things beyond North Korea and Taiwan, we will witness another violent transition of power. When that is, I do not know.
#14139268
You could also use the 19th century as an example of a multipolar world. We won't lose our hegemony to China without an all-out struggle, but there may be a transition to a multipolar world, which has been brought up. If our hegemony is undermined by multiple competing interests, then small-scale conflicts will perpetuate until the entire system is destabilized to the point a large-scale conflict is inevitable.
#14139286
Figlio di Moros wrote:You could also use the 19th century as an example of a multipolar world. We won't lose our hegemony to China without an all-out struggle, but there may be a transition to a multipolar world, which has been brought up. If our hegemony is undermined by multiple competing interests, then small-scale conflicts will perpetuate until the entire system is destabilized to the point a large-scale conflict is inevitable.



It was a multipolar world because they were also more worlds in the same global economy . Every empire was a self-suffiecient economy that had a strong whealty center who controlled it's periphery by the means of arms , but now we have a single world economy ...
#14142575
We do have an integrated, interdependent global economy for the first time. Today, fuckups in Europe and North America literally determine the prosperity of South America, the Middle East or China. This was never true for the overwhelming majority of human history.

Personally, I do not think the struggle for power between States and empires today is the same as in the past. Broadly speaking, the "incentives" to undertake traditional military-hegemonic imperialism (of the colonialist/Bonapartist/Nazi/Imperial Japanese/Stalinist type) have dramatically changed with modern industrial civilization. In short, it has made it a much less profitable (in the sense of money and power) venture than in the past. Today:
1) Direct wars between great States are avoided (thus far) or apocalyptic due to the limitless expansion and instantaneous nature of the means of destruction (nuclear weapons, particularly anything rocket-based which ignores geographical and military defenses).

2) The source of national power is, at bottom, economic development and technological modernization. These things are enabled by peace and trade. Imperial domains, such as the Soviet Empire in Central Europe, are basically pointless end up being a net drag on the mother country (you pay for the poor provinces in either welfare, military subjugation or international embarrassment). This also explains as much the end of European colonialism, of the Soviet Empire (as opposed to the Union) and the travails of American Wars (often opposed by realists). Any State tends to derive power only from its own nationals (who are rich, well-adjusted, developing, etc), not from disgruntled minorities and imperial subjects.

These are the general trends. In particular, U.S. "hegemony" is very different, much softer, than hegemony of the Soviet Union or of Nazi Germany. The European regimes, while dependent on the U.S., could never be overthrown by the U.S. should they prove too independent (unlike in the Stalinist or Bonapartist empires). The U.S. has a set of military tools, constantly used, and a tremendous influence, but not a "sphere of influence" or empire in the traditional hard sense. America's imperialism is then not fundamentally threatening to, say, Russia and China, and neither of these countries in fact manifested any material opposition to U.S. wars in Kuwait, Afghanistan or Iraq. They decided the benefits of good relations with America in the liberal order - peace and trade - outweighed limiting the (likely temporary and soft) expansion of America's imperial influence through military power.

The question then is: Will China choose to merely spread its influence and be a "soft" empire, in the line with the cosmopolitan liberal order, like America's "empire"? Or will it make a hard military empire, a zone of subjugation and not merely influence, of the traditional Bonapartist-Stalinist type? I strongly the suspect they will choose the former, as they have so far, which would entail no necessary conflict with America. This would only change if there is a decisive shift of ideology in China, that is, that the ruling class becomes more interested in the glories of war and empire than the joys of prosperity. So far the choice of the Chinese is clear:
Deng Xiaoping wrote:To get rich is glorious!
#14142590
Ombrageux wrote:1) Direct wars between great States are avoided (thus far) or apocalyptic due to the limitless expansion and instantaneous nature of the means of destruction (nuclear weapons, particularly anything rocket-based which ignores geographical and military defenses).


It allways have been this way , most of wars happens in the perriphery .


Ombrageux wrote:The question then is: Will China choose to merely spread its influence and be a "soft" empire, in the line with the cosmopolitan liberal order, like America's "empire"? Or will it make a hard military empire, a zone of subjugation and not merely influence, of the traditional Bonapartist-Stalinist type? I strongly the suspect they will choose the former, as they have so far, which would entail no necessary conflict with America. This would only change if there is a decisive shift of ideology in China, that is, that the ruling class becomes more interested in the glories of war and empire than the joys of prosperity. So far the choice of the Chinese is clear:


If China will ever be a hegemon it will be very much like the USA . China will be for USA just like USA was for Britain , the dragon can be slained only from inside :) . Britain said "free trade" America said "no" , USA say "free floating currency " China says "no" , USA builds up a great navy to protect itself from Britain , China does the same now . The chinese are the "new mongols" : after Ming conquered China they kept some particularities but they became chinese just like this the "Central Kingdom " copies americans step by step . Yes they look kitschy but is just how americans looked for europeans . China will be a american-like empire.
#14142725
Today, fuckups in Europe and North America literally determine the prosperity of South America, the Middle East or China.


So why are those regions growing rapidly while europe and America are not? I would qualify the 2008 financial crisis a (major) fuckup.

Things aren't as globalised as you may think. The most important aspect of international exchange isn't manufactured goods and services, it is access to raw resources and technologies. The most important element to any market by far is the domestic economic landscape, heavily influenced by effective governance and education levels of the population. The things contributing greatest to chinese internal expansion have always been the import of technologies from abroad and modernisation of its industrial and infrastructure base once those new technologies and processes have been applied. That transfer phase has passed and now it is a matter of applying them to every aspect of the internal landscape. Only a minority portion of Chinese gdp expansion yearly is related to exports of manufactured goods abroad. Fact is, it would continue to grow without them because the country has a long way to go in terms of internal expansion. So would India and others.
#14142899
So why are those regions growing rapidly while europe and America are not? I would qualify the 2008 financial crisis a (major) fuckup.

Growth did slow down in the BRICs as a result of the 2008 crisis and growth has been somewhat subdued, partly due to the eurozone crisis. Everyone, including the Asians, have been worried and extremely eager that the eurozone get their Scheisse together lest the Euros tank the global recovery.

It allways have been this way , most of wars happens in the perriphery .

And the biggest, most significant wars happen in the core: Napoleonic, U.S. Civil War, Franco-Prussian, Sino-Japanese, WW1, WW2.. the U.S.A.-USSR Cold War standoff. These wars are now impossible or apocalyptic.
#14190281
I agree with Ombrageux.

"Balance of power" is just soft-core war porn, the 20th century was a time of exceptional stupidity, 18th century wars of glorious conquest using machineguns and regimented societies? Exposed globally in detail by the camera? Not so glorious after all.

The world is busy educating the peasantries, it is not all it could be, and corporations are a dubious improvement over empires, but if there's a trend there, and if mother nature gives humanity a toe-hold, there are much better things to do than wage an apocalyptic war, it may even be said that we are moving toward a more philosophical world. All it takes is slight changes of perception.
#14190370
The current world order is the direct result of the post-war settlements after the Second World War and the US officially replaced the British Empire as a global hegemon to keep things in order by setting rules for others to follow. America's leadership role was unchallenged during the Cold War and the rise of China poses a special challenge for the US but it's clear that the Chinese leadership does not aspire to replace the US as a one-world communist government and its world view is rather myopic, centring on its peripheries in East Asia. Moreover, the US controls key financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank and the Chinese are not particularly good at running capitalist institutions and even when China surpasses the US in GDP in few decades as predicted, China would still be struggling with adapting to the Anglo-Saxon model of capitalism which contradicts communist principles.
#14190389
How are the massive investments in Africa and South America myopic? China is already Africa's largest trade partner and growing. I think your knowledge of Chinese foreign policy is myopic. You are right in one regard, China does not seek to export it's politics abroad.

And there is no sign of China attempting to adapt to liberal capitalism, it has shown it can practice state capitalism without the liberalism without losing out on the benefits of rapid industrialisation.
#14190815
No one has really been able to pin down what the actual ideology of modern China has evolved (or devolved, however you see it) into.

I will not accept it as a communist state any longer so long as they actively persecute Maoists. It seems since Deng Xiaoping they have abandoned communism in all but meaningless imagery and symbolism almost entirely.
#14190832
Far-Right Sage wrote:No one has really been able to pin down what the actual ideology of modern China has evolved (or devolved, however you see it) into.

I will not accept it as a communist state any longer so long as they actively persecute Maoists. It seems since Deng Xiaoping they have abandoned communism in all but meaningless imagery and symbolism almost entirely.


This is a fascinating unanswered question. Do the Chinese even know what they are?

They seem to be reinventing Confucianism, with the Communist Party assuming the role of administering the imperial examination. An old solution to implementing a new technocracy? They have adapted Western economic ideas on a purely ad hoc basis, selecting ideas that harmonize with Chinese culture and rejecting its ideological baggage. There is no stinking corpse of Mises or Milton Friedman to infect Chinese Capitalism.

Right now they are going full bore Keynes, planning to raise the deficit by 50% in the next year and cut taxes. This is at the same time the West has become hypnotized by Herbert Hoover economics. Clearly they are operating on another wavelength.

It's not only in the military sphere that future competition will take place. It's also a question of who has the better grasp on the nature of political and economic reality.
#14190960
Far-Right Sage wrote:No one has really been able to pin down what the actual ideology of modern China has evolved (or devolved, however you see it) into.

I will not accept it as a communist state any longer so long as they actively persecute Maoists. It seems since Deng Xiaoping they have abandoned communism in all but meaningless imagery and symbolism almost entirely.


The communist party has always, since the days of mao and maoism, expounded socialism, not communism. During Mao's time they tried all sorts of economic experiments, and it turns out the reforms in '78 hit the spot. The means by which they get there at the moment seems to be very heavy handed state capitalism. State portion of gdp keeps bloating, which is a sign they are moving further in the socialist direction and away from the free market which dominated from 1998-2005, with 60% of gdp in 2012 consisting of state owned transactions. But this is probably distorted by the fact that they are essentially building a united states worth of infrastructure in the next 7 years.

I think right now they are using liberal economic principles to just generate/attracts FDI demand, at which point they tighten the screws on each corporation that sets up shop, steal/absorb its manufacturing methods and technologies, then the big state companies start spitting out equal goods at a cheaper price that eventually arrive abroad to our shores and put our domestic tech giants under pressure, and in some cases out of business. Hisense and Huawei are two notable examples. Nobody can sell high end goods at such prices. I suppose India or Chad could if they had the technology and education base to develop such shit, but they don't.

It is a very aggressive see-saw strategy, and it always keeps the government at the helm of some very flexible cogs they can turn to fine tune as the socio-economic situation rapidly changes. The aim, as it has always been, is nominal-authoritarian socialism at home and a bunch of resource colonies abroad to fuel a resource based technocracy. Think an authoritarian, non-liberal Sweden built around a 5,000 year old culture and traditions.

They seem to be reinventing Confucianism, with the Communist Party assuming the role of administering the imperial examination. An old solution to implementing a new technocracy? They have adapted Western economic ideas on a purely ad hoc basis, selecting ideas that harmonize with Chinese culture and rejecting its ideological baggage. There is no stinking corpse of Mises or Milton Friedman to infect Chinese Capitalism.


Yep.
#14191038
The Chinese seemed to have studied Western economic history and absorbed some important lessons. They maintain a very tight national control of the banking industry - they fear the financial sector developing as a strong political bloc with veto power over policy.
#14191342
In other words, they fear the overall subversion of their decades-long project and emergence of a liberal state. I agree in that such a development would be a nightmare for China and the world.

Igor Antunov wrote:The communist party has always, since the days of mao and maoism, expounded socialism, not communism. During Mao's time they tried all sorts of economic experiments, and it turns out the reforms in '78 hit the spot. The means by which they get there at the moment seems to be very heavy handed state capitalism. State portion of gdp keeps bloating, which is a sign they are moving further in the socialist direction and away from the free market which dominated from 1998-2005, with 60% of gdp in 2012 consisting of state owned transactions. But this is probably distorted by the fact that they are essentially building a united states worth of infrastructure in the next 7 years.

I think right now they are using liberal economic principles to just generate/attracts FDI demand, at which point they tighten the screws on each corporation that sets up shop, steal/absorb its manufacturing methods and technologies, then the big state companies start spitting out equal goods at a cheaper price that eventually arrive abroad to our shores and put our domestic tech giants under pressure, and in some cases out of business. Hisense and Huawei are two notable examples. Nobody can sell high end goods at such prices. I suppose India or Chad could if they had the technology and education base to develop such shit, but they don't.

It is a very aggressive see-saw strategy, and it always keeps the government at the helm of some very flexible cogs they can turn to fine tune as the socio-economic situation rapidly changes. The aim, as it has always been, is nominal-authoritarian socialism at home and a bunch of resource colonies abroad to fuel a resource based technocracy. Think an authoritarian, non-liberal Sweden built around a 5,000 year old culture and traditions.


Interesting, this largely sounds plausible. As I said in the other recent discussion of the topic, I have to read up more when I get the chance on the intricacies of modern Chinese politics and the logic behind political decisions in that country as I have not followed it much since Xiaoping and do not know well the motivations behind the current generation of Chinese leadership.

What aspects of communism have they entirely disavowed then? Certainly atheism as state atheism for Beijing appears to be a meaningless fig leaf as they have restored many Buddhist pagodas desecrated during the Cultural Revolution. A lofty goal for the Chinese leadership if they are interested in developing China in a non-Marxist, illiberal, socialistic direction with technocratic leanings will be to suffocate the elements of the Chinese elite which tend toward over-indulgence and corruption. With a corrupt leadership committed to profit rather than societal welfare and development, China will simply be plagued by the level of degeneracy which has proliferated throughout the West, fall in on itself like the Soviet Union, or suffer the marginalization of legitimate nationalist and socialist principles at the behest of decadent elements which operate as little more than oligarchs, as in North Korea.
#14191379
Religion in China is a politically powerless institution. Churches, mosques and buddhist temples are basically functionally focused museums overseen by an irreligious administration. There are no mass gatherings and door to door conversions, at least none that are legal.

In other words, they fear the overall subversion of their decades-long project and emergence of a liberal state.


Yes, because that would mean the end of directed development (badly needed to continue if china is to develop a healthy first world economy), and a massive decentrilization of corruption, which would mean the end of effective governance across many areas of the country, i.e another India, where delhi keeps pumping taxpayer development funds into the hands of thieves and criminals, couldn't even get the commonwealth game facilities effectively build, that was due to a lack of oversight on the local level. I see signs of it here in Australia, where government initiatives toward improving schools etc are basically hijacked by the mafia and seedy opportunists.

It happens in China as well, but imagine how much worse it would be. Usually when they pump money and manpower into something, it becomes fairly impressive reality.

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