For the first time in human history, the entire world is now politically awakened. Democratic participation and global cooperation are the best guarantees of social progress and stability. The world must take concrete steps in this direction.
A common challenge to all of us is inherent in the ongoing transformation of global politics.
Let me begin with three broad assertions, then briefly elaborate on each of them, and conclude by making a modest proposal.
• First, global peace is threatened not by utopian fanaticism, as was the case during the 20th century, but by the turbulent complexity inherent in the volatile phenomenon of global political awakening;
• Second, comprehensive and enduring social progress is more attainable by democratic participation than by authoritarian mobilization;
• Third, in our time, global stability can be promoted only by larger-scale cooperation, and not through imperial domination.
The 20th century was dominated by fanatical ideological efforts to recreate societies by brutal totalitarian methods on the basis of utopian blueprints. Twentieth century Europe knows best the human costs of such simplistic and arrogant ideological fanaticism. Fortunately, today, with the exception of some highly isolated cases, such as North Korea, it is unlikely that a new attempt at large-scale utopian social engineering could arise.
That is largely so because in the 21st century, for the first time in human history, the entire world is now politically awakened. The peoples of the world are restless, they are interconnected, they are resentful of their relative social deprivations, and they increasingly reject authoritarian political mobilization. It follows that democratic participation is in the longer run the best guarantee both of social progress and political stability.
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