Politicians – we – must urgently focus on reorganizing the international order through consultation, not war. Currently tensions rise and issues accumulate in the System; it is just a matter of time before a small incident triggers a massive response of the System.
During the period 1495-1945, the System produced four accelerating and highly consistent war cycles. Certain key-properties of these war cycles developed very consistently, as I show and explain in my research.
The four accelerating war cycles, constitute a so-called finite-time singularity dynamic (FTS): Because of the acceleration of the frequency of the war cycles (implying an accelerating shortening of the life span of successive cycles), and the acceleration of the intensity of these cycles (defined as the sum of the battle casualty deaths of all wars taking place during a cycle), the FTS-dynamic was ultimately unsustainable.
The FTS was fueled – powered – by population growth, the needs of the (growing) population to fulfill their basic requirements in order to survive (energy input, security and identity), and intensifying rivalries between increasingly capable state-structures.
Because of the unsustainable war dynamics, in 1939, the anarchistic System in Europe – the core of the System – collapsed. Continuation of the war dynamics in Europe – which constantly accelerated – would have resulted in collective self-destruction: Not only because of the increasing amount of resources that had to be mobilized by societies (states) to fight the increasingly intense wars (and undermined the societies that had to produce them), but also because of the large scale destruction that these wars caused.
During the unfolding of the finite-time singularity dynamic, which was accompanied by four accelerating war cycles (1495-1945), systemic wars were ‘produced’ with an accelerating frequency and intensity. War became total, not only because the production of military capabilities required societies to mobilize all their resources, but also because of the massive destruction that was consequently caused. Above photo shows a production line of American B-17 bombers. Below photo shows the destruction of Dresden (Germany), caused by British and American bombings in 1945.
The moment in 1939, when the European System (the core of the System) collapsed, the System produced a fourth systemic war (the Second World War, 1939-1945). This systemic war constituted a phase transition, consisting of two complimentary ‘effects’: (1) a transition of the core of the System (Europe) from an anarchistic to and non-anarchistic structure, and (2) the simultaneous globalization of the System from a system dominated by European (war) dynamics to a global system. The first effect resulted in the establishment of a non-anarchistic structure (order) in Europe, the European Union (albeit with a delay caused by the Cold War), and the neutralization of the security dilemma. The second effect resulted in the establishment of a first order at a global scale of the (now globalized) System: The United Nations.
Until today, the United Nations provides certain stability to the System. The five privileged states (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France) – which have a permanent seat in the Security Council, a veto right, and are ‘legally’ allowed to possess nuclear capabilities – still have a certain interest in maintaining the current status quo (order). But especially the behavior of the United States – its policy of ‘America First’ – now shows that even its primary beneficiary, is not really committed anymore to the current order (the United Nations). The status quo is about to collapse.
Tensions are building up in the System and putting structures – societies, states, but also the European Union, The United States and the United Nations – under increasing pressure: The (just mentioned) privileges, the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom and France assigned to themselves following the Second World War, are increasingly obsolete; these privileges do not reflect the actual positions of power and influence of these states in the System.
If the order is based on privileges for certain states (which is a very bad idea), not the United Kingdom, but India (for example) should be entitled to have such privileges. Brexit, will not change anything (to the contrary) to British decline.
It is also not helpful, that at this stage of development of the international order, the order is unable to regulate tensions and issues in the System: Instead of tensions being released and issues being solved, they now accumulate in the System. The accumulation of tensions and issues is caused by a simple network effect.
The typical life cycle of international orders and war cycles during the period 1495-1945 shows, that it is just a matter of time before the accumulating tensions percolate the System, meaning that all issues (which are closely related to the tensions, like rivalries between NATO and Russia in Eastern Europe, the Kurdish issue, the rivalries between Saudi Arab, Yemen, the South China Sea, North Korea, etc.) become connected; at that point, the System is in a critical condition. At that point, the situation of the System can be compared with a set of domino-stones, when a small incident can cause a massive chain-reaction.
Such a chain reaction can be observed at the start of all four systemic wars: In case of the third systemic war (the First World War, 1914-1918) this chain reaction – triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28 in Sarajevo – took place very quickly; in case of the fourth systemic war (the Second World War, 1939-1945) this chain reaction – which was set in motion by the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 – took somewhat longer (the fourth systemic war ‘globalized’, when Japan on 7 December 1941 attacked Pearl Harbor, and Germany consequently on 11 December 1941 declared war on the US).
Calculations, based on the preceding four war cycles, show that the current fifth (and first global) war cycle reaches it critical point around 2020. The analysis also suggests that this first global war cycle, could be followed by a series of accelerating war cycles.
It is time we accomplish unavoidable reorganizations of the international order through consultation, and not through destruction. That is what politicians should focus on.