Saturday, March 15, 2014

a reality of geopolitics: permanent improvisation

part of a project on Habermas and transnationalism

So, Russia vetoes UN Crimea Resolution. What else is new?

Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador, remarks:
This is a sad and remarkable moment. The truth is that this resolution should not have been controversial. It was grounded in principals that provide the foundation for international stability and law—Article 2 of the U.N. Charter—the prohibition on the use of force to acquire territory and respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of member states. These are principals that Russia agrees with and defends vigorously all around the world—except, it seems, in circumstances that involve Russia.

Like the child whose outbursts can ruin a family gathering, if he isn’t pacified, the world’s enmeshment with the Russian economy (largely via Europe) allows Putin to easily threaten financial markets, risking global recoveries, if his adventurism isn’t tolerated.

U.S./E.U. optioning for diplomacy isn’t a choice; it’s the only feasible response to blackmail. Of course, insistence on the power of diplomacy is also exemplary of the “soft power” approach to leadership that attracts Ukraine to the EU. And around the world, one great appeal of democracy is its devotion to soft power. 

When the Ukraine Event subsides and the global economic recovery has stabilized (2015 ?), the G7 and OECD (which dropped its plans to include Russia) will not forget. Accordingly, capital flight will not be soon reversed. EU desire to develop alternative energy sources will remain heightened. Long-term Russian isolation will be the reward for autocratic bravado. In any case, Putin has pushed the Ukraine more resolutely into the arms of the EU. His dream of a Eurasian Economic Union is over. Crimea is his consolation prize.

The global political economy is evolving faster than law can comprehend (let alone prevail). Diplomatic politics must rely on its own models for prudent guidance vis-à-vis the multi-level labyrinthine authorities. Our evolutionary plight is to try to improvise wisely in dark, tangling woods, as the realm of law follows far behind.

Our evolving is increasingly immune to unipolar international law (e.g., UN-oriented law or singularly-prevailing institutions like the World Trade Organization) because its productive interplays are in permanent, accelerating hybridization. Will the Asia-Pacific economic region grow to out-produce the north Atlantic region? Do such treaty areas annul the potential force of unipolar international law? Will North America’s Janus-faced position on the planet, between Asia-Pacific and north Atlantic regions, lead to a North American century?

Daily global movement of trillions of dollars around the financial stratosphere is like climate jet streams nebulously shaping regional weather systems (like a play of light on a large soap bubble), and this is a permanent reality of our evolving.

Philosophy always hoped for comprehensive comprehension. Conceptual metaphysicalism was the ideology of that hope. But the postmodern condition is permanently fluid—way beyond neo-Darwinist modeling of Our evolving.

The paradigm, if anything, is our planet itself as intelligent organon. The goddess Gaia emerged out of deep time to have become Us reflected in the warming sky, the thin, thin skin of the Earth.

This posting is associated with the “being in Time” area of