An excerpt from Robert Kagan’s recent book “The World America Made” can be found in today’s Wall Street Journal. Mr. Kagan is the (in-)famous author of “Paradise and Power”, a comparison of the world view of Europeans and Americans, which discusses how the difference in perceiving the validity of Machiavellian politics shape the domestic and foreign policy of the two poles of the Western society.
His new article discusses how America’s values have influenced the world order since WWII, and how the current international system is a direct mirror of these values. He argues that traditionally the international order was a reflection of the needs and desires of the dominant powers and warns that a growing dominance of autocratic regimes such as Russia and China will recreate and preserve many lesser evils, as we can see in Syria in this very moment.
One thing I found missing or only tangentially treated in the excerpt: The perennial believe in historicism, especially by the Western “elite” (or better: those that claim to be such an elite, social, intellectual, or otherwise). While in the past many have believed the historicist gospel of inevitable social development from feudal over democratic to communist, today’s intelligencia posits that a world without America will be just fine and preserve the free international order.