Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, Number 13 June 18, 1968



I would not myself call it an international system, because this places undue emphasis on nations, nor would I concentrate attention on political aspects to the exclusion of other aspects that can be highly significant. The term "world system" or even "global system" would be better. At the same time we must recognise that, though their significance is changing and in some important ways diminishing, nations or states are major components of this system—in the jargon of political science we might call them dominant actors in some respects and we agree that in some parts of the system they are likely to remain so for years to come.

Ideally a system, if it is to survive, should contain only co-operative elements, not antagonistic ones, and it should try to overcome or expel or modify antagonistic ones introduced from outside. But our system not only contains hostile element but has various and even contradictor was of dealing with them. One way is association —integrating or unifying hostile elements that the hostility is overcome or at [unclear: led] reduced. The other is dissociative—keeping them apart, minimising the points of [unclear: conta] and thereby the friction (as, for [unclear: examp] in balance-of-power policies). Worse [unclear: sb] something in between is often attempted so that the hostile elements are neither [unclear: ke] far enough apart nor close enough together and the situation becomes dangerous.

Relations or communications between [unclear: t] components of this system are extremed complicated and are certainly not restricted to "proper channels", which on the old [unclear: vic] would be nation-states. There are a [unclear: gr] many non-national entities as well as nation ones in the system. We have many no governmental bodies which operate signficantly within the system and their number are multiplying quite quickly. We also has a lot of organisations or bodies maintain by groups of governments and some them, like the postal arrangements, are [unclear: ev] more comprehensive than the membership the UN. These, too, are multiplying. Transactions of immense variety takes [unclear: pla] between these bodies. Personal and [unclear: gro] attachments and loyalties change all [unclear: t] time, so that, for example, teenagers [unclear: mig] feel that they have more in common [unclear: w] teenagers in other countries than they [unclear: hy] with other age-groups in their own country Here "identification" is the jargon word [unclear: a] it is obvious as soon as you think about that the range of identifications [unclear: possi] depend mainly on education and [unclear: econom] circumstances. The poor man who know nothing beyond the land he works from dawn till dusk has a very small range indeed. The teenage cult belongs to the [unclear: afflue] world.

Let us therefore classify countries in rough way as primitive, traditional, mode and ultramodern. These might broad correspond with substance, barter, [unclear: mon] and credit economies respectively. [unclear: T] modern state I would link with the [unclear: internal] combustion engine and the ultramodern [unclear: w] the computer. There is, of course, [unclear: mu] overlapping. One country in the primitive traditional group already has nuclear weapons. Person and groups in each of the [unclear: fir] three are trying to move their countries or societies up the scale, usually with outside help. A modern country might be helping one or more traditional countries to become modern, while at the same time trying to move itself up to the ultramodern class. The tendency is therefore to progress up the scale, but it is jerky and uncertain.

In moving up the scale identifications change. Primitive and traditional societies attach themselves to nationalism and the nation-state is their ideal. Modern societies grow out of the strait-jacket of nationalism and try to establish larger bases of loyalty such as the EEC. Comecon and the Nordie Council (though this process, too, can be uneven). In the modern and ultramodern we find (following Johan Galtung) new forms of identification. The subnational form is a reaction against impersonal values of large modern and ultramodern societies: groups like the hippies try to form selfcontained societies of their own, rejecting national policies and commitments The crossnational kind expresses not the rejection of one's own society but the extension of loyalty to another, because of the increasing interpenetration of modern and ultramodern societies which brings then citizens into a variety of meaningful contacts with other people of groups abroad. The transnational differs in that it rejects national identifications, as the old-style Marxists used to and many Vietnam war protesters do today, as well as some teenagers and perhaps mercenaries in tropical Africa. The final kind is supranational, engendered by loyalties attaching to the 600-odd inter-governmental organisations that already exist.