The Strategy of World Order - Vol. 1

By Richard A. Falk; Saul H. Mendlovitz | Go to book overview

1
The Problem, the Plan, and Some Preliminary Considerations

As the Preface suggests, these volumes attempt to draw upon the accumulated knowledge and developed techniques of several academic disciplines and to build toward an integrated approach to the study of world order. The readings are intended to present a synthesis of relevant perspectives organized around the central idea of system change. In this opening chapter the objective is to translate this conceptual task into as vivid substantive terms as possible.

The central problem of world order is assumed to be the avoidance of thermonuclear warfare. All other issues of world order stem from the effort to grapple with his overriding prolem of our times. This focus of concern does not suggest by any means that other issues are really subsidiary in any significant sense. It would indeed be an egocentric approach to world order if Westerners subordinated the terrible afflictions of poverty, disease, overpopulation, and sheer chaos that so much of the rest of mankind now endures. However, the danger of nuclear war imperils the overall achievement of the prosperous and fully developed countries in such a singular fashion that it must inevitably dominate their political imagination.

It is a premise of these reading that all major sectors of mankind must find benefit in the international system if a stable peace is to be achieved through reforms in the existing system. The interests of all must be made consonant with the administered renunciation of political violence. Not only does stability require this minimum degree of affirmation, but the cooperative effort needed to transform the existing system presupposes that the major actors in international society will find that the new system will give them net advatages, otherwise they will refuse to take the steps to bring it about.

To pose these issues and to assess the prospects for a new international system capable of war prevention, attention will be given throughout these materials to World Peace through World Law by Grenville Clark and Louis B. Sohn ( Harvard University Press, 1964). The Clark-Sohn work presents a model of a drastically revised international system that is designed to eliminate warfare from international life. It is a model that depicts in

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