Toward a New Civilized Social Order
When I first traveled to Poland in June 1973, I believed the world of communism to be a fairly stable alternative modern order. I knew it wasn't a good order, or in particularly good order, but I assumed its permanence. I was not unusual. Everyone then recognized a bipolar world consisting of the two superpowers. Some accepted the polarity as inevitable, while others imagined there would someday be a convergence of one sort or another. Stiff others imagined a cold- or hot-war victory; but even among these, few really expected the final showdown to happen in our times. Indeed, by the late seventies, with the oil shock and stagflation, it was not unreasonable to assume that the ascendant superpower was the Soviet Union. Henry Kissinger's realpolitik seemed to be based on such a vision, as did Ronald Reagan's anticommunist crusade. Obviously, we now live in a transformed geopolitical world.