Anyone who expects an orderly world under the keyword world order is mistaken. In today’s order, “hot spots” accumulate. War and the threat of war, deterrence, externally provoked civil wars, failed states and chaos – all this is the normal condition. The world’s largest and most important states are actively involved in every massacre. For years the USA has been waging a large-scale war for the reorganization of the Middle East with the aim of destroying, first, its Islamist enemies and Arab nationalism, and, second, enforcing thereby the allegiance of all the other states to American leadership. The European Union powers, Russia and China present temporizing resistance or undertake diplomacy. However, not to help the Americans and bend to their leadership, but so as to not surrender the field of military reorganization of the globe solely to them, allowing them to gain even more stature as an overwhelming and menacing power, and to force the USA to give consideration to their national claims. In the competitive struggle over relations of domination between states, the political sovereigns command and commit not only their own citizens, but also struggle to make the political rule of other societies pliant and of service to themselves. That much is fact. But the question remains: why don’t countries leave each other in peace today? Why doesn’t international commerce take place without a fight for dictation and allegiance between state powers? Here is a brief answer.
The state establishes capitalism on its territory, protects it and makes it flourish, and opens the way for its domestic companies to go abroad by obtaining permission and agreements on conditions from other state powers, so that its businessmen can enjoy the same protections of their property in foreign, sovereign realms that they do in their homeland: to buy, sell, invest and exploit people. From the beginning, the opening of other states – unilaterally or by agreement – as well as the setting of terms for international transactions between sovereign states is a matter of violence.
If the state expands the playing field for its capitalists – by now to the whole world – if it serves private business interests, it is nevertheless not their selfless servant, it is not forced and compelled to do it, not even under today’s conditions of “globalization”; rather, the expansion of business opportunities to foreign countries aims to accelerate the growth of capital on the national territory so as to promote the foremost lifeblood of the capitalist nation and the material basis of state power.
For this reason, the bourgeois state makes foreign sources of wealth its own; however, this use and appropriation also exposes it to the process of capitalistic private competition. It is not a neutral guardian of the international course of business according to the Olympic motto: “the most important thing is not to win but to take part,” but an interested party. It takes part in international business transactions only if it enriches itself off the partner country and does not let itself be used as the source of wealth of other nations to its detriment. Therefore, it is in a constant struggle with “partner nations” to correct trade and investment conditions, with the aim that these conditions will be agreed upon so that they guarantee its use of the partner state’s economy, but exclude adverse effects to its own. The “arguments” in this struggle are: a) what one state has to offer to the other by granting access to its market. It can thus b) deprive its market from the other and harm it as a result. However, the decisive argument in this diplomatic dispute always remains c) political-military power itself.
Therefore, capitalist states stand in a never-ending competition for superior violence, apart from their economic competition – and as a basis for it; their ideal, which is directly aimed at by the USA, is a monopoly on violence over the world of states. Every sovereign requires of the others with whom it is engaged in commerce that they recognize it as the power that it is, and on that basis respect its demands as its good rights. This violent competition is divorced from the various economic treaties, economic upswings and crises. It is absolutely not an effect of something not functioning, be it internal accumulation or external exploitation relations. Rather, it is the basis for all economic and diplomatic commerce between states. If the two sides are content with the existing relations of domination and subordination between them, there is peace. If one side (or both) comes to the conclusion that its rights are essentially ignored by the other, war “breaks out.”
In their competition as powers who deter and threaten, states think strategically, i.e. they anticipate war between themselves, they maintain and arm enormous armies in times of peace, and they refuse to tolerate the efforts of potential enemies to amass weapons. They organize the world into major fronts that threaten their enemy and struggle within their alliances to classify and subordinate their partners under their leadership. For the military strengthening of their nation and the weakening of rival states, all domestic and global sources of national wealth are at their service (economic war, sanctions, arms costs and war costs) and, if necessary, national capitalism is sacrificed for the self-assertion of the military apparatus – in the event of war, this includes the destruction of their own country.
The former relationship of the United States to its European NATO brothers in arms and the current struggle for European parity, and the degradation of the former allies to assistant troops in the anti-terror war (“coalition of the willing”) only underscores these fundamental observations.