Robert Kagan, destacado analista de la derecha estadounidense, presenta este mes The Return of History and the End of Dreams, siguiendo los argumentos que expusiera en el verano de 2007 en Policy Reveiw. Como avanzadilla, el propio Kagan resume sus ideas centrales en The New Republic.
Veamos algunos fragmentos:
Desde mediados de los 90, lo que parecía ser una era de convergencia se ha trucado en tiempos de divergencia. En parte, la razón es:
“The presumption over the past decade has been that when Chinese and Russian leaders stopped believing in communism, they stopped believing in anything. They had become pragmatists, without ideology or belief, simply pursuing their own and their nation’s interests. But the rulers of China and Russia, like the rulers of autocracies in the past, do possess a set of beliefs that guides them in both domestic and foreign policy. It is not an all-encompassing, systematic worldview like Marxism or liberalism. But it is a comprehensive set of beliefs about government and society and the proper relationship between rulers and their people”.
(…) American and European policymakers constantly say they want Russia and China to integrate themselves into the international liberal democratic order, but it is not surprising if Russian and Chinese leaders are wary. How can autocrats enter the liberal international order without succumbing to the forces of liberalism?
Afraid of the answer, the autocracies are understandably pushing back, and with some effect. Rather than accepting the new principles of diminished sovereignty and weakened international protection for autocrats, Russia and China are promoting an international order that places a high value on national sovereignty and can protect autocratic governments from foreign interference.
(…) Autocracy is making a comeback.
(…) Again, this competition is not the Cold War redux. It is more like the nineteenth century redux. (…) The global competition between democratic governments and autocratic governments will become a dominant feature of the twenty-first-century world. The great powers are increasingly choosing sides and identifying themselves with one camp or the other.
(…) Now the re-emergence of the great autocratic powers, along with the reactionary forces of Islamic radicalism, has weakened that order, and threatens to weaken it further in the years and decades to come. The world’s democracies need to begin thinking about how they can protect their interests and advance their principles in a world in which these are, once again, powerfully contested”.
Como contrapartida, Tony Judt proyecta su mirada de historiador en el NYRB: What Have We Learned, If Anything?. A su entender, no hay tanta novedad como se pretende, de modo que necesitamos volver la vista hacia el pasado si queremos comprender lo que acontece: “During the Nineties, and again in the wake of September 11, 2001, I was struck more than once by a perverse contemporary insistence on not understanding the context of our present dilemmas, at home and abroad; on not listening with greater care to some of the wiser heads of earlier decades; on seeking actively to forget rather than remember, to deny continuity and proclaim novelty on every possible occasion. We have become stridently insistent that the past has little of interest to teach us. Ours, we assert, is a new world; its risks and opportunities are without precedent”.
Ocurre que, si bien lo conmemoramos todo, sobre todo el sufrimiento de las generaciones precedentes, no tenemos conciencia del pasado. Tampoco lo enseñamos correctamente. Así, entre otras cosas, se ha olvidado el significado de la guerra y de la violencia. Los americanos, sobre todo, olvidan que el terrorismo, por ejemplo, no es un fenómeno nuevo, y no lo entienden correctamente
En fin, todo ello y mucho más conduce a la siguiente conclusión:: “Far from escaping the twentieth century, we need, I think, to go back and look a bit more carefully. We need to learn again—or perhaps for the first time—how war brutalizes and degrades winners and losers alike and what happens to us when, having heedlessly waged war for no good reason, we are encouraged to inflate and demonize our enemies in order to justify that war’s indefinite continuance. And perhaps, in this protracted electoral season, we could put a question to our aspirant leaders: Daddy (or, as it might be, Mommy), what did you do to prevent the war?”.
N.B.; No he podido comprobarlo, pero quizá este artículo de Judt sea el mismo (o similar) que con el título de “El problema del mal en la Europa de posguerra” publican al unísono las revistas Claves y l’Avenç
El primer capítulo (en castellano y formato pdf) del libro de Robert Kagan está disponible aquí: