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



The vast majority of people in primitive and traditional societies are untouched by this new range of identifications. In modern and ultramodern countries, on the other hand, national boundaries are coming down or being penetrated and political, ecomonic and cultural interdependence increases rapidly. To disentangle this intermeshing of institutions and loyalties is no longer possible The modern and ultramodern countries seem destined to draw even closer together.

Barriers such as the Iron Curtain are rusting away. Even the two super-powers are being drawn together by their associates and by the inexorable logic of the nuclear world. dictating test-ban and non-proliferation agreements about H-bombs. Conflict-absorbing arrangements are necessary products of this situation.

The modern and ultramodern societies are Europe. the USSR. Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They try to help the traditional societies to bridge the gap to modernity, but they do not seem to be able to cross that gap. One of two countries might manage to get across by their own efforts those of the USA. Canada, almost all South Africa, for example But the large populations seem destined to fall farther behind, mainly because of increasing pressure on limited food resources. So the shape of the world community at least until the 1980s can fairly confidently be drawn in outline.

It is a shape that is at once reassuring and saddening. The danger of nuclear war, it this major trend continues and fate is kind, will largely disappear. Indeed the danger of war of any kind within and between the modern and ultramodern societies is likely to diminish, since associative rather than dissociative ways of dealing with antagonisms are likely to be adopted in the integrating affluent communities Ideological commitments in this segment of the world are weakening.

The situation and prospects of the primitive and traditional countries seem quite different. Intense nationalism, dissociative way of treating antagonisms, frustration arising from the widening gap between expectations and achievements, and the multiplications of war threats are what must on present evidence be expected. Interventions of various kinds by the modern and ultramodern countries are likely, but conditioned by the increasing integration of those countries. The military in the poor countries, being relatively efficient, achievement-oriented, purposeful and nationalistic, will have enhanced prestige. There will be internal wars in poor countries and wars between them and on the periphery of the two worlds, the rich and the poor.

This, then, is the changing global system as I see it To this evolving world system New Zealand must adapt her policies and here in brief are the implications that I deduce from this series of propositions about the way the world is changing. First, Australia and New Zealand are being drawn closer together by the general integrative forces I have mentioned and also by the particular logic of then situation They form a geographically isolated group which shares a long flank with the troubled world of the primitive and traditional countries and must be affected by the turmoil that seems inevitable in and among those countries. From time to time they can expect to be threatened by outbursts of violence on this long front. Whether or not this drives the Anzae community into full politically union, the two countries are becoming increasingly united economically and culturally and their policies must converge. They may have to face a war threat alone, at least for a period. because of complications like the danger of it confrontation of super-powers if either intervened on their behalf. They must therefore build up then defensive strength on a joint scheme which does not presuppose that they will always have allies supporting them. They may even have to develop their own nuclear weapons.

This is not to say that alliances are undesirable: they are essential. Australia and New Zealand both live beyond their means and must go on doing to if they are to continue their economic development. Defence in the modern world is enormously expensive and they need to share its burden with allies and gain whatever deterent effect alliances can provide.