At one point in my life, i was an undergraduate international relation student. It’s a pretty interesting topic, and i learnt a lot. Mostly, like all social sciences, it’s the kind of subject where people goes, “well, that’s obvious, isn’t it?” but there’s always more to everything, and all that seem obvious are usually the ones that are not.
But I wouldn’t say the topic is an exciting one. When dealing with an identity and organisation as big as a nation-state, things tend to move at a glacial pace. But still, if there’s one thing that i really anjoy about IR as a subject is how it tries to adapt (exhaustedly, i should say) to a world that’s changing at a very rapid rate.
You can see human nature there. Those that are afraid, finds peace in the theories of classic realist, where everything is simply about power. Those that just wants to be an academia and not offend anyone finds their place in the economic side of things, while the guy who simply wants to explain to you that we can make this all better, finds their place in the liberalist camp.
But one concept that really stuck in my mind was balance of power, since that one concept proves to be a reliable predictor of where the world is going, no matter who or what held the stick of truth. It’s also one of the first concept that i really learn about, and so i still remember when i was reading about it and got to thinking, “so this is why the world gone to shit since 2000, and it’ll probably get worse”.
And indeed it seems to be, getting worse. The world, that is. But I was born in 1990. So i don’t have the rights to say the world has gone to shit when i have never experienced world war, or a proper dictatorship. Still, in my mind it’s pretty clear what the world lack currently: equilibrium.
a state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced.
“the task is the maintenance of social equilibrium”
synonyms: balance, symmetry, equipoise, parity, equality, evenness;
Equilibrium, as the dictionary states above, is the state in which forces are balanced. And we see it everyday right now, the state of imbalance. It’s everywhere. When a teenager doesn’t want to follow their parents direction, contemporary parents tries every single thing but telling the kid that he or she (or they) should probably follow their parents direction until they are adult. The forces of teenage angst is not balanced. In the media landscape, we’re seeing a stage where the bias of the journalist took center-stage, whether it is left or right.
Asks any modern journalist about their bias and they’ll freely admit that they have one. But the issue is they then follow that with, “so what?”. While the old guards would probably at least try and keep the appearances of being fair.
And yes, the fact that any media, whatever their leanings are, can open their own shop and start talking these days can be said as an act of balancing between agents, it is still not enough as the power of truth is contained within their own little boxes of people and their twitter followings. We’re all getting boxed deeper and deeper until our bodies are crushed and our mind trapped into thinking that since it is what we like, it must be the truth.
Truthfully, i’d be scared if what i like to hear is constantly being reaffirmed by everybody that surrounds me as the truth. That means I’m surrounded by the wrong people.
After the events at Charlottesville recently, I have decided to stop reading the news. That’s it. No matter the source, i just stop. This is gonna end in tears, as our hatred of each other is fueled by our unwitting thirst for being right. At some point we must realize that it isn’t about being right, but about living together.
Imagine a brother and a sister who fights constantly when they’re little. Usually they grew up alright, with a little bit of issues towards one another but they understand they’re families. Now imagine that from age 3 they have their own group of journalist constantly following them informing how right they are and how wrong their sisters and brothers are.
If there’s one thing that i’d like right now, is for an individual or organisation with a voice to be a middle ground. That’s it. But it seems that any balancing agent is gone, probably for good.