Asian Peace: Security and Governance in the Asia Pacific by Majid Tehranian

By Majid Tehranian

The strength dichotomy among person safety and governance on a much broader scale is nowhere extra sharply in proof than within the varied political nations of the Asia-Pacific area. This well timed quantity examines the commercial divergences in the quarter, the old-style communist dictatorships and new-style industry communism, democratic capitalism, authoritarian capitalism and cultural range. in line with groundbreaking study through the world over popular experts, the publication is key reading.

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P65 6 03/08/99, 12:56 THE MALODY OF MODERNITY: SOME REMEDIES abandoning subsistence production in order to produce cash crops or manufactured goods they cannot consume. When they fail to earn enough cash to pay for the goods they have learned to need, they may borrow money and put themselves into desperate straits as indebted peons. In pre-industrial contexts, peasants and serfs were no doubt poor and oppressed, but their sense of injustice was ameliorated by beliefs that blamed supernatural forces rather than human enemies.

When I first wrote malody in the title of this article, it was a spelling error—or was it a blip of the unconscious? I soon saw that it is a useful blend of malady and melody, a word that could well symbolize both the pleasant and the unpleasant aspects of something like modernity. Many aspects of modernity—including industrialism, nationalism, and democracy—please us and cause rejoicing when they are combined in the ideal form of a national state. Unfortunately, these same dimensions of modernity also wreak havoc in the world today as manifested in imperialism, class struggle, and single-party dictatorships, a global population explosion, environmental degradation, growing poverty in the midst of plenty, crime, anomie, and the escalating violence caused by ethnonational revolts and genocide in the name of ethnic cleansing.

Communities now seeking sovereignty in the United States—like Hawaiians in Hawaii—might do well to look at these Alaskan Indian corporations to develop some useful ideas about how their own needs can be met within the framework of the American state. Increasingly, the ability of states to oppress their subjects and represent their citizens effectively can, I think, be enhanced by both the upward and downward devolution of state powers. By this means many of the effective negative effects of paramodernity can, I hope, be ameliorated by the gradual emergence of a new phase of late modernity in which its most dangerous and destructive side effects can be counteracted.

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