As We Go into the Nineties

As We Go into the Nineties

As we enter the 1990s, the outline of the twenty-first century, with respect to the configuration of issues and forces, already seems clear. We can identify four:

1. The collapse of communism
2. The reunification of Europe
3. The end of “The American Century”
4. The rise of the Pacific rim

Beyond these are other, more inchoate and indistinct forms, whose outlines are not as clear, though this does not mean they are of lesser importance. In some instances, as the twenty-first century unfolds, they may, indeed, prove to be the most disruptive. These issues are the following: the problems of poverty in the Third World (exempting East Asia now from that configuration), the fratricidal rivalries in the Middle East, and the rising ethnic and nationalist rivalries in many different parts of the world, as the older issues of class and imperialism recede.