失序时代

纽约—历史时代很难在它还没有结束时就认识到。文艺复兴在事后才成为文艺复兴;此前的黑暗时代和其他各种时代亦然。原因很简单:一些有利的或不利的发展态势到底是独立事件还是代表了长期趋势的开端很难判断。

尽管如此,我仍然认为,我们正在经历世界历史上一个世代的结束和另一个时代的开端。柏林墙倒塌、结束40年历史的冷战已经过去了25年。随之而来的美国主宰、许多国家日益繁荣、大量相对开放的社会和政治制度的涌现,以及普遍的和平(包括主要大国之间广泛的合作)。如今,这一时代也已经结束,开启了一个秩序和和平远远不如的新纪元。

中东正处于现代三十年战争(Thirty Years’ War)的初期,政治和宗教忠诚注定要助长国家内部和国家之间长期的、有时是野蛮的冲突。从在乌克兰和其他地区的行为看,俄罗斯在挑战基于不能用武力吞并领土的法律原则的最稳定的欧洲秩序。

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