L’ère des turbulences

NEW YORK – Il est difficile de reconnaître les ères historiques avant qu’elles n’arrivent à terme. La renaissance n’est devenue la Renaissance qu’a posteriori ; et on peut dire la même chose du Moyen Âge qui l’a précédé et de bon nombre d’autres époques. La raison en est simple : il est impossible de savoir si certains développements prometteurs ou troublants sont des phénomènes indépendants ou constituent le début de tendances de fond.

On pourrait toutefois avancer que nous vivons en ce moment même le passage d’une époque de l’histoire mondiale à l’aube d’une nouvelle ère. Le mur de Berlin a été démantelé, il y a 25 ans, mettant fin à 40 ans de guerre froide. Une ère d’hégémonie américaine s’en est ensuivie, amenant la prospérité dans beaucoup de pays, l’avènement d’un grand nombre de sociétés et de systèmes politiques ouverts et une paix largement répandue, notamment la forte coopération entre les grandes puissances. Cette ère, elle aussi, est révolue, annonçant le début d’une époque beaucoup moins ordonnée et beaucoup moins pacifique.

Le Proche-Orient semble être aux premières loges d’une version moderne des conflits religieux de la guerre de Trente Ans, dans lesquels les loyautés politiques et religieuses ne peuvent que nourrir des conflits prolongés et meurtriers à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur des frontières des pays en cause. Par son attitude en Ukraine et ailleurs, la Russie a mis au défi ce qui était un équilibre européen plutôt stable qui repose sur le principe juridique que des territoires ne peuvent acquis par la force militaire.

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