Most nations no longer are nations

The west has established a global trade order that few do not ultimately subscribe to. Hundreds of millions in China, India and many other countries owe their increased well being to this order and require its continued existence in order to retain more than just this well being. The fate of billions rests upon an orderly global infrastructure of trade the failure of which would lead to widespread famine and upheaval. More even than of aircraft carriers, peace is a product of oil, grain, volkswagen and ipad shipments.

Sarajevo and Munich hark back to days when nations actually existed as autarkies. Economies were contained largely within borders. That reality is long, long gone. Both Sarajevo and Munich are westphalian concepts. But with the crisis in the EU and in NATO and the hubris of the American project in Iraq and Afghanistan, the forces that at one time had put westphalian thinking almost to sleep have shot themselves in the foot and with it woke up monsters that like polio we thought had been almost eradicated. Nations no longer are westphalian entities but we still see them as such in our collective imagination.

And then when zooming into the altercation between China and Japan one has to wonder just how their governments see the world, are they aware of the fragile nature of the international order because if they are they don’t act the part. China nor Japan are at all prepared to face the massive social disaster that an interruption of their supply chains would cause. Any sort of war that would disrupt the air- and shipping around Japan and China would lead to intense social shock within these countries themselves as their globalized economies fail.

Interestingly enough the country that soon will be an almost perfect autarky again able to absorb shocks is the USA. The Chinese are not and are extremely vulnerable to economic shock.