North Korea’s recent, what some might call, “belligerent attitude,” is a case in point: bolstering its dwindling authority at home could well be the basis for its bellicose attitude and posture with respect to other nation-states. Of course, our State Department officials can't bring themselves to think outside the box: life outside of statehood is something they cannot possibly consider.
(3) The existing paradigm, along with the conditions which seem to preclude any other, makes for certain pathology (because of the erosion that inevitably sets in and corrupts what may have started out as a perfectly innocuous and well-formed, if not well-intentioned, concept). For let’s face it, the (institution of the) State is in a bind both from within and without. In the former instance, there is this constant pressure always having to appear fair-minded and just by means of a fine balancing act between ever-conflicting interests; but it’s the latter, I’d say, which circumscribes the inescapable dynamics of international relations, that sets the ship of state, state, on the road to perdition. For indeed, every state large or small, powerful or weak, must vie for comparative advantage not only for reasons already mentioned but just as importantly perhaps, lest it not be consumed by another. It is thus that the condition of ongoing conflict is part of the setup, a built-in feature of the dominant paradigm, and there’s no escaping the fact. Diplomacy is but a gloss we put on what is, at bottom, mortal combat, a zero-sum game. Aggression is the order of the day and war the ultimate solution. Machiavelli and Metternich both had it right. Both were realists to an extreme.
(4) Needless to say, the attendant results, whether anticipated or not, are anything but promising. The bottom line is that all states, regardless of intention, are required to act in a manner of speaking like bullies, assuming thus personal characteristics, qualities of character we tend to associate with real-life persons. There is a caveat, however. “Acting a bully” is a bad enough trait in the realm of personal relations, but it pales into insignificance when some such description is applicable, and accurately, to behavior of impersonal entities such as the corporation or the state.
I suppose the point I’m making is that real-life persons always have the prerogative to walk away when faced with an act of bullying; nothing but pride stands in their way of so doing. Well, pride needn’t enter the decision-making processes on behalf of such impersonal, legal constructs as the state or the corporation, entities which have a far greater axe to grind, their very survival as an institution.