ic structures, the consequence is notnprosperity a la Seattle, but rather thensharpening of class differences and thensacrifice of local culture.nIn short, the New World Ordernperspective — recognized abroad as anwill to extend the American market —ncommits the same error that PresidentnWilson and Robert Lansing, his secretarynof state, made in 1917 when theynplanned to turn the world into a clubnfriendly to the United States; a club, asnLansing wrote to Wilson, of democraticnregimes — of which, in the President’snown words before the Senate inn1917, the new Russia will also be a partnafter the czar’s overthrow and thenascendancy of the Bolsheviks. True,nthere is for the moment no bulkynenemy on the horizon, which is certainlynone cause of the exuberance inncertain circles. Yet the sum total of thensituation would recommend moderatenviews and prudence.nThe reason why the picture is notnlikely to change is that while from thenWestern perspective these moneysnpoured down the drain could findnbetter outlets, as in education andnhealth services, the structure of life andnbeliefs in these countries and regionsncannot, and perhaps should not, benuprooted. Americans ought finally tongrasp that just as the famous Americannway of life is not easily subject tonchange, so are other nations similarlyncommitted to their own tribes, socialnsystems, and religious creeds. Andnthese other ways of life often havendivine and sacred dictates behindnthem. There is also the notion of greatnand rich powers sharing the planet withnsmaller and weaker ones. It has beennshown that the expenditures made duringnthe ten days of the Gulf War—nbeneficial for mankind, we were told •n— would have covered the cost ofnimmunizing all of the world’s childrennagainst maladies for ten years to come.nWould that knowledge stop GeorgenBush in his crusading elan, yesterdaynagainst Saddam Hussein, tomorrownagainst another, arbitrarily chosen enemy?nObviously not, as it had notnstopped Caesar, Napoleon, or Bismarck.nIn its fundamentals, the worldnremains what it has been.nEvery planetary project, whether ofnGeorge Bush, UNCTAD, or of thenthree wise men mentioned above,naims — through Hegel’s famous “cun­n48/CHRONICLESnning of history” — to make the Westnricher, to make the Third World poorer,nand to prompt new Third Worldnmillions to migrate to some accessiblenpart of the West, where they creatennew problems, unemployment, fiscalntroubles, and racial conflict. This ,is antruer version of the “circulation of thenworid economy” than the much-advertisedn”aid to underdeveloped countries.”nBut if another datum is needednto illustrate this point, here it is: a largenproportion of U.S. foreign aid is destinednfor the defense expenditures ofnIsrael, Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey,nwhich may explain the underpinningsnof the Desert Storm operation. At anynrate, so-called “humanitarian” aid (likenhealth and irrigation projects) representsnless than one percent of Americannaid. Once again, we should look atnthis disproportion as the normal part ofninternational relations, but then wenshould also be more circumspect withnour promises of a New World Ordernwith capitalist and democratic prosperity.nFor us, yes; not for them.nIs “socialism” the alternative? It isnnot, for it too is a system of exploitation,nnot only on account of its built-innflaws but because of the many localnsituations in the world that neithernWashington nor other capitals cannmagically transform. Let us take Indianand Eastern Europe. The recent assassinationnof Rajiv Gandhi brings thenformer into focus with all its dead-endnstreets. India is, in fact, emblematic ofnWestern reform and development policy,nand there is no American newspapernthat does not refer to it as then”world’s largest democracy.” India is,nof course, neither democratic nor capitalist,nnor even socialist; it is 850 millionnpeople, of which only a handfulnare prosperous (some of these immenselynwealthy), with the masses unimaginablynmiserable. Visitors and investorsnare offered, just like today innEastern Europe, agreeable prospectsnbecause they meet local people whonthink like they do and who studied atnOxford, the Australian universities, andnin America, persons who are welltrainednin banking and the stock market.nIndia is the only spiritual land Inknow, but it is also a land of wretchednvillages, gurus, child prostitutes, andnenormous famines. How could thenWest “solve” India’s “problems”?nWhen polled. East European peo­nnnple are for the free market; when askednfurther, close to 40 percent add twonprovisos; the market should not benallowed to turn into a capitalist systemnwith its ferocious competition, lack ofnjob security, and all-invading advertisementn(such as on television, which innthese areas is still remarkably cultural);nand in order to prevent such a coursen— of a market economy devolving intoncapitalism — people expect the government—nyes, in spite of the communistnexperiment — to keep an eye on thenuse of resources and to retain a substantialnsegment of the economy, up ton30 percent, under its direct management.nOf course, the Hayeks andnFriedmans throw up their hands andnthe Galbraiths exult; however, this isnpublic opinion today in Eastern Europe.nIt is one thing to reach for thengoods delivered by a consumer society,nbut quite another to reorganize theneconomy and the culture along itsnlines. If this is a paradox, we mustnlive with it. If offered a choice, peoplenwould opt — using FerdinandnTonnies’s distinction — for Gemeinschaftnrather than Gesellschaft,nthe spontaneous, organic communitynover the formal, urban society. ThenWest’s refusal to acknowledge this hiddennpreference caused havoc in thenpast, and may again do so in the comingnyears.nThere is no reason to be pessimisticn(other than what realism dictates), butnit would be out of place to regard thenevents of the last two years, from thencollapse of the Berlin Wall to DesertnStorm, as a succession of unquestionedntriumphs. After all, Washington hasndiscredited itself further in the eyes ofnthe Arabs: by an essentially stalematednsituation around Iraq, and the handingnover of Lebanon to Syria as paymentnfor services rendered by Assad. InnEurope, too, people are now taking ansecond look at the anti-Baghdad “coalition,”nrecognizing that the crusadenwas not in their interest. But the mostnimportant lessons to be drawn from thenlast two years are not that history hasncome to an end and that America reapsnthe benefits, but that Seatfle and itsnsplendid glass-and-steel towers are nonmodel for mankind.nThomas Molnar’s most recent book isnThe Church, Pilgrim of Centuriesn(Eerdmans).n