Balance of Power: Koko’s Peace, and International Politics in a Nutshell

Some people may laugh at Koko’s claim that she’s selling weapons for world peace as just a ridiculous quirk from our favorite psychotic arms dealer, and it does seem counter intuitive.

While Koko’s methods and true intentions are debatable, the reasoning behind the idea isn’t that ridiculous. In international politics there are a variety of paradigms for looking at the world, and each has its own method of bringing peace and stability to the international system. Here’s a brief explanation of Liberalism and Realism, the latter of which Jormungand seems to follow.

Liberalism (EXTREMELY SIMPLIFIED)

Collective security is advocated by Liberals (the liberal paradigm in international relations isn’t the same as what is commonly used with domestic politics), where if country A invades country B, every other country C D E etc will all attack A. This is how the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations is supposed to function, but oftentimes there isn’t approval to invade a country when Russia or China choose to veto it in the Security Council. In some historical UN-backed deployments like the Korean War, usually the bulk of the forces come from the United States – which raises the question of what would be done if the U.S. decides it doesn’t want anything to do with a conflict.

Realism (EXTREMELY SIMPLIFIED)

The other major paradigm is Realism, which advocates balances of power as a way to keep the international system stable.It won’t remain stable forever and there will be conflicts, but it will keep the stability for long periods of time. Realists say that it is in the state’s best interest to obtain more power, as stronger states will boss you around and you never know when another state will turn hostile. In the words of my professor, “There’s no 911 to call” in the international system. You can’t always rely on other countries to help you out of goodwill if you’re attacked or threatened into disadvantageous treaties. When there’s a balance of power, the states will be reluctant to go to war but will be likelier to cooperate and negotiate because they know that in a conflict neither will come out in good shape.

Jormungand

In the first episode of Jormungand, Koko helped create a part of the balance of power by upgrading the unknown country’s MiG-29 Fulcrum squadrons. The people who tried to stop her were likely the country’s intelligence agency or interior ministry, who probably thought that the neighboring states would become more aggressive when they see a buildup of forces. This just shows how there’s no clear cut line on these matters. Since there is no way for states to know the true intentions of another state, a buildup of power could be interpreted as a sign of aggression.

I’m merely explaining (in VERY brief terms) a few of the paradigms (there are others), and I’m not claiming that Jormungand is enitrely accurate either. The second episode had a balance of power between the Russians and the rebels, but for the Red Bear to be deterred by such a small force it would probably have to already be occupied and have their forces tied up by fighting with both the Chinese and Japanese. However, in the show’s canon and ignoring real military levels, the principle of Realism is there in how the region stabilized after a build up of forces to a comparable level. 

Personal Thoughts

What am I? I’m a realist. Liberalism sounds cute and pretty, but it’s not how humans and the world work.

(Warning: Tangential ramblings coming up.)

My ideal system is one ruled by a single Earth Federation. One where there’s a single federal government for the world, and countries are semi-autonomous sub-states that have different governments for people to choose. Ideally the federation would have a set of core universal inviolable human rights, that all the countries have to respect. There would only be one military, and disputes would be settled by the federal government. Existing states would lose their sovereignty, but as individuals we would be more free. There would be no oppression, discrimination, and we won’t be as confined by borders and problems of citizenship. Of course, that all hinges on how liberal (ideology, not paradigm) the federation government becomes. If an oppressive regime takes control then things will be even worse since there’s no place to run to.

I think we’ve seen a steady concentration of power throughout history, from the many powers of Europe, to a few strong states (U.S., U.K., U.S.S.R.) between WW1 and WW2, to the bipolar system of the Cold War. Now that the Soviet Union dissolved, the U.S. is easily the strongest state in the system. Maybe the U.S. will take over the world, or maybe some other state will rise up. It’ll take decades, maybe centuries, but I think we’re headed down this path. 

I’ll also say it’s necessary for the world to be united under one government. Issues that individual states can’t solve by themselves – or that other states won’t let them solve – could be handled better. Global warming. Space. The human population would overrun the earth, and we’ll have to expand to other planets at some point down the line. The universe is constantly trying to kill us too – at some point an asteroid will come our way, and if the current world system is in place everyone will probably be bickering about other states launching something to stop the asteroid as a pretense to put weapons in space. Or something.

Well that’s my two cents. What are your thoughts?

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11 thoughts on “Balance of Power: Koko’s Peace, and International Politics in a Nutshell

  1. Yup, if you put it that way, I think that’s pretty much the political breakdown of Jormungand. As for the ideal government, a single governing force would be ideal once we reached the stage of communicating with other lifeforms in the universe, that will make us realize the need to unite as one race as opposed to sub groups of cultures governed by their own laws. Unfortunately, we’re not there yet, and until we’re there, we’ll continue to fight amongst each other until one of us is half dead, hahaha.

    • Yeah I was thinking of that too, but it’s rather far off LOL. It’s also the plot of Gundam 00, uniting the world for “the dialogues to come” – as in to prepare for aliens. 00 Movie sucked though.

  2. I never got the concept of countries in the first place rather than just an artefact from a heavily nationalistic past, when the Internet didn’t exist and when some Europeans actually thought blacks weren’t human. Anyways, I thought I would rebut your ‘necessary’ statement because of how the Cold War accelerated space technologies so much, but then I realized that the same competitive impetus for advancement also exists regardless of sovereignty. A country doesn’t have to have full control over its own affairs to encourage competition with other countries. So yeah, this comment says nothing whatsoever.

    • The beginnings of sovereignty started with the Treaties of Westphalia that stopped the church from sticking its nose in everyone’s affairs, and basically raised a middle finger to say WE’LL RULE OURSELVES BITCH. Organizing land by states helped make governing easier, and while it has its problems it makes resolving some disputes easier. It’s naive to think countries and governments aren’t needed.

      “So yeah, this comment says nothing whatsoever.” If you think that then don’t leave a comment.

      • Well, that’s the past, isn’t it? We’re now in a globalized world, and having sovereign states now only causes more strife between those of different countries. There’s much ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ sentiment going on after 9/11, and splitting people into countries only strengthens the feelings.

  3. Pingback: Jormungand | No1live4evah

  4. First of all thanks for the post it is really interesting! As of myself I totally reject the notion of a unified federal government to rule.First of all it is not feasible as it is in people’s nature to associate themselves within an approximately confined setting.For example,EU citizens almost always refer themselves as being French,Italian,German,etc before saying that they are europeans.
    Such sentiments go well beyond the economic conditions in which states are found thereof.So if ,hypothetically,China conquers economically the world,almost every country willl retain its sovereignty,as a natural reaction to protect oneself, albeit still entering into alliances with China to get the most favourable economic conditions.
    Concurrently,such a huge federal republic would only amount to a big pile of bureaucracy which ultimately hinders the democratic process to run the government.The outcome may subsequently be that people feel disillusioned by the bureaucracy involved ,which in turn hinders the natural process of democracy,and would thus either not give a damn and not participate in the democratic political process or by erecting secessionist military groups under the call for sovereignty against the state.
    Both would give the political leaders at the top the opportunity to mould existing laws in their advantage.In the former they would convince media outlets to continue hypnotizing the people away from the real principles of democracy to a more hedonistic or ultra rigid pattern,depending on the those on top,while in the latter case the executive would step up the military with the excuse of national interest and protection even if such groups are impotent near the state’s army.
    In conclusion,such a federal state would be eventually overrun by a small group of people(this is where Michel’s ‘Iron Law of oligarchy’ kicks in) whom main pursue is themselves and their egocentric ideals.In addition, a huge federal state isn’t feasible but also not even ideal as competitors and rivals against tsuch a hegemon would be many thus compromising the aim in which the federal state was firstly set up; international peace and stability.
    This is my opinion but very interest blog keep it up :D

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