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The Balance of Power (BOP), With the Passage of Time, Witnesses the Frequent Changes

By       Message Muhammad Irfan     Permalink
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Human is distinctly born with the lust to get more, with the avarice to accrue much affluence, and with arrogance to remain much important in the milieu he lives around. Above all, he ignores not a single chance to demonstrate his ascendant inclination in his interaction whatsoever with the fellow human beings. This lustful tendency in the early periods begins at individual level, takes the shape of the strong groups and organizations in form of clans and tribes under the ethnic and racial codes.

It further travels and reaches at the destiny of the city states of the Sumerian Civilization circa 3500 BC where, for the first time, a strong international system was developed. Subsequently, the human instinctive lusts begot the establishment of states where it does not seem terminating but with greater paces and strides, it materializes its weight-age in regard of interstate relations based on realistic self-interests. At this level, all the rendered efforts are concentrated on amassing the enormous economic resources, combining the vision and financial flow together.

In wake of amassed giant economy, the leaders now assert to exterminate the others' financial sustainability, which leads towards the direct politico-economic competition.  

At the height of the said sort of the competition, a state's fortune is now likely to be evaluated as the actor, if it sustains its status quo in aggrandizing the politico-economic gains, with the balance of power. According to Han's Morgenthau, the Balance of Power (BOP) is "aspiration for power on the part of several, each trying either to maintain or overthrow the status quo, which leads of necessity to a configuration that is called balance of power." [i]

Thus, it is the climaxed political power through which states manage to wield the international influence and express their worth as becoming hyper power, superpower, great power, regional hegemonic power, balancing and band-wagonning powers. Anyhow, among these statures, the hyper power and the superpower stand as the most preeminent with the other genres of global prowess too significantly important.

Therefore, it is understandable that the establishing both hyper and superpowers shows the greatest extent of human's drive for power and also dominating the surrounding environment.  At this apex, a human truly succeeds to mold the balance of power in his own favor. However, this BOP does not remain in the same side.  Sometimes, it favors one individual, state and even bloc of certain states and sometimes it seems opposing to them. It happened throughout the human's political history. Certain stances are here to corroborate the perspective. In ancient spasm, NIMROOD and PHAROHAS have been dominating the world. A few centuries prior to the Christ era, Macedonians emerged as the much dominant power at the horizon of world power politics.

Subsequently, the Roman Empire and the Sassanian Empire as the superpowers of the time equally distributed the reigns of the global power.  In the medieval period, Islam flourished in the Arabian Peninsula. Accordingly, the representatives of Islam variously succeeded in establishing the robust empires such as the Rashuldin Caliphate, the Omayyad Empire, The Abbasid s Empire, The Timurid Empire, and finally the Ottoman Empire, which exclusively and unilaterally enjoyed the balance of world power in their own favor.

Prior to the WW1 era, the Spanish, The Russians, Napoleonic France, and The British were the trend setters in the avenues of the global power.  During the Cold-War Era, USSR and USA shared the global power with no articulated role of any other state. Significantly, this era is distinguished with the introduction of realistic approaches and theories that were aimed at cementing the dominant position and maintaining it for the unlimited time. Besides, all the said theories particularly realism with its pros and cons reveal the human arrogance, lust and drive for power, as mentioned in the beginning.

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Astonishingly, in spite of all tools and mechanisms set for escaping the decline, the giants of the all times fall prey to the merciless layers of the autumn and become the part of the past, corroborating the theory of decline for all existences. The divinely commandments interpret the phenomenon of rise and downfall of all eras quite objectively. According to a commandment, it is described, "For every nation's climax, the specific time is set. When the time for termination of their dominance comes nearer, it does remain neither later nor sooner." (10:49)

Similarly, another significant feature of the balance of power is patently and vividly elaborated, "These spasms of rise and fall are the days which we frequently change from nation to nation and individual to individual." (3:140) Rhetorically, when the cosmos is created by Almighty, its entire attributes are also subject to the will of divine. Regarding the preponderance and insignificance, it is arguably said that today's dominant will be the dependent of tomorrow.

It is undeniable reality otherwise the descendants of NIMROOD, AKADIANS, and SUMERIANS would still be the ultimate ruler of the world. There is another phenomenal rationale bestowed in the Holy Book commanded as, "when we intend to destroy (deteriorate) a city, we give the rule to the affluent group of peoples. They commit bad-doings. So, the just rhetoric (HaQ) accomplishes upon the city. Thus, we destroy them into pieces." (17:16) In the said verse, the destruction of a city, which refers to even the states and nations, is ascribed to The Lord of the Cosmos.

Nonetheless, this attribution is endorsed with the rationale that the bad-doings of influential affluent individuals, sitting in the power avenues, paves the way to the immense flow of social evils in the society. Society becomes shallow-rooted when it is teemed with the said evils such as the self-interests, corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, bad governance, emergence of strong corporations and mafias, internal instability, and economic recession.

Under such scenario, the foundations of a strong nation can never remain immune to the deterioration and is obviously replaced with another nation and individuals who are bouncy to strongly pursue the norms and values in the routinely assertions, a guarantor of rise. The entire history of the rise and fall of the robust states and individuals reveals the pertinence of this reality.

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Actually, the corruption in behaviors is the first step that leads toward intangible decline. It is worth mentioning that behaviors fall prey to corruption only when vanity, selfishness, and arrogance inroads the individual and societies. Accordingly, shirking the routine-work becomes the norm, which accommodates venal elements in the power avenues. In subsequent corollaries, the internal political and economic crises become the fate of the nation. Weakening in the internal stable political and economic attributes, the nation lags behind the co-evil political powers.

Therefore, deterioration begins within the nation. Subsequently, the balance of power, an ability to influence the interaction of state-actors worldwide, leans toward others who act in accordance with norms, values, and moralities. In the recent century, the BOP was unilaterally enjoyed by the West. However, it is obviously shifting to Asian powers such as China, India, and Japan. In essence, the world is likely to be ruled only by those who follow the said norms and values and believe in working diligently, making the countries internally strong.

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The Author is a junior scholar and researcher. He has presented his papers in several national and international conferences. He is also a freelance columnist and contributes to both national and international print media.


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