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Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Several Theoretical Issues on Geopolitics
Chan Kung

(A long time ago, I used the theory of spatial conflict and competition to deduce and predict some major trends, including the instability of Hong Kong society, the necessity of cooperation between China and the Vatican, the occurrence of U.S.-China trade war, and so on. Some of these major trends have become reality today. However, what is lingering in my mind is that I have never explained the theory of spatial conflict and competition before, but only applied it to the derivation and prediction of strategic problems, hence this article can be regarded as a remedy for this deficiency. The article only serves as reference and discussion purpose.)

It is normal for academic research to be controversial, and indeed it is strange for academic research not to be controversial. Because social science is different from natural science, the former lacks accurate calculation and evaluation, and can only seek consensus points, value points, and theoretical commanding heights through repeated contests of opinions and thoughts. Therefore, the discussion of several theoretical points about geopolitics becomes very important, which will lead to future research topics, and to further in-depth study. This in turn course, will lead to disputes, but all these are very important for the academic study of geopolitics. Indeed, of all the questions in political geography, as both S.D. Brunn and K.A. Mingst argued long ago, perhaps none has provoked as much debate as geopolitics. An obvious example is that Haushofer's geopolitical concept of "living space" was widely criticized as "the science of war" because of the Nazis in World War II.

It may be admitted that many of the academic problems and controversies in geopolitics have a great deal to do with the success or failure of national strategies. There has always been a close relationship between the state and geopolitics, so Zhao Kejin said that geopolitics is a subject of "national study", while Napoleon frankly said earlier that "national policies depend on geography". Geopolitics, of course, has always been about two things: state and power. The state is made up of territorial units, so the state is “space”; power is politics and interests, meaning conflict, competition, and war. Hence, the earth, territory, space, conflict, and competition, all stem from concerns about the future of nations; this also applies to political geography and geopolitics. The difference is simply that political geography is more concerned with geographic space and more theoretical, while geopolitics is closer to the real world, with an emphasis on guiding the construction of specific national strategies. Haushofer also believes that political geography is the study of the distribution of countries on the earth's surface and the geographical conditions in which it operates, while geopolitics is the study of political behaviors in natural space and it participates in political actions planning. There are many examples of this. For instance, from the perspective of geographical space, the extension of land power in the eastern and western continents must rely on the connection of railway lines. In fact, from the construction of the Siberian railway to the construction of China's high-speed railway network today, it has such strategic significance. At the time when the theory of land power prevailed, the Pan-German plan was based on the Berlin-Baghdad railway project, a classic product of national strategy built on solid geopolitical foundations. However, it must be acknowledged that when academics and the state are bound together and academics become the theoretical pillar of the state, it will lead to academic vagueness and lack of introspection, which may further lead to the loss of scientific value and characteristics.

Karl Haushofer's tragedy is an example. Haushofer was a master of geopolitics who even worked directly for the German General Staff during the Nazi era, intervening and participating in national strategic planning. At that time, the practice in Germany was that geopolitical scholars provided strategic direction and theory, the top political leaders made political decisions, while the German General Staff was responsible for the formulation of strategic plans, all of which were perfect German-style operations. Due to the profound influence of the German General Staff system on the military systems of the Soviet Union, the United States, and of the world. Even to this day, the German model, which combines geopolitical academics with national strategies, still plays a huge role at the substantive level. That is why geopolitics is considered to be "Made in Germany" to some extent.

For geopolitical scholars, war is a laboratory of geopolitical theory. Haushofer thought so, but his experiment turned out to be so disastrous that after the war he wrote the book An Apology to German Geopolitics. He acknowledged that failure to distinguish between science and applied science was a blunder. In fact, the line between science and politics cannot be drawn by geopolitical scholars. Haushofer himself was encountered a lot of trouble, he was briefly imprisoned by the Nazis for anti-government comments during World War II, and his wife was also suspected of being Jewish. Haushofer's theory had such an impact on Nazi Germany that he was placed under house arrest for another period after the war. In the end, Haushofer and his wife both committed suicide with poison, ending his turbulent, wonderful and magnificent life. Geopolitics, as you know, there are nearly 200 years of development history. During this period, there have been many major events in the history of humankind. All these are telling us that there is a fundamental difference between human behavior and academia, the objectivity of science determines the value of science, not man's value and behavior.

Some people say that "the discipline of war" or "the discipline of peace" is a point of divergence between the old and the new geopolitics, which of course is to get rid of Haushofer's negative influence on geopolitics. Geoffrey Parker had always resented Haushofer's relationship with Hitler. In his book Geopolitics: Past, Present, and Future, he tries to make a clear distinction between new and old geopolitics. He believes that the theoretical division between new and old geopolitics takes the 1970s as the dividing point. Others argue that the globalization in the past has provided an opportunity for a breakthrough in geopolitics, making it global geopolitics rather than national geopolitics. The fundamental question in all this is whether there are two versions of geopolitics? Can the so-called new geopolitics get rid of the influence of the old geopolitics?

From an academic point of view, it's hard for me to agree with this. In the past academic controversy, some geopolitical scholars' views were very extreme. Harold Sprout dismissed geopolitics as "geo-policy". He argued that geopolitics lacks the objectivity of a discipline. Paul Claval went so far as to argue that geopolitics is a fashionable term, while its ideology is outdated. They tend to believe that geopolitics is not a science because of its long history of being manipulated and served by the state. The problem is that power is not science, but its use is. Some scholars in geopolitics may be obsessed with power and theoretical experiments, but this does not mean that geopolitics will deviate from its regular track. What geopolitics pursues, pays attention to and seeks is still the regularity and inevitability of power, especially the inevitability, which will make it possible to predict social movement and various spatial relations.

The prospect of geopolitics is attractive, but there are also some objective problems. In my opinion, new geopolitics and classic geopolitics are inseparable. They are still a complete theoretical system. Due to realistic situation and academic progress, the research focus and research field may vary from time to time, but from the past to the present, the methodology and epistemology of geopolitics are still a complete set of theories. An attempt to force a chasm between the old and the new geopolitics for a variety of reasons, may itself be a view based on a sense of state power that amounts to academic discrimination. In his final defense, Haushofer still implored people to believe that there is indeed "pure" geopolitics. His wish was not realized decades after his death, the geopolitics in reality is still full of disputes. However, we should also see that there is no clear division between the old and new geopolitics. All kinds of theories are related to the basis of epistemology, they are the foundation of each other and each developing and extending critically. They are like a big tree, with many branches competing for the sun, but all these branches eventually form a big tree together, which is the integrity of geopolitics. Therefore, geopolitics should be treated as a whole in the future, instead of emphasizing one branch and belittling the existence of other branches.

In addition to the academic integrity of geopolitics, there is a big problem with geopolitics, that is, the issue of accuracy.

As a scientific theory, geopolitics has been closely related to philosophy, geography, and politics for a long time. John Mearsheimer believed that geopolitics originated from political science and geography. In fact, in addition to political science and geography, there is also a vague relationship between geopolitics and the theory of international relations. Whether geopolitics is the offspring or twin of political science and geography is an academic question after all. In my opinion, geopolitics is a comprehensive subject derived from sociology, history, politics, geography and international relations, which is a kind of pluralistic and polyhedral academic subject. Such academic derivation is not uncommon, especially the post-war economics, which is said to have more than 200 research branches and fields. The same goes for the development of sociology. According to incomplete statistics, there are nearly 70 major branches of sociology, ranging from social economics, welfare sociology, rural sociology, to the history of sociology.

The real problem is that the geopolitics has long been subject to the limitations and constraints in the social sciences, resulting in the fact that geopolitics excels at ideology, cognition, and theoretical frameworks, but lacks in the aspect of quantitative analysis and predictions. Of course, this is not to say that geopolitical studies lack data, information, and charts, but that it lags behind other disciplines in terms of quantification. Most of the time, geopolitical works and academic papers lack situational rationality under the framework of realism, and their research and involvement in practical problems are not as in-depth and timely as other professional disciplines, let alone the accuracy. What's more, as national strategies are often tied to national issues, strategic issues have become a de facto academic taboo, thus, everyone tries to avoid such studies, and label their academic works as the "science of peace". Therefore, geopolitics has serious defects in the accuracy of various spatial studies, lacking modern symbolic rational classics.

Interestingly, if we look at the geopolitics as a whole, we can see that the precise measurement flaw in spatial studies is virtually nonexistent. For example, in political geography, political maps were used as the analytical tools to accurately measure and determine the basic pattern of national, territorial and world politics at the spatial scale of politics. From this perspective, we can see that the integrity of actual geopolitics, to some extent, determines the accuracy of geopolitics, which can only be affected by the classification of old and new geopolitics. As for the accuracy of geopolitics in the future, I believed that it can only be obtained from the wave of digitalization, developed in an information environment, and developed and flourished along the path of disciplinary integration and synthesis.

The finitude of the space definition is another important theoretical problem.

Where there is space, there will be a confrontation, where there is confrontation, there will be a strategy, and if there is a strategy, there will be theory. This is the relational rule of realistic geopolitics, the spatial factor is always the influence factor that geopolitics is hard to get rid of. There are two major logical contexts of classical geopolitics: Ge Hanwen’s Space and Power and Geoffrey Parker’s Geopolitics: Past, Present, and Future. In his book, Parker focuses on the concept of "national space," which is a fundamental understanding of geopolitics, where space is always constrained by states. The concepts of space and power actually interact with each other. Power brings domination and governance, which makes the existence of national space possible. The question is, does domination, governance, and control need to penetrate deeper into diverse and complex space because of national and political needs? Such a space may not be a territorial space, but it may be similar to the territory, with the need for domination, governance, and control, including various social systems, organizations, technological platforms, spiritual and cultural fields. So in the real world, the concept of space, far from being merely an academic vocabulary, but has obvious objectivity, even those that exist in the internet and the virtual space on the level of culture, it tends to realize the objective existence through certain carrier and media, just like the movie as a media convey some kind of spiritual elements. Such objectivity will make all kinds of space of different nature produce a kind of common physical spatial property, and influence on the actual international relations, national politics, power and control, and become an important research object of geopolitics. Therefore, in the future geopolitics, it is necessary to break through the original imagination of space and power, break through the shackles of the old cognitive framework, and realize the redefinition of space.

In fact, the so-called new geopolitics has already made a breakthrough in the understanding of space, and the study of conflicts critical to geopolitics has shown roughly six thematic directions: ecological politics and resource conflicts (Montaz D.), territorial conflicts and boundaries (Gachechiladze R.), geopolitics and the politics of identity (Fenster T.), globalization and new international relations (Wood W.B. and Potts L.L.), the symbolic representation of political power (Cosgrove D.), regional conflicts and new social movements (Watts M. Gold B.). Besides, there are emotional factors and conflict relationships, and so on. However, from the direction of these themes, the so-called new geopolitics still has obvious limitations in the definition of space. The definition of space is still limited and constrained by the original subject development context; it is difficult to completely transcend the national framework. I believe it is necessary to "denationalization", which is also the condition for the breakthrough of space definition.

Now, globalization has brought about some new changes and some pressure in the new geopolitics, which inevitably making some limited new choices in the definition of space, but all these are not enough. The original space concerned by geopolitics is only natural and geographical space and its extension, but globalization provides a new perspective, forcing researchers to focus on the organic system which unified people, society and nature, and promoting the change of world outlook in geopolitics. As Geoffrey Parker puts it, "No regional problem is solved in isolation". In this case, the space of natural geography will be highly compounded, virtualized, and overlapped, and the scope of physical space and virtual space will be greatly expanded to meet the three major research needs of geopolitics: rules, methods, and states; unless the space is extended and redefined, it is impossible to achieve and meet such research objectives. Zhao Kejin believes that the new geography is multidimensional, covering many dimensions such as economy, resources, technology, security, society, culture, and so on. His point of view is reasonable, but it is not only a dimension nor perspective, but a research space to be developed, belonging to the problem of space redefinition. David Livingstone observed this long ago, he even called for a "geographical project" that put all social sciences in one framework. Today, however, the limited definition of space remains a constraint in geopolitics.

Perhaps we should look at and understand the significance of the redefinition of space in this way. The redefinition of space is related to the laws of disciplines, scientific methodology and national strategy. Only by redefining space can it be possible to introduce more professional knowledge and methods from other disciplines, and meet the needs of geopolitics itself and its application, that is, to provide geostrategy a more solid foundation. So does this redefinition of space blur the line between geopolitics and other disciplines? Probably not. The key to the academic difference between geopolitical disciplines and other professional disciplines is that most professional disciplines are an introverted type of research, while geopolitics often based on its regular exploration and geostrategy as its open goals. This difference is objective and it determines the difference between geopolitics and other professional disciplines in an explicit way. In the future, geoscience is likely to become a multi-dimensional comprehensive discipline, whose success, value and significance depend on the definition of space in geopolitics. It should be emphasized that the research field of discipline is never an artificial boundary, but is guided by academic goals. Just because of this, breaking through the limitations of the definition of space is the important theoretical proposition of geopolitics.

Two centuries of academic history shows that geopolitics was a political map. From the perspective of the theoretical system of geopolitics, its main structure was the integration of politics and geography. Now, the spatial relationship of world geography has been broken, and geographical determinism has been declared obsolete. The new structuralism and realism academic system is gradually formed and inevitably plays an obvious role, which is the current situation of geopolitics. In this case, integrity, accuracy and limited space are the major challenges to geopolitics. Thus, how will geopolitics develop in the future? This is a core theoretical question in modern geopolitics, and the answers to this question may well lie in theories of spatial conflict and competition.

In classical geopolitics, the core research direction already includes spatial conflict, but this kind of spatial conflict revolves around the narrow-sense direction of the concept of state and its territory. The new geopolitics should follow the progress of the times and the rhythm of the real situation, expand on the narrow-sense basis of territorial space, form a new core theory and direction, and thus construct and form a new broad-sense spatial theory.

Spatial conflict and competition

In classical geopolitics, geography originally represents and reflects territorial units and countries, and the progress of realistic scenarios pushes the concept of "geography" to a broader field and level. In my opinion, the concept of modern “geography” actually represents a broad-sense space, this kind of broad-sense space represents and reflects the broader social system, including but not limited to: system, information, laws, trade, stratum, industry, resources, race, internet, religious, regional, political, military, culture, morals, customs, ideology, and the related social system. All these social systems transcend the narrow-sense geographic limitations and the original spatial scale. On the one hand, it will lead to the interaction between vertical and horizontal social systems, including conflict and competition. On the other hand, due to expansion and contraction, the interaction between internal and external will occur, creating conflict and competition between internal and external. Therefore, my basic understanding of the new geopolitics can be essentially summarized as a spatial conflict and competition model, which is a state model of conflict and competition that reflects the hierarchical relationship as well as the internal and external relationship. Due to the introduction of the social system, one might as well call it "Space System Theory of Geopolitics".

According to this model, the new geopolitics, in reality, is a spatial politics, while the geostrategy is a spatial strategy. Concerning the relationship between geography and space, the basic theory of the original geopolitics, especially spatial theory, has been amplified and extended based on the narrow-sense territorial units, carrying more different properties of systemic content. Whereas, the theoretical system of geopolitics continues to play the role of epistemology as a whole and has a basic framework value. In fact, the development of the branch system of academic schools of geopolitics in the past has to some extent reflected the change and progress of this representative realistic situation. Such as emotional geopolitics studies human problems; the breakthrough of the new geography to the geo-deconstruction and the study of globalization. John Agnew’s statement "the power of the space equivalent of territory" criticizes the emphasis on the real situation; and the development geography concern about the economy and industry problems, and so on. Obviously, the key to the problem lies in the integrity of the theoretical system, there is no imaginative and independent theory, the same goes for the innovation of geopolitical theory.

What is the foundation of spatial conflict and competition theory?

The key foundation is the fragmentation of global space. This is a continuous process with periodicity, i.e. there is a cycle of expansion and contraction in global space, not because of globalization. It is generally believed that globalization is a kind of integration. In this trend of integration, there is also fragmentation. However, in fact, from the perspective of a longer period, fragmentation of global space always persists. Perhaps it can be said that integration is an accident, but the fragmentation of global space is the trend.

At the time of the establishment of the United Nations in San Francisco, there were 40 member states. By 1996, it had 130. As of 2012, it had expanded to 193 member states, meanwhile, the earth didn't get bigger. The highly centralized political Soviet Union, originally composed of 15 countries, was a federal state that existed from 1922 to 1991 and was the largest country in the world at that time, covering most of Eastern Europe and almost all of Central Asia and North Asia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, 15 countries became independent, resulting in today's Russia being the smallest Russia since the end of the 17th century! Ukraine was once the second-largest country in Europe by land area. Due to a series of political events and the civil war, it was divided into three parts, i.e. Crimea, eastern Ukraine, and western Ukraine. The “Arab spring” has also led to the fragmentation of an otherwise stable Arab world, notably Libya, Syria, and Iraq, which have been effectively torn apart by military forces into separate, warring states. However, the fragmentation phenomenon that has the greatest impact on the world's spatial pattern occurs in Europe. The UK formally decided to leave the EU through a referendum, which dealt a heavy blow to the European integration process.

In fact, the fragmentation of global space has continued over the long term. Our planet has had great empires, like the ancient Roman and Persian empires, and later the British Empire, largest empire in human history, all of which once had vast spaces of integration across Europe and Asia. After the end of the era of empire, the global space immediately began to show a process of fragmentation, and various alliance orders and institutional relations were in danger, becoming the basic trend of the world. Besides, the virtual space, a social system formed by the power of knowledge, industrial, capital and technological, also presents a refined development. It is becoming increasingly independent, while conflicts and competition are emerging. At present, the impact of social media on traditional social life and personal privacy, the impact of social networks on political stability, and the threat of e-commerce to traditional industries and commerce have been very obvious.

The realistic scenario is pessimistic, because the fragmentation of global space continues to occur; the pressure of social as a "container" has risen to a dangerous value; violent social reactions are constantly taking place inside the original space, and the spatial conflicts and competitions are constantly taking place between the original space and the newly formed space. This kind of spatial conflict and competition are not only plane conflict and competition, but also involves the spatial longitudinal conflict and competition. It is increasingly sharp, complex and fierce, which makes people feel pessimistic and lament that survival and development are not easy.

But that may be inevitable. In 1902, James Bryce wrote in his Romans Lecture that, "the exploration of this earth is now all but finished.” Since then, the earth has faced a state of compressed endogenous competition. The expansion of space brought about by the great geographical discovery is transformed into the competition, crowding, and ownership of space dominated by global political control. In his book, Geoffrey Parker cited Edgar Allen Poe’s poems, “Death looks gigantically down”, and it is not an accidental artistic lamentation. Today's spatial conflict and competition are endogenous, and national space and social space are bound to collide with each other when compressed to today's level, they seek space existence and even development by whatever means, amid cruelty, darkness, and bloodsheds.

Is spatial conflict and competition a reasonable theory? If the theory of spatial conflict and competition is a theory of geography, what can it bring to geopolitics and the world?

This is a complex and attractive problem; the spatial conflict and competition is a kind of theory that rooted in the geopolitical scientific theory. If you trace the roots, you will find that the theory of spatial conflict and competition is reasonably related to the geopolitics. After all, the theoretical system of geopolitics has a long history of exploring spatial issues. Friedrich Ratzel is probably the earliest scholar to discuss the space; James Rosenau had his view on the fragmentation and integration of space; while Karl Haushofer's discourse on space has caused huge controversy. In fact, the new geopolitics has an obvious trend of "de-geography", which lays a certain foundation for the theory of spatial conflict and competition.

As for the theory of spatial conflict and competition, what can it bring to the world? I think that “scienceness”comes from objectivity, and objectivity comes from openness. Given that the old geopolitics is a kind of "science of war", and new geopolitics is a kind of "science of peace"; by contrast I believe that the spatial conflict and competition theory is just a kind of Haushofer’s ideal of pure science. This indicates the openness of the theory, and the level of understanding and awareness give play to the role of geopolitics. Besides, the interesting change is that the introduction of the concepts and methods of social systems to define space, which makes it possible to construct and describe space more accurately through information methods, thus making it possible to transform the concept of space from the scale of maps into a more accurately expressed data set. The method of systemic analysis has been used in geography and political science respectively. David Havey defined the method of systemic analysis as "practical calculus for studying geographical problems" in his book Explanation in Geography. Harold Sprout and Margaret Sprout, who wrote the Rise of American Naval Power, also advocated using the method of systemic analysis that takes into account the factors such as economic, political, international, and geographic for a more comprehensive analysis of the environment. There is no problem with this method, the key is that the application of the method. The new geopolitics needs to redefine space in a larger scope and field. This is the key to the comprehensive application of systemic analysis method, and also the key to the prediction, derivation, and understanding of the world.

As the spatial definition of structuralism, the theory of spatial conflict and competition is introduced into geopolitics to promote the integration of information methods and geopolitics, which will also enhance analytical tools and cognitive framework and greatly update the world view of the discipline system. The application of information methods has been relatively mature and widely used, so it is easy to capture the key points of the problem and form a systemic understanding and conclusion. In fact, the theory of spatial conflict and competition always has two cores, the first core is the construction of the system, which is the key to the definition of space. Without a system, there is no space; without space, there is no object, platform, and foundation of the analysis. The second core is the dynamic factors behind the phenomenon. The spatial conflict and competition emphasize the dynamic factors behind the phenomenon, and discovering the dynamic factors behind the phenomenon is the key to determine, locate, and predict the change of the spatial relationship. Therefore, these two cores are the basic logic and analysis tool of spatial conflict theory, and also the important direction of geopolitics towards applied science in the future.

Lastly, I would like to talk about the issue of empirical testing.

The theory of spatial conflict and competition, though inseparable from the theory of geopolitics, is not a theory in a theoretical sense, but an empirical analytical framework and analytical tool. Whether it belongs to the empirical geopolitics, emphasizes the use of obvious logical relationships to define and construct the concept of space, the main analysis still lies in a large amount of data. As A.F.K. Organski and Jacek Kugler did in their book, The War Ledger, the data of gross national product (GNP) are used to study the distribution of power. I believe that these problems still need further discussion and effective theoretical verification, and perhaps more theoretical achievements and contributions. Now, however, we can at least examine its basic rationality, structure, and logic from the following perspectives.

First of all, spatial conflict and competition theory is originally developed from empirical research, it is also a common method used by analysts to predict the occurrence and the source of conflict and competition. This is a useful method for predicting strategic problems, as long as you can successfully define the relevant system space. For example, in the study of the dollar issue, the spatial conflict and competition theory can be used to observe the dollar, then, the dollar will be defined as a geopolitical currency from a macro perspective, so that compared with the relatively micro-study of finance, the conclusion is easier to understand and easier to combine with reality. Secondly, the method of systemic analysis has created excellent conditions for empirical analysis, especially the use of a large number of data and quantitative tools. The results obtained from this are classic empirical analysis results. For example, for the comparison of geo-military forces, the general research basis is the statistic of military forces, but the theory of spatial conflict and competition, combined with systemic analysis, can be used to carry out War Game Model with a large number of data, and the research results are accurate, effective and reliable. Thirdly, spatial conflict and competition theory emphasize the verifiability, which is the basic characteristic of empirical research. The theory of spatial conflict and competition not only requires empirical testing of the definition of spatial conflict and various important relationships, but also requires empirical verification of the results of strategic prediction. These verification processes improve the reliability of spatial conflict and competition theory.

The theory of geopolitics is a complex system, whereas the theory of spatial conflict and competition is only a theoretical regression, it originated from the practical work of geostrategic research, but now it only finds its theoretical position through regression. Perhaps in the future world of offensive realism, spatial conflict and competition theory with empirical characteristics will have a better performance.

What will the world look like in the future?

Frankly, this is a difficult question to answer. It is worth pondering William Bunge's dictum that “this planet is not too small for peace but it is too small for war.” This has always been a concern about the relative smallness of the earth's space. In today's world, capital flows are too fast, and the struggle for profits is unfolding in an increasingly narrow space. The opposition between the pro-establishment governments and populist politics has intensified across the globe, and it also shows that there is much less space between social systems than one might think. The fragmentation of space and the high tension of space relations determine that the future will be dominated by spatial conflict and competition. To prevent the deterioration of conflicts and competition from endangering world peace, it seems that only regional cooperation organizations can rebalance the situation through create new space. Rudolf Kjellén pointed out that the state is above the individual. From the relationship between people and the state, we can know that everything faced by people and the state is the same. All these things exist organically, everyone knows this is true, and it is not out of date today. Conflicts will erupt between people, so will conflicts between nations and between various spaces. As far as the world is concerned, the most intense conflicts and competitions will be reflected in the space related to survival and development.

If the city-states that emerged in 1000 BC are the earliest geopolitical organization (Parker), then the world's territorial space has been divided and merged since then. However, with the progress of civilization and technology, the concept of space has surpassed territory and even countries, and the spatial organization and system have become extremely complicated and diversified. This means that the conflicts and competitions in the world will go from mere territorial space to irrepressible melting and infiltrating into various levels of space, becoming the main challenge of today's world and the most important source of risk. Such notions, of course, will disappoint Geoffrey Parker, who stubbornly believes that geopolitics should still be based on the concept of territory. Jean Monnet, meanwhile, would have been pleased, for the fragmentation of space and the complexity of its expansion gave a foundation and necessity to Monnet's idea of “community”. The various "community" that the world has been practicing today are originated from Monnet, whether it is NATO, Warsaw Pact, the Soviet Union, the Caribbean, South America, the European Union, or China's uncertain "Community of Common Destiny”. Future scenario trends show that only the emergence of spatial order alliances of various natures can prevent the drastic process of global space fragmentation, otherwise, what can mankind expect? There are few practical options, either to make Monnet's claim come true; or let spatial conflict and competition become more intense. In this case, it seems that "providence" actually represents the periodicity of space fragmentation. Frankly, I don't think humans have any means other than conflict and competition at this stage of the real cycle.

In a dynamic world, conflict is permanent and equilibrium is transient.

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