May 11, 2010ArthashastraAsideop-edPax IndicaRealismrealpolitik

Introducing Pax Indica

Of Vijay Chauhan, Voldemort and the Realist perspective

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Over at Yahoo! India columns I introduce Pax Indica, my fortnightly column.


The underlying point is that countries operate in an anarchy, an environment where there is no overarching authority that can constrain their actions. Here, as the charismatic Vijay Dinanath Chauhan vividly explains to Commissioner Gaitonde in Agneepath, the law of the jungle operates. The strong survive by killing the weak. Similarly, when Lord Voldemort tries to entice the young Harry Potter to join him, he declares that there is no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it.”

Both Vijay Dinanath Chauhan and Voldemort would have been astute geopolitical strategists, but went tragically wrong when they applied their logic of power to domestic affairs, where the law of the jungle does not apply. For sovereign states though, the message is clear: their very survival depends on having adequate power to ensure it. But how much power is adequate? That’s hard to say, so the prudent answer is as much as possible”

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