The following essay was written before the events of September 11. No attempt has been made to alter its contents in light of those events.
Nothing is great, writes Seneca, "which is not at the same time calm." In contrast to warriors, gladiators, he goes on to say, "are protected by skill but left defenseless by anger."
We should pay attention to Seneca, because the American statesmen of the future will need to control their emotions-for there will be much to be angry about. States and other groups that refuse to play by our rules will constantly be committing outrages. After all, the terrorism that will arise from increased economic disparities, combined with social and cultural dislocation, will enjoy unprecedented access to technological resources. Overreaction to terrorist outrages will exact a terrible price, as technology allows us to more easily reach, and be reached by, the Middle East than ever was the case between the Middle East and Europe for all the centuries gone before. Every diplomatic move will also be a military one, as the artificial separation between civilian and military command structures that has been a feature of contemporary democracies continues to dissolve. We are reverting to the "unified" leaderships that characterized the ancient and early-modern worlds, reflecting what Socrates and Machiavelli recognized as a basic truth of all political systems: whatever the labels those systems claim for themselves, war and diplomacy are two facets of the same process.