Do you believe political integration or disintegration will likely be the dominant trend?Do you believe political integration or disintegration will likely be the dominant trend?
I personally see a trend toward political disintegration on both a national and global scale. It seems regardless of the mass of available information and media that would allow easier political integration the differences among us, rather than the similarities seem to be governing political action and thought. The animosity and lack of bipartisanship in our own government seems only to be increasing. There seems to be a greater need to prove that each sides ideology and actions are "right" rather than aiming for compromises and recognizes that our country has multiple needs that will never fit one ideology.
Globally it seems as though more and more the access to information is creating more animosity because of the enormous gap between rich and poor. The differences amongst nations seem not to be explored through education but rather splashed across newspapers and TV and the internet, only creating more animosity,especially towards America.
This depends a great deal on the scale that you are asking about. I would argue that political integration will increase to some extent within regions of the world. However, I would argue that there will be very little political integration of various regions of the world.
For example, it seems likely that there will continue to be more political integration of Europe. The European Union is fairly strong and more states want to join it. This is possible because much of Europe shares a relatively common heritage and set of political values.
However, it seems exceedingly unlikely that there will be much political integration between regions that do not share such things. For example, China and the United States do not share much in the way of a common heritage or political values. Because of this, they are very unlikely to ever integrate their politics in any significant way.
For the record, I assume you mean the United States. Our history has always been one of political disintegration. The present status of two major parties has been the case since the Civil War, but there are already signs of the Republican party disintegrating by reason of the "Tea Party" movement. The Democratic Party also split in the 1948 election, although it only lasted for one election. The United States is so large and so diverse that it is practically impossible for two parties to encompass the political views of all Americans. Although the two party system has survived almost 150 years, it is more because the parties themselves have changed to assimilate voters. My guess is that over time, the parties will eventually morph into a different form.
I believe it will depend largely upon which region of the world you are looking at. I believe East Asia is moving more towards integration, while the European Union is under strain and there are divisive strains showing up in American politics (largely by region) and Mexico.
Overall, I would have to say the trend is towards disintegration because the old imperial (and largely American) economic order is in decline, so some disintegration is to be expected, only so it can realign as economics dictates.
To build on #2, is there not an element of cultural conflict that will determine the extent of political integration? For example, I agree that we have seen and are likely to see more of this in Europe, but at the same time I think we can detect areas of the world that remain ideologically opposed to each other where political integration is unlikely to start. Consider tensions between Putin's Russia and the US, for example.
This is an interesting question. The 24 hour media and proliferation of Internet and cable channels has allowed us to find the media that matches what we already believe. Therefore disintegration seems likely, since we all can find our niche political group. In other words, we can find others who think as we do and we have no need to consider other viewpoints.
It makes sense to me that disintegration is more probable since no two regions of the same country much less different countries will likely agree enough with one another to integrate fully.