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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 September 2012
Buultjens examines the utility of history as a paradigm on which to build a prognosis of the future. With examples from the past, the discussion centers around two fundamentals. First, historical patterns may prove to be faulty models as they tend to focus on clusters of events and, usually, on the leaders/victors of that era, hence not representing the entire picture. These leaders, says Buultjens, are typically MCGA-egoists who influence international politics through their personal motives. Second, these historic clusters seldom contain elements yielding enduring or transferable conclusions upon which to build valid prognoses for the future. From historical patterns, several trends emerge: (1) the phaseout of conflict after the Cold War; (2) modern government and media culture prevent the emergence of “political supermen” and minimize disruption; (3) democracy, in its familiar form, curtails its rate of expansion; and (4) the spirit of separatism permeates as a result of collapse of yet another empire. The author is not in favor of disregarding historical analyses, but rather in questioning messages it provides so as not to extract erroneous lessons.
2 Montesquieu's Considerations on the Greatness and Decline of the Romans was published in French in 1734. Several translations exist including The Greatness of the Romans and Their Decline, trans. D. Lowenthal (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1965)Google Scholar. Gibbon's History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was published in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Several single volume abridgments are in print.
3 Quotation from The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. See Porter, Roy, Gibbon: Making History (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988), 157Google Scholar.
4 For a fuller discussion of Marx's conception of history see McLellan, David, Marx (London: Fontana Press, 1986), 38–49Google Scholar.
5 Carlyle, Thomas, On Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, ed. Niemeyer, Carl (Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1966), 1, 77Google Scholar.
9 In 1922 an abbreviation, A Short History of the World, was published. (Reprinted with a new introduction [London: Penguin Books, 1991])Google Scholar
13 Pipes, Richard, “Seventy-Five Years On—The Great October Revolution,” Times Literary Supplement (London), Nov. 6, 1992, p. 4Google Scholar.
16 Coll, Alberto R. in an address entitled Prudence In Statecraft, Miller Center Imprimatur VII (Charllottesville VA: White Burkett Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, November 1991)Google Scholar.
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20 See Bell's essays on “The End of Ideology,”“Notes on the Post-Industrial Society I,” and “Notes on the Post-Industrial Society II,” Public Interest, Nos. 6 and 7 (1967)Google Scholar.
21 Phrase used frequently by President George Bush in 1989–91. See, among other speeches, his address at Texas A & M University, New York Times, May 3, 1989Google Scholar.
22 Dunn, John, preface to Democracy—The Unfinished Journey (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), vGoogle Scholar.
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