THE Treaty of Westphalia [1648] was signed by almost all European states to end the Eighty Years War and the Thirty Years War.

These wars collectively consumed over 10 million European lives. The Eighty Years War was a result of the Dutch revolt against the political and religious hegemony of Philip II of Spain over the Netherlands.

Westphalia tried to induce peace in Europe by introducing the idea of self-determination, the concept of ''co-existing sovereign nation-states'' that would not interfere in each other's domestic matters.

In the same years, Enlightenment philosophers like Rousseau and Locke wrote about ''the government's lack of authority in the realm of individual conscience,'' which led to the idea of  the separation of Church and State, hence a secular state.

The principle of democracy was another essential of Enlightenment. It was the ''will of the people'', found through the electoral process - and many revolutions in Europe were executed under this slogan.

An adage to all this was the 19th century Feminist Movement that brought the idea of equality of both sexes, which in time not only led to the dilution of the family system in Western Europe and America, but also brought out of the closet all sorts of sexual behaviour that were previously grouped in ''perversion''  '
Westphalia had nothing to do with secularism. It only meant to secure for each state the right to determine their own will over matters - religion being an essential one -  so protestant states could live according to their own beliefs and Catholics theirs.

Sovereignty of Westphalia therefore clashes with the later idea of secularism, which takes away from a people their freedom to exercise their religious belief collectively, if they want to.

Democracy, which first emerged as an Enlightenment idea, was equally espoused by the communists and capitalists.

According to Karl Marx, ''the first step in the revolution by the working class, is to raise the proletariat to the position of the ruling class, to win the battle for democracy'' and universal suffrage, being one of the first and most important tasks of the militant proletariat'' - ironically using exactly the same methods to do so as used by despots.

On the other hand, in the post war period, the ensuing modern welfare state in Europe and America - combined capitalism and democracy, even when in the words of Wolfgang Merkel, ''capitalism and democracy follow different logics, unequally distributed property rights on the one hand, equal civic and political rights on the other -

Profit-oriented trade within capitalism in contrast to the search for the common good within democracy; debate, compromise and majority decision-making within democracy politics versus hierarchical decision-making by managers and capital owners.

Capitalism is not democratic, democracy not capitalist.

The honor and serving of the latest writings on Globalisation and the Nation-State, continues. The World Students Society thanks author geopolitical analyst, Annela Shahzad.


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