*“Seventy years ago the world witnessed the conclusion of two months of intense multilateral diplomacy, with the signing of the Charter of the United Nations. In one of the defining acts of the twentieth century, representatives of 50 countries endorsed the formation of an international organization created in the hopes of preserving peace and building a better world for all.”*
This is what one author [wrote](https://web.archive.org/web/20220711064200/https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/reflection-role-united-nations-ensuring-secure-prosperous-and-equitable-world) in the UN chronicles. Ignoring the occasional regional conflicts that pop up every decade or two, the world order under the aegis of the UN saw, generally speaking, long periods of peace in most places in the world. Indeed, this is a remarkable change from earlier centuries that witnessed long, brutal wars for global dominance within a fragile multipolar world. And whenever today conflicts and wars do arise, the rule of law seems to thrive as a legitimate regulatory force.
This, considered by itself, is usually and predominantly seen as a positive thing. But another perspective, a problematic one, emerges when we contextualize this aspect of our contemporary world.
[Fears from rising authoritarianism](https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2022/global-expansion-authoritarian-rule) in the last two decades are nothing less than real. The dictatorships of the 21st century have become a constant, problematic theme in international relations. When Western thinkers thought that the fall of the USSR in the 1991 signaled the victory of liberal democracy, they soon [realized how far from the truth they were](https://thebulletin.org/premium/2022-11/its-a-different-kind-of-world-were-living-in-now-interview-with-political-scientist-francis-fukuyama/). Modern dictatorships, despite economic struggles (i.e. sanctions), are flourishing and expanding their political power on the international scene, posing problems to the utopian world order that the West professed. In fact, discontents of populations around the world are growing in proportion with authoritarianism, and this phenomenon extends to the nest of liberal democracy, [the United States](https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/03/us-rightwing-dictatorship-2030-trump-canada). Popular protests against governmental oppression and capitalist inequality are noble and valid, but they are incapable of simply changing the system. That is due to a crucial fact, which is the stability of the unipolar world order.
The increasing legalization of the international system has made our world less prone to change. In such a world, States can now focus on domestic issues without being bothered by foreign affairs as much as they used to. As the supreme and only legitimate power within national frontiers, the State prioritizes preserving the status quo over enhancing the living conditions of its population. To our detriment, the new world order has largely removed the role of revolts in changing this status quo. The modern State with its superior logistics and powerful military can neutralize subversive movements at ease. The cycle of governance enabled by revolutions from the bottom-up and external conflicts was ruptured at the dawn of the 21st century. Revolutionary change is harder and harder in this day and age.
Paradoxically, international anarchy is the only guaranteed way to achieve prosperity. Our world is complex: progress sometimes necessitates stagnation and, inversely, progress may sometimes turn out to be regression. This is why we must analyze every step and decision and study their long-term consequences. Thus stability, in our case, is protecting the tacit dystopia that late stage capitalism is.