Volume 94, Issue 80

Wednesday, February 14, 2001


NEWS

Presidential voting demands answers

Change of fortune for Napster

Online learning focus of new fed committee

Dyer predicts democratic China in 10 years

Students shocked by high hydro bills

Briefs

Couch potatoes get no respect: study

Students say credit is no good

School dress code could be the norm

His Royal Mintiness

Dyer predicts democratic China in 10 years

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

"Tyranny is on a losing streak."

These were the words of renowned international journalist Gwynne Dyer, as he spoke about technology, democracy and the decline of war in front of a large crowd in the University Community Centre McKellar Room yesterday.

Dyer said despite tension in the Middle East and instability in Africa, there is little chance of a world war in the current global context.

"In the first half of the century around 170 million [people] were killed in war," he said, adding about 35 million people have been killed in the last 50 years.

There have been major global wars every 50 years since the 17th Century, which have been consistently fought between alliances of superpowers, Dyer noted. "They're about everything," he said, of the major wars. "They settle everything."

Dyer said despite superior weaponry, organizational ability and technological innovation, he does not foresee another worldwide war soon. "This is the first time since the 17th Century that you can't line up two rival alliances," he said. "There has been an avalanche of democracy in recent years."

He noted the thin line between a dictatorship and a "really, shabby democracy," but still said close to two-thirds of the world's nations can be considered a democracy today.

China is the only major power which is not a democracy, Dyer noted, adding he foresees its democratization over the next 10 years. "Democracies don't [often] fight one another.

"The mass media increases potential for society to have global conversations on who we are and what we want," he said. "The decline of large-scale war is probably genuine."

"I think his optimism about a third world war not happening is very refreshing," said Manjunath Pendakur, a professor of Media, Information, and Technoculture at Western.

"In the long run, I think he's right," said Grant Morgan, a first-year scholar's electives student. "In the short term, I certainly hope he's right."






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