chapter  XI
17 Pages

Britain's Place in the Changing World

In the affluent society, nearly all but millionaires regard themselves as middle-class. Similarly, in international relations the millionaire States, or super-powers, are easily distinguished - especially two of them, the United States and the Soviet Union - while most other States, except the obvious dwarfs like the Gambia and Fiji, tend to place themselves about in the middle rank. Some writers have written learned papers, the conclusion of which is that a super-power simply disposes of more power than the average State. We can go further than this, and say that the United States and the Soviet Union are about the only States today capable offighting a full-scale war, involving the most up-to-date of modern weapons, with some chance of surviving - though no doubt with a decimated population - which also have the means for waging such a war. Perhaps we should also demand of the super-power a certain universality of interests in the sense of a claim to be consulted about problems in any part of the globe, together with some capability of enforcing that claim.