A quotation from Doctor Henry Kissinger's new book (World Order) as reviewed by Niall Ferguson, "K of the Castle," The Times Literary Supplement (November 28, 2014), p. 4:
The vitality of international order is reflected in the balance it strikes between legitimacy and power and the relative emphasis given to each. Neither aspect is intended to arrest change; rather, in combination they seek to ensure that it occurs as as matter of evolution, not a raw contest of wills. If the balance between power and legitimacy is properly managed, action
will acquire a degree of spontaneity. Demonstrations of power will be largely peripheral and largely symbolic; because the configuration of forces will be generally understood, no side will feel the need to call forth its full reserves.When that balance is destroyed, restraints disappear, and the field is open to the most expansive claims and the most implacable actors; chaos follows until a new system of order is established.To use an Italian phrase, "non capisco," what is the above all about ...