This thread is touching on a subject that I put to @Kirn during one of our recent battles on the site over certain ongoing issues. I proposed that on the world stage today there are countries, factions and people who serve the role of being a Necessary Evil to everyone else.
What is a Necessary Evil? Well in the context it will be used here it is "something mainly a country or group that must exist in order for all others to function or to prevent a dangerous event from unfolding."
Lets look at the world of international politics today. People would say that the world is a mess and honestly that would not be far from the truth. Wars, conflicts, rhetoric and so on is rife globally with X accusing Y of Z and Y accusing X of Z. This is nothing new as rarely will everyone on the planet get along but what is interesting is where we find that in terms of "Evil" and who is to blame for when things go wrong are the usual players. We know that in times of crisis people will unite to a common goal but I propose that people also will unite against a common enemy and in doing so throw out all their inner rivalries and disputes in face of this common foe. There always exists many common factions for people of all types to unite behind which for the immediate time being makes all people involved forget they cannot stand each other in order to realise they cannot stand something else.
Christianity verse Islam
Allies verse Axis
West verse East
Israel verse the Arab world
The United States verse just about much of the world
So what makes these things Necessary Evils? Well lets pick one of them which more recently is showing itself to be true. Lets pick Israel and the Arab world. It's no secret that the Arab world has not go on that well with Israel and vice versa but whereas Israel is a singular entity on their front we find the Arab faction to be composed of many different countries each of which have their own ideologies of the same belief which cannot stand the other, Sunni and Shia, yet asking the governments of countries in the Arab world as to what thing they hate the most many if not most will unanimously state "Israel." We find they have forgotten their rivalries with other neighbouring countries in order to face this "greater" and common foe and thus we have created a sort of "Ceasefire" between these people. Now the reason I am using this as an example is because recently this is showing itself as what happens when the Necessary Evil is removed from the matter and the united faction is left to its own devices.
With the outbreak of Civil War in Syria the Arabs have found themselves in the situation where they cannot blame the event on their usual common foe because it is their own faction initiating fighting and as such we see a breakdown of the Arab faction along the previous Sunni - Shia lines with countries supporting either Assad or denouncing him. This has shown that without the presence of a Necessary Evil two factions which previously had formed into one unified faction now have remembered they cannot tolerate one another and are fighting due to pre-existing rivalries. I would believe that in this matter entirely without the existence of Israel the Sunni - Shia powder keg would have lit long ago and open fighting to have broken out long ago with one faction emerging victorious, however, in a full circle turn they would then without a new common foe the victorious faction would break down into yet more fighting along some other line likely national lines.
Necessary Evils in this context are not always just about an "us or them" stance on a matter, they may in fact also be where the existence of something perceived as evil ultimately serves the purpose of safeguarding something else. For this lets look at North and South Korea. Both countries technically are still at war with the North regularly vowing destruction on the South and of course on paper the North could very much achieve this as they nearly did in the 1950 Korean War. So why haven't they tried to make their wish a reality? Well that is because of the United States or the "evil" being there to ensure that this cannot happen, by the US being the country it is today it ensures that for all the saber rattling the North may carry out they are still worried that should they attack the South they will only guarantee the destruction of their own people. No one of course wants the presence of American warships sailing around Asia and many people on Japans Okinawa have voiced opposition to American troops based there yet regardless we have shown that a Necessary Evil existing has prevented a new major conflict and will do so long as it continues to exist.
Another Necessary Evil in the world are Nuclear Weapons. A hard fact for some to face is that Nuclear weapons despite being instruments that could bring the Armageddon on us, have actually been the most crucial in preventing a Third World War. President Eisenhower said "We must have peace through superior firepower. If we have enough missiles, they won't dare attack us." What he was stating was the literal interpretation of M.A.D theory, Mutual Assured Destruction, this is a theory that Nuclear weapons guarantee world peace by reminding opposing sides that should one attack with Nuclear weapons then the other will respond in kind leading to both sides destruction. This was what was accredited with keeping the Cold War from getting hot and the reason why we are still alive today. Here we have shown again that a Necessary Evil has prevented conflict from breaking out and will potentially do so until a way to avert M.A.D has been found.
What we find is that in the world today there are things we will be told to perceive as being our common "Evil" yet without these things serving as glue holding together the large factions of the world then the faction will fall back on the next common thing such as religion, former allegiances or ethnic divides, however, as not everyone within the faction may share these then they will turn on one another seeing the different sub-faction as being the new common foe.
As such we need Necessary Evils in order to enjoy any form of relative Peace in the world today.