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The predictable transition to a post-bipolar international order conceals the fact that the present international system is experiencing an even more profound transition involving the very principles, norms and fundamental rules of international coexistence. Albeit stemming from a current that lasted the entire twentieth century, this transition is aggravated by a historically unusual and politically sensational fact: namely that this time the initiative to review existing norms and institutions comes not from weak and marginal players, but, on the contrary, directly from the strongest country of all. Whereas the United States’ argument against the legitimacy of the existing law and institutions is based on the idea – by no means extraneous to European political culture, hence all the more insidious for its critics – that democratic systems and non-democratic systems do not deserve to enjoy the same rights; that the same action (such as the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction, the use of force or even the occupation of territories, as in the exemplary case of the United States’ indulgence towards Israel) changes in significance according to whether it is performed by one type of system or the other; that even the re-establishing of the rights of individuals, peoples and states has to be subordinated to the ascertainment of their adhesion to democratic and liberal principles.