The end of the monopolar world
`Multipolarism offers new opportunities and a new way.
This installment is not written to convince. It is a window into the thinking and memory of a fairly well educated person at the age of 86. It is an exercise in discovering where I now stand in a lifetime of twists and turns.
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The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union left the world with one monopolar super power, the United States. The British Empire was the last monopolar power until its weaknesses were thoroughly exposed by two World Wars. The Soviets leaving the world stage set up the new Anglo-American monopolar domination based on military superiority and fiscal strength..
If there ever was an opportunity for true world peace, the Americans blew it in a surge of capitalistic greed. The UN offered a possible framework for a Pax Americana. But the allure of American democracy and constitutional governance slowly diminished as the US descended into culture wars that pressured vassal states to emulate our failing values and accept our hegemony. To our surprise these lesser nations expressed their sovereignty by denying our control of the UN General Assembly. In a fit of pique we reduced our financial support and focused on the UN Security Council as the one place where we could gain cover for our rapacious policies.
The illusion of monopolar control fell victim to the chaos our policies engendered in the Middle East and North Africa. Stable regimes collapsed and a tsunami of refugees engulfed Europe and the EU. Our defeats in Afghanistan, Syria and soon Venezuela has made the world’s nations wary of the wasteland that awaits them if they accept US largesse via the International Monetary Fund.
Empires in their last stages are at their most dangerous. As other sovereign nations gravitate way from the US, anything is possible. The US and Britain send their warships into the Black Sea to support Ukraine’s claim to Crimea. They glide through the Straits of Hormuz daring the Iranians to commit a rash act. They possessively move through the South China Sea as though it was their Caribbean. And just recently the US placed hypersonic nuclear missiles in Germany with an 8 minute interval between the press of a button and a mushroom cloud in Moscow.
The imminent dissolution of the United States into a handful of mini-republics is the one force that can undo the monopolar hegemony without violence. Gone will be the hundreds of American bases that intimidate the vassal states. Gone will be the false sovereignty of NATO. Gone will be the missile placements encircling Russia. Gone will be the EU bravado without the American skirts to hide behind. Gone will be the budget that funds the American war machine. Gone will be the need for crazy alliances like AUKUS. Gone will be the veto power in the Security Council.
The new multipolar world that emerges will be free of the imposed Western values that have long fed the terroristic response. Russia with its superior military technology and China with its smothering economic presence will form the nexus of a new political paradigm emerging through Central Asia. The US will try to resort to expanded alliances to push back without understanding that it is a different world. The grand American anachronistic scheme is outlined in this report from the Brookings Institute:
However the multipolar world, which will eventually include the EU and the coastal US republics, is built on respect for the sovereignty of all nations. With a new sense of camaraderie and trust these lesser nations will benefit from accepting the leadership of the few multipolar giants. Under these circumstances issues of climate change, environment, disarmament, economic equity, human rights, and pandemics can be solved in a cooperative way. No country will be left to languish for centuries like Haiti. Indeed a rising tide raises all boats.
My vision of this possible future is not vetted by any special knowledge. Common sense, street smarts, a liberal education, and wishful thinking all combine to shape my thinking. Of one thing I am certain: Colonialism and Capitalism have combined to plant the bitter seed that continues to yield a toxic harvest. Both have no place in a multipolar world.
One final observation. The Newtonian world we live in has killed the role of imagination, intuition and inspiration in seeking truth. Bertrand Russel’s *Principia” enshrined the soulless tyranny of mathematics as the only way to discover new knowledge. His error is clear when one considers that no new overarching theory has been discovered after Einstein, who believed in God, as did all in his generation of scientists. Until we restore the spiritual (not the religious), we will not have a better world. Maybe Jobs, Musk and Bezos are the new imagineers who will free us from the shackles of the possible.