"The Penny Drops - The World Is Multi-Polar": My Two Cents
Excellent MoA article with great commentary thread
On 23 October 2023, b wrote an excellent article at his Moon of Alabama blog entitled “The Penny Drops - The World Is Multi-Polar” focusing on the ongoing change from the Unipolar arrangement to the Multipolar Geopolitical Arrangement that garnered a very large collection of comments that were also very good with very little interruptions by those known as trolls. What follows is my specific comment and some additions. I decided to use the above image to remind readers that there was a time when many goods were very inexpensive and thus the need for coins having small denominations. It’s hard to say what the equivalent monetary value of a half cent would be today, but it would likely be a surprise to many—certainly more than two cents.
There're many good comments to b's article--too many to cite. The point at issue has been under discussion for months, but until today wasn't the central topic. I've made my predictions and cited my reasons for them. However, there's a more fundamental aspect related to the division of the world into two competing Blocs. The larger, Global Majority Bloc, seeks Harmony via equality and the seeking of a shared future within a series of political-economic systems that promote People Centered Development. Thus, the entire Bloc share a fundamental interest in common--the promotion of their citizenry which then reap rewards of a wholly different quality as they are beyond material. The smaller Neoliberal Bloc ruled by the Outlaw US Empire has vassals, not equal partners, whose one common interest is the exploitation of their people, not their development, which thus produces chaos in the dog-eat-dog world of competition for the few available material benefits. The supposed set of rules/laws in the latter bloc exist but are never followed to the letter and are more often trampled on. Within some of the latter bloc nations, enough inertia currently exists to perpetuate the economic vitality that made those nations strong. But since development of the people is no longer the political-economy's goal, the chaos that will ensue is already visible in the close to 100 million people outside the official labor force (within the Outlaw US Empire) and the many homeless and semi-homeless (living in motels) who can't afford housing because of Neoliberal Greed (what was once a nation of home-owners is becoming a nation of renters). (I focus on the Outlaw US Empire because I live within it and am most familiar with its detriments.)
The key factor for the Global Majority to attain Harmony and avoid the trap that's captured the Neoliberal bloc of nations is to treat as many natural monopolies as public utilities as possible--and most importantly finance and real estate/land/housing. Private enterprise can co-exist with such a system while being closely regulated so oligarchs don't rise that can threaten the integrity of the political system. Media is another issue--how should it be qualified--state or privately owned, or a hybrid where both exist? Concentration of ownership in any market or product segment should be strictly regulated and perhaps be made into a public utility if Harmony is threatened.
One key problem within many developing nations is they already have an oligarchy affecting politics and threatening Harmony--Argentina and Brazil are two very clear examples, but they aren't alone. Oligarchies have interests very similar to that of the Neoliberal Bloc and crave such power and control. Their natural inclination is influenced by their addiction to Pleonexia and Megalomania often because oligarchs are sociopaths and narcissists who don't give a damn about the wellbeing of their fellow humans. Thus, they are Anti-Humans. Efforts must be made to keep such people employed in places where they don't constitute a threat to Harmony. How to accomplish that is well beyond the scope of my comment, but clearly some degree of social-engineering must be employed just as it must to create People Centered Development.
Currently a gap is widening as the Multipolar World's rising while the Unipolar World's falling, and that's generating more chaos than previously existed. The chore is containing the chaos. As we're seeing, that isn't easy and can become very volatile, deadly and damaging. As many have said, the current historical process is relentless and unavoidable as it is with all Paradigm Changes. What will transpire between now and 2030 will be a spectacle as IMO we are now in the most trying period of the transitional process.
The recent 17th Geopolitical Economy Hour, “Multipolarity: China, Russia, Israel, India, and the Difficult Birth of a New World,” discussed the events at the recently concluded annual Valdai Conference that Putin and Lavrov always attend. The noted outcome was that those from the West embargoed themselves by refusing to attend and thus the overall discussion there was done by the representatives of the Global Majority, which led Pepe Escobar to exclaim:
So the great takeaway from Valdai is that some of the best minds of the emerging global majority, global South, were there and discussing at the highest level.
To which Hudson immediately added,
Yeah, I think it’s not simply that Westerners weren’t there, but the Western press really has sort of blacked this out.
That BigLie Media didn’t report on the event isn’t unusual as that’s its usual modus, but given the topic and the times sent its own message just the same. Desai made what was the most important point on that issue:
But quite frankly, there is so little to gain from the West. And this also, by the way, came out in Putin’s speech.
The West has nothing of value to give to the Global Majority as it builds the Multipolar World precisely because it will undercut and greatly diminish what remains of the West’s dominance. Since the West can’t control the action, its selfishness has led to the choice to not even want a part of the action. The choice is to remain in its own Bloc and make raids from there, which is what we see happening.
One of the major issues not related to Multipolarity discussed at Valdai was that of Russia’s nuclear use policy of which several very controversial papers were written prior to the Conference that were discussed there directly between one author and Putin. Desai’s appreciation of that discussion, which can be read in the report provided earlier on this substack, is important enough to include:
I read Karaganov’s article about lowering the nuclear threshold when it came out. And I have to say, I was quite alarmed. Like, what is this guy talking about?
But now I think it seems to me after thinking about it, after talking to people at Valdai, and also particularly after listening to Vladimir Putin’s response to him, I would say that probably the function of this article, or whether it was intended to or not for this article, has functioned as a sort of foil.
It has functioned as a provocation against which Vladimir Putin can, I think, very plausibly argue that Russia has absolutely not changed its nuclear policy. It is not going to lower the nuclear threshold no matter how much the West is provoking it, no matter how much the West is implying that he’s going to start a nuclear war.
He’s simply saying, look, we will only do this in retaliation and we will only do this if Russia is existentially challenged.
Now, Russia is so big, the West would have to do a heck of a lot to challenge it existentially. We have already had more than a month, a year and a half of the Ukraine war. There is absolutely no nuclear saber-rattling on the part of the Russians.
And I think that it allowed, I think, the Russian position to be made clear because the West seemed to be essentially implying that such a change has taken place. It allowed it to be established definitively that no such change has taken place.
And since the Conference, the nuclear issue melted into the background until the Outlaw US Empire decided to escalate the Crisis in Palestine. The discussion then moves on to the Civilization State concept where Desai again makes a keen observation:
And very cleverly, President Putin also pointed out that the West is actually forgetting its own civilizational values. That is to say this imperial aggression is not in keeping with the highest values of Western civilization.
Hudson chimes in with a response he’s made before but is muddled in the transcript. Here’s its essence:
There’s one civilization that has declared war on all of the rest, and that’s the US and NATO….
I think the common denominator has to be a full-fledged alternative, not only the de-dollarization we’ve spoken about, but a whole set of institutions that are not mere images of, but will pick up what the West pretended to do in creating the United Nations in 1945 and didn’t do….
And I think China, Russia, Iran, and others see that this has to start with an economic foundation that people can agree upon as a balance of interests between these civilizations. And I understand from Pepe that there’s about to be a meeting on just this topic.
Thus, the logic behind Xi Jinping’s four Global Initiatives can be seen as an attempt to provide organizational bases for a collective whole that will be resilient enough in its solidarity to defeat the anticipated Western attempts to use Divide and Rule to keep its position. And it’s possible to see that being employed during the current Palestinian Crisis, although the UNGA vote showed a strong core of solidarity already exists but needs to become greater. However, that vote also showed there’s cleavage in the EU/NATO world. Their discussion of the Palestine Crisis is long and won’t be duplicated here but is well worth taking the time to read even though events there have progressed to where they now stand, although Hudson’s summation follows:
So all of a sudden the gauntlet has been thrown down. What is civilization? Is this civilization or is this civilization versus the threat to civilization? That’s really what it’s come down to.
The great destabilization factor in the world is the Neoliberal Oligarchy controlling Western political institutions and their nations. Hudson’s remarks on this hammer the point home as to what sits are the core of the Global Crisis that’s existed since Neoliberalism’s rise at the end of WW2:
I want to say one thing about being very careful about talking about nations as the building blocks. You said that America has always backed Israel.
The Biden administration is not backing Israel. It’s backing the Netanyahu administration, while the majority of Israelis want to put him in jail through the Supreme Court.
America says it’s a friend of Ukraine, but it’s not a friend of Ukraine. It overthrew the Ukrainian government in a coup. It’s a friend of the Nazis in Ukraine.
The U.S. said it was a friend, a supporter of Chile, but not when Allende was elected. All of us saw, it’s the friend of Pinochet.
The U.S. said, finally, we’re friends with Russia in the 1990s. But it wasn’t. It was. They were friends of Yeltsin and the neoliberals, not Russia.
So what appears at first glance to be groups of nations with their national interests and maybe civilization, the fact is in every nation, as you were getting to at the end of your remarks, Radhika, in every nation there’s a conflict.
Are we going to be financialized and neoliberal and as such, as arms of client oligarchies of the United States? Or are we going to be a socialism instead of barbarism?
There’s a little known but essential argument that WW2 never ended just as the Cold War never ended. The Global Majority’s goal is to finally resolve those related conflicts and set Humanity on a course that will enable its evolution to higher Cultural and Moral planes—Humanity MUST learn how to share. Humanity must learn how to attain Harmony is its overall relations so war and more minor conflicts can finally be eliminated from its Nature because the future demands that those two traits become ingrained; otherwise, in the future Era of Constrained Resources that will arise in the 21st Century where steady-state, sustainable economies and societies must become the norm, Humanity won’t be prepared and the crisis that develops then will make today’s crises appear tame.
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