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Half a century ago the world, for the most part, was divided into two main geopolitical camps. The West, which was/is adamantly pro capital was forced to temper social relations with attendant benefits of social democracy and also had marked economic dominance.  The East, the political East that is, (USSR and allies) was determined to bring all means of production under the dictatorship of the working class/proletariat. To this end, it pursued a policy of ‘catching up’ (with the west) and as a consequence made average life difficult to the sheeple (human mass)! In between, we also had non-aligned states that were not very significant in the scheme of things, at least at the time. In short, it was an era of bipolarity: East vs. West or the Cold war! A quarter of a century ago, Sovietism collapsed and the world was left with a hegemon (the US) to run things as it saw fit! The world was transformed from a bipolar to a unipolar world and today the unipolar world is giving way, albeit gradually, to a multipolar world order!
Fundamental or transformative changes are in the offing in our modern world system, which has been around for at least half a millennium. Empire (most of the OECD) is gradually losing its economic, political, cultural and military clout. Even the hegemon is no more poised and assertive; in fact, it has become erratic and ingenuous, if not outright juvenile in its major global undertakings. The case of the Ukrainian coup d’état and its subsequent blunders, like the downing of the Malaysian airline, the human slaughtering in Odessa, and the various botched attempts at cover up (all incidents), indicate an empire/hegemon that has lost its ways. See Black’s article on page 36. Empire has significantly degenerated, particularly in the past decade and half. Its strategic thinking along with its clumsy tactics has become depressingly mundane and grossly inept. Naturally, it (empire) is now relegated from being the sole arbiter of global issues to a mere participant, though still a powerful one (Minsk agreement, etc.) Other rising powers (regional or global) are gradually asserting their positions in the world system and are slowly but surely building a political economy of their own. The cases of the ‘Iran nuclear deal’, the Syrian ‘sarin’ gas issue and the rest of the Syrian conundrum (civil war) etc. are all examples of important matters that are defying the same old heavy-handed western treatment! See Bridge’s article next column and Anderson’s on page 46.
On the economic front, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are pursuing their own objectives without giving too much attention to the global status quo and its blatant ambitions for further domination. BRICS Bank is now set up. These countries are also developing payment systems that are immune to the sanction/trigger happy west. The Russian payment system is now up and running, thanks to flirtations of sanctions (in regards to SWIFT- global payment system.) The Chinese system is also ready. Both systems will coordinate financial transactions across the world. The status of the US dollar as a global reserve currency is also being eroded faster than expected. Global trade in commodities (agriculture, industrial, etc…) is increasingly leveraging other currencies. See the articles on page 34. This spells trouble to the hegemon, as it is this particular privilege that has made it the most formidable force on the planet. Most importantly and looking forward, the massive landmass with the most people and arguably the most resources on the earth is now open to nations that never belonged to the core of the existing modern world system. To this end, the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank (AIDB) will be the main financial facilitator and not the old Bretton Woods, dominated by the west. The political umbrella to this massive undertaking will definitely be the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). In all these initiatives the west can only play, at the most, a secondary role, if not worse! Whether we like it or not, Eurasia will be one of the major economic frontier, if not the major game changer of the 21st century. See Korybko article on page 35. The fast decaying and disintegrating modern world system seems to anoint its own replacement.
Economics usually dictates culture and politics, unless of course the economic system becomes severely polarizing/alienating (to the human soul) and triggers a not so rational and protracted response/struggle against the whole edifice. Extreme injustice forces unusual behaviors to take over sanity. For instance, until and unless the lopsided cruel and manipulative scheme of the prevailing world system is straightened out, in favor of the sheeple’s interests, the grossly victimized generation (the current youth for example) is bound to derail the incumbent order in whatever ways and forms it sees fit! The youth fighting along side the IS of this world, is one such lost generation who is desperately trying to find meaning in an increasingly meaningless world. Dismissing them as pure lunatics, we believe, is not only unwise, but is rather callous! Closely observing some of these youth, who were born and bred in the very womb of the beast (Western Islamic fundamentalists) and yet fanatically joining the likes of the IS, throws a shining light on the severity of the adjustment problematic (maladjustment). After all, these individuals were supposed to be ‘living the dream’ in the west, remember the American dream? The scenario we are witnessing is a sad indictment of the current Western value system, which has become decidedly materialistic and waywardly inhumane. President Assad was astonished to find out that the worst of the Jihadists fighting in Syria were coming from the Scandinavian countries! Incidentally and along the cultural front, the BRICS, Russia, China, South America (teleSur) etc. are on their way to setting up global media networks to diffuse and counteract the asymmetrical propaganda that is spewed out from dominant media, compliment of the deep states of the west. Remember our definition of the deep state? It is the military-intelligence-industrial-banking-media-complex that actually run the show behind the powerful states, mostly of the west!
On the military/tech front, the unwinding of the supremacy of the west continues unabated. NATO (read USA) is very extended and has lost its vision and mission. Many of its members are half hearted about its (NATO) current objectives and ambitions, as can be n from their lackluster financial contribution to its ever expanding budget! After the Warsaw Pact (read USSR) was voluntarily disbanded, the need for NATO was principally extinguished. But the sole hegemon decided, not only to retain the whole dangerous infrastructure, but expanded it (we might add irrationally and irresponsibly) all the way to the Russian border. Such a move, we believe, is provocative and extremely dangerous! At the same time, Russia was not asleep on the wheels, as many thought. See Carley’s article on page 34. Once Russia correctly diagnosed NATO/US ambition, it decided to overhaul its defense strategy. Consequently, the Russian military was gradually transformed into a formidable fighting force in a rather short period of time. Unlike before though, it is now very nimble and high tech. It thoroughly and meticulously pursues an anti-symmetric posture, vis-à-vis all US/NATO weapon systems and maneuverings. The results are nothing short of astounding. From anti missiles shields, to satellite killers, from potent electronic jamming of weapon systems, to highly effective nuclear deterrent schemes, from a highly dynamic rapid and versatile ground forces, to a robotic mechanized brigade, etc., Russia’s military is on a progressive rise, to say nothing about China’s preparedness along these lines. Don’t forget, these two countries are the anchor states of the SCO. We only offer our humble advice to empire and its hegemon; it is wise to look at previous empires. “Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.” Marcus Tullius Cicero – (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator. Good Day!