Neither the United States nor its allies dominate the global market like before. Therefore, the dispute for control of the planet appears in the very centre of its strategic worries.
Juan Diego Garcia
The current so-called globalisation has only intensified the said dispute as, in reality, it has been there since the modern era dawned with the circumnavigation of the planet at the origin of capitalism.
The United States and its allies no longer have a military monopoly either even though its defence industry continues to lead the world’s weapons production. This is another sector that is gradually escaping its control.
Atomic weapons, for example, give countries like North Korea the ability to speak practically on equal terms with Washington despite the enormous military distance between them. It is not by chance that the major powers try, without success, to prevent the so-called “nuclear club” expanding.
New technology and the general advance of science are no longer absolutely dominated by the traditional powers either. China, for example, is not only a large producer of consumer items and production goods but also a critical country in the most advanced scientific research, competing successfully with the United States, Europe and Japan. Even countries with less substantial eco nomic capacity have made considerable advances in this area.
Technology is no longer the monopoly of Western capitalism in such a way that the new order that is replacing the traditional one advances with a solid base, generating margins of national and regional autonomy and independence that a few years ago seemed an unreachable utopia.
The United States’ and European dominance of global politics is weakening as can be seen in the current conflict in Ukraine.
With the exception of a few governments in the world’s periphery, the vast majority of these governments, notably China but also India, which together make up around half the world’s population, although they do not support the Russian military intervention and are calling for diplomatic outcomes and agreements between the two sides, they are far from joining the chorus from the United States’ and European governments who intervene directly in the conflict and have an enormous responsibility for the creation and development of this armed conflict.
The majority of governments on the rest of the planet -Latin America, the Arab and African world- with some notable exceptions, do not see it as their war and although they regret it they do not support the sanctions with which the West seeks to punish Russia. Almost all of them -even governments like that of Colombia, so subjected to the West’s dictates- even if formally they accept some of these sanctions, they flout them in practice due to the negative impact that they would have on their economies.
Even the expansion of NATO, seen as a triumph of Washington, has another reading for countries like Germany and France.
Although formally they support the measures against Putin, in practice they proceed in such a way as to always seek to protect their national interests since Russia is not only a large market for their products but also a source of raw materials and energy that would be very difficult to replace.
The same is true of several countries in the east and north of the Old Continent, very dependent on the Russian market, not to mention the strategic role of Turkey that does everything possible to maintain a balance in its relations with Russia and the Western powers.
Moreover, a larger European presence within NATO takes power from the hegemony at its heart that until now has been exercised by the United States.
There is no shortage of voices in European governments calling for moderation and suggesting that only diplomacy offers beneficial outcomes for everyone.
The idea of a European armed forces, although presented as a “reinforcement” of NATO, still encourages those who in reality seek to have a less dependent relationship with Washington (France has always sought that, ever since De Gaulle); it should hardly come as a surprise that measures against the Russian government are either not put into practice or are done so half-heartedly, or are enacted formally but always with nuances that end up making them useless.
The impact of the conflict on the United States (and world) economy is already obvious and strengthens the voices of those who are not just calling for a quick solution to the war to be sought but who go further than that, highlighting the need to seek civilised ways to reach a new international order which, even if the laws of the market remain cruel and merciless (so inspired by social darwinism), at least would be able to prevent new calamities.
The League of Nations did not manage to prevent the Second World War and the current United Nations is impotent in the face of the current evolution of conflicts and the risk of nuclear war if the dispute between the current large powers is not contained.
The United States would have to start by recognising that it is no longer the primary power on the planet. It would have to accept that the bloc of the so-called BRICS countries -China, particularly, but also India and Brazil, in some respects- will soon be (if they are not already) invincible rivals in the tough game of the world market.
Washington would have to accept that in this competition the only thing that works is “the cold logic” of profit, the result of a civilised game between supply and demand, as preached by the bourgeois economy, ruling out any sort of aggression (military, economic, political etc) towards competitors.
Likewise, European capitalists should look for formulas that lead to that new world order in which the Old Continent can make similar, peaceful and civilised balances in order to reach the necessary distances with the United States and secure new relationships with the emerging powers (China, in particular).
Militarily, the West would not come out well in a war with these new powers; the age of easy colonialism is long since over. Playing into Washington’s hands in the Ukrainian war (which in reality is strategically against China) does not contribute to that necessary new world order.
The opportunity for the world’s periphery (the planet’s poor and dependent countries) to use the competition between the large powers to gain advantages for their own national projects is obvious.
In Latin America’s case, the position of governments like Mexico’s or the proposals by Argentina and Lula in Brazil could point the way to the steps that must be taken to ensure the new world order excludes aggression (which these countries have always endured), that they are not used as cannon fodder in disputes between powerful nations, that a world based on mutually beneficial relationships is achieved, at least as far as capitalism allows.
(Translated by Philip Walker- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) – Photos: Pixabay