The western powers of the world, America and Europe in particular, have taken advantage of their dominant role on the world stage to pursue their selfish ambitions. Their financial and military might for the past 100 years has kept them in complete control over world affairs. Their influence over international institutions like the UN, World Bank and IMF has made sure that they received cooperation from the rest of the world and their financial interest and commercial beneficiaries have reaped the rewards of this power. But now that looks like it’s all coming to an end as both America and Europe edge closer towards economic insolvency due to overspending, debt, and inflation while at the same time, the global community continues to learn about the corruption and deceit from the west. With China and Russia leading the way, countries around the globe are making moves and positioning themselves for a world less dominated by America and the west.
A World Dominated By The West
For generations, American and European forces have been able to operate without much resistance due to their military and economic influences in the world. A whole article could be spent on discussing the military component but I’ll stick to the economics. In 1945, both the World Bank and the IMF were created after WW2, to help with the devastation of the war. The World Bank being American dominated and the IMF being European dominated, these two international institutions have been in charge of the development of third-world nations by supplying loans for infrastructure and capital projections. In this scheme, a lot of debt is accumulated on behalf of the countries who take on these loans and the money used for the projects goes straight into the pockets of western corporations. There has been plenty of evidence to suggest that the whole process is filled with corruption and that these institutions are more destructive than helpful by gaining leverage over countries that can’t pay back its debt. Anyone who is interested can look up the work of John Perkins or James Henry.
The other way the west is dominant, especially the United States, is because of their currency and their central banks. Both the dollar and euro are seen as reliable and thus valuable currencies because they are used by multiple countries keeping them in high demand. But the US dollar is the reserve currency of the world, the majority of countries trade in dollars, giving the dollar a really high demand. The dollar standard was decided upon the world at the same time the IMF was created, during the Bretton Woods Conference. This monopoly of money gives incredible power to the Federal Reserve that can print US dollars at will for their own use and still have many other countries use it. But back in ’45 they couldn’t print dollars at will, or at least not do so and keep an honest gold price since the money was still backed by gold. So as the US govt. spending increased and the debt grew, more countries started asking to exchange their dollars for gold, and Nixon had no choice but to un-link the dollar from gold in ’71, which made the reserve currency of the world strictly paper. Without gold holding them back, the US government could now spend unlimited amounts of money and just print what they couldn’t tax. All this money printing is called inflation in economic terms. It erodes the value of the currency leading to higher prices. The only reason why the US dollar has not collapsed yet is because of its status as reserve currency. But it now appears that the other nations of the world have grown tired of the fix in the game and have set course to change the current system.
Rise Of The BRICS
The foreign ministers of Brazil, Russia, India and China first met in 2006(1), possibly anticipating the financial crisis that was to come in 2008. The BRIC nations had their first official summit in 2009, discussing the need for reform within the global economy and critical issues that faced the world including food security and a lack of representation of developing countries on the world stage(2). In 2010, South Africa became the 5th nation to join, giving the African continent a voice in the emerging international coalition (3). In 2014, the five countries capitalized their own international development bank to rival the World Bank and IMF.
In the last several years, there has been plenty of rhetoric coming from both Russia and China about the need for a new reserve currency (4). Realizing the inevitable demise of the dollar due to the large amounts of inflation America is creating to finance their government and supplement their weak economy; China, Russia and other countries have been using their US dollar reserves to buy gold (5). China, the number one producer and importer of gold(6), has over 1 trillion worth of US government debt that it knows can only be paid back in soon-to-be worthless currency. If they wanted to, China could avoid this loss by dumping their US treasures on the market, but this act would hurt every country holding US dollars. So instead, for now, they are accumulating gold by the boat load and quietly moving away from the dollar, as are other countries as they prepare for a bad crash in America.
China, leading the charge, has gone all over the world to sign new trade agreements, currency deals and contracts with dozens of countries (7). Their biggest contract was signed this past march, when Russia and China agreed on a 30-year gas deal where Russia would sell its gas for 400b for the next 30-years to China. In the contract there were many supplement agreements, including forgoing the US dollar and using their own currencies (8). Russia has also been busy. Coming back from the World Cup, Putin cemented ties and signed agreements with Cuba, Argentina and Brazil (9). Although the EU has supported America in sanctioning Russia, much of Europe would rather not see this happen, as many of the countries depend on Russian gas and trade with Russia (10). France’s finance minister has come out and attacked the current dollar system, calling for the ability of countries to use a variety of currencies in global trade (11). There are rumors coming out of Mexico that a significant number of wealthy citizens want the country to move to a silver standard. If this were to happen, tons of capital would flow into Mexico and they would see a substantial rise in the value of their currency. This global trend to move away from the dollar financially, has translated over into moving away from America politically, as the world learns more about America’s foreign policy and devious activities.
The Decline Of America’s Credibility And Influence
The lack of coverage on America’s foreign policy from the western mainstream media should come as no surprise when the content of all traditional media in each country is controlled by several corporations. But in other parts of the world, the crimes of America are well known. Like the death of innocent civilians, overthrowing of legitimate governments, covert CIA operations, and just a blatant disregard for human life. The foreign policy of America has them making only a few friends but lots of enemies as their credibility deteriorates (12). Iran has been a long-time target of America due to worries of an Iranian nuclear weapon. Iran claims their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and has the support of China and Russia but America hit Iran with sanctions anyways. But the sanctions backfired as it forced Iran to sell its oil in other currencies instead of the dollar. Russia is bartering equipment and goods for Iran’s oil, India is paying in rupees, China uses their Yuan, and Japan uses the Yen. These countries completely dismissed America’s sanctions and it led to an oil-producing-nation dealing outside of dollars. (13)
In May of last year, when Edward Snowden told the world that the NSA was spying on everyone, including political leaders, a shockwave was sent throughout the geopolitical sphere as Heads of State all around the world were not too pleased with America (14). Germany, in particular, has become very irate with America. Germany had already, several months prior, asked for their gold reserves to be shipped back to Germany from America but they refused leading to speculation as to both why Germany wanted its gold back and why America refused (15). Germany eventually accepted the decision, but now after hearing about the NSA’s operations and just recently finding two American spies working for the German government, Germany might be singing a different tune towards America.
Three months after Snowden’s leaks, international relations were at odds as the Syrian crisis was heating up and both America and parts of Europe accused Assad of releasing chemicals weapons on his people and demanded retribution by bombing Assad. Russia and China made their objections known and vetoed several UN resolutions that came from the west. Public opinion in America was strongly against the strikes so Obama couldn’t get enough support from congress. So for the first time, the western powers weren’t able to get their way. This led countries like Israeli and Saudi Arabia, close allies to the US, to publicly criticize America for failing to act. (16)
America has been called upon to play a big role in many areas of the world; providing protection, weapons and aid to numerous countries, America’s military budget was $640 billion in 2013, which was more than the next 9 countries combined (17). America has been supplying the rebels in Syria with weapons as they did with the ones in Libya (18). So when Ukraine falls into a civil war between the government/military and Pro-Russian separatist, it must be eye-opening for world leaders to see America’s hypocrisy as it gets infuriated over Russia’s very restraint actions. 95% of Crimeans wanted to join Russia and much of eastern Ukraine does as well because they’re ethnic-Russians and their land use to be part of Russia (19). The vote of Crimea’s referendum outlines an important question. Who owns the land? Is it the people or the government? If you argue the case that it’s the people; that they have a right to self-determination, then you would support the referendum of Crimea and their joining of Russia. The west did not support the idea and so the US wrote up a draft resolution at the UN to nullify the decision. 13 nations supported it but it was vetoed by Russia; China didn’t vote (20). America and other countries then began to sanction Russia and blame Putin for causing the unrest in Ukraine.
The geopolitical changes that have occurred, and the ones that are still in motion, show the fading of an old world order as America and Europe continue to lose its power and influence. There is no guarantee that China and Russia will do a better job but the emergence of the BRICS nations and the creation of their own bank demonstrate that they won’t go at it alone. We can only wait and see what comes next?
America’s deadliest export: democracy book by William BlumDirty Wars book by Jeremy Scahill
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