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THE GREAT DELUSION OF WESTERN ELITE IDEOLOGUES WITHIN THE EMERGING MULTIPOLAR WORLD
It seems we are headed for a series of disasters in which most of us will share the pain to varying degrees.
This is an inevitable result of the elite western belief systems at play across our planet and the consequences arising from the determination to enforce them.
These forces can be considered good. Does this seem contradictory when we are talking of multiple disasters?
It isn’t really. Because we are talking here of the beliefs behind those forces.
Some, at least, of those behind these forces, genuinely consider their intentions to be good.
More than that, they consider their implementation to be essential for the well being of all humanity and for all time to come. Those holding these beliefs appear also to believe that there are no activities more important than those they are promoting now for the benefit of all humankind.
However, Professor John J. Mearsheimer has personified this pursuit as delusional in his book ‘The Great Delusion’. He considers it an aberration left over from what he calls the ‘Unipolar Moment’, the period after the fall of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact when the United States became the single dominating power on the planet.
Professor Mearsheimer is arguably the leading light in the study of ‘Great Power Politics’. As he sees it, a powerful group of politicians and opinion leaders in the USA saw within this unipolar moment their chance to create a world without human rights abuses or war and where the principles of democracy would spread to every corner of the globe.
This was to be achieved by spreading what he calls ‘Liberal Hegemony’ across the planet with every nation, most importantly the largest economies, on board imbued with the tenets of ‘Liberal Democracy’.
To quote him from his YouTube video address on this point:
“What you want is a planet that has nothing but liberal democracies on it.”
In the unipolar moment when the USA became the sole world power its elites were then free to pursue an ideological foreign policy rather than the realism-based foreign policy they were forced to pursue when power was balanced between them and the elites of the Soviet Union. This was their moment they thought, the moment when they were freed to spread their influence, ideals and notions of global betterment across the entire planet without hindrance.
As long as you don’t find the many glaring flaws of western societies too off putting this will likely appear to be a rather attractive prospect. No large human rights abuses, no more wars and democracy practiced everywhere.
But as Prof. Mearsheimer says, the level of optimism that this could be achieved was chiefly evident in a unipolar world that relatively soon would end. The geopolitical glacis plates began to shift relatively soon after the fall of the Soviet Union toward a multi polar world.
Less than a decade after the fall of the Soviet Union Vladimir Putin was in Munich making a speech to the assembled great and good of the western world and beyond. Notable figures among the elites attending were Angela Merkel and John McCain, both in the front row.
Putin delivered an extremely unpalatable message to those present, that Russia would not be signing up to their project as described above where the USA and its liberal democracy allies were going to insist on their vision of worldwide liberal hegemony. Russia would cooperate fully where threats to common interests such as nuclear proliferation or international terrorism were concerned, but would not subordinate itself to any one nation or group of nations dictating terms.
This was not at all music to the ears of those attending. Especially not after the events of 9/11 had put rocket boosters under their desire to achieve their goal of worldwide domination of western ideologies. Thus Vladimir Putin became public enemy number one and, as would be seen across all the years from that time (2007) to this, he would find himself a target for incessant arrows of criticism and assertions of grave wrongdoing.
Then we saw the rise and rise of China, assisted according to Prof. Mearsheimer by U.S. policies predicated upon the belief that once China became thoroughly capitalist it would drop all its communist beliefs and systems. This however did not happen and instead China became not only an economic peer competitor, but along with Russia a political and military peer competitor too.
The multipolar world was on its way, with an insistence that the foreign policy of the USA become once again based upon realism rather than ideology. And this is where the inevitable disasters come in… the dominant elites of the USA decided to continue acting as the unipolar power, and to force through their ideologies, despite, and in the face of, the near absolute opposition of Russia, China and others. That this was going to be explosive was clear.
Every possible nation right up to those on Russia’s border was to become part of the European Union and NATO. Russia it was presumed would be unperturbed by this, despite all protestations to the contrary. Despite what Putin had told them in 2007 their belief in the “goodness” of their ultimate goal meant that Russian concerns could be totally ignored.
Then came the insurrection in Ukraine on the main square of its capital with John McCain, Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt in attendance, wishing the “peaceful protesters”engaging in daily rioting well.
Today we are witnessing the ultimate reaction to the pushing of western values and intentions described above to Russia’s border and insistence that Russia should just ‘take it’. The result is the special military operation mounted by Russia on February 24th of this year and which will soon result in a Russian victory in the Donbass.
The above is only one of the disasters for the West that are as a result of its elites continuing to assert the ideals formed within the unipolar moment and boosted via 9/11. The sanctions policy against Russia is creating yet another series of disasters through rising energy prices which generate price rises and inflation across most nations and arguably those nations who are pushing the ideologies of the passing unipolar moment hardest.
Yet more disasters stemming from the Taiwan question and the continuation of pressure on China by the West promise disaster aplenty in coming years.
Professor Mearsheimer argues that nationalism is the one force that is an will remain more powerful than that of the supposed idealism seen in the push to create liberal hegemony. The more the West pushes the greater the resistance will become. In the absence of a unipolar moment that becomes permanent the West’s ambitions are futile and can only bring disaster after disaster.
This is why he titled his lecture below and his book, ‘The Great Delusion’.