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Saturday, 14 January 2017
The Winds of Change in the West
14-01-2017 | 08:23
The influential liberal elites initially attempted to paint the outcome of last year’s US presidential race as proof of a functioning democratic political system.
Liberal ‘guru’ Francis Fukuyama wrote shortly after the election that, “Donald Trump’s impressive victory over Hillary Clinton on November 8 demonstrates that American democracy is still working in one important sense. Trump brilliantly succeeded in mobilizing a neglected and underrepresented slice of the electorate, the white working class, and pushed its agenda to the top of the country’s priorities.”
But today, the world is beginning to realize that Trump’s “impressive victory”, much like Britain’s decision to turn its back on the European Union, is part of a well-planned strategic shift by the west.
In both cases, the outcome is made to look like the result of ‘ordinary people’ taking to the ballot box and edging-out the competition.
And while this scenario may be possible, it is highly improbable.
The more likely scenario is that the two events – Trump’s victory and Brexit – are very much linked and are the result of deep schisms within the American and British political elites.
The grueling and merciless behind-the-scenes battles that unfolded during the race for the White House best exemplify these divisions. In that respect, Trump is not some lone warrior, but rather the face of one significant portion of the political elite in Washington, which had decided to abandon the liberal utopian agenda embodied by Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, the US is undoubtedly in the process of creating its own Perestroika. As such, both Trump’s win and Britain’s exit from the EU represent a pragmatic and well-planned response to the crippling economic and political crisis plaguing the western world.
The era of global dominance ends
The western political establishment was always divided between the US [in a broader sense, the Anglo-Saxon world, which also includes Canada, Australia, and New Zealand] on one side, and the European Union [which includes European states with Germany playing the role of a hegemonic power] on the other. Although serious cracks between these two poles began to appear during Obama’s second term in office, their so-called unity was guaranteed through the mobilization of ‘western allies’ against ‘Russian imperialism’.
However, deeper schisms existed at the core of each individual pole: in the US, the division between conservatives and liberals, and in the EU, between those favoring and those opposing Atlanticism.
These divisions were further exacerbated by a deepening crisis in the west, resulting in the crumbling of political unity, and the unstoppable decline of western military and economic might.
In his article titled, ‘Toward a Global Realignment’, Zbigniew Brzezinski argues that the US “is no longer the globally imperial power.”
“As its era of global dominance ends, the United States needs to take the lead in realigning the global power architecture,” the former US National Security Adviser writes.
In other words, Brzezinski asserts that the best Washington can hope for is to preserve its advantage over its rivals, but not its position of a global hegemon.
Time is running out
The crises in Ukraine and Syria, which exposed the west’s weaknesses, the financial crisis, which came to the surface in 2008, and the endless wars against ‘terrorism’ are the main contributors to imperial ‘overstrain’.
Under such conditions, the fall of the last modern empire becomes only a question of when, rather than if.
Time is running out for Washington to make a radical policy U-turn and abandon the project of liberal utopianism.
Deep divisions in the US involving politics, class, race and ethnicity became evident even during George W. Bush’s second term. Since then, racially motivated violence has exploded across the country.
During the same period, the crisis deepened on the other side of the Atlantic. The influx of migrants only added fuel to the fire, raising suspicions that it was part of another project of the liberal elite, designed to turn Europe into a ‘multicultural utopian society’.
Thus, the EU has not only seized to be an attractive model, but the future of its very existence has come into question. Today the potential disintegration of this bloc can be predicted with a great deal of certainty.
The opinion columnist for the Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer, recently proclaimed that, “the European Union, the largest democratic club on Earth, could itself soon break up as Brexit-like movements spread across the continent.”
In his piece titled, ‘After a mere 25 years, the triumph of the West is over’, Krauthammer writes, “the autocracies are back and rising; democracy is on the defensive; the U.S. is in retreat… The West is turning inward and going home, leaving the field to the rising authoritarians – Russia, China and Iran.”
This is a short but nevertheless accurate description of the geopolitical reality, as Donald Trump prepares to take office on January 20.
America’s Mikhail Gorbachev
During his ascent to the post of president, Trump enjoyed the discrete and firm support from segments of the American political and economic elite, as well as a handful of intelligence agencies.
Faced with the new realities of the 21st century, these are the segments of the American establishment that have decided to survive, salvaging the remnants of the old empire.
Trump’s first and most important assignment is the consolidation of a new and fledgling America.
In the case that he fails, Trump could very well inherit the role played by Mikhail Gorbachev during the demise of the Soviet Union, and be remembered as the ‘administrator’ overseeing the deconstruction of the western empire.
Source: Al-Ahed News
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