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Global Churn

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The western style democracies are going through an existential crisis that has led to the rise in global affairs of countries run by other forms of government. President Trump is attempting to ‘hoard’ the wealth and power of the US for ‘its’ people by distancing that country from the world’s concerns. The responsibilities that American had taken as globo-cop are now being sought to be shed, opening the doors at many places to resolution of conflicts in more barbaric ways. After a populist response to the Brexit referendum, Britain has blundered in the past two years through a maze of contradictions, culminating in a massive defeat for PM Theresa May’s plan to quit the European Union. Though probably surviving the no-confidence motion brought by the Opposition, she will have little time left to bring an alternative plan, keeping her nation in limbo.
Across the channel, President Macron is facing the angst of the French people, who are not satisfied with one of the world’s better welfare systems. As always, the new ‘revolutionaries’, the ‘yellow-vests’, believe that upending a government by ‘storming the Bastille’ of privilege will somehow compensate for the nation’s inability to generate wealth. Naturally, France is also in no position to undertake its commitments, either in Europe, or elsewhere.
As a result, countries like China and Russia are more than willing to fill the gap. They have little concern for human rights or who they get into bed with. Along with Saudi Arabia, they have no compunction in leveraging money and military power to achieve their increasingly colonial objectives. Iran wishes to maintain its influence and defend its proxies. The likes of India, Israel and Turkey are struggling to keep peace in their regions against the multiple new unfolding conspiracies. Making things worse is the fact that the UN exercises less influence than ever before – not least because the US has gone into the Trump induced sulk.
It does not help if people lose faith in the efficacy of democracy, particularly as its very definition is being changed by the obsessions of political correctness. Ideologically uncommitted philosophers, economists and social scientists point out that the condition of the world’s population is, overall, better than ever before in history. Unfortunately, the political climate neither allows the people to build on this fact, nor face the real challenges, such as global warming, environmental degradation and extinction of other species. What will this churn result in? Will it lead to greater exclusion and global barriers, or spark the emergence of leadership that can resolve the contradictions with a judicious mixture of strength and goodwill? There are intriguing times ahead.