Something is off the new world order

Image: João Nitsche
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By FRANCISCO FERNANDES LADEIRA*

The multiple factors that point to the decline of the empire and the formation of a new order

In the early 1990s, Caetano Veloso sang: “Something is out of order, out of the New World Order”. Evidently, he was not referring to the daydream popularized by Corporal Daciolo, the supposed “New World Order” (plan to implement a totalitarian and communist global government); but to the emerging geopolitical arrangement in the post-Cold War, with the United States emerging as the only superpower, without worthy opponents in the military, political and economic aspects (the so-called “unipolarity”).

At the time, Western optimism was such that Francis Fukuyama even spoke of “the end of history”, to illustrate his thesis that capitalism and bourgeois democracy had finally triumphed; and humanity had reached the final stage of its evolution. In fact, Washington and its allies called the shots on the planet, commanding and dismantling, deposing and installing presidents, without any kind of obstacle.

However, little did Caetano Veloso know that, three decades later, not only “something is out of order”, but “a lot is out of order” in the “New World Order”.

The first indication is related to China's dizzying economic growth, with the expectation that the Asian giant's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will surpass that of the United States in 2027. In this sense, according to a study by JP Morgan bank, carried out two years ago , “the next decade is likely to be dominated by China – and in the chess game of economies, the United States could be preparing for a checkmate.”

Likewise, the process of de-dollarization of the global economy, that is, the lesser use of the dollar in foreign trade transactions, a practice adopted on specific occasions by countries such as Iran, China, Russia, Iraq, Venezuela and Brazil, points to the decline of US financial hegemony.

If, in other times, when the economy was not presenting satisfactory results, Washington (with the help of its faithful allies in Western Europe, constituting what we know as “imperialism”) could initiate a military intervention in any underdeveloped country, in search of new territories. for its prey policy (with guaranteed financial return); today the situation is quite different.

While China represents the great rival of imperialism from an economic point of view; In the military field, Russia stands out as a counterpoint to American and European military capacity. This reality began to emerge a decade ago, in the West's inability to overthrow the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, in the unfolding of the "Arab Spring" (considering the presence of Moscow troops in the defense of Syrian territory). However, Russian power has become stronger since the invasion of Ukraine last year, despite protests and Western arms aid to Kiev.

Not by chance, the premise that the Sino-Russian alliance (which involves different sectors) is the main threat to Western hegemony is practically unanimous among geopolitical analysts.

Even in political events recorded in countries on the periphery of capitalism, it is possible to perceive imperialist decadence. On the African continent, in the last three years alone, there has been a sequence of overthrows of puppet presidents of imperialism in Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Niger and Gabon (apparently, Senegal will be next).

If it were in other times, inevitably the territories of these African nations would be occupied by American, British and French troops (in the name of “democracy”) or would be targets of proxy wars (which was actually attempted, with “threats” coming from the Nigerian and Ivorian governments, but without success).

In the reordering of international organizations, the most emblematic example that “many things are out of order” in the “New World Order” is the expansion of the BRICS beyond Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, also incorporating Saudi Arabia. Arabia, Iran, Argentina, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Ethiopia. Together, old and new members account for 46% of the world's population, 36% of global GDP and almost half of the oil production circulating on the planet. It is no exaggeration to think that this “BRICS Plus” could stand up to the G7 in the global geopolitical scenario in the medium/long term.

Finally, it is important to emphasize that the internal contexts of the imperialist powers also show us signs of decay. The rise (and popularity) of the far right – starting with the likes of Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump and Giorgia Meloni – is no accident. It indicates the inability of the French, American and Italian elites to control their own political systems or to build minimally solid and viable alternatives within the so-called “bourgeois democracy”.

Of course, I'm not saying that the global hegemony of the United States (and the West, in general) will end next year (or even the next decade). Historians agree that the heyday of the Roman Empire lasted at least two and a half centuries. But with “so much out of order” in the “New World Order”, with “the axis of the world moving towards Asia” (as even more conservative thinkers like Peter Frankopan recognize) everything leads us to believe that current imperialism will sustain itself for a much shorter period.

*Francisco Fernandes Ladeira he is a doctoral student in geography at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of The ideology of international news (CRV Publisher).


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