Colossal Changes In The Structure Of World Power Over The Last Decade
In the last decade we have experienced monumental changes in the structure of world power. Following WWII, friends and foes alike thought of the United States as a force able to shape and govern world politics. Having successively vanquished its totalitarian enemy’s democracy was an impending force for change and the enlightenment narrative was definitively vindicated. In the capacious embrace of the United States, the different constitutes of American and European thought took root. Greek philosophy, Christian religion, modern science and democracy were synthesized as the fabric of Western culture. Nonetheless today, the economic superiority and political influence of the West is quickly receding, while the prospects of emerging Eastern power’s (predominantly Asia) are brightening.
After making use of its military dominance for 10-years the United States is forced to retreat without being able to show bounty for its expeditions. Politicians try advertise the social chaos that characterises Muslim Arab countries as indisputable evidence of the success of democracy, but citizens of Western culture cower in fear of worsening unemployment and credit crunches. The European Union is on the brink of collapse, fighting an existential crisis created by a refusal to change its body politic. The two halves of the West are collapsing, threatening to tear the benevolence of democracy that Westerners have come to expect.
In this instance, the West is endangered not by new enemies but rather its own weakness. In a state of denial, Westerners have inflated the threat of ‘Islamofacism’ to create a scapegoat, disregarding the obvious truth that it pails in relation to the former threat of Nazism or communism. Moreover, there are obvious qualitative differences; the two totalitarian battles were conjured from within self. They were born from and within Western culture. Al Qaida, on the other hand, is separated geographically and religiously, therefore representing a security risk, not an internal struggle. It would be oxymoronic to whack nostalgia on the times that a totalitarian force threatened the internal constitutes of Western ideology, however; one can not deny the strange inertia like state that grips the Western powers today. Democracy, like a victorious king returning from battle, has gauged itself on cheap pleasantries funded by ever-easier credit and transformed into a disturbing remanent of its former self. Reduced now to a banality, a ‘rule based society’ has forgotten the first rule to democratic life – that you are responsible for your actions. Our own idea of democracy has shrunk so much that we mistake it for a regime that is governed by the right to hold your sweethearts hand in public or to wear revealing or outrageous clothing. While these may be nice, they are only the bi-products or perks of being democratic, not its underlying foundation. Thus, here is our predicament. We are suddenly experiencing an undeniable weakening of our global position while simultaneously evolving a shallower and more complacent identity. As the necessity for action grows we insist on enjoying the privileges of a democratic system and supinely understand action as docilely obeying necessity. We restrict our understanding of equality to the domain of human rights and refuse to make meaningful change.
As the East reorganizes, stratifies and fortifies we stubbornly sit in a state of denial, magnifying the importance of social irrelevances while neglecting the necessity of action. In the future we will realise our foes did not defeat us. We were already defeated by the time they came. Order, reason and law have been sacrificed for individual comfort and with that Western democracy has crumbled.
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