Glen T. Martin
27 March 2023
In March 2023 we are witnessing nothing less than the possible birth of a new world order. Since the close of World War II, the world has witnessed two grand world orders. From World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union was the Cold War. In this war the capitalist ruling class largely encompassing the USA, Western Europe, and Japan, struggled to maintain their position of dominance against a neo-Marxist ideology that claimed to liberate the peoples of Earth through communism as understood by the ideologists at the core of the USSR.
The methods of the capitalist ruling classes, carried out by both the Pentagon and the capitalist-owned mass-media, included extensive propaganda on behalf of “free enterprise,” as well as spying, subversion, assassinations, economic blockades, “shock therapies,” and relentless wars. The rationale from Washington, DC, concerning their wars was “if we don’t stop communism where we find it (for example, in Vietnam), it will soon be at our borders, with countries around the world dropping like dominos.” It was a clash of ideologies between superpowers, with very little reflective reasoning.
But the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s and the USSR disintegrated, leaving behind Russia and a number of small, independent Republics. With this event we entered the post-Soviet era in which the West declared the “victory of freedom and the free market” over communism and tyranny. The on-going tyranny of capitalist domination was never mentioned. Deep in the bowels of the Pentagon the thought was clear: with the disappearance of the main impediment to global domination by the West, the West was now in a position to solidify its iron grip over the entire planet.
In 1995, I brought famed political analyst Noam Chomsky to my university as a keynote speaker. In his address, he declared that the imperialism of the American empire was floundering because it no longer had an ideological enemy that could justify its subversions, invasions, and wars on behalf of capitalism. Chomsky said they were searching for a new implacable enemy to justify the empire. By 1995 the propaganda system was focusing on the “war on drugs,” but this, he said, was not sufficient to justify a global empire. It took them another six years after Chomsky made these predictions for them to succeed.
By 1998, a number of prominent “Neo-Con” right wing ideologists of US global domination developed a doctrine entitled “Project for the New American Century.” They predicted that, with a vast increase in its miliary capacities called “full spectrum dominance,” the 21st century would see the entire world subservient to the empire. The document, which can be accessed online, also stated that the American people would never go along with such a project unless there was a direct attack on American soil: “a new Pearl Harbor.”
By a miracle of fate, just one year after many of the signatories of this document became high officials in the administration of President George W. Bush, the attacks of 911 occurred and the American people were ripe for military expansion and retaliations. The process began: Afghanistan was invaded in 2001, Iraq was invaded in 2003, Iran was blockaded, attempts to overthrow the Syrian government continued, Libya was destroyed in 2011, Venezuela was hit with crushing economic sanctions, so-called “color revolutions” were fostered within all the former Soviet Union nations. A massive worldwide assault was underway in the service of the US-based capitalist regime of domination and exploitation.
But the process was not so simple, for there were other centers of power on the Earth that were developing independently of the US-dominated, “rules-based” free-trade order. Russia, under its first President, Boris Yeltsin, had been pillaged during the 1990s by the World Bank and US economic “shock therapy” programs. But by 1998, Valdimir Putin had wrested power from Yeltsin and acted to stop the hemorrhage of his country’s wealth. Meanwhile in China, a state-run capitalist model had turned that huge country into an economic powerhouse.
From its very outset, the US drive for solidifying its global supremacy in the “new American Century” included the Wolfowitz doctrine. Paul Wolfowitz, US Secretary of Defense under the Bush Administration and a signatory to the “Project for the New American Century” document, declared:
Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.
Global domination cannot succeed if new rivals to the empire emerge. The targets of US foreign policy must focus on undercutting the rise of Russia and China to world powers capable of challenging the empire. Hence, the active engineering of “pro-West” color revolutions in all the post-Soviet republics bordering Russia, including Georgia and Ukraine. Hence, the expansion of US military bases surrounding both Russia and China. Hence, the inclusion of ever more European countries into a NATO military alliance hostile to Russia. Hence, the pressure on Japan to remilitarize in hostility to China. Hence, the exacerbating of conflicts in Ukraine against Russia and in Taiwan against China. One superpower ideology subverting a possible emerging global pragmatic rationality.
The empire planners in the depths of the Pentagon combine a complete internalization of the mythology of American exceptionalism with messianic self-glorification and simplistic assumptions that all problems can be solved through a combination of militarism and propagandistic ideology. How to apply the Wolfowitz doctrine to a Russia that has been rapidly expanding economically and gaining strength after the assumption of power by Valdimir Putin?
The answer they thought was to goad Russia into a war that would drain its resources, weaken its economy (in conjunction with Western sanctions), and turn the people of Russia against Putin leading to “regime change.” A second benefit of such a war would be to end the expanding economic integration between Russia and Western Europe, an integration that centered on the supplying of inexpensive natural gas to Germany and Europe. The US and NATO entered the Minsk agreements with Russia in 2014, assuring Russia that Ukraine would not be invited into NATO, only, we found out recently, in bad faith with the real intent of buying time to strengthen Ukraine militarily to make any invasion by Russia truly difficult and debilitating for the Russian economy.
In the meantime, US led NATO forces held military war exercises in the Black Sea near Russia’s borders as well as in the Baltic Sea, again near Russia’s borders. As widely known, the US engineered a coup d’etat in 2014, overthrowing a Russian-friendly President in Ukraine and replacing him with a Neo-Nazi regime vitriolically hostile to all things Russian and engaging in active military attacks on the Russian speaking populations of eastern Ukraine.
The anticipated invasion took place in February 2022 and the war continues to the present. However, the consequences have been much the reverse of what the ideologists in the Pentagon anticipated. It is true that Europe’s economic integration with Russia has been severed and natural gas has largely stopped coming. With the blowing up of the Nord Steam pipelines carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, this severance is quite severe. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has shown that the US was almost certainly behind these pipeline explosions.
That is where we are today, and what have the consequences thus far been? (1) Energy prices in Europe have skyrocketed and the people of Europe (as distinct from their leaders who are lackeys of the US empire) are angry as hell at the US for their on-going suffering and continuing impoverishment. (2) Despite endless propaganda from the capitalist Western media claiming the Ukraine is being victorious, Russia is winning this war and the consequences will be immense for the people of Ukraine in terms of loss of land, loss of autonomy, an economy wrecked, and hundreds of thousands of lives lost and millions displaced.
(3) Russia’s economy has been flourishing and growing. Its export of gas has only changed direction and continues to increase in sales primarily to Iran, India, and China. (4) Russia’s military capacities have also increased with three hundred thousand newly trained soldiers and expanding military production fully capable of prosecuting this war. (5) The majority of the world’s nations have not condemned Russia’s invasion and are resisting the US attempts to coerce them into doing so. (6) Russia has turned east both economically and politically and its solidary with China has been strengthened in opposition to the US imperial hegemony.
Summation: A new world order is emerging before our eyes. This year we may enter the third world system after World War II. The first system was that of the Cold War, 1945-1989 (44 years) driven by two incommensurable ideologies. The second system involved the US and world capitalist drive for planetary hegemony, 1990-2023 (33 years), driven by one monological ideology. But the US has overreached and made a fatal mistake with its drawing Russia into this war. Its ideological fanaticism is exposed to the world: the entire world must suffer to satisfy its lust for global domination. The third world system will involve the marginalization and shrinking of the US empire and the emergence of a multi-polar world system led by Russia and China. Could this mean the beginnings of a globalized rationality?
This third post-WWII world system has been in the making for some time through such international organizations as BRICS (made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO: made up of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, and Pakistan). These are trade organizations that include developing not only greater economic integration but arrangements to trade without requiring the US dollar or the EURO as international trading currencies. The rationality is pragmatic, rather than ideological.
Chinese President Xi Jinping recently was in Russia for three days in meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The result included major agreements in collaboration both militarily, strategically, and in further economic integration as well as a peace-plan for Ukraine (summarily rejected by the US). Their common aim is Eurasian economic integration, and if Western Europe wants to benefit from this, they are invited, much to the chagrin of the United States.
Xi Jinping had recently brokered a reproachment between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and China has become known throughout Africa and Latin America as offering better conditions for development collaboration and loans than those offered by American capitalism, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Some reports mention that Russia has also recently forgiven some two billion dollars in loans for African nations. It looks like world economic integration and leadership is shifting to Russia and China.
Their methods do not involve the forcing of “free market” capitalism down the throats of nations with the threat of sanctions, coup d-etats, or invasions for those nations that resist. They affirm a multi-polar economically integrated world based on UN international laws. And the nations of the world are responding. The planners in the Pentagon cannot accept this, of course, their ideology is as reductionist and inflexible as the old communist ideology of the USSR. They may respond with nuclear war and destroy everything in service to their madness.
Nevertheless, the ploy of using the Ukraine war to weaken Russia under the Wolfowitz doctrine has had the opposite results. The US has lost face and credibility worldwide. Russia and China have been strengthened as leaders toward a new world centered on Eurasian economic integration. Whatever moral leadership the empire might have once claimed as it supposedly defended democracy and freedom from the brutal totalitarian communism under the USSR, has now dissipated, as a dying empire has turned more and more to violence to defend its system of global economic exploitation and domination. This month, the deal was sealed between Putin and Xi Jinping. A new era has begun.
This new era will not solve our most fundamental global problems, such as militarism, war, and environmental collapse. But it may make possible a globalized pragmatic rationality in international affairs, rather than mindless ideologies. If the world adopts the use of reason, then it may soon consider a fourth era, quickly following upon the multi-polar era of economic integration. The fourth era will mean ratifying the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, which will end war altogether, protect universal human rights, establish the rule of democratic law for all nations and citizens, and truly protect our endangered planetary environment. A truly rational and just world system will then finally enter into human affairs.