BY SAMUEL STEVENS
The Brazilian, Russia, India , China and South Africa (BRICS) coalition’s New Development Bank, a competitor to the International Monetary Fund, is set to be fully operational by 2016.
The alliance of BRICS makes up 20 percent of the worlds GDP, making the implications of the NDB and BRICS profound. There is an emerging shift form the unipolar world order led by the United States (The ‘Empire,’ although I am not the first to use that nomenclature) that has persisted since the end of the Cold War in 1989.
The ‘developing world’ is beginning its journey toward development and a better way of life, while the Empire focuses on identity politics.
While the BRICS are busy taking the sandwich off the plate of the Empire, the average American is watching the usual red-versus-blue partisan cycle play out.
Washington policymakers are more concerned with playing identity groups off of one another than pursuing constructive solutions that benefit all Americans.
The emerging powers are not perfect by any means, nor are they on par with the U.S. and Europe in terms of quality of life or individual rights, but Europe was a land of squabbling warlords and poor serfs at one time, too.
Political discourse in the U.S. between private citizens and politicians is increasingly petty. Neither the left nor the right can see past themselves. Issues are immediately broken down into two opposing sides with neat, bullet point ‘solutions.’
The issue of police militarization is a prime example. If you are of a conservative political persuasion, you are expected to support the police. Inversely, if you are a liberal, you are expected to believe that police are absolutely wrong in their tactics or military equipment. Both positions are ideological, rather than being based on reason and rational analysis of the situation. I could have selected any of the social issues of our time and the pattern would hold.
Right or wrong by our standards, morality is clearer in the developing world. Russian views on homosexuality and other sexual identities are not tolerant by American standards.
The Chinese quashed a pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong last year. I find both events disturbing, yet I can understand the rationale for the Russian and Chinese governments to pursue such policies.
Both states are pursuing aggressive expansion, either in international politics or economics. These nations have a different culture from ours and do not recognize homosexuality or liberal democracy, respectively. It is one thing to disagree with a point of view or aspect of a culture, but it is entirely another for Western democracies to seek to coerce another nation to alter its culture. It would appear that the legacy of imperialism lives on in the culture war.
If I were a Russian, brought up with Russian social morals, I would not want Western governments attempting to coerce my state into supporting (again, rightly or wrongly by American standards) a position or institution the majority of the population finds objectionable.
It is absurd to me that so-called tolerance of other cultures is acceptable as long as that culture absolutely accepts the modern Western world view. If they do not, as goes the ‘logic’ of the Western ruling class, they are inherently bad, thus it is acceptable to hate that culture.
The abuse the Russian LGBTQ community suffers is appalling, but there are plenty of Americans of all backgrounds that are without a job or are working paycheck to paycheck.
When a recent college graduate with five or six-figure debt is suddenly dropped into a stagnating labor market with few prospects, do the political passions of that person’s undergraduate years mean anything to them?
Possibly, but the unemployed, indebted recent graduate is going to care more about finding work and paying off their debt.
While developing nations try to improve their economies, the developed world descends into quibbles over what people do in their private lives or reduce major issues into petty arguments that are forgotten after a week.
The BRICS nations are still beset by tremendous poverty and have authoritarian governments. The coalition and the new bank are to aid the developing world where the Free World has not.
The nations of the developing world cannot realistically trust or depend on states whose economies are stagnating and currencies are becoming less dependable a la the Quantitative Easing policies pursued by Western central banks.