The New World Disorder
Rumors were rife during the past few days about Moscow’s attempts to influence the outcome of the forthcoming German elections. Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s extremist anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant “National Front” was ecstatic in commenting that now, following the UK’s exit from the European Union and Donald Trump’s victory in America, her “alt-Right” lot are on their way up.
True to form, Bernard-Henri Levy, widely regarded in the Arab world as the “Arab Spring philosopher” expressed his belief that given recent developments in Europe and globally, there was now a good chance that Le Pen would win the French presidential race!
Contrary to many self-proclaimed “Leftists” and “Revolutionaries,” Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a right-wing nationalist who has nothing to do with Soviet legacy except his links with the KGB and Moscow’s everlasting “superpower” ambitions. The latter simply metamorphosed in tactics but not in substance from “Tzarist Imperialism” to the Bolsheviks’ “International Scientific Socialism” and “Anti-Colonial Emancipation.”
Technically, Putin is a 2016 model “Tzar”! He is a KGB-trained and German-fluent “Tzar” who completed his apprenticeship in the German theatre of intelligence operations and like many of his generation, is a firm believer that Germany is the source of existential threat to Russia from the West. He also knows that Germany is the pulsating “heart” of Europe, its most populous nation, and the cradle of its notion of “unity.” Thus, disrupting Germany from within, after achieving a similar goal in the US through his unreserved support of Trump’s campaign, will go a long way in strengthening his “escape forward” strategy, which includes exporting Russia’s severe domestic economic, demographic and social problems.
However, what is noteworthy today too is that Putin’s disruptive — indeed, destructive — attempts are not limited to the US and Germany, but extend to various parts of Europe, including France, where the countdown of its own presidential elections has started.
As for the Muslim world, there isn’t much to say actually, in the light of Russia’s direct involvement, with American acquiescence. Moscow is currently a “partner” with Obama’s administration, and is expected to be even closer to the future Trump administration, in the global fight against Sunni political Islam.
Therefore, Putin’s attempts to weaken and blackmail western democracies through supporting its most extreme and racist political forces, and joining Moscow and western capitals with “security pacts” against “political Sunni Islam” as a common enemy, would achieve several goals in one go.
The first goal is weakening liberal, democratic and progressive groups in the West against the onslaught of the extreme Right, which would exacerbate internal instability, frighten immigrant communities, alienate minorities and encourage secessionist movements as we see today in Scotland and Catalonia.
The second is eliminating the issue of “human rights” as a political tool often used by the West against the excesses of the Kremlin, whether inside Russia or in the former satellites of the defunct USSR; since the “new” western extremist political elites are as intolerant and as abusive.
The third, in connection with two above, leave Moscow to do as it pleases in regions where it claims to have “inherited” or legitimate rights, or strategic core interests. The fourth and last, is making Russia a full political and security partner in drawing the future Euro-American strategy in a world going through rapid political and demographic changes, to the extent that the White, Christian, European powers are not guaranteed future world supremacy. Another thing, worth mentioning in this context is that the world is returning unannounced to the idea of “Clash of Civilizations” against “Islam.”
The four aforementioned goals, and there may be many others, tell us that all that was said about the emergence of a “New World Order” under America’s unipolar dominance, may have either been premature or incomplete.
Within less than two decades the “victorious” Liberal capitalist West was shaken and devastated by the financial crisis of 2008, which was proof that if Soviet-style Socialism had failed, capitalism was not doing well either. Furthermore, in addition to denial and obstinacy, and in vain attempts to defend their own “legitimacy,” American and European capitalism, began to look for scapegoats which were soon found to be the following:
1.Globalization, i.e. the freedom of movement of people, goods and services, and the resulting racist and xenophobic hostility toward migrant workers willing to accept lower wages, and less secure working conditions.
2. Technology, whereby technological advances in the fields of computer science, communications and robotics have made several manual jobs redundant and old techniques obsolete.
As a result, it may be time we talked about the “New World Disorder.”
• Eyad Abu Shakra is the managing editor of Asharq Al-Awsat.
* Originally published in Asharq Al-Awsat.