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How Russia and China overtook the West A new world order is slowly taking shape

The West is decoupling from the rest of the world (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

The West is decoupling from the rest of the world (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)


March 20, 2023   6 mins

For the past year, Nato countries, led by the US, have strived to nudge the rest of the world into providing military aid for Ukraine and sanctioning Russia, in the hope of isolating the latter. They have, by and large, failed on both counts. Western officials might point out that 141 of 193 countries supported a recent UN resolution demanding Russia withdraw from Ukraine, but the 32 abstaining countries included China, India, Pakistan and South Africa — which alone account for around 40% of the global population.

Despite the West’s attempts to “globalise” the conflict, only 33 nations — representing just over one-eighth of the global population — have imposed sanctions on Russia and sent military aid to Ukraine: the UK, US, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Japan and the EU — in other words, those countries that are directly under the US sphere of influence, which in many cases involves a significant US military presence. The remaining nations, comprising close to 90% of the world’s population, have refused to follow suit. If anything, the war has actually strengthened Russian relations with a number of major non-Western countries, including China and India, and accelerated the rise of a new international order in which it is the West that looks increasingly isolated, not Russia.

Since the invasion, China has hugely increased its purchases of Russian oil, gas and coal, while exporting far more machinery, manufactured products and high-end electronics in the other direction; they have boosted their bilateral trade by more than 30%. The two countries have also committed to significant investment and infrastructure projects through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the world’s largest regional grouping in terms of geographic scope and population, which also includes India, Pakistan, Iran and all the major Central Asian republics. Moreover, as a result of Western sanctions, they have been forced to rely on rouble-yuan trade instead of using the dollar, which has enhanced the yuan’s reserve currency status.

On last month’s anniversary of the Russian invasion, Wang Yi, Beijing’s most senior diplomat, said that China was committed to “strengthen[ing] and deepen[ing] the Sino-Russian friendship” and “promot[ing] mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas”. Even more significantly, the two countries have increasingly been speaking with one voice about the need for a more balanced international order, explicitly framing their collaboration as one aimed at weakening the West’s dominance in global affairs. China, in particular, has implicitly embraced Russia’s view, espoused by foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that “this is not about Ukraine at all… It reflects the battle over what the world order will look like”. In this context, it should come as no surprise that Beijing and Moscow have maintained the steady pace of their joint military exercises, nor that Xi is due to meet Putin in Moscow today.

America’s increasingly aggressive posture towards China has only fuelled the perception, among Beijing’s elites, that they are united with Russia against the West in an existential fight for survival. Xi recently issued an unusually blunt rebuke of US policy, in which he accused Washington of being engaged in a campaign to suppress China: “Western countries — led by the US — have implemented all-round containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedentedly severe challenges to our country’s development,” he was quoted as saying by state media. This represents a significant departure from China’s traditionally measured approach. It followed the publication, by China’s foreign ministry, of an unusually critical document titled US Hegemony and Its Perils, which claimed that America has “acted… to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community”.

The problem for the US, and for the West, is that this message is starting to resonate around the world. Many non-Westerners feel that the US is in no position to lecture other countries about the sanctity of sovereignty, territorial integrity, international law and the so-called rules-based order. They recognise that the US has violated these principles before — most recently with the disastrous invasions and bombing campaigns against Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. This is why the West’s attempt to frame the conflict in Ukraine as a moral struggle of “good versus evil” elicits unease among many non-Westerners, especially in those countries that have been on the receiving end of Western colonial endeavours.

For instance, The Washington Post marked last month’s anniversary by publishing a series of interviews with people in South Africa, India and Kenya; it concluded that they hold “a deeply ambivalent view of the conflict, informed less by the question of whether Russia was wrong to invade than by current and historical grievances against the West”. It is one of several African countries that have refused to side with Kyiv.

For several countries, it’s not just that they’re unwilling to sacrifice their own interests for Ukraine; it’s partly about taking a stand against the West. As Clement Manyathela, a popular South African radio host, explained: “When America went into Iraq, when America went into Libya, they had their own justifications that we didn’t believe, and now they’re trying to turn the world against Russia…. I still don’t see any justification for invading a country, but we cannot be dictated to about the Russian moves on Ukraine. I honestly feel the US was trying to bully us.”

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that South Africa is among those countries which have chosen to strengthen ties with Russia. During a visit by Lavrov in January, the South African foreign minister Naledi Pandor referred to the two nations as “friends” and hailed their “growing economic bilateral relationship”, along with their “political, economic, social, defence and security cooperation”. Most conspicuously, South Africa joined last month’s military exercises with Russia and China.

India has also openly defied the West on Ukraine. It recently announced that its trade with Russia had grown 400% since the invasion, mostly due to a 700% increase in its import of petroleum-related products — a result of its refusal to abide by the Western-imposed Russian oil price cap. Russia also remains India’s largest arms supplier. In an effort to justify these decisions, India’s government has assumed an explicit narrative about the historic significance of its break with Western foreign policy diktats. As Venkatesh Varma, India’s former ambassador to Russia, wrote last month: “In not accepting the Western framing of the Ukraine conflict… India stood its ground and that ground raised India’s global stature.”

How long will this last? Recent developments certainly aren’t tipping the global balance in favour of the West. On the one hand, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Nato’s strategy in Ukraine isn’t working: not only is Ukraine facing heavy losses, while the West unable to keep up with Ukrainian demands for ammunition and equipment, but the sanctions have hurt Western countries, as well as developing ones. On the other, the financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is yet another reminder of the intrinsic instability of the West’s hyper-financialised brand of capitalism.

Only last week, America’s global standing took another hit with the signing of a historic agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia brokered by China (while, it should be noted, the Saudi foreign minister was in Moscow). As part of the deal, Iran has agreed to stop arming Houthis in Yemen, potentially paving the way to a resolution to the nine-year-long Yemeni war. Writing in Newsweek, David H. Rundell, a former chief of mission at the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia explained that the deal will be seen as “a watershed moment for Chinese influence in the Middle East”, while further eroding America’s already poor reputation in the region.

All these developments suggest a radical geopolitical realignment is underway which is hastening the demise of American global supremacy. This is confirmed in a recent global study carried out by the EU-funded European Council on Foreign Relations — tellingly titled “United West, divided from the rest”. It found that, while the US and Europe are growing closer, they are increasingly politically alienated from the rest of the world. The proxy war in Ukraine “marks both the consolidation of the West and the emergence of the long-heralded post-Western international order”, characterised by a strong desire for a more even distribution of global power among multiple countries — namely, multipolarity. It concludes that, even if Ukraine somehow managed to win the war, “it is highly unlikely” that a US-led liberal world order will be restored. Instead, “the West will have to live as one pole of a multipolar world”.

It confirmed the findings of a second study, carried out by the University of Cambridge’s Bennett Institute for Public Policy last October which was based on data from 137 countries that represent 97% of world population. While some upper-income countries in South America, the Asia-Pacific and Eastern Europe have become more pro-American, it concluded that “across a vast span of countries stretching from continental Eurasia to the north and west of Africa, we find the opposite —  societies that have moved closer to China and Russia over the course of the last decade”. For the first time, China and Russia are now narrowly ahead of the US in their popularity among developing countries — that is, among the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.

Today, as Xi and Putin sit down to discuss the future of Ukraine, the implication of this is clear. China and Russia are not decoupling from the West; rather, the West is decoupling from the rest of the world.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

The author appears to be drawing some incredibly long bows here. Suggesting that because all those (largely poorer) countries haven’t joined in with the western sanctions means that they must therefore be aligned with Putin seems to be clutching at straws. Likewise that India is abandoning the west simply because they’ve taken advantage of buying cheap oil from Russia again seems far fetched.
He fails to mention Chinas demographic time bomb due to its one child policy, whereby it’s getting old before it’s hard chance to get rich. There’s no mention of Chinas 20%+ youth unemployment or it’s colossal asset bubble. Most of Chinas high value trade is still with western nations. Despite the tension it isn’t going to give that up and replace it with the Russians or the South Africans, a basket case of a country that can barely feed its population or keep the lights on.
As has been mentioned, whilst the countries sanctioning Putin make up a a fraction of the world’s population, they’re a majority of the worlds economy which is much more important in the context of the article than sheer numbers.
All in all the article seems to have cherry picked a few stats in order to fit a predetermined narrative rather than being an objective look at the geopolitical situation arising from the conflict

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That’s what he does, I’m afraid, yet for some reason he gets a lot of column inches on this website.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

You get this on UnHerd about 5 times a weeks. The authors look at some stats, copy a couple of graphs and, ‘Bob’s your Aunty,’ an article appears.
(This particular Bob sees their self more as a woman.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Then why would you read the stories and comment? It seems like a waste of your time if you think they’re rubbish.There’s plenty of other publications.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clare Knight
Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Because you have to read something to know whether it’s worth reading or not. If you give up reading you give up life.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

ok, maybe you have to read some of but why waste your precious time responding if it isn’t worthy in the first place. Nah, doesn’t wash.. sounds more like you’re in denial!

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

ok, maybe you have to read some of but why waste your precious time responding if it isn’t worthy in the first place. Nah, doesn’t wash.. sounds more like you’re in denial!

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

there are, not there’s iz badd ingishh

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Because you have to read something to know whether it’s worth reading or not. If you give up reading you give up life.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

there are, not there’s iz badd ingishh

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Then why would you read the stories and comment? It seems like a waste of your time if you think they’re rubbish.There’s plenty of other publications.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clare Knight
Wim de Vriend
WD
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

And that, it would seem, is his real objective. But then, everybody has to eat.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

You get this on UnHerd about 5 times a weeks. The authors look at some stats, copy a couple of graphs and, ‘Bob’s your Aunty,’ an article appears.
(This particular Bob sees their self more as a woman.)

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Jones

And that, it would seem, is his real objective. But then, everybody has to eat.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The countries sanctioning are now barely a majority of the global economy in dollar terms, and in purchasing parity terms they are a minority. They are, collectively, growing far, far more slowly than the rest. And they are, collectively, running a huge current account deficit that is draining away their global investment position from which their economic clout comes.

The US and UK depend on selling their assets to fund consumption. They are literally selling their futures to pay for stuff today. Short of capital to fix problems, they are also now well down the road of repeatedly relying on the monetising of debt to finance balance sheet problems. This is end of empires type desperation.

This is a major reversal of economic strength in just 30 years, and one that has accelerated in the last decade. It looks exactly like the decline of Britain did and as we know Britain’s global power ebbed away slowly, then suddenly almost immediately after WW2.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I’m not saying that the west doesn’t have its own problems to deal with, but I’m still of the opinion that they pale in comparison to those facing the likes of China and Russia. There’s no doubt that the western share of the economy will diminish as the Asian nations especially become more established, but I can’t see any realistic scenario whereby China or Russia will become dominant powers

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s not so much China and Russia will become stronger, its that we become far, far weaker. They can dominate if we collapse. What stops us becoming basket cases like South Africa?

The USA and its client states are economically weakening and wasting their remaining strategic power by not recognising their weakness, let alone trying to reverse that weakness. Using the international dollar system as a weapon was really stupid and only hastened the already slow decline of the dollar. One of just many really poor decisions that point to a bleak future for everyone. Can you think of any good trends in the West today?

Demographics is a small problem relative to our wilful destruction from within and the increasingly parastic relationship between the state and vested interests.

John Murray
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I totally agree with your analysis here. At a micro level, in a week when a former US President dreaming of a comeback may be indicted for paying off a porn star, and a former UK Prime Minister dreaming of a comeback is defending himself from a charge of lying to Parliament about parties it’s not entirely surprising that non aligned nations don’t take us entirely seriously any more. It’s also worth noting that the likeliest Republican challengers in 2024 are busily signalling a complete reversal on Ukraine if elected, so why commit now to a policy, in opposition to China and Russia, that may completely change.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I would vote for Lady Stormington Daniels every time….

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago
Reply to  John Murray

I would vote for Lady Stormington Daniels every time….

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Democracy is what stops the West becoming basket cases.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

“Democracy” just means rule by the deep state.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

stupid nonsense.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

We don’t have real democracy. We vote for parties and the parties tell us to shut up. This is democracy from De Toqueville’s theory, not real democracy.

Kate Martin
Kate Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Actually, the reason the parties tell us to shut up is because they can. A very small number of people run the parties while the rest of the partisans phone it in rather than participate. I learned this over the last 10 years. Have you ever been to a legislative district meeting? Have you ever been elected to be a Precinct Committee Officer for your neighborhood? These are the smallest grain of party participation in our system and people generally stopped participating. In my 36th legislative district in Washington State (this district is in Seattle) most of the elected positions go unfilled. Nobody runs. Both parties suffer this. The work gets done by the folks who show up and in this case, they’ve driven the parties to extremes. Sensible moderates could fix this, but they stopped participating. What could go wrong? Well, just look around.

Kate Martin
Kate Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Actually, the reason the parties tell us to shut up is because they can. A very small number of people run the parties while the rest of the partisans phone it in rather than participate. I learned this over the last 10 years. Have you ever been to a legislative district meeting? Have you ever been elected to be a Precinct Committee Officer for your neighborhood? These are the smallest grain of party participation in our system and people generally stopped participating. In my 36th legislative district in Washington State (this district is in Seattle) most of the elected positions go unfilled. Nobody runs. Both parties suffer this. The work gets done by the folks who show up and in this case, they’ve driven the parties to extremes. Sensible moderates could fix this, but they stopped participating. What could go wrong? Well, just look around.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

stupid nonsense.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Rob C

We don’t have real democracy. We vote for parties and the parties tell us to shut up. This is democracy from De Toqueville’s theory, not real democracy.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

You’re right, but democracy is now dead in all but superficial appearance and has been for a long time.. the oligarch puppet masters have been in control for a long time.

Rob C
Rob C
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

“Democracy” just means rule by the deep state.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

You’re right, but democracy is now dead in all but superficial appearance and has been for a long time.. the oligarch puppet masters have been in control for a long time.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Spot on. All the signs are there, plain to be seen by all except the willfully blind.

John Murray
JM
John Murray
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I totally agree with your analysis here. At a micro level, in a week when a former US President dreaming of a comeback may be indicted for paying off a porn star, and a former UK Prime Minister dreaming of a comeback is defending himself from a charge of lying to Parliament about parties it’s not entirely surprising that non aligned nations don’t take us entirely seriously any more. It’s also worth noting that the likeliest Republican challengers in 2024 are busily signalling a complete reversal on Ukraine if elected, so why commit now to a policy, in opposition to China and Russia, that may completely change.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Democracy is what stops the West becoming basket cases.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Spot on. All the signs are there, plain to be seen by all except the willfully blind.

Malvin Marombedza
MM
Malvin Marombedza
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The erosion of freedoms in the West, in my opinion, is a far greater problem than any that the Russians and Chinese face.

Steve Jerome
Steve Jerome
1 year ago

That would be because we still have some whilst the denizens of those two tyrannies have virtually none to lose

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jerome

A gross exaggeration.. there is little to chose these days..

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Jerome

A gross exaggeration.. there is little to chose these days..

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

That’s ridiculous, since Russian and Chinese freedoms aren’t just eroded, they’re nonexistent.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Have you ever spent time in these countries? Or are you believing what you have been conditioned to believe?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Do I really need to spend time in Putin’s Russia or Xi’s China to know that these are dictatorships with severely limited personal freedoms, esp. compared to those we have in the West? Are you really so deluded and brainwashed?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Eh, you do! You’ll be amazed if you do! I absolutly guarantee it!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No, I think YOU do.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No, I think YOU do.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Amazing how many brainwashed and ignorant people are reading this silly article and support Putin and Xi. Quite the eye-opener.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Eh, you do! You’ll be amazed if you do! I absolutly guarantee it!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Amazing how many brainwashed and ignorant people are reading this silly article and support Putin and Xi. Quite the eye-opener.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have, and I certainly saw signs of disgruntlement with the Chinese govt even years ago.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Wow, disgruntlement with the government.. let’s hope we never see that is the West! ha ha ha ..you have got to be kidding!

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You’re an ignorant moron. There’s really no other conclusion.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You’re an ignorant moron. There’s really no other conclusion.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

Wow, disgruntlement with the government.. let’s hope we never see that is the West! ha ha ha ..you have got to be kidding!

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have spent 10 years in Russia and support Harry’s statement, discounted for hyperbole.

Stephen Quilley
SG
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have spent 6 months living in Moscow…and unfreedom is built into the DNA

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Do I really need to spend time in Putin’s Russia or Xi’s China to know that these are dictatorships with severely limited personal freedoms, esp. compared to those we have in the West? Are you really so deluded and brainwashed?

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have, and I certainly saw signs of disgruntlement with the Chinese govt even years ago.

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have spent 10 years in Russia and support Harry’s statement, discounted for hyperbole.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

I have spent 6 months living in Moscow…and unfreedom is built into the DNA

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Rubbish.. if that were the case Putin and Xi would be very unpopular. The opposite is the case..

Fiona Thurston
Fiona Thurston
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It means nothing to say that Putin and Xi are “popular”. Hitler was popular too, wasn’t he? The Russians culturally like strong leaders, and we like beating our leaders up and getting rid of them when they fail. The underated beauty of our system is that we can get rid of them, or they decide to go themselves when it all gets too much. Putin and Xi don’t have that option because the sheer brutality of their political cultures.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You make Dumb and Dumber sound like Einstein.

Billy Bob
BB
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

They don’t have to be popular, they just have to be powerful

James Jenkin
JJ
James Jenkin
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

True! Their election landslides were incredible

Fiona Thurston
Fiona Thurston
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It means nothing to say that Putin and Xi are “popular”. Hitler was popular too, wasn’t he? The Russians culturally like strong leaders, and we like beating our leaders up and getting rid of them when they fail. The underated beauty of our system is that we can get rid of them, or they decide to go themselves when it all gets too much. Putin and Xi don’t have that option because the sheer brutality of their political cultures.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You make Dumb and Dumber sound like Einstein.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

They don’t have to be popular, they just have to be powerful

James Jenkin
JJ
James Jenkin
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

True! Their election landslides were incredible

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Have you ever spent time in these countries? Or are you believing what you have been conditioned to believe?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Rubbish.. if that were the case Putin and Xi would be very unpopular. The opposite is the case..

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

Absolutely. But we are brainwashed :
America = good, China = bad, Russia = bad, etc

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

El stupido.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

..run out of arguments have you?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s pointless when the argument is with ignorant morons.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It’s pointless when the argument is with ignorant morons.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

..run out of arguments have you?

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

El stupido.

David Iain Craig
David Iain Craig
1 year ago

Perhaps because tyhey have very limited freedoms to erode ?

Steve Cobb
SC
Steve Cobb
1 year ago

“Greater”? By what metric? Maybe eroding faster? I would tend to say that freedom is equally important everywhere, but some places serve as examples, “A City upon a Hill”. Also, if the global cop gets corrupted, there’s no one able to control him. So I could argue for your point, but it’s pretty silly in the context of the immediate threat of the Russo-Ukraine war.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Russians and Chinese live under brutal dictatorships. If you think the minor (relative to dictatorship) erosions to our freedoms are a bigger problem, it can only be because you are ignorant of life under dictatorship. Just ask any refugee from China or the former Eastern bloc. They’ll educate you.

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
11 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

I grew up in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe’s rule. There is nothing a person in your shoes can tell me about oppression.

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
11 months ago
Reply to  harry storm

I grew up in Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe’s rule. There is nothing a person in your shoes can tell me about oppression.

Steve Jerome
Steve Jerome
1 year ago

That would be because we still have some whilst the denizens of those two tyrannies have virtually none to lose

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

That’s ridiculous, since Russian and Chinese freedoms aren’t just eroded, they’re nonexistent.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago

Absolutely. But we are brainwashed :
America = good, China = bad, Russia = bad, etc

David Iain Craig
DC
David Iain Craig
1 year ago

Perhaps because tyhey have very limited freedoms to erode ?

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago

“Greater”? By what metric? Maybe eroding faster? I would tend to say that freedom is equally important everywhere, but some places serve as examples, “A City upon a Hill”. Also, if the global cop gets corrupted, there’s no one able to control him. So I could argue for your point, but it’s pretty silly in the context of the immediate threat of the Russo-Ukraine war.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

Russians and Chinese live under brutal dictatorships. If you think the minor (relative to dictatorship) erosions to our freedoms are a bigger problem, it can only be because you are ignorant of life under dictatorship. Just ask any refugee from China or the former Eastern bloc. They’ll educate you.

Andrew Martin
AM
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The biggest difference between the West and China/Russia is the West spends £billions on the welfare of its Citizens and China/Russia uses them as Cannon fodder as can be seen in the Ukraine war and the Chinese lockdowns that literally starved its Citizens.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Then you are seriously shortsighted I’m afraid.. if you took away US military might it would be an emperor with no clothes.. and it looks like the Ukraine war is making serious inroads into depleting US ammunition and land war weapons. Unless the dollar holds up (unlikely – look at the bank failures/debt) the US is finished.. smart Western nations should look to the future and stop riding a dying horse..

Nell Clover
NC
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It’s not so much China and Russia will become stronger, its that we become far, far weaker. They can dominate if we collapse. What stops us becoming basket cases like South Africa?

The USA and its client states are economically weakening and wasting their remaining strategic power by not recognising their weakness, let alone trying to reverse that weakness. Using the international dollar system as a weapon was really stupid and only hastened the already slow decline of the dollar. One of just many really poor decisions that point to a bleak future for everyone. Can you think of any good trends in the West today?

Demographics is a small problem relative to our wilful destruction from within and the increasingly parastic relationship between the state and vested interests.

Malvin Marombedza
Malvin Marombedza
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The erosion of freedoms in the West, in my opinion, is a far greater problem than any that the Russians and Chinese face.

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The biggest difference between the West and China/Russia is the West spends £billions on the welfare of its Citizens and China/Russia uses them as Cannon fodder as can be seen in the Ukraine war and the Chinese lockdowns that literally starved its Citizens.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Then you are seriously shortsighted I’m afraid.. if you took away US military might it would be an emperor with no clothes.. and it looks like the Ukraine war is making serious inroads into depleting US ammunition and land war weapons. Unless the dollar holds up (unlikely – look at the bank failures/debt) the US is finished.. smart Western nations should look to the future and stop riding a dying horse..

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Utter BS. What “assets” are being sold off. I can’t believe 48 people upvoted this nonsense. Ridiculous.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Have you read any business news today? The federal reserve is in quite a flap. They are just selling, bailing, writing stuff off left right and centre right now.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sure. I just looked at news about the federal reserve. Apparently the Fed is considering a rate hike and there some uncertainty about some banks. Not exactly end days yet, it would seem.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

OK. That is very simplistic and optimistic. I can’t help you. Back to your blissful existence.

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Yu do realize a Marxist would have been saying the same thing in the 1930s?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

…yep, the Chinese probably would; that’ll the the same Chinese that pulled a billion people out of dire poverty while wages in the West stagnated and are now at starvation levels? Bear in mind the Chinese had to start from situations of having bern looted for centuries while the West had that loot to start with, over the same period. It just took a bit longer for socialism and it succeeded despite savage sanctions.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The west is at starvation levels….. perhaps on planet zog, where you seem to come from.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The west is at starvation levels….. perhaps on planet zog, where you seem to come from.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I imagine most people in the 1930s realised the stock market was puking. I think it was big news.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

And pretty much ever since. The lunatics have taken over this asylum.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

…yep, the Chinese probably would; that’ll the the same Chinese that pulled a billion people out of dire poverty while wages in the West stagnated and are now at starvation levels? Bear in mind the Chinese had to start from situations of having bern looted for centuries while the West had that loot to start with, over the same period. It just took a bit longer for socialism and it succeeded despite savage sanctions.

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

I imagine most people in the 1930s realised the stock market was puking. I think it was big news.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  martin logan

And pretty much ever since. The lunatics have taken over this asylum.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Yu do realize a Marxist would have been saying the same thing in the 1930s?

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

OK. That is very simplistic and optimistic. I can’t help you. Back to your blissful existence.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  B Emery

Sure. I just looked at news about the federal reserve. Apparently the Fed is considering a rate hike and there some uncertainty about some banks. Not exactly end days yet, it would seem.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

They’ll be the 48 that are aware of massive and numerous Chinese takeover of US and EU assets.. check it out!

B Emery
B Emery
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Have you read any business news today? The federal reserve is in quite a flap. They are just selling, bailing, writing stuff off left right and centre right now.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

They’ll be the 48 that are aware of massive and numerous Chinese takeover of US and EU assets.. check it out!

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Now that makes sense, as indeed the article itself makes perfect sense.

Shale Lewis
Shale Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

And that’s why Russia and China are unable to defend their borders against unending hordes of immigrants seeking asylum, while nobody would risk their life to gain entry to the USA or Western Europe anymore, as they are fading failed empires.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Shale Lewis

logic and common sense are useless against the brain-dead and deluded.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Shale Lewis

logic and common sense are useless against the brain-dead and deluded.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I’m not saying that the west doesn’t have its own problems to deal with, but I’m still of the opinion that they pale in comparison to those facing the likes of China and Russia. There’s no doubt that the western share of the economy will diminish as the Asian nations especially become more established, but I can’t see any realistic scenario whereby China or Russia will become dominant powers

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Utter BS. What “assets” are being sold off. I can’t believe 48 people upvoted this nonsense. Ridiculous.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Now that makes sense, as indeed the article itself makes perfect sense.

Shale Lewis
NF
Shale Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

And that’s why Russia and China are unable to defend their borders against unending hordes of immigrants seeking asylum, while nobody would risk their life to gain entry to the USA or Western Europe anymore, as they are fading failed empires.

Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree. I also think (these ideas have been doing the rounds) what seems to be overlooked is this was and would happen anyway regardless of the war. The war just accelerated it and brought such divisions into a starker light. China and Russia signed a general agreement before the war even started. The real question is how the “west” is going to react and play its cards because as you say that’s where the money is and hence the real power.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

You forget the rate at which that is changing, and has changed. The US is flat broke and in fatal decline politically, socially, culturally, industrially and economically.. The ‘wealth’ is largely funny money and the power is not quite what you think either.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Isabel Ward

You forget the rate at which that is changing, and has changed. The US is flat broke and in fatal decline politically, socially, culturally, industrially and economically.. The ‘wealth’ is largely funny money and the power is not quite what you think either.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It seems to me that most of the world is ambivalent about the conflict they are certainly not prepared to sacrifice their own interests to support Ukraine.
Any reservations they have are no do doubt assuaged by Western exploits in Iraq and Libya

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

There are no “western exploits” in Ukraine. There is Ukraine defending itself, and getting aid from neighbouring countries who get it far better than commenters like you. Supporting Ukraine against a voracious Russian dictator may not seem to be in other countries interests, until the bear comes for them. That this sort of short-termism — and short-term memoryism — is being promoted reveals a profound historical ignorance.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Was Bush a dictator when he decided to invade Iraq? You would say not. Why? Because he supports your theories.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

No, I would say not because he was elected twice and stepped down when his term was up. What planet do you inhabit?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

But the invasion of Iraq was illegal, ie not sanctioned by the UN: and it was on the pretext of WMD which never existed, and Bush and Blair both knew that but lied to Congress via Colin Powell .. the chief weapons inspector Blix has called them both war criminals and so do I. What crazy planet do you live on? Is it called Blind Denial?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard of moving goalposts, even though that’s exactly what you’ve done. I showed Bush was no dictator and explained why. His invasion of Iraq doesn’t make him one, though I don’t expect you to understand that simple concept.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I don’t suppose you’ve ever heard of moving goalposts, even though that’s exactly what you’ve done. I showed Bush was no dictator and explained why. His invasion of Iraq doesn’t make him one, though I don’t expect you to understand that simple concept.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

But the invasion of Iraq was illegal, ie not sanctioned by the UN: and it was on the pretext of WMD which never existed, and Bush and Blair both knew that but lied to Congress via Colin Powell .. the chief weapons inspector Blix has called them both war criminals and so do I. What crazy planet do you live on? Is it called Blind Denial?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

No, I would say not because he was elected twice and stepped down when his term was up. What planet do you inhabit?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Mr Storm I do not suppose my historical ignorance is nearly as profound as your own.
Indeed you seem to have forgotten all about Iraq and Libya, not to mention Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua and so on.
Why should countries in that do not boarder Russia, or have no reason to fear Russia, let the invasion of Ukraine get in the way if there is a financial incentive for them in continuing to trade with Russia.
For all the posturing, Russia and the US/the West potato potato

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Then you suppose incorrectly.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Then you suppose incorrectly.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Can you be a little more simplistic please.. your take on the situation is so nuanced it’s confusing the 5 year olds.
Thete is one voracious country that invades other sovereign nations at will, kills millions of its peoples, murders democratically elected leaders, and steals it’s oil and other resources ..but that’s not Russia and it’s not China either!

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

This is the sort of predictable, boilerplate drivel Marxist-Leninist drone on about.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

This is the sort of predictable, boilerplate drivel Marxist-Leninist drone on about.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Was Bush a dictator when he decided to invade Iraq? You would say not. Why? Because he supports your theories.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Mr Storm I do not suppose my historical ignorance is nearly as profound as your own.
Indeed you seem to have forgotten all about Iraq and Libya, not to mention Cuba, El Salvador, Nicaragua and so on.
Why should countries in that do not boarder Russia, or have no reason to fear Russia, let the invasion of Ukraine get in the way if there is a financial incentive for them in continuing to trade with Russia.
For all the posturing, Russia and the US/the West potato potato

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Can you be a little more simplistic please.. your take on the situation is so nuanced it’s confusing the 5 year olds.
Thete is one voracious country that invades other sovereign nations at will, kills millions of its peoples, murders democratically elected leaders, and steals it’s oil and other resources ..but that’s not Russia and it’s not China either!

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

There are no “western exploits” in Ukraine. There is Ukraine defending itself, and getting aid from neighbouring countries who get it far better than commenters like you. Supporting Ukraine against a voracious Russian dictator may not seem to be in other countries interests, until the bear comes for them. That this sort of short-termism — and short-term memoryism — is being promoted reveals a profound historical ignorance.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have you been watching Peter Zeihan videos on youtube, he seems have made a career out of the idea that China and Russia are doomed due to demographic problems. Selling BS to right thinking people is a great business idea

Of course the West has great demographics, just take a stroll around London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels ect

Right now in California, which has great demographics BTW, the smart set want to build a kind of high speed rail line connecting the large cities, well they just can’t seem to get it done. In bad demographics China they went from no high speed rail to more high speed rail than the rest of the World combined in a bout 10 years. And in Japan which has terrible demographics, they are now building a Maglev line running the length of the country

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Zeihan and some others, like George Friedman, have made a lucrative business of pronouncing perilous prophecies to open-mouthed audiences. They are as likely to be proven right as are the doomsayers of the Climate Change Cult; but it’s a good racket while it lasts. Friedman, I just discovered, was in 1991 was warning of an impending war between the US and … Japan! With well over 400 pages he wrote quite a fat book, full of supposedly persuasive data — and as wrong as could be. But that has not induced Friedman to get out of the prophesy business.
As to building high-speed rail, if that’s taken as proof of advanced development, China wins, as does Russia with its trans-Siberian railroad, even though it’s slower. But anyone studying American geography should conclude that, except for a small part of the northeast and the DC corridor, the economic feasibility of such showy projects doesn’t exist.

D Walsh
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Its not really about high speed rail, I just used that as an example

I could have used crime, look at Chicago and its wonderful demographics, how many people will be shot this year in Chicago, how many will be shot in a Chinese city of the same size ?

According to Zeihan and co, Chad should be a fantastic place to live, due to its superior demographics. But its clearly not. Why is that ?

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Are you kidding? There is no street crime in China because the criminals run the country and do as they wish. Far more people in China are killed each year than in America; the difference is that they are killed by their own government.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Are you kidding? There is no street crime in China because the criminals run the country and do as they wish. Far more people in China are killed each year than in America; the difference is that they are killed by their own government.

D Walsh
DW
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Wim de Vriend

Its not really about high speed rail, I just used that as an example

I could have used crime, look at Chicago and its wonderful demographics, how many people will be shot this year in Chicago, how many will be shot in a Chinese city of the same size ?

According to Zeihan and co, Chad should be a fantastic place to live, due to its superior demographics. But its clearly not. Why is that ?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I don’t know what to think of Zeihan but I do know, having watched his videos, that his predictions about Russia and China are based on a lot lot more than just demographic projections.

Wim de Vriend
Wim de Vriend
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

Zeihan and some others, like George Friedman, have made a lucrative business of pronouncing perilous prophecies to open-mouthed audiences. They are as likely to be proven right as are the doomsayers of the Climate Change Cult; but it’s a good racket while it lasts. Friedman, I just discovered, was in 1991 was warning of an impending war between the US and … Japan! With well over 400 pages he wrote quite a fat book, full of supposedly persuasive data — and as wrong as could be. But that has not induced Friedman to get out of the prophesy business.
As to building high-speed rail, if that’s taken as proof of advanced development, China wins, as does Russia with its trans-Siberian railroad, even though it’s slower. But anyone studying American geography should conclude that, except for a small part of the northeast and the DC corridor, the economic feasibility of such showy projects doesn’t exist.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  D Walsh

I don’t know what to think of Zeihan but I do know, having watched his videos, that his predictions about Russia and China are based on a lot lot more than just demographic projections.

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It comes as no surprise to me that the leaders of many countries choose to side with a couple of leaders who have changed to change their constitutions in order to remain in power indefinitely.
Whether that is what the citizens of those countries want is a different matter. But I don’t think they will get any choice.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

Now that’s an intelligent comment.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Mr Bellisarius

Now that’s an intelligent comment.

tom j
TJ
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have a look at the paper which is his main source, it’s a bit more than a few stats Billy Bob:
https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/publications/a-world-divided/

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You couldn’t be more wrong if you set out to be. I guess you simply cannot accept that the world is changing. The British Empire is long gone (although its neocolonialism abides) and the US+ Empire is now crumbling. All the signs are there from near civil war, bank failures, unsustainable debt, dedollarisation, mad leaders, endless lies, double standards, huge corruption and a suicidal military industrial complex..
It was only a matter of time before the victims got sick of US hegemony and Anglo American neocolonialism.. It’s squeaky bum time for the white supremacist West.

simon lamb
simon lamb
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not only do I agree with you on these points, but Russia is being hollowed out and exhausted by its war. China’s demographic problem is now echoed by Russia, which has lost a significant proportion of its young, brightest and best to the West – a huge gain for the latter going forward that barely gets mentioned. The idea that this shaky Axis of Dictators is taking over the world is laughable – Russia is a drowning man throwing sweets to children on the shore for help that they cannot possibly provide. China is standing by seeing what it can extract before helping, but terrified of being dragged in alongside in the process. Emerging economies have enormous problems of their own, and most can’t afford to fall out with anyone right now, so they stay low, stay neutral – and that’s best for their citizens. The west needs to reach out to them and compete using development aid, not try to bully them with morality-based appeals – given the US’s shabby record in that respect that’s pure arrogance.

Last edited 1 year ago by simon lamb
Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

Simon is right. Demography is destiny in the case and China and Russia are fucked

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  simon lamb

Simon is right. Demography is destiny in the case and China and Russia are fucked

Nik W
NW
Nik W
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The US has far bigger housing bubbles and asset bubbles. It also has an aging population and a fentanyl crisis.
What is your point?? Odd post, this is the kind of flawed logic that turns off international audiences.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Nik W

Not nearly aging as fast as Russia and China and in fact America fares quite well especially linked with Mexico

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
1 year ago
Reply to  Nik W

Not nearly aging as fast as Russia and China and in fact America fares quite well especially linked with Mexico

Kari McKern
Kari McKern
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Completely cogent analysis.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

None of these writers seem to have noticed that there is a planet-sized elephant in the room: AI.

Economic competitiveness will increasingly depend on wide public access to the new tools derived from these technologies, a development that poses huge, perhaps insurmountable, problems for authoritarian regimes – as the CCP has already learnt.

James Jenkin
James Jenkin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t understand the relevance of population size in this article – “The remaining nations, comprising close to 90% of the world’s population, have refused to follow suit” – when many of these governments don’t reflect opinion in their country in any way

Ben Jones
Ben Jones
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That’s what he does, I’m afraid, yet for some reason he gets a lot of column inches on this website.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The countries sanctioning are now barely a majority of the global economy in dollar terms, and in purchasing parity terms they are a minority. They are, collectively, growing far, far more slowly than the rest. And they are, collectively, running a huge current account deficit that is draining away their global investment position from which their economic clout comes.

The US and UK depend on selling their assets to fund consumption. They are literally selling their futures to pay for stuff today. Short of capital to fix problems, they are also now well down the road of repeatedly relying on the monetising of debt to finance balance sheet problems. This is end of empires type desperation.

This is a major reversal of economic strength in just 30 years, and one that has accelerated in the last decade. It looks exactly like the decline of Britain did and as we know Britain’s global power ebbed away slowly, then suddenly almost immediately after WW2.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nell Clover
Isabel Ward
Isabel Ward
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree. I also think (these ideas have been doing the rounds) what seems to be overlooked is this was and would happen anyway regardless of the war. The war just accelerated it and brought such divisions into a starker light. China and Russia signed a general agreement before the war even started. The real question is how the “west” is going to react and play its cards because as you say that’s where the money is and hence the real power.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It seems to me that most of the world is ambivalent about the conflict they are certainly not prepared to sacrifice their own interests to support Ukraine.
Any reservations they have are no do doubt assuaged by Western exploits in Iraq and Libya

Last edited 1 year ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
D Walsh
DW
D Walsh
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have you been watching Peter Zeihan videos on youtube, he seems have made a career out of the idea that China and Russia are doomed due to demographic problems. Selling BS to right thinking people is a great business idea

Of course the West has great demographics, just take a stroll around London, Paris, Berlin, Brussels ect

Right now in California, which has great demographics BTW, the smart set want to build a kind of high speed rail line connecting the large cities, well they just can’t seem to get it done. In bad demographics China they went from no high speed rail to more high speed rail than the rest of the World combined in a bout 10 years. And in Japan which has terrible demographics, they are now building a Maglev line running the length of the country

Mr Bellisarius
Mr Bellisarius
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

It comes as no surprise to me that the leaders of many countries choose to side with a couple of leaders who have changed to change their constitutions in order to remain in power indefinitely.
Whether that is what the citizens of those countries want is a different matter. But I don’t think they will get any choice.

tom j
tom j
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Have a look at the paper which is his main source, it’s a bit more than a few stats Billy Bob:
https://www.bennettinstitute.cam.ac.uk/publications/a-world-divided/

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You couldn’t be more wrong if you set out to be. I guess you simply cannot accept that the world is changing. The British Empire is long gone (although its neocolonialism abides) and the US+ Empire is now crumbling. All the signs are there from near civil war, bank failures, unsustainable debt, dedollarisation, mad leaders, endless lies, double standards, huge corruption and a suicidal military industrial complex..
It was only a matter of time before the victims got sick of US hegemony and Anglo American neocolonialism.. It’s squeaky bum time for the white supremacist West.

simon lamb
simon lamb
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not only do I agree with you on these points, but Russia is being hollowed out and exhausted by its war. China’s demographic problem is now echoed by Russia, which has lost a significant proportion of its young, brightest and best to the West – a huge gain for the latter going forward that barely gets mentioned. The idea that this shaky Axis of Dictators is taking over the world is laughable – Russia is a drowning man throwing sweets to children on the shore for help that they cannot possibly provide. China is standing by seeing what it can extract before helping, but terrified of being dragged in alongside in the process. Emerging economies have enormous problems of their own, and most can’t afford to fall out with anyone right now, so they stay low, stay neutral – and that’s best for their citizens. The west needs to reach out to them and compete using development aid, not try to bully them with morality-based appeals – given the US’s shabby record in that respect that’s pure arrogance.

Last edited 1 year ago by simon lamb
Nik W
Nik W
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

The US has far bigger housing bubbles and asset bubbles. It also has an aging population and a fentanyl crisis.
What is your point?? Odd post, this is the kind of flawed logic that turns off international audiences.

Kari McKern
Kari McKern
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Completely cogent analysis.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

None of these writers seem to have noticed that there is a planet-sized elephant in the room: AI.

Economic competitiveness will increasingly depend on wide public access to the new tools derived from these technologies, a development that poses huge, perhaps insurmountable, problems for authoritarian regimes – as the CCP has already learnt.

James Jenkin
JJ
James Jenkin
1 year ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I don’t understand the relevance of population size in this article – “The remaining nations, comprising close to 90% of the world’s population, have refused to follow suit” – when many of these governments don’t reflect opinion in their country in any way

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
1 year ago

The author appears to be drawing some incredibly long bows here. Suggesting that because all those (largely poorer) countries haven’t joined in with the western sanctions means that they must therefore be aligned with Putin seems to be clutching at straws. Likewise that India is abandoning the west simply because they’ve taken advantage of buying cheap oil from Russia again seems far fetched.
He fails to mention Chinas demographic time bomb due to its one child policy, whereby it’s getting old before it’s hard chance to get rich. There’s no mention of Chinas 20%+ youth unemployment or it’s colossal asset bubble. Most of Chinas high value trade is still with western nations. Despite the tension it isn’t going to give that up and replace it with the Russians or the South Africans, a basket case of a country that can barely feed its population or keep the lights on.
As has been mentioned, whilst the countries sanctioning Putin make up a a fraction of the world’s population, they’re a majority of the worlds economy which is much more important in the context of the article than sheer numbers.
All in all the article seems to have cherry picked a few stats in order to fit a predetermined narrative rather than being an objective look at the geopolitical situation arising from the conflict

Cantab Man
Cantab Man
1 year ago

China is the big winner of this perpetual proxy war between Russia and the West in Ukraine.

Russia is rapidly destroying both blood and treasure in the war as well as now being a pariah within the financial centers of the West (which, incidentally, froze the country’s and leaders’ assets within various financial institutions). This will ensure Russia’s near-term demotion into a second-tier vassal state that must inevitably do China’s bidding to survive in the short-to-medium term.

The West is slowly depleting both treasure and its stockpiled matériel against Russia in this war which is, most assuredly, in China’s favor.

And the fixation on this proxy war between Russia and the West is allowing China to quietly carry on with their business of collecting countries like trading cards via China’s prized ‘business investments’ in those countries coupled with under-the-table payoff of their government officials to ensure a smooth transition away from the West’s…

…wait a minute…how many millions of dollars did Joe Biden and his family secretly receive from China over the past eight to 10 years according to the newly-released records by the US Treasury Department? Something is rotten in Biden’s $2.7m Delaware Beach House purchased and modified on a civil servant’s and community college teacher’s salary.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Ukraine was widely said to be the Clinton, Obama, and Biden piggy bank.

per person GDP

USA $70,000

UK $45,000

Ukraine $4,500

Ukraine has resources, education, industry, agriculture – is surrounded by wealthy trading partners – but is one of the poorest Nations on Earth! Ever wonder why? Because they are the World’s 14th most corrupt nation! When you back Zelenski you back the Mafia who kept Ukraine dirt poor wile deep in wealth. Hunter ring a bell? Do you wonder where the $113 Billion went? because no one in the Democrat, or Rino, parties do………(remember FTX? Burisma, and you can be sure, SVB…that bail out is pretty odd…)

martin logan
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You conveniently forget to mention that Russia is even more corrupt than Ukraine:
–Ukraine is at 116 down the list
–Russia is at 137 from the top
But you knew that already.
Moreover, Russia has destroyed its own army in Ukraine–the only thing that made it a great power–besides the nuclear weapons it can never use.
But maybe Hunter Biden did all this to Russia?
If so, he seems even more competent than his Dad.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Have you read any Ukrainian history? To answer your question, because it was an ex Communist country like Russia and huge power was seized by oligarchs during the naïve (and likely cynical) botched transition to private rather than state enterprise. The Ukrainians have been painfully and slowly addressing that, improving governance, have reasonably free elections etc. Russia tragically has gone in the opposite direction.

Yanukovych of course was one of its most deeply corrupt presidents – his ousting in 2014 (after a popular uprising) is of course attacked by the pro Putin Right who want it both ways on this issue! Whatever, the fact there is corruption in Ukraine doesn’t give Russia a justification for a full scale invasion. Poland had an undemocratic nationalist government in 1939, less than perfect in its treatment of minorities, which didn’t justify Hitlers’s invasion then.

Unfortunately your interventions are entirely dominated by the US culture war and polarisation, and while interesting enough isn’t the whole of reality – some of us would really like to talk about something else some time. Could you ever try to do so?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Unfortunately, history is prone to interpretation. Any argument based on history misses the real time – now. Look at Northern Ireland. Every day new history appeared. The latest bomb was because of history – that is, yesterday’s bomb.
Of course, corruption in the US is just as bad. Just a different type of corruption. More sophisticated corruption.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Obviously buddy has never experienced the corruption that goes on in a dictatorship. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop him from spewing.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Obviously buddy has never experienced the corruption that goes on in a dictatorship. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop him from spewing.

Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I’d emphasize the “resource curse”. Very few petrostates (Norway, Canada) keep corruption in check. Russia may simply be doomed. Ukrainians, surrounded by ex-communist states, understandably want Ukraine to be more like Poland and less like Russia.

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Unfortunately, history is prone to interpretation. Any argument based on history misses the real time – now. Look at Northern Ireland. Every day new history appeared. The latest bomb was because of history – that is, yesterday’s bomb.
Of course, corruption in the US is just as bad. Just a different type of corruption. More sophisticated corruption.

Last edited 1 year ago by Chris Wheatley
Steve Cobb
Steve Cobb
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I’d emphasize the “resource curse”. Very few petrostates (Norway, Canada) keep corruption in check. Russia may simply be doomed. Ukrainians, surrounded by ex-communist states, understandably want Ukraine to be more like Poland and less like Russia.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Oh shut up already. Repeating the same crap over and over again doesn’t make it any more factual or sane.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You do know you sound paranoid, don’t you?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

He sounds angry at the world. There can only be one view -his view.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

He sounds angry at the world. There can only be one view -his view.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You conveniently forget to mention that Russia is even more corrupt than Ukraine:
–Ukraine is at 116 down the list
–Russia is at 137 from the top
But you knew that already.
Moreover, Russia has destroyed its own army in Ukraine–the only thing that made it a great power–besides the nuclear weapons it can never use.
But maybe Hunter Biden did all this to Russia?
If so, he seems even more competent than his Dad.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Have you read any Ukrainian history? To answer your question, because it was an ex Communist country like Russia and huge power was seized by oligarchs during the naïve (and likely cynical) botched transition to private rather than state enterprise. The Ukrainians have been painfully and slowly addressing that, improving governance, have reasonably free elections etc. Russia tragically has gone in the opposite direction.

Yanukovych of course was one of its most deeply corrupt presidents – his ousting in 2014 (after a popular uprising) is of course attacked by the pro Putin Right who want it both ways on this issue! Whatever, the fact there is corruption in Ukraine doesn’t give Russia a justification for a full scale invasion. Poland had an undemocratic nationalist government in 1939, less than perfect in its treatment of minorities, which didn’t justify Hitlers’s invasion then.

Unfortunately your interventions are entirely dominated by the US culture war and polarisation, and while interesting enough isn’t the whole of reality – some of us would really like to talk about something else some time. Could you ever try to do so?

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Fisher
harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

Oh shut up already. Repeating the same crap over and over again doesn’t make it any more factual or sane.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Elliott Bjorn

You do know you sound paranoid, don’t you?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Obsessed with US internal polarisation! What has this to do with whether we allow Vladimir Putin to conquer Ukraine?

Chris Wheatley
CW
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

How are you planning to stop him? Many generations have grown up with John Wayne riding into the picture just before the heroine meets a fate worse than death.
The ONLY real anti-Putin hope is that Biden puts on his cowboy hat. But he wouldn’t even be able to get on the horse. (And it would probably be stopped because of cruelty to the horse).
The US is in such a state internally that it is powerless. And wait another year until we get the battle between Mr Geriatric and Mr Orange. Then the Ukraine will be forgotten and the conversation will morph into ‘Defund the Police’ or ‘Give the Police bigger guns’.

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Er, I think we’ve been stopping him for some 9 months. Indeed, pushing him back quite bit in other places.
Do you have access to things like radio, the internet and television?

martin logan
ML
martin logan
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

Er, I think we’ve been stopping him for some 9 months. Indeed, pushing him back quite bit in other places.
Do you have access to things like radio, the internet and television?

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

How are you planning to stop him? Many generations have grown up with John Wayne riding into the picture just before the heroine meets a fate worse than death.
The ONLY real anti-Putin hope is that Biden puts on his cowboy hat. But he wouldn’t even be able to get on the horse. (And it would probably be stopped because of cruelty to the horse).
The US is in such a state internally that it is powerless. And wait another year until we get the battle between Mr Geriatric and Mr Orange. Then the Ukraine will be forgotten and the conversation will morph into ‘Defund the Police’ or ‘Give the Police bigger guns’.

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Because it has vast natural wealth and has, by far, the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, Russia will never become a vassal state to China in the way that the pathetic obsequious UK is to the USA.

BTW it’s not just the UK.
There are no real sovereign states in Europe now – we are all mere pawns to US hegemony.

We have learnt nothing from the last 60 yrs of ‘Pax’ Americana . As Henry Kissenger said: ‘To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous but to be a friend is fatal’.
Europe will pay an enormous price in blood and treasure for being a ‘friend’ of the USofA.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

When I see “U.S. hegemony” I know the commenter is a propagandist without knowledge or insight. I’ve been hearing this “we are all pawns” crap my entire adult life. It was BS then, and remains so.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Why do you think we joined the invasion of Iraq?

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago

Who’s “we”? I’m Canadian, or what you would call a citizen of a client-state. Yet somehow we managed to avoid the Iraq War without getting a spanking from our hegemon across the border.

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago

Who’s “we”? I’m Canadian, or what you would call a citizen of a client-state. Yet somehow we managed to avoid the Iraq War without getting a spanking from our hegemon across the border.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  harry storm

Why do you think we joined the invasion of Iraq?

harry storm
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Yes, Europe has certainly fallen very far since the end of WWII because of its strong connection with, and aid from, the U.S. This could give “dumb and dumber” a run for its money.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

When I see “U.S. hegemony” I know the commenter is a propagandist without knowledge or insight. I’ve been hearing this “we are all pawns” crap my entire adult life. It was BS then, and remains so.

harry storm
HS
harry storm
1 year ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Yes, Europe has certainly fallen very far since the end of WWII because of its strong connection with, and aid from, the U.S. This could give “dumb and dumber” a run for its money.

Elliott Bjorn
EB
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Ukraine was widely said to be the Clinton, Obama, and Biden piggy bank.

per person GDP

USA $70,000

UK $45,000

Ukraine $4,500

Ukraine has resources, education, industry, agriculture – is surrounded by wealthy trading partners – but is one of the poorest Nations on Earth! Ever wonder why? Because they are the World’s 14th most corrupt nation! When you back Zelenski you back the Mafia who kept Ukraine dirt poor wile deep in wealth. Hunter ring a bell? Do you wonder where the $113 Billion went? because no one in the Democrat, or Rino, parties do………(remember FTX? Burisma, and you can be sure, SVB…that bail out is pretty odd…)

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Obsessed with US internal polarisation! What has this to do with whether we allow Vladimir Putin to conquer Ukraine?

P Branagan
P Branagan
1 year ago
Reply to  Cantab Man

Because it has vast natural wealth and has, by far, the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, Russia will never become a vassal state to China in the way that the pathetic obsequious UK is to the USA.

BTW it’s not just the UK.
There are no real sovereign states in Europe now – we are all mere pawns to US hegemony.

We have learnt nothing from the last 60 yrs of ‘Pax’ Americana . As Henry Kissenger said: ‘To be an enemy of the US can be dangerous but to be a friend is fatal’.
Europe will pay an enormous price in blood and treasure for being a ‘friend’ of the USofA.

Cantab Man
Cantab Man
1 year ago

China is the big winner of this perpetual proxy war between Russia and the West in Ukraine.

Russia is rapidly destroying both blood and treasure in the war as well as now being a pariah within the financial centers of the West (which, incidentally, froze the country’s and leaders’ assets within various financial institutions). This will ensure Russia’s near-term demotion into a second-tier vassal state that must inevitably do China’s bidding to survive in the short-to-medium term.

The West is slowly depleting both treasure and its stockpiled matériel against Russia in this war which is, most assuredly, in China’s favor.

And the fixation on this proxy war between Russia and the West is allowing China to quietly carry on with their business of collecting countries like trading cards via China’s prized ‘business investments’ in those countries coupled with under-the-table payoff of their government officials to ensure a smooth transition away from the West’s…

…wait a minute…how many millions of dollars did Joe Biden and his family secretly receive from China over the past eight to 10 years according to the newly-released records by the US Treasury Department? Something is rotten in Biden’s $2.7m Delaware Beach House purchased and modified on a civil servant’s and community college teacher’s salary.

Emre S
ES
Emre S
1 year ago

This is a great article to put things in context and Fazi is one of my favourite authors on Unherd. This context is important, without having heard of it, it’s virtually impossible to understand what’s happening in the world for anyone.
There’s something of a starvation of information in the Western world. A great case in example is the invasion of Iraq. Perhaps a day of watching regular Turkish TV could’ve dispelled someone from the notion that Iraq war was about anything but access to oil. Yet it seems it’s taken 20 years for a respectable (yet not mainstream) publishers like Unherd to feel comfortable enough to start discussing it openly.
It’s telling to see how uncomfortable Alastair Campbell looks when talking about Iraq unable to say the things he clearly wants to say but can’t. So why don’t politicians tell it as it is?
I tie it to the idealistic nature of the liberal Western system we live in (in particular American exceptionalism) and its historical baggage. What possible justification can someone give to invading another country? A Communist Russia or China could declare openly they want to export their brand of ideology to rescue workers of other countries. Nationalist Russia today open talks about retaining super-power status and wanting to control its backyard. Going further back Ottoman Empire wanted to expand the world of Islam, the Crusaders wanted to liberate Jerusalem. Yet a liberal West with a (deservedly) much maligned colonial past is hesitant to export anything.
This seems to be creating a cognitive dissonance situation in any Western leader. They need to be upholding pristine ideals when talking publicly, yet conduct business and international relations in the dirty real world. The information is out there, easily accessible, say on Turkish TV, but how does it remain an unrespectable “conspiracy theory” for the general Western public for 20 years? It clearly requires a well developed alignment across publishers of information – aka propaganda you might say.
Then here we are. There’s a generation of young people who have never been told about anything but pristine ideals being raised up on liberal ideological purity. We recognise them as the Woke today. A select few of them are expected to take up cognitive dissonance to conduct the dirty real world business on behalf of others while copiously virtue signalling. A great many are revolting against perceived impurities of the society they live in, burning down city centres tearing down shop fronts when they can in some of the wealthiest parts of the West.
As late as 30 years ago, new legislation in Britain was banning schools from promoting acceptability of homosexuality. Today’s youngters brought up in ideological purity are demonstrating against reaction of Qatar to rainbow flags in the football cup. BBC has been hunting down organisations not sufficiently supporting the Pride events. Putin is quoted as saying the West sank down in morality where the terms “mother and father” are replaced by parent 1 and 2. Saudi Arabia is banning the variety of children’s toys clad in rainbow colours. The contrast is clear, and the list goes on.
This is the context to the decoupling of the American West to the rest of the world as I see it. I don’t see it getting much better as long as there’s no acceptance in the West to see the world as it is instead of how they want to see it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emre S
Emmanuel MARTIN
Emmanuel MARTIN
1 year ago
Reply to  Emre S

Fully agreed, with both the article and your comment.

chris sullivan
CS
chris sullivan
1 year ago
Reply to  Emre S

Well said sir !