The Times They Are a-Changin’ — The multipolar world
For the last four to five centuries Europe and later on America have been playing en enormous role in history. It has however from time to time been turbulence, many times because of changing paradigms. I think many today can see that history is repeating itself and that this most probably will lead to years of turmoil in the next couple of years. This time it is not worth trying to seek advice in the works of history since we today will, and are, facing a future not yet experienced in mankind history.
What happened soon after 1918 was a transformation of power, money and influence from the European continent to the U.S. With some perspective on history we can see that the early 1900s would be a time of turbulence. However this time, in the early 21st century this transformation of capital and power in the meaning of location is most probably to “simple” to best explain the whole situation. Some mean that what we now are and will experience is a natural shift to the east, to be more focused around the powers in Asia. This is in some essence true, but we are also to experience a transformation “upwards”. The idea of a single national state that alone saves the world peace and democracy is probably gone forever. You could argue that it has been working like this before, at least before the cold war.
Instead we face a situation where the national state has and will be changing into supranational organizations. It is maybe to early to completely predict what will happen to super organizations like the United Nations but my predication is however that we will see how smaller, and more geographical-centered organizations will arise as is the case with the Arab League, European Union and similar organizations.
The current events in Yemen and Saudi Arabia can maybe give us a thumbnail of what is waiting us. Here we can see how enemies team up together to fight a common threat and enemy. You could argue, as the Swedish writer Joakim Andersen does, that a friendly Yemen is essential for Saudi and American dominance over the red sea, and that a hostile Yemen would bring the same consequences as a unfriendly Netherlands would mean for the English channel. This is the reason why Saudi Arabia (as backed by the United States) are involved in fighting the rebels according to Mr. Andersen.
Another question to this is if the emerging powers in the east will form similar alliances to fight for common interests. Will we see major Asian powers such as China and South Korea get involved in the ISIS crises if this comes to affect the Asian economies? Only time can tell.
Western values and view on the world has been the only way for the last centuries. Lord Ashdown means that Iraq and Afghanistan was the last conflicts were the west got involved without asking, or having the support of the world community that as we all know, ended in disaster.
We are standing before a major paradigm shift and Europe can no longer feel safe in just going over the Atlantic to seek advice, this time we are facing something much larger than that.
Welcome to the multipolar and universal world!