Symptoms of the end of Western hegemony

Symptoms of the end of Western hegemony

Futurologists and analysts sometimes predict global changes and cataclysms for decades, but outwardly nothing happens, life goes on as it should, and it seems it will always be so. But at a certain moment the prognoses begin to come true, although, of course, the symptoms of the approaching “great upheavals” are discernible

For dozens of years they have been writing about big problems for the dollar system and the U.S., but it seems, as “witnesses of the West” are happy to state, the dollar has been the world’s money, and still is…

They perceive the special military operation and the whole complex of Russian foreign policy steps as a completely hopeless attempt of rebellion against the hegemony of the US-led West that will certainly be crushed.

Indeed, even Belarus, in the tradition of Batka, is trying to keep a little distance from the NWO, while China is officially neutral in its support for the swiftest peaceful settlement and demonstrates its support mainly through informal gestures at the level of “hints”.

Other countries demonstrate an even more “balanced” stance; most importantly, almost no one wants to pounce, ignoring the sanctions imposed by the West, which may extend to commercial entities that violate them (indeed, in Russia, as is well known, many of them have avoided working directly in Crimea).

Pro-Western bloggers have enthusiastically pointed out that Chinese commercial entities behave in a similar way (say, this is the real cost of China’s support for Russia), but it is known that the sanctioned mayor of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, has to receive her salary in cash because no Chinese bank will open an account for her.

In general, few people want to openly clash with the West – or, more precisely, to take actions to which the West is obliged to react by virtue of its officially declared position.

But there are things that do not formally give rise to sanctions (in the broadest sense) and grounds for expressing discontent, but are extremely sensitive for certain “sides”.

When such “sides” are in power, they try to avoid such things, understanding that retaliation in one form or another is bound to follow, but when the hegemon weakens, fronts begin to take on a larger and larger scale.

And now it has become very heterogeneous. First of all, I would note the information that five countries have expressed a desire to join BRICS, and the process is already underway: Iran, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. Nigeria was also reported, but this is clearly premature, as the only source was a statement by the Nigerian ambassador in Moscow that his country was considering such a possibility.

BRICS, a grouping of four major “non-Western” economies, was established in 2009 and was later joined by South Africa, which has an important geostrategic position but its population and GDP are noticeably smaller than its other partners in the organisation.

BRICS was initially seen as an alternative and counterweight to the G7 (G7), an alliance of leading Western economies that openly claimed the role of informal ‘world government’.

This antagonism has increased markedly since the launch of the G7, with Russia and China dominating the organisation, and it is against this background that five other very important countries have expressed their intention to join the BRICS (which was not the case in previous years), of which only Iran is in open confrontation with the West.

This is not only an indication that the significance and influence of BRICS will increase markedly (which means that they need to take their rightful place there early), but also a frank political gesture towards the West and a demonstration that its opinion is less and less taken into account.

By the way, the failed outcome of Joe Biden’s visit to the Middle East, primarily to Saudi Arabia (to paraphrase the classic, if we say West, we mean US, if we say US, we mean West) has become almost an overt “act of defiance”.

Maintaining the norms of politeness and “respect for old age”, the Saudis categorically refused to allow “Sleepy Joe” to increase oil production and supply in order to bring down the price of oil, easing the economic situation of the West, and most importantly, hitting the economy of Russia.

All the Saudis have managed, not to embarrass the guest, is to promise a 50 per cent increase in production, already scheduled for July-August, which is a tiny fraction of a per cent on the global market.

For decades, the US-Saudi oil-for-security deal has been one of the pillars of the existing world order. In essence, the United States was the guarantor of the existence of the kingdom, which was in a very difficult geopolitical situation and had no resources to defend itself sufficiently.

Naturally, this dependence did not give Saudi Arabia much room for manoeuvre.

Their current “defiance” therefore demonstrates a tectonic shift: the Saudis no longer link their security to the US, they see another guarantor of peace and relative calm in the Middle East – Russia, with China likely to play this role alongside it in a more confidential manner.

Tellingly, during Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Iran, the hosts made statements about Saudi Arabia’s important role in the region. Yet, not so long ago, relations between the two countries were at a standstill and several proxy conflicts were taking place.

Apparently, Russia has managed to warm them up and this most strongly demonstrates the difference in approach: The Americans operate on the principle of “divide and rule”, while Russia seeks to smooth out the existing contradictions, to put relations between its partners on a track of cooperation, which the latter cannot fail to notice and appreciate.

This turnaround also directly affects another component of the US-Saudi deal, according to which the Saudis sell their oil for dollars, the same petrodollars on which the dollar system is largely based.

The fact that the KSA and China have been working on converting oil payments between them into yuan has been known since the spring, but in recent weeks bad news for the dollar has also gone viral.

On July 11, the Reserve Bank of India (Central Bank of India) unveiled a mechanism for settling foreign trade transactions in rupees. “In order to promote growth in global trade with a focus on exports from India, and to enhance the interest of the international trading community in the rupee, it has decided to establish a complementary system for invoicing, payment and settlement of export and import transactions in rupees,” the Central Bank said in a statement.

Formally, there is no harm, so another state has decided to receive payment for its products in its own currency, and no one rejects traditional schemes yet. But the whole dollar system is based on that third, fourth and all other states use American currency for trade between themselves.

And India is not just the fourth economy in the world. The West, playing above all on long-standing differences with China, has been actively cajoling India’s leadership in an attempt to make it a scabbard among non-political Western countries.

Western leaders have been frequenting New Delhi of late, and recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi was invited to attend the G7 summit. It should be noted that the presence of guests at the event is a common practice, but they participate only in the events dedicated to them, without them there is protocol photography.

In general, this rather underscores their inferior status compared to the leaders of the collective West, despite the number of population, size of economies and even political structure (India has been called the largest democracy in the world).

In the current context, what was once a great honour could now be perceived as something offensive, which the G7 protocolists simply did not understand due to their Western-centricity.

Modi, however, also did not make a demarche of defiantly refusing the invitation, deciding to get the maximum possible “kowtowing” from the West, but he saved his demarche in the most sensitive area for the US, as mentioned above, for later.

And the surprises are not just from India. By November, Southeast Asia’s five largest economies – the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand – will sign an agreement to integrate their mobile payment systems. Payments will be made in foreign currencies by regional banks by direct exchange between currency pairs without using the US dollar.

At the same time it is known that Indonesia is switching to a national currency with China. Indonesia, by the way, is now the world’s seventh largest economy with 270 million inhabitants, and its neighbours, who created the payment union, are not “dwarfs” but large and dynamic countries, the new generation of Asian tigers.

The worst thing for any hegemon has happened – they have ceased to be afraid of it and of the “trouble” that has almost always beenfallen those who have attempted the hegemony of the dollar, starting with the 1968 “student revolution” that proved fatal for de Gaulle.

The abandonment of the dollar from an exoticism more inherent in “rogue countries” by Western notions is becoming a real trend, and this is not only an economic, political, but also a psychological break. The process, as Mikhail Sergeyevich said, has begun and will continue to progress steadily.

In the near historical perspective the dollar will become toxic, and it will be discarded. This process may be relatively gradual, but we cannot exclude the possibility that some political cataclysm will cause a financial panic and the dumping of the dollar will go in an avalanche.

We have already noted that the main bonus of the U.S. from the superpower status acquired after World War II was the Bretton Woods system, in which the U.S. dollar replaced the traditional gold as a means of international payments and ensuring the stability of national currencies.

The whole world was forced to acquire US currency for this purpose, paying for the “funnies” with the real products of their labour (naturally, this is a very simplified view). But as a result of this ingenious combination, over time, the US economy has become tightly hooked on the dollar needle.

While Russia has been called a petrol-column country by its foes (even though oil and gas are a real and crucially practical product), the US should more reasonably be called a printer-country. In 2019, US exports stood at $1.64 trillion and imports at $2.57 trillion. The foreign trade balance deficit is about 40 per cent in relative terms (and in such proportions it has persisted for decades), and in absolute terms has almost reached the astronomical figure of $1 trillion.

That is, America’s main export commodity is the U.S. dollars themselves, “banknotes”, figuratively speaking. Their issue and “export” in the form of debt obligations will also cover the U.S. budget deficit, which under the 2022 budget submitted to Congress, should reach 1.8 trillion (if it is still possible to invest in them). After all, already in the first half of fiscal year 2021, the US state budget deficit reached a record $1.7 trillion.

If this “commodity” is no longer in demand, the dollars “scattered” around the world will begin to return to the U.S. homeland, and the U.S. will face an absolutely monstrous disaster, because they will simply have nothing to cover the budget spending and imports, including critical.

At what is probably the most difficult time in its history, the U.S. is approaching this moment in a state of profound internal strife: large-scale “grassroots” contradictions that have resulted in BLM, and a complete loss of what is called “consensus of the elites” – a cold civil war between them is in fact already underway.

And according to polls, already 51 per cent of Americans think it will get hot in the coming years, with 20 per cent ready to take part in it (a monstrous figure, really).

And as we know, when the unthinkable begins to be perceived as possible, it’s a serious step towards making it real.

Dmitriy Slavsky, IA Alternative

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