Is a New World Order Coming?

I have seen a spate of commentaries lately devoted to the topic that the old world order is passing. Among the most colorful are Dmitry Orlov’s essay

Old Way, New Way

and Pepe Escobar’s

Russia and China haven’t even started to ratchet up the pain dial

Harper’s magazine weighs in with an entire issue exploring the theme (for subscribers). Moon of Alabama provides an overview, with links to other sources responding to Harper’s.

Harpers Declares It’s Over – The ‘American Century’ Is Gone

Finally, The American Conservative takes a contrarian position that, essentially, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Back to the Twentieth Century?

Personally, I subscribe to the theory that a profoundly different new world order is coming. I am persuaded to this view for a number of reasons. A big one is the organic expansion of the BRICS alliance of economies, which seems destined to become a strong, independent competitor to the G7/G20 alliance. Another is that (to my mind, at least), the U.S. has squandered the “good guys” reputation it earned as the result of WWII. But I also note that a profoundly different new world order is always coming.

13 thoughts on “Is a New World Order Coming?

  1. “But I also note that a profoundly different new world order is always coming.”

    That is something I believe we can all agree on.

    It’s always coming, but it seems to never get here and then there is ANOTHER NWO coming. And the cycle continues.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Finally, something we can agree upon. Change — in everything — is constant. The Hindus see time as a “wheel,” always turning… but not in a perfect circle. It’s more of a corkscrew pattern. Things eventually return to where they have been before, but just a little farther down the line.

    If I had to bet money on who will be the next world power, my money would be on China. According to my old philosophy professor, China was the only country in the world that was ever civilized… and they got over it.

    Chinese war lords used to wage battles by assembling all of their troops, from both sides, on an agreed upon field. Then, the leaders would meet in the middle and sit down to a cup of tea. They would argue that, “I have 1,000 armed men.” “Yes, but I have 500 mounted archers.” etc. etc. If it could not be agreed upon as to who would win the battle based on military strength, the two leaders would play a game of chess, to see which leader had the best battle strategy. At the end of the day, both leaders agreed upon who had won the war. The unbloodied troops were sent home and the winning warlord took over the lands. Of course, all of that eventually changed but it is part of their history and it is taught in their schools.

    Not only does China have nearly 1/10th of the entire Earth’s population, that 1/10th have been taught from the cradle that the good of the people outweighs the good of the individual. They work together. Someone once said, China doesn’t need a nuclear bomb. They could just have 2 billion people yell ‘BANG!” and it would have the same effect.

    My favorite story came from a traveler who had visited China before the revolution. After the dust had settled, he returned to a city he remembered as being swarmed with flies. To his surprise, when he returned, the flies were all gone. He asked a resident how they did it. He was told that Mao had said, “Flies are bad for the people. Anyone who kills a fly is a friend of the people.” So the entire population got together and they swatted every fly in the city. No pesticides. They SWATTED them all.

    Napoleon was right when he said, “China is a sleeping dragon. Let it sleep. For when it wakes, it will shake the world.”

    I think the alarm clock has sounded.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Don, I don’t see you as being a “communal” anything.

            When individual, self-interest overrules what’s best for the community, you have a weak community. A weak nation. In the US, our children are taught (with a few exceptions) to look out for number one. In China, their children are taught to look out for the community.

            Remember that Gadsden flag you guys like to wave? The reason the snake is strong enough to say “Don’t tread on me” is because all 13 of its parts were united… not divided into 13 squabbling colonies like the chopped up snake in Ben Franklin’s political cartoon. There was a reason they chose to name this place the UNITED States of America.

            When states’ rights rule, you have weakness. You have slave states and free states. You have segregated schools. You have voting rights issues. You have 10 year old rape victims fleeing the state to get an abortion. You have a country that will not be a world power, no matter how many nukes it has.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Seeing to your own family’s best interests is the best way to serve the community. You just don’t know you’re doing it.

            “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations.

            It is hard to have faith in the invisible hand of the market because, well, it’s invisible, but it is no less real.

            So long as we exclude the use of force, both individually and collectively, the market will supply enough that even the smallest share is adequate. The community as a whole prospers because free people pursuing their own self interests is the most efficient way of organizing that community.

            Prosperity is just the overall efficiency of the marketplace.

            The moment one person becomes responsible for the welfare of another, it is no longer possible to exclude force.

            If I am required to support Peter, I have an interest in his not becoming an excessive burden. So, I’m not going to let him drink or smoke or lay about. In return for supporting him, I will take his freedom.

            For the good of the community.

            No thanks.


    1. RE: “If I had to bet money on who will be the next world power, my money would be on China.”

      Not a bad bet. It assumes, of course, that China wants to become the single superpower in charge of the whole world. Many people think so, but China’s geopolitical goals might be simpler. They may be satisfied with knocking the U.S. off its throne.


      1. John, China is not like western countries. China plays the long game. They have no ambition for world dominance in any timeframe. But they do have ambition for world dominance. If it takes five generations or a hundred generations, they don’t care. In school, their children are taught to march around the room: “two steps forward, one step back, we march ever forward.” And that’s their “battle plan.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Perhaps our exceptionalism is our problem. Hubris has brought down many empires.

    We have the most expensive healthcare “system” coupled with one of the highest infant mortality and worst lifespans in the industrial world.

    We have more people in prison than virtually anyone, yet a disarmingly high violent crime rate for the first world.

    We spend more on defense than the next half dozen or more countries, combined. Yet we have lost every war since WW2, with a shaky tie in Korea. (Persian Gulf War was a possible exception, but it was at least a coalition. I )

    And we manage to kill 45k with bullets each year in the elusive fantasy to prevent a government we might not like.

    It takes about a billion to run for president and the campaigning goes on for years…for a four year term. Other political office are also ridiculously expensive.

    Sex education is controversial and abortion outlawed in half the states. But childcare, pre-school and family leave are paltry, never mind healthcare for low income children.

    About 1/3 of the country thinks we are better off going back to the 1950’s instead of forging a new path forward. Another 1/3, same ones maybe, are so mired in conspiracies they can’t find truth with a GPS, map and written directions.

    How did we get here? God only knows, because we sure as hell don’t know or, in some corners, care.

    We used to be looked up to. Now countries are looking at us and wondering WTF.

    A New World Order? Maybe, but whatever it is, we should lead, follow or get out of the way. If we can discern the differences.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Len, I agree with everything you said… especially the hubris part.

      I’d like to speculate a little about “how we got here.” It pains me greatly to admit it, but I think the Internet has been a large part of the problem. And, as a librarian, I’m feeling more than a little guilty.

      When the Internet first became available to the public, I was working at an academic library in Georgia. I remember the library community was more than excited by the prospect of “free” information being made available to everybody, everywhere in real time. I remember feeling giddy the first time I sat in my office and searched a library catalog in Israel! Couldn’t access any of the books at that time, but I could see what books they had and, for a librarian, that was EXCITING.

      The Library Director at Georgia Southern was a friend of mine. I remember him telling the story of how he had become bored with being a Library Director. He had built a brand new library at the University. He had polished the collection to perfection. He had hired the best staff in the business. The library was running so smoothly, he said all he had to to all day was show up for work, read the newspaper, eat lunch, and go home. He had accomplished all of his career goals. There was nothing left to do. He had even gone to HR and put in his retirement papers. But at lunch that day, his network manager came to him and said, “Julius, I’ve just brought up a little thing called the Internet. If you have some time, come over to my office and I’ll show it to you. Let me know if you think it’s of any use.” Julius said he went straight from that meeting to HR and withdrew his retirement papers. “This thing is going to change the world.”

      Little ol’ naive me, I was thinking, “Wow, this will bring down iron curtains everywhere! Dictators and despots won’t be able to stop their people from getting accurate information.” BOY WAS I WRONG! Dictators and despots not only stopped their people from getting accurate information, they flooded our people with QAnon-style crap! And it wasn’t just college students who were accessing it. It was the dumbest of the dumb who bought into it hook, line, and sinker. People, who were too stupid to know they were stupid, suddenly thought they were the “smart ones,” the ones with the inside track to what was really happening. And I don’t know any way to cure that. And I feel guilty for having been a part of promoting the whole thing.

      I can’t lead because nobody is following. I can’t follow because I’m really bad at taking orders. So I guess getting out of the way is all I can do at this point. And if I can take my Krispy Kreme doughnuts with me, I’m okay with that.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Don, Word Press isn’t letting me reply directly under your response and it is going to take a while to untwist this logic.

    First, you say that “seeing to your own family’s interest is the best way to serve the community.” Then you say, “if I have to support Peter, I have an interest in his not becoming an excessive burden…” And “the moment one person becomes responsible for the welfare of another, it is no longer possible to exclude force.”

    Let me say how happy I am not to be a member of your family. They must experience a lot of force and very little freedom.

    Someone once asked Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist, what she believed to be the first sign of civilization. They were expecting answers of things like “permanent dwellings,” “pottery,” “art.” They were shocked when she said “I consider civilization to have happened when I find a healed bone.” Noticing that no one understood her, she explained:

    In the wild, bones do not heal. A broken bone is a death sentence. The bone won’t heal before the person starves to death. But a healed bone means someone took care of the injured person, fed him, and kept him safe until the healing was complete. That is civilization. People looking out for each other is civilization.

    No one is required to be civilized. It is, however, unfortunate if you choose not to be.

    Liked by 3 people

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