The War in Ukraine has Exposed the Perils of 21st Century Globalism
The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine has exposed the folly, peril, and incoherence of 21st Century Globalism. Unlike the economic globalism of the 19th and early 20th centuries that focused on the concept of free trade of goods for goods, this iteration can be characterized by allegiance to irrational environmentalism and the creation of elitist global institutions determined to mold mankind and impose regimentation on countries and their populations to ostensibly “save the planet.”
The operational underpinning of 21st Century Globalism is the extortion and intimidation of nations throughout the planet to acquiesce to radical “green” policies whose true objective is not to “save the planet” but the elimination of national identity and de facto global governance by unaccountable institutions.
The populations of many countries (such as the United States and much of Europe) have accordingly been coerced into altering their traditional national lifestyles and have marginalized their manufacturing and energy bases by voluntarily becoming reliant on other nations for basic goods and energy.
The Ukraine War has revealed the insanity of naïve voluntary dependence on manufactured products and/or natural resources from despotic countries, such as Russia, Iran, and China, who are jointly and clandestinely setting up their own version of autocratic globalism.
These authoritarian nations are openly and single-mindedly pursuing regional and global hegemony while ignoring the edicts and “green” policies of global institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Economic Forum (WEF) as well as the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The unfathomable level of hypocrisy and naivete of the leaders of these global organizations and the nations who promote them is breathtaking. They have long believed that dependence upon despotic nations will not only transform them into bastions of “democracy” but also into being reliable trading partners that would bow at the altar of environmentalism and never do what the global elites are in essence are doing -- extorting or intimidating other nations for political gain.
In reality, as it has been for the entirety of human history, megalomaniacal authoritarians and dictators are inevitably emboldened to believe that dependence so marginalizes the dependent that they will cower in the face of naked aggression and meekly acquiesce to any demands. More often than not this tactic has been overwhelmingly successful.
Beginning in 2000 much of Europe and in particular, Germany, gradually succumbed to the siren song of radical environmentalism and the elimination of fossil fuels. In 2011 Germany decided to phase out the coal-burning plants that generated 50% of their electrical needs, close all 26 of its nuclear plants that generated over 35% of their electrical needs, and depend on unreliable renewables and natural gas from Russia. Other European countries followed suit in buying virtually all their oil and natural gas from Russia.
Eleven years later, Putin was sufficiently emboldened to invade Ukraine because he thought, based on the lack of any substantive European response in 2014 to his illegal occupation of Crimea (reminiscent of Hitler’s illegal occupation of the Rhineland in 1936), there would be little pushback from the European countries. He was convinced that they would be easily intimidated, in particular Germany, due to their dependence on Russian oil and gas.
Further, he believed that the United States, because of its feckless left-wing leadership, obsession with a radical green agenda, and drastic and deliberate diminution of its fossil fuel production, would not commit to crippling sanctions or substantially arm and logistically support the Ukrainians prior to any military incursion by Russia.
The invasion of Ukraine is the bitter fruit of radical environmentalism and 21st Century Globalism. While Putin may have been obsessed with reconstituting the old Russian empire and marginalizing NATO, he would not have undertaken military action if his potential European adversaries had not deliberately derogated and compromised themselves. After all, the combined annual GDP of the European Union ($16.2 Trillion) is ten times greater than Russia's ($1.6 Trillion), and its population is nearly three times larger.
China, Russia’s partner in the new axis of evil, is thumbing its nose at these same “woke” global institutions, as they are planning to build 43 new coal-fired plants this year, they have reneged on previous commitments to cut carbon emissions by 2030, and have entered into a long-term agreement to import vast quantities oil and gas from Russia.
Confident in their status as the manufacturer to the world, a status the United States foolishly surrendered in the 1990s, China is no longer concealing its determination to annex, by military action, if necessary, Taiwan. As Xi Jinping like Putin believes far too many nations are so dependent upon products that China manufactures as well as their financial clout that these nations, in particular the United States, can be easily cowed and will not militarily or financially contest any takeover.
The United States can, in fact, be easily intimidated, as the agendas of the globalists and the agenda of the American left, which now controls the Democrat party and thus the corridors of power in Washington, grow increasingly intertwined.
- The globalists want to dismantle traditional Western societies and institutions; so does the American left.
- Globalists want to dictate economic growth and policies through carbon control and climate change fear-mongering; so does the American left.
- Globalists want to effectively eliminate private property and replace it with communal property; so does the American left.
- Globalists are determined to control the world banking system and institute arbitrary parameters to finance corporations and governments; so is the American left.
- Globalists have allied themselves with like-minded major multinational corporations to promote censorship and global governance; so has the American left.
- The globalists want to transform the world through global “inclusivity,” aggressive “sustainability” and racial and gender “equity”; so does the American left.
Globalism in the 19th and early 20th century, with its emphasis on government within a nation getting out of the way and promoting the freedom to innovate, trade, and associate freely with others, brought about wealth and liberal democracy throughout the world. On the other hand, 21st Century Globalism is about control, rules, central planning, coercion, and dependence -- which spawns poverty, societal upheaval, the unleashing of authoritarianism, and inevitable military conflict. This scenario now playing out in Ukraine.