Biden’s Correct in Assessing That the Global Systemic Transition has Accelerated
What all of this means is that the global systemic transition will in all likelihood become a lot bloodier and more chaotic than previously expected as the US aggressively destabilizes the world in a desperate attempt to delay its hegemonic decline and even perhaps reassert some of that same hegemony.
US President Joe Biden told workers at an Javelin-producing plant in Alabama that “We’re at an inflection point in history, for real — it comes along about every six or eight generations — where things are changing so rapidly that we have to be in control.” To his credit, this assessment of the global systemic transition’s acceleration is correct, as is his observation that the present state of affairs represents an historical turning point. The problem is that he misportrayed its details and dynamics.
According to him, Western Civilization is under threat from the supposedly autocratic forces of Russia and China, which he claimed at trying to erode Western democracy for purely ideological reasons. In response, he suggested that the US beef up its so-called “arsenal of democracy”, which is just his euphemism for indefinitely spiking military-technical expenditures. He hopes to convince Western workers that this will improve the economy and that any suffering is for the sake of a greater cause.
It’s for that reason why he evoked the memory of World War II. This was a manipulative attempt to twist their perceptions in the direction that US strategists hope to take them, namely in seeing everything as part of an existential struggle. Biden also intended to imply that this undeclared Third World War will also end with America’s victory, though perhaps after similarly massive sacrifices from his people and also possibly those of the two multipolar Great Powers who he’s waging Hybrid War on.
From the official American perspective, Western Civilization is waging a defensive – and therefore legally and morally justified – war against the unprovoked aggressions carried out against their governing model by Russia and China. The reality, however, is the exact opposite. What’s actually happening is that the US’ hegemonic decline naturally accelerated over the past decade and a half due to the counterproductive policies that it implemented as part of its grand strategic goal to maintain unipolarity.
From the War on Iraq to the unstable financial foundation of the hitherto US-led global economy and the blowback caused by the simultaneous efforts to “contain” Russia and China from 2014 onward, most of the major moves that the US has made since the onset of its unipolar moment in 1989-1991 haven’t sustainably upheld its self-described interests. To the contrary, they’ve only hastened its decline and thus by default facilitated the emergence of competing multipolar Great Powers.
Instead of peacefully going along with this global systemic transition towards multipolarity and responsibly trying to find a pragmatic role for America to play within this “new world order” as Biden himself previously described it as, his strategists are aggressively pushing back against these processes. To that end, they’re purposely destabilizing the world in the hopes that the resultant chaos can be corralled in an advantageous direction that allows for the reassertion of American hegemony with time.
Honestly speaking, the US has already somewhat surprising succeeded to an impressive extent with respect to how comprehensively it’s been able to control the EU through NATO on an anti-Russian pretext in the span of just two months following the commencement of Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Last September’s AUKUS is also an Indo-Pacific force to be reckoned with, one with which US ally Japan is predicted to closely cooperate with.
Furthermore, from a Machiavellian perspective, the global energy and food crises that the US-led West’s unprecedented sanctions against Russia are directly responsible for catalyzing serve the purpose of destabilizing countless societies across the Global South. Organic protest movements could in turn be hijacked into Color Revolutions for overthrowing those governments that practice a policy of principled neutrality towards the Ukrainian Conflict and have thus far eschewed sanctioning Russia.
Interestingly, South Asia has suddenly emerged as a major battleground in the New Cold War, with India and Pakistan both powerfully shaping the contours of this global struggle. The first refuses to submit to US-led Western pressure to distance itself from Russia and has consequently come under infowar attack from its partners while the second recently had a scandalous change of government that could result in recalibrating its previously multipolar-oriented foreign policy back towards the US-led Western order.
The global scale, scope, and speed with which these processes are unfolding is indeed unprecedented and thus adds credence to Biden’s observation that it represents an inflection point not seen in 100-200 years. Actually, nothing of the sort has ever transpired before because previous transitions with which one might compare the present transition didn’t take place in the globalized-technological era of the modern day that’s resulted in accelerating and compressing these far-reaching changes.
For as supposedly promising as the US’ hegemonic prospects might appear, they’re still fraught with enormous risks, none more so than President Putin’s geo-economic judo move in late March demanding payment for gas with rubles from newly designated unfriendly countries. Coupled with the possibility of Saudi Arabia reportedly considering yuan as payment for oil and thus creating a so-called “petroyuan”, these interconnected energy-financial developments could revolutionize the global economy.
The “petrodollar’s” status as the global reserve currency has never been more threatened, which in turn means that the US’ financial hegemony is now much shakier than ever before. There’s also the fact that Global South countries are learning to practice more effective “Democratic Security” policies, which refer to counter-Hybrid War tactics and strategies for ensuring “regime reinforcement” in the face of foreign-backed regime change threats such as the sort that the US might soon unleash worldwide.
US-led NATO’s proxy war on Russia through Ukraine therefore entails both opportunities and obstacles from an American grand strategic perspective. On the one hand, it resulted in the US’ successful reassertion of hegemony over its Asian and European vassal states and opened up new Hybrid War scenarios all across the Global South, but it also created the unprecedented chance for Russia, China, and increasingly also India to jointly challenge its previously secure financial hegemony.
Since one of the primary foundations of America’s global hegemonic model is its control over the financial system, this means that its plans are threatened like never before in history. Instead of dividing and ruling Eurasia, the US is actually accelerating its convergence exactly as Russia’s preemptive defense of its national security red lines in Ukraine has done vis-à-vis the West. The larger dynamic at play is that maritime Western democracies are uniting against mainland non-Western democracies.
The African, Latin American, and Oceania regions of the Global South will probably become increasingly intense Hybrid War battleground as the US-led West seeks to destabilize them in order to cut the multipolar Eurasian Great Powers off from economic opportunities and political partners (with the possible exception of India which might balance between both “blocs”). This will in turn likely necessitate Russia and China’s greater “Democratic Security” engagement with them.
In a sense, the US-led West’s TPLF-driven Hybrid War of Terror on Ethiopia can be seen as a possible precursor for what the rest of the Global South might soon experience. This multipolar Horn of Africa leader successfully rebuffed those foreign-backed terrorists’ advance on Addis Ababa but at major cost to itself. It preserved its sovereignty with support from its multipolar Eurasian partners who’ll also help it rehabilitate after the conflict conclusively ends, but it still stands as one of the worst in recent years.
What all of this means is that the global systemic transition will in all likelihood become a lot bloodier and more chaotic than previously expected as the US aggressively destabilizes the world in a desperate attempt to delay its hegemonic decline and even perhaps reassert some of that same hegemony. Russia, China, India, and their multipolar partners across the Global South must therefore brace themselves for this scenario and urgently consider multilateral means for helping one another weather these crises.