The State of the World Right Now: A View

EDITORIAL, 28 Nov 2016

#456 | Johan Galtung

“View” meaning not only a glimpse from above, but a position taken on the world on which the US electorate is now dumping Donald Trump.

That world is today basically multi-polar, maybe with 8 poles: Anglo-America, Latin America-Caribbean, African Unity, Islam-OIC from Casablanca to Mindanao, European Union, Russia more region than state, SAARC from Nepal to Sri Lanka, ASEAN, Australia-New Zealand.

And multi-regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, with China and Russia, Islamic countries, India and Pakistan.

There is a waning state reality, smaller states being increasingly absorbed in regions.

There is a waxing region reality with the above eight; adding West Asian, Central Asian and Northeast Asian regions, maybe eleven.

There is a global reality based on IGOs, inter-governmental organizations with the United Nations on top; TNCs, the transnational corporations with the US-based on top so far; and INGOs, international non-governmental organizations, with religions on top.

Insert into all of that something concrete from William Blum’s Anti-Empire Report #146 and his Rogue State. From WWII, the USA has:

  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically elected;
  2. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries;
  3. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders;
  4. Attempted to suppress populist or nationalist movements in 20 countries;
  5. More involved in the practice of torture than any other country, performing, teaching, providing manuals and furnishing equipment.

Then, insert President Xi’s proposal November 17-23 2016 for Latin American countries and 21 APEC countries meeting in Lima, Peru:

  1. FTAAP: Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific; inclusive, for all;
  2. RCEP: Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, also inclusive as opposed to TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, excluding China.

TPP to FTAAP moves the power center from Washington to Beijing.

Into this reality dump Trump who has pledged to ditch TPP.

That does not mean buying FTAAP-RAW; maybe more a set of Chinese divide and rule bilateral deals than a real multilateral IGO. However, negotiating deals with China should appeal to Trump the businessman.

Now, given the 5 Blum points from US history, will a move of one important power center from Washington to Beijing be permitted by the US military-economic forces, Pentagon-Wall Street, in conjunction? Will they prevail upon Trump to change his mind and ditch the pledge to drop TPP, or simply move ahead along the lines of points 1-5?

Depends on Congress overriding Trump Executive directives and Trump vetoing that, and so on.  That in turn depends on to what extent Congress is now GOP Republican or Trump Republican. Nobody knows.

There is more going on in the world than USA-China relations.

China-India trade is overtaking China-USA trade before China overtakes USA economically. Both are Asian countries, both are SCO. A concrete implication is that a decreasing percentage of world trade deals is made in US dollars as they recognize each other’s currencies.

At the same time the top country in the EU, Germany, is in great difficulty because a leading corporation, Volkswagen has problems with its emission swindle, paying hefty fines, now sacking 30,000 workers.  Now is the time, if ever, for France-Italy-Spain-Sweden-Czech to produce jointly an alternative car.

At the same time the bottom country in the EU, Greece, is doing well, playing the Chinese card. China is buying Piraeus, making Greece the entry point for Chinese business in Europe with products, goods and services at highly acceptable quality over price ratios.

At the same time US economy is running out of options, losing its hold on EU with Brexit. The Bratislava Summit of 27 EU members 16 Sep 2016 refused to fight US wars.  That may tempt USA even more to wage their own with mini-nukes &c. But Trump foreign policies with Russia, China and in East Asia may deprive them of arguments for doing so.

However, what does Trump have to build upon to make America great again economically? With an American economy servicing huge debts, with freshly printed dollars far beyond the value of the economy (but still no inflation), with a risky finance economy in command, and little of quality to export but arms, and some cars? Jobs to build infrastructure have to be financed and he has promised lower taxes. Although reforming tax codes may stop some loopholes.

Possible answer: increased foreign trade, based on better foreign relations, seeing others as business partners, not as threats. Just wait, one day USA may trade with North Korea, competing with China.

If Trump can lay his hands on money flowing in from abroad, and make trading companies invest in the much lagging US infrastructure.

Yet, the counter-forces are strong.  William Blum #146:

  • Obama in the UN 2013, declared USA exceptional and Russia one of the three threats to USA along with IS and the ebola virus. Putin-bashing.
  • A million refugees from Washington warfare currently overrun Europe; from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Pakistan.
  • US fight Assad to use Syria for a pipeline to bring gas from Qatar to Europe to undercut GazProm, Russia’s largest corporation.
  • Washington abandoned the ABM treaty and changed its war doctrine to permit US nuclear first strike.
  • An independent EU would forbid member states from stockpiling US nuclear weapons, having a US ABM site, or a base close to Russia.
  • Since 1980 USA intervened in Iran-Libya-Lebanon-Kuwait-Iraq-Somalia-Bosnia-Arabia-Afghanistan-Sudan-Kosova-Yemen-Pakistan-Syria-14 Muslim.
  • USA surrounds China with aircraft, fleets, military bases in Japan-South Korea-Philippines-the Pacific-Australia, patrolling the waters.
  • Crimea never voluntarily left Russia. A dictator made them do so.

Everything is “rigged” for a Clinton tenure of belligerence.

Instead they got Trump foreign policy. Against very heavy odds.


Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is founder of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment and rector of the TRANSCEND Peace University-TPU. Prof. Galtung has published 1670 articles and book chapters, over 450 Editorials for TRANSCEND Media Service, and 167 books on peace and related issues, of which 41 have been translated into 35 languages, for a total of 135 book translations, including ‘50 Years-100 Peace and Conflict Perspectives,’ published by the TRANSCEND University Press-TUP.

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One Response to “The State of the World Right Now: A View”

  1. Dirgha Raj Prasai says:

    America and the present World!

    America had become a nation born of the emigrant society comprising of people of many European nations and black slaves from Africa. In this way America gained its multi-cultural identity.
    The Americans gained a notorious identity of taking the support of arms to secure themselves of the people from many different nations arriving there. Arms became a base of security for both emigrants, whom threatened the indigenous people, and the indigenous tribes that had habituated this vast land for thousands of years. After liberation it was stipulated in the American constitution -‘Every Americans will have the right to keep guns for self protection.’ So there is not a single person without arms. In many places there are factories for making small and large arms. There is no need of governmental permission for keeping arms and creating them. So we hear news of many murderous incidents in many places in America.
    Americans are friendly and participatory. It is their appreciable quality. America is a nation of free sex and free arms. When sex is free and it is equally free to keep and use arms then it becomes insecure and uncontrollable. It has already been public that when American President Bill Clinton talked over the phone with a foreign head of state he had engaged touching the sexual secret organs of his female employees. How shameful is such activities? A nation privileging sex and arms is in itself anarchist. Its spiritualism would have already drained. America is also such a country where those not consenting to sex have become victims of rape and murder. It has become such a nation where an emigrant woman seeks the shelter of another man for security. Japan stands next to America in being another sexual nation. There is no guarantee of security in Japan as well. Japan is the nation that after World War II was responsible for the future of thousands of Chinese women who became sex slaves.
    Although many nations of the world including China keep sex behind curtains mutual desire is kept within the moral boundaries. Hindu women are followers of the moral characteristic norms. Muslim women are compelled to remain behind curtains. It is prohibited for an outsider to look the face and body parts of Muslim woman. However this is orthodoxy.
    Former American President Kennedy has said- ‘There will be influence of burial ground in new American generation.’ Perhaps that assumption will start from America. Christian religion, its donations and its fallacious superiority will be a cause of downfall. The American regime has made human rights a path of terrorizing another nation. Americans have everything, but their rulers lack belief, stance and morality. They betray on those who support American regime. The Muslim leaders- Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein including many others had once been America’s trusted persons. Saddam Hussein was hanged and a bounty has been fixed on the head of Bin Laden for not obeying American orders. Similarly, America had supported- ‘Nepal as a zone of peace’ at 1977, but it had canceled in the hint of India. Because, India especially- Congress (I) government wants to desintrigate Nepal. But, we have cordial relation between the people level. America is one of the friendly democratic countries of Nepal. From the very beginning, it had supported the monarchial democracy, but since 2006, it deceived Nepal as a republic country which functions anarchist-communism in Nepal.
    America spends billions in arms to terrorize the world, and to remind the world that America is the superpower. The weapons factories are developing rapidly which resembles a Nepali saying-‘Sin cries from within.’ No matter how much clever the Americans consider themselves, the American politics is bogged down by the activities of ghost and devil. An Indian Scholar Arundhati Roy has written in a book-‘The algebra Infinite Justice.-‘Nothing can excuse or justify an act of terrorism, whether it is committed by religious fundamentalists, private militia, people’s resistance movements- or whether it’s dressed up as a war of retribution by a recognized government. The bombing of Afghanistan is not revenge for New York and Washington. It is yet another act of terror against the people of the world. Former American President George Bush used to say-‘ we are peaceful nation. President Bush’s ultimatum to the people of the world-‘Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists’ is peace presumptions arrogance. ‘Is it not the sign of anarchism? America is losing the norms of democratic sense.
    That is all
    Dirgha Raj Prasai
    Political Analyst
    Former Member of Parliament-Nepal