As You’ve Surely Noticed

As you’ve surely noticed, there have been a lot of changes taking place over the last couple of years. There’s the pandemic, the continually escalating prices of just about everything and a host of other oddities that seem to be popping up with greater frequency with each passing month. Also, on a felt level, there’s been an odd feeling of uncertainty permeating as well. You’ve undoubtedly heard people talking about it, people you know, people you see every day.

Something has gone awry. Or rather, it feels like something has gone awry in a different way than it was awry before. You know what I mean? It’s as if a sort of collective vertigo has set in. It feels like we’re losing our way or that we’ve lost it already. Or maybe we’re finding that our way, that our direction, has been off course for quite a while?
Whatever one’s particular interpretation of what’s going on is, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re all feeling that something is markedly different, that something fundamental has shifted of late. The question is, what is it that has changed? In order to explain this change a little context is necessary first.

Global Interconnection

By now it’s pretty much common knowledge that we live in a technologically and economically interconnected world. In other words, when a crisis occurs in one region of the planet it invariably ends up having an effect on every other region, sooner or later, in one way or another. One obvious example of this phenomenon is the war in Ukraine. The battle there and the sanctions imposed on Russia have created a ripple effect that has generated socio-economic disturbances in countries all across the globe.

Unipolarity Since The Early 1990s

Since the early 1990s we have been living in what has been termed a “unipolar world”. After the collapse of the Soviet Union occurred just over thirty years ago, the United States has enjoyed unparalleled military and economic power. To maintain this power, the United States has had to remain militarily engaged all over the world so as to fend off challengers to its hegemony. The US has made it a practice to intervene in and shape the political and economic development of countries that have showed signs of deviation from the unipolar model. All of this is common knowledge and has been standard practice for the better part of the last twenty or so years, arguably longer.

The Burgeoning Challenge To Unipolarity

In recent years a major challenge to the unipolar model has arisen. This challenge has come about due to a number of factors, the primary factor being the rise of China as an economic superpower. Over the past 30 years China’s GDP has grown 41-fold from US$361 billion to US$14,720 billion.(1) This is an astounding rate of growth that has moved China into the number two slot behind the US on the list of the world’s most economically powerful nations.

Stay With Me Here

I’m going to give a little more context and then we’re going to bolt right into discussing a huge change that is taking place right now as you read these words. We’re almost there, stay with me.

The Two Seismic Shifts

There have been two seismic shifts that have been taking place in the last two years which have set in motion a series of changes the likes of which we have never seen before. In all likelihood this series of changes is going to begin fully unfolding during this decade (2020 – 2029). What we’ve been feeling up to this point are the first rumblings of what is in all probability going to be a global economic earthquake.

Seismic Shift Number 1

In the interest of brevity I’m going to refer you to an article of mine that was published on April 4th, 2022.(2) The piece explains the first of the two seismic shifts in more detail than I can go into here. Basically, we are beyond the “Too Big To Fail” stage. In fact we’ve entered a kind of “Post-Too Big To Fail” moment. You’ll see what I mean if/when you look at the article.

Seismic Shift Number 2

About a week ago a meeting of the BRICS Economic Partnership took place that included the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. In this meeting a plan was outlined to create a new common currency out of a “basket” of all BRICS members’ currencies.(3) In the days that followed this gathering, Argentina and Iran applied for entrance into BRICS and all indications right now are that the BRICS roster is going to keep expanding.(4)

In short, the massive military and economic failure of the US and NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine (5)(6) has generated a new level of global crisis that has spurred this group of countries (a group that makes up almost half of the world’s population) to create a new collective currency. This new currency will, in all likelihood, eventually challenge the dollar as the world’s central global currency. The prospect of what has been dubbed “de-dollarization”(7) has been looming for quite a while. Over the past few months however, with the growing list of economic crises that have arisen and have continued to worsen all over the planet, a new global economic movement has begun to take shape.

At A Felt Existential Level

Ok, going back to what we mentioned at the beginning of this article about the growing uncertainty, about the collective vertigo we all seem to be experiencing: What I have explained above are key underlying aspects of what has ended up effecting all of us at a felt existential level.

Technicalities aside, we’ve all known for a while now, or if we haven’t known we’ve had a feeling, that something is just not right about the way we’ve been operating as a culture. At bottom, this crisis isn’t simply an intellectual, technical, economic matter. Dare I say, I think it’s ultimately a cultural matter, a spiritual matter, if you will. Pick your preferred terminology. Whatever you decide to call it, it runs deep and it effects all of us. We know we’re better than this. We know we’re ready to move on, but we don’t know which direction (yet) to move in.

In actuality, what’s appearing now to be the beginning of a massive shift is really the fruition of a transition that has been brewing for decades. The difference at this point is that the mechanisms that were being used to stave off this change are simply no longer functioning. In another article I will go into what these failing mechanisms are in more detail. For now I’ll refer you to an article (8) from a few years ago which will give you more context about the history of this shift.

Is This A Good Thing Or A Bad Thing?

In this writer’s opinion the world is NOT coming to an end. Rather, as the title of this piece indicates, the unipolar world as we know it is, necessarily, coming to an end.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, it depends on your point of view. For those who decide to cling to outmoded conceptions of the way things are or should be, the changes that are coming may very well feel like the end of the world. This being said, it’d be naive to think we’re headed straight for fields of unicorns and flowers. On the contrary, I think we’ve got a heck of a bumpy road ahead of us before we get near anything resembling a substantial breakthrough. Incidentally, I hope I’m wrong about this. I’d love to skip the messy preamble and get right to global peace, love and understanding … but alas, this seems unlikely (from my point of view). This transition is almost certainly going to take some time, and it’ll probably be far from an easy ride.

On the other hand, for those who’ve recognized that our human species has outgrown the still reigning socio-economic and cultural models, the coming changes, as challenging as some of them may end up being, will be seen as necessary steps in an evolutionary process that will eventually lead to the formation of a Universal Human Nation.

CITATIONS:

  1. https://theconversation.com/vital-signs-slower-chinese-economic-growth-inevitable-without-internal-reform-170277
  2. https://www.pressenza.com/2022/04/we-have-entered-a-post-capitalist-era/
  3. https://www.businessinsider.in/stock-market/news/russia-and-china-are-brewing-up-a-challenge-to-dollar-dominance-by-creating-a-new-reserve-currency/articleshow/92437095.cms
  4. https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/iran-argentina-apply-to-join-brics-bloc-after-recent-summit-report-122062800935_1.html
  5. https://www.pressenza.com/2022/06/ukraine-is-losing-badly-and-things-are-about-to-get-much-worse-for-them-unless/
  6. https://www.pressenza.com/2022/06/the-sanctions-against-russia-are-causing-inflation-and-dislocation-almost-everywhere-in-the-world-except-russia/
  7. https://www.cambridge.org/core/elements/can-brics-dedollarize-the-global-financial-system/0AEF98D2F232072409E9556620AE09B0
  8. https://www.pressenza.com/2020/12/the-fall-of-the-liberal-left-the-rise-of-neoliberalism-and-the-resulting-confusion-that-has-ensued/