Ed: Part I of this essay was published yesterday here on INDEPENDENCE Daily.
China, Russia and India
All my adult life I have cleaved to the idea that China and Russia (or the USSR) should be kept at arm’s length. This is because by their very nature and , in the case of China also by her very size ,they represent threats to the West. Instead, naive Western politicians, who are almost all politically correct fantasists by now, have not merely engaged with China and Russia but have done so on the comically mistaken basis that by engaging with the Russians and Chinese they would change Russian and Chinese ways to that of the West as they discovered the supposed benefits of free markets and “joys of diversity.” The result has been that both Russia and China, far from succumbing to Western cultural values, have become increasingly powerful.
They represent different dangers. Russia has all the characteristics of a gangster state but one with a formidable number of nuclear weapons and the Chinese are ever more aggressive and assertive generally. It bodes very ill for the future, especially in China’s case, for that gigantic country has extraordinary ambitions as is shown by their belt and road infrastructure project to provide roads and waterways which will allow China to have access to much of the East. Their disregarded for anything resembling a justice system is seen by the subsequent arrest of three Canadians – see here and here – in response to the Canadians arresting Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer of the Chinese electronics giant Huawei. Meng’s arrest was at the request of the USA for extradition to the US for breaching sanctions imposed on Iran. The arrest of the three Canadians so soon after Meng’s arrest is best seen as hostage taking by China.
India is showing signs of mimicking China in it attitude towards the West. However, India is far less monolithic than the former, for whereas China as a country and culture has a genuine historical identity, the state of India is a creation of the Raj. Before the Raj the territory which comprises modern India was simply a geographical expression just as Europe is. Consequently, being so much more fragmented than China and lacking a centralising controlling power, there is a much less uniform response to the West by India than that of China to the West.
Africa and Latin America
No real change. Africa has been as brutal as ever and Latin America, although superficially more sophisticated that Africa, is still remarkably violent and disorderly.
The shrinking of democratic control
Throughout the West there is growing serious opposition to mass immigration and internationalist politicians who generally ignore the wishes of their electorates. The internationalists have only themselves to blame if their political correct ideals are trampled on because they are the ones with their incontinent approach to immigration and the realities of human nature who have wrought this change. If the world is headed for racially and ethnically based repression at best and ethnically and racially based civil war at worst they are to blame.
Democracy is a tricky concept which is best thought of as a measure of control over the elite rather than an absolute quality. The hard truth is that there is only one important general political question in any society, namely, how far are the masses able to control the naturally abusive nature of the elite?
The best form of control the masses have is representative government based on a full adult franchise. If the country also has a written constitution with protection for things such as freedom of speech and assembly with a means of holding voter instituted referenda, so much the better. Of course, like every human institution it can be perverted but any other political arrangement will make elite abuse much easier for then we are in the realm of dictatorship.
The reality is that countries which have a long lasting and unbroken tradition of political representation on a broad franchise (and consequently a respect for freedom and individual rights) are remarkably rare. The UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are the outstanding examples. All have avoided both civil war and occupation by a conquering power for over 150 years.
In continental Europe there is not a major state with such an unbroken record of avoidance of civil war and occupation better than the 73 years since the end of the Second World War. Most cannot boast a record of even 50 years (think of Spain and the divided Germany).
Even amongst the more minor European states it would be difficult to find others who have had a long and unbroken record of representative government. Switzerland was successfully invaded during Napoleonic times and did not give women the vote until 1971; Denmark, Sweden and Norway were all absolute monarchies until well into the 19th Century (although intermittent representative activity in these countries occurred), with Denmark and Norway being invaded during the Second World War.
In Asia and Africa the idea of representative politics where it exists, which is not very often, is at best a very corrupt version of what we call democracy.
Latin America has seen many attempts at Bolivarian-inspired democracy, but almost as many failures and the area is really not better than Asia or Africa in its actual way of conducting politics.
It is interesting to compare the effectiveness of the English derived states – USA, Canada, Australia and NZ – with the fallibility of the Spanish derived states in Latin America. England and Spain were the two colonial powers who settled large numbers of their own people in colonies which later became independent states. The difference in the political success of the English and Spanish in England and Spain was replicated in their heavily settled colonies.
The European Union has be a great dissolver of democratic control in the First World since 1945.
The world becomes ever more disorderly
I cannot do better than quote my words from 2017:
“Contrary to Steven Pinker’s view that the world is becoming more peaceful, if civil conflict is included things are getting worse. Formal war may be less easy to identify , but ethnic (and often religious ) based strife plus repression by rulers is so widespread outside the West that it is best described as endemic. Globalisation = destabilisation because by making the world’s economic system more complex , there is simply more to go wrong both economically and socially. Sweeping aside traditional relationships and practices is a recipe for social discord. All of economic history tells you one thing above all else: a strong domestic economy is essential for the stability of any country. The ideology of laissez faire, is like all ideologies, at odds with human nature and reality generally and its application inevitably creates huge numbers of losers when applied to places such as China and India.”