Is our brave new world about to burst?

Israeli armoured vehicle outside Gaza strip

“Splitting” is the magic word one hears nowadays all over the world in developed and developing counties alike, from Belgium, Spain, Scotland and Canada to Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Soudan, Libya and Turkey as if until now there were no divisions over national identity, incomes, wealth and natural endowments.

Flemish, Flemish, Scots, Quebecois, Benghazies, Alawites, Kurds and others in the Middle East, all of them want if not a definitive split of their countries at least they long for a deep economic and civic division. Speaking of divisions however, what about the splitting political division in the US, between the Democrats and the Republicans, after the latter ones were pushed to the extreme right by the Tea Parties?

Coming to world organisations like the International Monetary Fund, a strong financial instrument playing today a crucial role in confronting the global economic crisis, the Fund seems impotent to solve its deep triple division between the US, the Eurozone and the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, China). As for the UN, its always divided Security Council appears traditionally impotent to actively resolve conflicts in Africa and elsewhere. As a result UN has become over the past years an instrument of division and destruction as in the cases of Yugoslavia and Libya. But these are already old divisions. What about the new ones?

The new divisions

The world was never a united place and people have been fighting with their neighbours for millennia now. After WW II however, the abyssal division of the globe into Communist and “Free” worlds had in a peculiar way arrested the local and the internal confrontations. It was the direct nuclear threat that had supressed all minor skirmishes.

After the fall of communism though (China is now a structural part of the world economic system if such a thing exists), the removal of the total destruction threat opened the door to a brave new arrangement. As it is clear today the world economy is divided into those who can perish and those who cannot. Ideological differences ceased to play any role and everything became economical if not financial. By liberalising the movements of capital and lifting all restrictions on financial transactions and banking, the world has become one big market with developed and developing countries being tightly bonded.

Unheard before things became everyday practice and China became the largest creditor of the US. Global economy is tightly controlled by a few financial/political centres and the regional and the national divisions do not play anymore an important role, as long as capital and commercial transactions are not impeded. On the contrary the minor regional conflicts and national splits help the few omnipotent financial/political centres to better exert their authority. In a few years, starting from the early 1990s, the world became a place where those few financial/political centres of power became indestructible, by controlling the technology in communications, banking/finance and the trade of basic commodities (foodstuffs and energy). All the seven billion of living human beings are told that they are dependant on those few centres.

After Lehman Brothers

The turning point in this affair was the annihilation of Lehman Brothers. After that the major global split became the division between those humans, businesses and why not nations that could perish and those who cannot. Then we learned that the major world banking firms are now the untouchables and taxpayers had to support them, when needed.

Coming to countries and nations, the three major world centres of power (New York banks-White House, Deutsche Bank-Berlin Chancellery-ECB and the Beijing-Shanghai conglomerates) can now decide if for example Greece or Belgium are on the perishable side or not. It is not clear yet what the final decisions are for those two countries. Bart De Wever, the Flemish secessionist leader and Antonis Samaras, the Greek prime minister, are mere instruments in those affairs. In any case entire countries like Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq and many African countries appear now on the perishable side.

Along the same line of thinking  all the small and medium sized businesses all over the world are definitively expendable, while the major banks and some other firms are all “too big to fail”. All that doesn’t mean there are no frictions between the world power centres. It is exactly in those frictional points that nations and countries could perish.

Is this arrangement viable?

The question is however if the arrangement in this brave new world is viable or not? Is the Chinese Communist Party capable of overcoming the internal political quakes in the vast country? Is Eurozone able to solve its internal problems and effectively support the countries in difficulties (Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy) and save its major banks and at the same time, while avoiding to slide to extreme right-wing politics? Can the American society avoid a repetition of the racial civil wars of the 1960s, despite the systematic suppression of alarming news? The answers to all those questions are to be given in real life and surely the costs are to be borne by the vast majority of people.

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