Monday, July 08, 2024

Media Review: Finnish President's article in The Economist, "the era of Western dominance as we know it is over"

    Monday, July 08, 2024   No comments

Finnish President Alexander Stubb has said that what we are witnessing today is in many ways equivalent to what happened in 1918, 1945 and 1989, and that the next few years will likely determine the world order, its balance and its dynamics for the rest of the century, or at least for decades to come.

In an article in The Economist, Stubb spoke of “moments in international relations when we know that the world is changing, but we don’t know exactly where it is heading,” stressing that “we are living in one of those moments when an era dies and a new one is born.”

The Finnish president noted in his article that “the things that were supposed to bring us together – trade, technology, energy, information and currency – are now tearing us apart.”

Stubb admitted that he was among many who believed that the end of the Cold War would mean the end of history, but that did not happen. The era of Western hegemony, as we used to know it, is over.

He believed that the question now is how global power will be shared in the future, while we are now witnessing a reorganization of the balance between three areas of power: the global West, the global East, and the Global South, stressing that this classification of the power triangle, if it constitutes an oversimplification, helps to clarify how the world is changing.

"West and East are fighting for hearts and minds in the South"

Stubb summed up the equation by saying that "West and East are fighting for hearts and minds in the South", attributing the matter to his realization that the South will decide the direction of the new world order.

Stubb believed that the West is mistaken if it imagines that the South will be attracted to it only because of what he called "the values ​​or power of freedom and democracy", and that the East is also mistaken if it imagines that huge infrastructure projects and direct financing will give it complete influence in the South.

The Finnish president concluded in his article that "it is ultimately a matter of values ​​and interests together", and that "the South will choose what it wants, because it can do so".

Stubb believed that the West must choose between continuing to believe in the illusion that it can remain dominant, as it has done for centuries, or accepting the facts of change and starting to act accordingly, especially towards the South.

Stubb stressed that Indian Foreign Minister Vinay Mohan Kwatra provided material worthy of thought when he pointed out that “Europe must get rid of the mentality that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems, but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.”

He pointed out that one of the reasons why the East is a more convincing partner for the South is related to the systematic infrastructure, financial and development programs that China is implementing around the world, describing China’s strategy as “successful.”

Stubb concluded his article by emphasizing that if the West “returns to its old ways of direct or indirect domination, or outright arrogance, it will lose the battle.”

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