American Herald Tribune | Danny Haiphong: The world is made up of interconnected opposites. These opposites are in constant motion and provide the basis for change in all levels of society, whether in the physical, chemical, or biological form. The social world is no different in this regard. Opposing forces, intimately connected to organize the human condition, are most evident in the development of class societies. And in this period of political turmoil and economic crisis, the motor forces of society have reached a breaking point.
This is acutely seen in the relationship between the Western imperialist orbit and the rest of the planet. For over four centuries, Western states have colonized, looted, and then re-colonized entire nations in order to cushion the profits of the emerging capitalist class. Now in the last stages of the imperialist monopoly phase, the Western world has left the majority of people with virtually nothing. Six individuals have more wealth than half of the world’s population. The West has alienated and impoverished the rest.
These conditions haven’t been erected without a fight. Oppressed nations have historically united against imperialist rule. By the US invasion of Vietnam, nearly a third of the planet possessed socialist governments and even more were fighting for the same. By 1978, the West had intensified its assault on global progress, which eventually led to the demise of the Soviet Union and the decline of the socialist bloc in 1991. Unfettered capitalism followed, and with it the current predicaments of mass poverty and instability that afflict much of the global south.
The landscape of the 21st century is markedly different than the 20th, but the relationship between the West and the rest still dictates human and global development. This relationship is characterized by a struggle between the West’s reign of terror and an opposing global shift toward independent political and economic development. At the same time that Donald Trump was gearing up to sign a ten-year, 350 billion USD agreement with the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world in Saudi Arabia, China was hosting a forum on the One Belt, One Road development plan. The forum issued a joint statement of cooperation to guide what is projected to be 1 trillion dollars of investment in infrastructure, trade, and development projects. So far China has signed agreements with 30-40 countries while 50-60 more have voiced support for the initiative.
The West has other ideas for the future of the planet. As China uses its vast resources to grow the global economy, the US and its Western allies have spent large portions of their budgets to restrict development. Syria and Libya are quintessential examples of this phenomenon. The West has for over six years armed, funded, and trained proxy forces with partner nations such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. These proxies have caused much of the destruction that presently characterizes life in Syria and Libya. Both countries have seen their once prosperous economies become mired in stagnation and ruin in the midst of chaos.
Everywhere the West touches turns to ruin. The same condition exists in Ukraine, Venezuela, and throughout the African continent. More wealth leaves the African continent than enters due to the parasitic arrangement between Western governments and African states. NATO was instrumental in the 2014 coup that placed fascist paramilitary groupings into parliamentary power. And the US and its Western allies have spent tens of millions of dollars in support of violent opposition groups seeking to bring down the socialist government of Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela.
The West’s antagonistic relationship with independent development and its cozy relationship with terrorism helps place terrorist attacks like that of Manchester in their proper context. The so-called “end of history” declared by neo-liberal academic Francis Fukuyama was always a lie meant to obscure material reality. Reality asserts that the world is embattled in a historic struggle with the West’s model of development. The West has long been committed to exporting terrorism and war abroad. Any country that resists this trend is targeted for immediate destruction.
An ultimatum has blossomed from these conditions. Either the world chooses a path of terrorism, war, and instability or one of independent development that respects the right to self-determination, sovereignty, and mutually beneficial relations for all people. The West and its partner states have chosen the former. China, Russia, and nations that agree to the terms of the One Belt, One Road initiative have chosen the latter. In many ways, a collision course between these antagonistic modes of development is already in motion. And it is West, not the rest, that has proven it will restrict progress with the threat of world war if necessary.