At the end of World War II, global leaders and policymakers, especially from Europe and the United States, resolved to formulate policies to provide a progressive outlook under the umbrella of the modernisation theory. The theory was proposed for the purpose of propagating Western-style liberal democracies and capitalism across the world.
As the once mighty superpowers, like the Great Britain, were pushed to the edge by the decolonisation process, new emerging powers, like the US and the erstwhile Soviet Union, divided the world with their Cold War policies for decades until the end of the Soviet bloc.
Though the modernisation theory has continued to serve the purpose of providing development through international institutions, many intellectuals have over the years questioned the existence of the project.
The capitalist order added the colour of progress and peace in its bid to stem the rising tide of communism. However, the recent turn of events points towards its failure to achieve peace and prosperity in the world.
The stand-off between the US and China is once again a serious threat to the global security and peace in multiple ways. This is happening exactly the same way as was the case in the 20th century, marked by a whirlpool of vulnerabilities and uncertainties.
The more the world has advanced, the closer it has got to disruption. The Indo-Pacific ocean is now a battleground for two superpowers to fight on. It is basically not just a war of economic interests, but is also ideological and political in nature. The US has always vied for power. It is the main cause of wars throughout history. It has more than 700 military bases established in different countries, primarily because it is a battle-hardened state rather than the guardian of democratic values in any sense.
The rise of the self-proclaimed right to rule the world, the West at large is doing nothing but devouring human lives. For instance, it was recently reported that Germany is responsible for more than 800 attacks on Muslim mosques from 2014 to date.
There are many reasons behind the rise of far right in the world, but the prime ones are the failure of liberal democratic regimes, such as the Philippines and Hungary, which used to follow a democratic rule but the increase in issues demanded some other authoritarian policies to deal with them; as a fallout, they had to turn authoritarian and encouraged the rise in right-wing forces.
In addition, economic globalisation has been providing space to such forces for long. Today, authoritarianism rules far and wide. The world is heading towards an uncertain milieu marked by daunting challenges. The Sino-US rivalry, the Russia-Ukraine war, climate change, and changing dynamics of power politics across the world are not healthy signs for the world going forward.
The onus is on the international community to re-adjust its focus on a world free from such a mess. Eminent intellectual and renowned pacifist Bertrand Russell aptly said: “War does not determine who is right; only who is left.” It is still never too late to carefully reign in the menace. Sanity needs to prevail and will. Hopefully.
A QADEER SEELRO