The BRICS+ Forum
Global Transformation in Action: Values and Practical Priorities of a Multipolar World
The world is rapidly changing, and new centers of power are becoming more visible in the international arena. At the same time, the process of change is accompanied by military conflicts, political, economic, and social crises. But the main question remains open: on what principles should the future world order be built? What are the spiritual foundations and common values on which the global community will be able to focus under the conditions of the new model? How can the new model ensure fair cooperation and constructive development of the global community?
Dragana Trifković: Multipolarity as a Counterweight to the Clash of Civilizations - The Transformation of Europe through Multipolarity.
We are living in a time of epochal changes that will lead to the creation of a completely new world, with a different world architecture that has never existed before. The Western-centric world system in which we have lived for centuries is transforming into a multipolar world system, and this process is taking place with political, economic, and social crises as well as military conflicts.
The transformation is taking place in parallel on different levels, such as new technologies, economic system, political model, international relations, social structure, security, information, etc. The main force opposing the multipolarization process is the West, led by the United States. In the last three decades, the West began to weaken economically, politically, and militarily, especially after the 2008 global economic crisis. For this reason, the West has encouraged the creation of new conflicts to compensate for its losses. We are talking here specifically about the conflict in Ukraine. However, this is not a precedent for the West, because for the last thirty years Western policy has relied on the creation and management of conflicts in order to achieve its own economic, political, and military goals. It began with the war in Yugoslavia. The doctrine of the clash of civilizations, described in Huntington's book of the same name, was designed primarily for the conflict between the Orthodox and Islamic worlds in order to eliminate Russia as a military threat. However, the world realized that the U.S. was creating conflicts in order to advance economically.
On the other hand, there are countries that are gathering around BRICS and establishing new mutual relations based on balance of power, equality, and stability. These powers are not interested in conflicts, and they will invest their efforts in resolving conflicts and establishing a system of indivisible security. They are great powers that want to establish relations based on equal cooperation, which we have not had so far.
The BRICS countries have enormous natural and human resources, great potential, thanks to which they can implement a new economic and cultural model. Thanks to these resources, the BRICS countries can be completely autonomous from the Western-centered system and build new world institutions, such as the BRICS Development Bank, to develop large infrastructure projects and establish new trade relations.
The two main centers of BRICS development, which are opposed to the Western-centered system, are Russia, geopolitically and militarily, and China, economically.
Therefore, multipolarity or the concept of the development of civilization based on mutual respect and equality, which the BRICS countries are implementing, is opposed to the Western concept of the clash of civilizations.
With the birth of a new world order, a new society will also be born, and the basic question we asked at this roundtable is on what principles should the new society be based.
In terms of the economic concept, BRICS develops different postulates from those offered by the neoliberal economic concept of the West. First of all, the new economic system will be based on the real economy. This means that those countries that have resources will be able to develop and have a good standard. It will not be based on the exploitation of other people's resources, which has characterized the neoliberal model. The old banking system, largely linked to the world oligarchy, will be replaced by a new one controlled by the states, where huge resources will not go to private funds but to development purposes and social programs.
Those countries that manage to recover the middle class through the ongoing destabilization processes will be able to better position themselves in the new multipolar world system. The recovery of the middle class is accelerating in Asia, and Russia is also moving in this direction. As for Europe, there are ongoing processes of weakening the middle class. In any case, we are now practically at the beginning of the reformatting process, which, according to most world analysts, will take about twenty years. Many would like this process to end sooner, but historically twenty years is fast. During this time, some countries will succeed in reforming and joining the new world architecture, while others will lag behind in joining the new technological cycle.
As for Russia, it has great potential as a country occupying the largest territory with huge natural resources. It will undoubtedly occupy a very important place in the new multipolar world, to which it belongs on the only condition that it maintains internal stability. Strategic planning, technological and scientific development, work with young people and the fight against corruption should certainly be added to this.
As for the West, it is now entering the phase that Russia and Serbia went through in the 1990s. The U.S. is facing a major political and social crisis that should produce new elites. This means that neither Biden nor Trump, nor anyone from the old elite, can meet the challenges. It is likely that over several election cycles a political alternative will emerge that can offer new ideas and lead the U.S. out of the crisis. This process may take the next decade.
Changing the cultural model means that the new model should be based on mutual respect, respect for cultural diversity, respect for sovereignty, tradition, history, family values, respect for religious diversity, humanity, and equality.
One of the most important things to bring back into social life is truth and morality. It is devastating that these values have not been desirable in recent decades, and the West bears the greatest responsibility for this.
In my opinion, it will be more difficult for the West to adapt to the new cultural model than to the economic one. Generations of people in the West, both in the US and in Europe, have grown up believing that they are above others. They believe in their exceptionalism and uniqueness, and I think they are going to have to do a lot of work on themselves to change that. Their integration depends on how well they are able to adapt and accept the reality that the new world is based on equality and that there is no place in it for those who are above others. The arrogance of the West in the new world model is a potential for conflict, and that is why it must be neutralized.
When it comes to Europe, it was precisely this factor of arrogance and belief in its own supremacy that caused the rupture in relations with Russia. By imposing sanctions on Russia, Europe was convinced that it would isolate and break Russia economically, and that there would be social unrest in Russia that would lead to political changes. Not understanding the historical turning point and the ongoing world processes, Europe created a problem for itself. Russia turned to the south and east and made strategic alliances for the future. This initiated political processes in Russia that led to the replacement of liberal elites that were exclusively oriented to the West.
Therefore, Europe, driven by the idea of destroying Russia, started a process against itself. There has been a decline in industrial production, an increase in inflation, a weakening of the middle class, social unrest, and destabilization. The European political elites from Brussels, who are subordinate to Washington, are most responsible for this. They are weakening Europe and its positions, which is particularly reflected in the ability to transform into a multipolar world. Therefore, the first condition for Europe to move towards the process of transformation is a change in the political elites. It must be said that there are many people in Europe who understand that the political elites are imposing a losing position, but because of the dictatorship, especially the information dictatorship, they must not react. In all probability, it will be necessary for Europe to enter into a deeper crisis in order for people to come to their senses and start to react. However, Europe, that is the European Union, is not homogeneous and we already see many contradictions in it. The political leadership of Hungary, and now Slovakia, is showing its willingness to oppose the dictates of Brussels. In other countries, the political leadership is increasingly opposed to the interests of its own citizens.
The key moment for Europe will be the loss of the war in Ukraine. The USA is already aware that this war is lost, despite the huge financial resources it has invested. Europe also invested money and military equipment, which further weakened its economy and defense capability.
After the defeat of such a policy, Brussels will have two options. One is to focus on improving relations with Russia, which is hard to imagine with the current political elites. The second is to remain in the phase of frozen relations and enter a period of "cold war" with Russia, which could last another ten years. This would have even more serious consequences for Europe, hindering its transformation into a multipolar system. If it decides to continue the policy of confrontation with Russia, Europe could end up at the back of the new world system. At the same time, it could lead to the disintegration of the European Union and the creation of runaway states.
The end of the war in Ukraine also means that Europe will have to decide whether it will break the Euro-Atlantic alliance with America and decide to fight for its own interests, or whether it will remain an American protectorate to its own detriment, in which America is probably not too interested. It will certainly be strategically convenient for the United States if Europe chooses a "cold war" with Russia because it will gain an advantage for its own transformation into a new world order.
However, if Europe decides to turn around and focus on the development of relations with Russia, it will be able to start the transformation process. This would mean that it would have to return to respect for international law, as well as respect for the sovereignty of states, which would mean that the decentralization of the European Union would have to take place. The big question is whether the transformation of Europe into a multipolar system is possible while maintaining the Union model, whether there should be some other form of cooperation in Europe that offers greater opportunities for transformation, or whether Europe will be transformed into regional units.
Certainly, Europe will have to accept a new economic and cultural model, but it will also have to change its security system. Russia's demand that NATO's infrastructure be moved away from Russia's borders and returned to its 1997 state is only a partial solution to the problem. If Europe decides to end the Euro-Atlantic alliance, this would also mean the end of NATO. In this case, Europe or European countries would have to work on improving their defense system. It would be best for them to do this in cooperation with Russia and thus integrate into the system of indivisible security, because the security of the Eurasian area is a whole.
The entire media scene of Europe will also need to be transformed after the end of the information dictatorship. In any case, Europe has not yet entered the process of transformation, and how quickly it will happen depends primarily on political changes. The postponement of the transformation process puts Europe, which is not very important in the multipolar world of great powers, in an even weaker position. (res; https://geostrategy.rs/en/geopolitics)