Posted on December 29, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
s another page of the yearly book of human history comes to a turning, 2015 will soon arrive and many look back on 2014 for reflection and anticipation of what the future holds. Many people will remember the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the excellent competitions bringing athletes from around the world together more as human beings sharing the planet than any concept of “us” and “them”. Most will remember the poignant scene of the giant bear at the closing ceremony, shedding a tear because of having to say goodbye.
God only knows the exact reasons for the short amount of time between the moving Olympics closing ceremony and unfortunate events nearby in Ukraine. Near the end of February in the center of Kiev on the Maidan, more than 100 police officers and protesters perished by sniper fire, leading to Ukraine’s President leaving the country, a new government taking power, and a subsequent civil war claiming the lives of over 4,000 Ukrainians. The snipers who carried out the mass-murder have yet to become imprisoned. Malaysian airliner MH17 crashed killing 298 passengers and crew, and, like the “Maidan Massacre”, is still under investigation – the perpetrators have not become identified, arrested or imprisoned.
The situation in Ukraine is perhaps 2014’s most important news story. The people of Crimea held a referendum to rejoin the Russian Federation, or Russia “stole” Crimea – depending on which narrative one leans toward accepting, and many analysts, political veterans, and geopolitical observers have concluded that another Cold War has begun – while calling for cooler heads to prevail and prevent unnecessary escalation of tensions. Media differences in narratives of Ukraine events have grown into a major aspect of the situation, in what many see as an unprecedented propaganda struggle. The narratives coming from both “sides” have perhaps set a world record for unresolved differences.
Eastern expansion of NATO has become identified by respected observers as possibly the major issue which most urgently needs to become resolved.
Led by the United States, a number of nations have placed economic sanctions on Russia, widely acknowledged as harming the economy of Russia, yet some have developed the view that sanctions hurt nations in Europe to a greater extent since Russia has enacted counter-sanctions. The whole unfortunate situation has had the effect of increasing Russian actions of turning to negotiate major trade deals with China, Turkey, Latin American nations, Iran and others which are not participating in sanctions.
In what may have been an attempt by the West to slow down the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, etc.) group of nations’ increasing international influence, the opposite – acceleration of BRICS’ cooperation and growth – may have become the unintended consequence. It would not be an overstatement to assert 2014 – considering the significant events, economic factors and geopolitical movements associated with the BRICS phenomenon – will go down in history as a year of changing paradigms on Earth.
According to some reports, the reason for falling oil prices recently lies in the newly emerging West vs. BRICS international competition over world markets/customers, for the sole purpose of hurting the economies of Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other nations who may have chosen to embrace the new model BRICS economic philosophy. Starting in 2015, the international financial architecture may experience some major adjustments, in particular by the BRICS group of nations, to counteract intentionally harmful actions taken by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Federal Reserve, Wall Street, City of London group, in what could safely be termed an “economic war”.
What has become the most extremely worrying aspect of the current global scenario in the minds of many responsible, reasoned observers is the potential for tensions to transform from economic to military. Until now, although mature men and women with a great deal of experience in international relations have publicly stressed the necessity for resolution of differences through dialogue and diplomacy alone, solutions-based debate and discussion have yet to emerge on the large-scale which matches the potential outcomes and realities of this new paradigm. The reason for lack of solutions to this point could be described using the simple fact of the matter: this new world development is in fact “uncharted territory”.
Life on Earth is becoming transformed from unipolar to multipolar. This is change of historic proportions, and change which will need wise, future-oriented leadership to navigate without catastrophically resorting to military force to stop it. In an article on another website, the writer shared a quote from American Professor Samuel Huntington, who apparently often praised the idea of America, which adds a lot of needed context at this point: “The West conquered the world not by the superiority of its ideas, moral values or religion but rather as a result of superiority in the use of organized violence”.
Huntington (1927-2008) was a Professor of International Relations who gained notoriety for his “Clash of Civilizations?” thesis of a post-Cold War new world order and coining the phrase “inevitability of instability”. The factors leading to future instability, according to Huntington, will come from cultural, not ideological, differences. He predicted that Ukraine would eventually split in two based on those cultural differences, perhaps in a manner more violent than Czechoslovakia but not as violent as what occurred in Yugoslavia.
Samuel Huntington was probably a very intelligent, well-read academic whose views most often were accurate and reliable. Nobody knows what his views were on the steadily increasing positive power and influence of the internet phenomenon. Mr. Huntington’s view of future events may have been limited to a large extent through non-recognition of the tremendous ability of men and women from around the world to join forces over the internet and literally shape world events.
Here one could make a slightly different prediction than the professor. The greatest example of how the future will look comes from seeing what occurred this past summer during Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge” – and how humanity has responded. Millions of men, women and children marched in the streets around the Earth, demanding an end to Israeli bombing, occupation, apartheid conditions, war crimes – and an independent Palestinian State. Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France, the European Union and many other nations have called for the same. These actions came to reality as a result of good people communicating over their computers on the world-wide-web; quite possibly the greatest tool for positive social transformation in the history of the world.
Imagine the world accepting, advocating, and joyfully celebrating the new thesis of 2015:
“Cooperation of Civilizations”
(Thank you to TEDx Talks at YouTube)