Emerging International Structures

Pepe Escobar, as usual, proves he is right on the button when it comes to detecting important movements of various sorts spanning the world.

“The ‘New G8’ Meets China’s ‘Three Rings’” – Strategic Culture Foundation

When it comes to making agreements among nations and formatting working arrangements that actually work, there are so many imponderables to overcome and settle in order to keep everyone happy while achieving some mutual benefit to all. Agreements come and agreements go. Some stick around while others fade away, and for some there comes a time where, in order to move forward, there is a need for them to be reworked. The best international agreements are those which do not involve coercive action on the part of one dominant entity or even multiple dominant entities.

BRICS is one agreement based organisation that has and still is proving useful to a group of independent nations with a wide range of diverse interests and needs. As sovereign independence becomes of greater importance in a highly polarised world and the attractiveness of the BRICS model gains favour with such emerging nations, coupled with increasing dissatisfaction over the now obviously unbalanced nature of the for some time dominant western model, there is now a need for BRICS to expand and become inclusive for new member nations.

A new letter cannot be added to the BRICS acronym for every additional nation that would seek to join and neither does a ‘BRICS+’ nor a ‘New G8’ provide an adequate revised name for the expanded entity. But time moves on and something must be done. The fact that Escobar struggles, as anyone who thinks about it would, with defining what that something may be, only indicates the express need.

While talking about ‘polarisation’ of global activity – which is particularly thought of as pertaining to the arena of trade and alliances – I think it would be useful also to attempt to get away from that particular nomenclature altogether. Would a multi-polar world be any better than a unipolar one?

The best option, it seems to me – and this would apply not only to trade and alliances but also to the global legal framework, requiring even some changes within the United Nations Organisation (which while it has a reasonable basic framework of international law, its method of operation is currently wide open to manipulation) – would be to build an agreed framework of operations where no nation, no matter its size nor perceived wealth or influence of any kind, can dominate proceedings pertaining to any other or all nations in any sphere of activity.

In other words, a non-polarised world. Is that possible?

Well, with two, and perhaps three, of the potential candidates for becoming seen as a global ‘pole’ already being part of a (as far as I can tell) non-polarised multiple nation mutual agreement (BRICS), and the current dominant ‘uni-pole’ perhaps not being capable of retaining its grand position of past and present, far into the future (nor any among its acolytes, rising as a replacement), do we not already have the beginnings of a basis for such a desirable and unified arrangement? At least as far as trade goes. And would this not obviate the need for any form of alliance or sub-group trading arrangement? Because every nation has an equal voice in the global arena and can expect its needs, desires and ideas to be received, properly discussed, and agreed actions taken – perhaps even before the needs arise. And would not the perceived need for conflict be reduced or even eliminated, and the consequent reduction in the costs of defense capability free up abundant wealth for the betterment of all humanity?

Or is this all a little too much Shangri-la?


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