The current disorder in international relations and the weakening of Western alliances are the direct results of years of Western foreign policy based on deeply ideological principles and unattainable goals. The increasing polarization in Western societies coupled with the public’s deepening cynicism toward policymakers are aftershocks of instability and chaos brought about by policies advocated by our neoconservative class and adoption of those policies by Western governments. The end result has been Trump presidency and its yet-to-be-felt ramifications.
Today many of the same neoconservatives have become harsh critics of Trump and his populist policies. In their criticism of the rise of populism in the West, neoconservatives shamelessly conceal the fact that the policies they prescribed have led to deep social and political divides in the West. Rationalization of violence as a key foreign policy tool for three decades has been the signature foreign policy of neoconservatives that started with the first Gulf War. The latter’s legacy is social and cultural tensions in Western democracies. Look no further than France and Italy.
The push by European neo-conservatives to adopt neoliberal reforms has brought the European Union (EU) to the point of breakdown. Thanks to irresponsible and shortsighted NATO interventions in Libya, Syria, and Yemen, the situation in Europe is compounded by the flow of millions of refugees from these war-torn countries to the continent. Will NATO and its Arab allies continue to sponsor and weaponize anti-government protests to remove authoritarian regimes from power?
We are collectively paying a price-a longterm one-for socioeconomic policies at home and for Western-led military adventures abroad that destabilized entire regions of the world whose consequences will continue to feel at ballot boxes in the U.S and Europe.
They include the outrage in France against Macron, resistance in Italy against EU-imposed fiscal policies, the weakening of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Germany, and the racist backlash against refugees in Poland and Hungary.
Is the West going to continue this course at the expense of further social divide and economic uncertainty? Does it still make sense to expect Europeans to cling to the ideals of EU and its promises of prosperity, many of which have yet to be realized for millions of average Europeans? Should we expect a more social and political push by the public opinion in the West toward a deglobalized world trade order because of the mess we’ve created for ourselves? We need to accept that we are paying for the ideological bankruptcy of our intellectual class in the West. We simply cannot continue to blame the crisis of confidence in Western democracies on Russia and China.
The intellectual and political class in the West have no choice but to come to terms with the reality of a multi-polar world, where many players (as opposed to very few) shape the global political and economic order.