By Sawraj Singh
In the last few months, so many things have happened that it appears as if Western capitalism is going to collapse sooner than anybody would have imagined. Both internal and external contradictions of capitalism have become so acute that the present crisis of Western capitalism may very well prove to be the terminal crisis. Among external factors, the most striking are Russia's growing military challenge and China's economic challenge. Internal contradictions in capitalist countries are also becoming sharp, particularly racial, cultural, and gender-based differences.
Russia has developed weapon systems which appear to have more capabilities than Western weapons. S-500 missiles and Satan 2 missiles are two of such weapons. The S-500 is a surface-to-air missile which will supplement the S-400 missile system. It is designed to intercept and destroy intercontinental ballistic missiles, hypersonic cruise missiles and aircraft. The Satan 2 is the biggest nuclear missile ever tested by Russia, which can destroy the whole of the UK, France or Texas with a single strike. Just like the AK47 rifle, these Russian weapons are unmatched by any Western country's weapons.
China is giving Western countries the biggest economic challenge in the last two centuries. China's Petro-Yuan is going to seriously challenge American dollar's hegemony. Other countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran can bypass the American dollar and convert the Yuan directly into gold. This will make American and European countries' economic sanctions ineffective against them. If we look at the recent European sanctions against Russia, it becomes clear that these European countries hurt themselves more with these sanctions, than they hurt Russia. The American dollar may lose its status of the reserve currency of the world. It may start the de-dollarization of the world. If Saudi Arabia joins this de-dollarization campaign, then it can pose the most serious challenge to the world status of the dollar, which was established after the Breton Woods conference.
Among internal contradictions faced by Western capitalist countries, the most serious at this time seems to be women coming out with their confessions of sexual harassment. These women are very well-known, like Hollywood actresses and other very accomplished women. If these women face this problem, then we can imagine what other women have to go through. According to some studies in the UK, more than 50% of women have come across sexual harassment and violence in their lifetime. Women constitute more than 50% of population in many of these countries. One can imagine the magnitude of this problem when more than half of the population of the country feels discriminated.
Men's attitude to women is not an isolated incidence limited to a few people, but is part and parcel of the capitalist culture. Men are raised with the attitude that having affairs and sex with many women is synonymous with having power and wealth. An equally disturbing fact is that women are given the feeling that it is acceptable to use their physical attractiveness and sexuality as a marketable commodity in capitalist society. In a way, both men and become victims of capitalist culture. Moreover, this also complicates the issue because it becomes very difficult to believe the sincerity of some of these women because they sometimes feel justified to use any means to advance their carriers and achieve success, and many years later retaliate against their alleged abusers because it can become financially lucrative or gets them wide publicity.
In some capitalist countries, presenting yourself as a victim has become part of a culture which promotes this trend because there are others who have vested interest in this. Many lawsuits are started with this intention. There is still another phenomenon called shark-like instinct. When somebody is wounded, sharks are provoked to attack by the site and smell of blood. Similarly, when somebody is weakened, people feel that it is a good time to finish them off and get a part of the meat. Moreover, capitalism incites vengeance instead of forgiveness. In reality, capitalism has pushed people to primitiveness instead of civilizing them.
Racial and cultural contradictions in the western capitalist countries are also becoming sharper. The white population is finding itself in a growing conflict with the minorities in these countries, whom they are blaming for everything which has gone wrong in their countries. This contradiction has become most acute with the Muslim population in these countries. Not only this is a racial and cultural contradiction, but Islam seems to have achieved the status of a counterculture to capitalism. The refugee problem in Europe seems to have taken this challenge to unprecedented levels. It is challenging the concept that the European civilization in essence is a Christian civilization.
All of these contradictions and challenges can hasten the demise of the western capitalist era, and a new era can dawn sooner than anybody could have imagined. The western capitalist order will be replaced by a multipolar order where the world is not dominated by any one country, race, color, religion or nationality. This is going to happen sooner than what anybody would have guessed. I feel this transition will occur before middle of the century (2050).
Sawraj Singh M.D. F.I.C.S.
Chairman, Washington State Network for Human Rights
Chairman Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice
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