The Afro-Eurasian Blueprint For A Multipolar World Order
The global trend towards multipolarity is now an undeniable fact of reality, though it’s still far from an unquestionable certainty for the future. Hybrid Wars and other asymmetrical destabilizations could disrupt the emerging multipolar world order (MWO), and it’s for this reason why a cohesive strategy must be formulated for safeguarding against these scenarios and ensuring the continued full-spectrum integration of all relevant partners. The following is a blueprint for achieving just that, and should be read as a series of guidelines and recommendations for decision makers to follow.
The progressively unfolding MWO must encompass the entire Eastern Hemisphere. While Latin America is indeed of heightened strategic significance in this vision, it’s the most distant from the multipolar integrational cores of Russia, China, and Iran, thereby conversely making it the most vulnerable to American regime change operations and similar intrigue (as is presently being witnessed all across the region). Rather, in attempting to construct a viable vision for the future, there is no way that Africa can be left out. China needs the continent for resources, markets, and labor, all of which contribute to stability in the country itself and circularly fuel the world’s most active multipolar economic engine.
For as powerful and influential as China is in the continent, though, it has its limits in what it can do to help its partners, and the multipolar transformation that’s taking place in Africa due to the many New Silk Roads that Beijing is constructing through the One Belt One Road policy would be optimally enhanced through the multilateral cooperation of China’s partners. Russia, Iran, and others are also looking for reliable non-Western market/resource/labor/investment opportunities, and contributing to the development of economic corridors alongside the infrastructure routes that China has boldly charted out in Africa could serve as a win-win policy for everybody.
Therefore, Africa must be integrated into the larger pan-Eurasian processes that are presently taking place, and for this reason, the MWO must interchangeably be both Afro-Eurasian and inclusive of the entire Eastern Hemisphere. In order to arrive at this point, however, there must be a mutually beneficial incentive for all sides, and the most likely solution for achieving this is to rely on economic imperatives as a driving force.
The Silk Road Backbone
The MWO is unmaintainable unless there’s a solid economic backbone behind it, which is where the role of China’s One Belt One Road global strategy of building interconnected New Silk Roads comes in. The transnational connective infrastructure projects being spearheaded by Beijing all across the world have the capability of linking far-flung and otherwise disconnected regions with one another, thereby fostering an enhanced state of complex interdependency through the development of new supply chains between all parties.
A 21st-century aphorism might be that “All New Silk Roads lead to China”, but along the way, they’ll zigzag through Europe, Africa, the Mideast, Russia, Central Asia, and South and Southeastern Asia as Chinese investments zips together the hemisphere. In fact, all New Silk Roads might not ultimately lead to China, because by the time they’re fully constructed, there’ll be enough market, labor, and supply chain interconnectivity between all parties that many of them could conduct trade between themselves without ever having to deal with China if they didn’t want to. This doesn’t mean that they’ll abandon China, but that previously unheard of trade routes between, for example, Central Asia and East Africa will lead to a boom in South-South cooperation.
Multipolar outreaches should be about more than just economics, though, since that in and of itself isn’t an indefinitely sustainable solution for stabilizing the incipient world order. It’s an essential element and the most solid starting point, but it isn’t the only means to this end, and must therefore be supplemented by a slew of complementary policies.
The Multipolar Ideology
No project of this pan-hemispheric scope can succeed without a unifying ideology undergirding it and serving as a common denominator between each of its partners. There is no idea more representative of doing this than that of “multipolarity”, which is vague enough for all parties to reach an agreement on yet still clear enough in its general intent. Just the slogan of “multipolarity” isn’t satisfactory though, since its principles need to be officially enumerated and agreed upon.
These don’t have to be too specific, but the symbolism of having a formal “Declaration of Multipolarity” unveiled at a global event and signed by Great Power participants such as Russia and China would go a long way towards buttressing the rest of the world’s belief in the seriousness of this endeavor. It could also create a powerful normative substitute for what many in the world had assumed was the ‘universality’ of “Western values” and (Western-led) “democracy”.
Civilizational And Democratic Security
Multipolarity is threated by many active, incipient, and latent dangers, but these can all be collectively dealt with so long as the Multipolar Community focuses on two separable components of domestic and international security:
The so-called “Clash of Civilizations” theorem was actually a stratagem for the US to apply in indefinitely obstructing 21st-century Eurasian integration. It fits quite nicely into the “Wolfowitz Doctrine” of preventing the emergence of any rival or coalition thereof that could challenge American hegemony anywhere in the world, and it’s precisely the missing variable that’s needed in order to satisfy Brzezinski’s “Grand Chessboard” recommendation of dividing Europe, Russia, China, and Iran from one another.
The reason why this theorem/stratagem is so appealing is because it rests on the exploitation of historical differences between the leading Great Powers, taking advantage of contrasting historical interpretations of certain key events and capitalizing off of the conflicts that have broken out between these civilizations throughout the centuries. The axiom that “those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it” should be modified from the American perspective to proclaim that “those who learned history well enough can endeavor to repeat it for divide-and-rule purposes against others”.
It is the existential goal of every multipolar state to avoid this pitfall at all costs, and suggested solutions will be offered in the next section when discussing the role of civil society.
All multipolar states must understand and practice Democratic Security in protecting against Color Revolutions and Unconventional Wars that seek to achieve regime tweaking, regime change, and/or regime rebooting (political concessions, governmental overthrow, and weaponized devolution, respectively). The best way to defend against the first asymmetrical weapon is to implement reverse-Color Revolution technology such as the kind that the Macedonians employed in countering the Hybrid War against their country, while national and regional rapid reaction task forces are needed for immediately responding to incipient urban terrorism and rural insurgencies.
Most importantly, though, Democratic Security can best be achieved through the promotion of a patriotic agenda among the populace, though this must be careful not to cross the line into the type of destructive nationalism that could feed into the “Clash of Civilizations” trap. For this reason, it’s absolutely crucial that civil society is involved in the formation and dissemination of each state’s patriotism, ideally with different nations’ representatives working together in explaining their historical differences of interpretation and hashing out acceptable points of compromise and areas of respectable disagreement.
Civil Society’s Crucial Role
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and independent individuals could play a very significant role in safeguarding Civilizational and Democratic Security, especially if they do so with the organizational and financial support of their host governments. To explain, patriotic NGOs and citizens have the opportunity to work with their counterparts in downplaying the manufactured differences that the US is contemporaneously trying to foment between them, as well as work on more enduring solutions for getting past the more divisive points of their shared histories. The cultivation of mutual trust and understanding between expert, civil, and academic communities in each state on a bilateral and multilateral basis is instrumental in keeping patriotism from mutating into nationalism, as well as in protecting against unipolar information and NGO provocations aimed at reversing communal soft power gains between civilizations and citizens.
When operating on the civilizational level, civil society (NGOs, academia, individuals, etc.) can create, maintain, and strengthen constructive dialogue in identifying contentious historical differences between parties and working to ensure that the conflicting narratives between them aren’t exploited for demagogic and trust-destroying purposes (especially by Western NGOs and provocateurs). Cross-civilizational dialogue between civil society groups can generate a culture of respect and tolerance for each side and introduce the other’s population to a series of positive interactions with their counterparts. In terms of domestic operations, civil society can bolster patriotism by organizing large-scale inclusive manifestations (e.g. the Immortal Regiment) and assembling supportive activists in defense of the state (e.g. the Anti-Maidan movement). Civil society is thus the country’s vanguard force in upholding and promoting patriotism among the masses, and it operates most efficiently when it does so in coordination with the authorities.
The logical outcome from civil society’s promotion of Civilizational and Democratic Security is the formation of the multipolar-complementary ideology of Patriotic Multiculturalism. In an ever-interconnected world in which multipolar states and their societies are stitched closely together via China’s many New Silk Roads between them, it’s inevitable that each civilization’s representatives will interact with the others’ on a local level. In an environment rife with hostile nationalism, this could obviously create violent conflict, but should the Multipolar Community come to embrace peaceful patriotism, then there wouldn’t be much to worry about.
Patriotic Multiculturalism is thus each state’s expression of civilizational diversity within their borders, however permanent or transient, and in accordance to their specific conditions and circumstances.
It’s the attitude that the government and civil society representatives encourage the population to adapt, and the whole point behind it is to defuse any racist or xenophobic tension that might result from the increased intensity of inter-civilizational exchanges that regular people experience in the future. Patriotic Multiculturalism is not like its Western counterpart in supporting “open borders” and actively discouraging newcomers against assimilating or integrating into the host society; instead, it aims for orderly and well-monitored border transit and the respect of the host population through vigorous state encouragement of assimilative and integrative policies. If immigrants, businessmen, and travelers are allowed to arrogantly (and in some cases, even aggressively) export certain disruptive elements of their home culture to their foreign destinations, then they could inadvertently contribute to the multipolar-destructive “Clash of Civilizations” scenario, but if this behavior can be checked through Patriotic Multicultural policies by both the host and the sending nation, then respectful civilizational interactions can flourish into sustainably pragmatic win-win benefits for all.
Integrated Informational-Educational Space
The institutional backbone for promoting Patriotic Multiculturalism and ensuring Civilizational and Democratic Security throughout the multipolar realm is the construction of an integrated informational-educational space. What is meant by this is that all of the countries agreeing to the Multipolar Declaration and signatory to its principles should collaborate with one another on international affairs reporting and the hammering out of their respective historical differences with one another. This overlaps with the recommended role of civil society, but provides it with much-needed institutional backing in penetrating a larger audience and multiplying the effectiveness of their work. In the multipolar future, there will obviously be a diversity of historical and civilizational narratives, and many of them may not have a lot in common and could predictably have quite a few contradictions with one another, but the purpose of the integrated informational-educational space is to make sure that those differences don’t ever detract from the inroads that each society has made in fostering Patriotic Multiculturalism.
To provide a practical example, multilateral cooperation between the most prominent publicly funded mass media outlets of each multipolar state could help with the formulation of a cohesive metanarrative in explaining current events. This would downplay differences in nationalist interpretation between renegade social groups in disagreement with Patriotic Multiculturalism and make it more difficult for their agitational information operations to lead to local violence and subsequent international tension between multipolar partners. On the educational front, new generations would learn about the multipolar metanarrative, though through the historical perspective of their own country or civilization. This would expose them to the agreed-upon understanding hashed out among the members of the Multipolar Community on behalf of the greater collective good, yet still allow them to understand how their country fits into this framework with respect to its interpretational differences over certain events. This is by no means expected to yield utopic results, but it’s the best proposal available for comprehensively sorting out historical differences while simultaneously paying respect to each state’s own sovereign understanding.
The SCO Centerpiece
Notwithstanding Africa, which must find a way to become involved in this hemispheric integrational vehicle one way or another, the SCO is the only platform capable of bringing together most of the Eastern Hemisphere’s Great Powers. It already counts Russia, China, Iran, India, and Turkey as its members or dialogue partners. The SCO is still incomplete in its membership and would need the EU, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Japan to truly become an effective pan-Eurasian dialogue organization, but it’s nonetheless the most functionally feasible starting point for organizing the MWO and replacing the Western-led system, even if some of its members aren’t fully compliant with this ideology (such as India in the geopolitical sense).
The SCO can provide a roof for the proposed integrated informational-educational space and a podium for related civil society groups and experts to work on the development of Patriotic Multiculturalism and other related affairs. Even in its presently incomplete state of counting Russia, China, and India as the only official Great Power members in the organization, the SCO is still more than capable of serving as the core of the MWO, provided of course that it succeeds in deflecting US-orchestrated Hybrid Wars through the coordination of multilateral Civilizational and Democratic Security measures between them. It’s entirely possible for all three Great Powers to do so out of their individual and collective self-interests, though even if India fully ‘defects’ to the unipolar camp by the time this happens, then Russia and China could compensate by substituting it with Iran in strengthening the vulnerable Central Asian middle ground between each of them.
There is no other platform that can bring together the multipolar world like the SCO can, and it has the chance to become the foundation for linking together the Eurasian Union, ASEAN, SAARC, and perhaps one day even the EU and the GCC in constructing a truly supracontinental organizational body. If Eurasia can be integrated under the SCO’s auspices, then it would only be a matter of time before Africa is too (if parts of it like East Africa and the Horn don’t precede their European counterparts first), after which one could realistically begin countenancing Latin America’s involvement, too. The SCO might even rebrand itself at any phase of its hemispheric (and possibly global) enlargement, but nevertheless, it would still remain defined by the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership that holds its fundamental core together.
The MWO probably won’t make much use of its Western-led institutional counterparts, instead emulating some of the most functional ones and de-facto doing away with the rest. The first stage of institutional and financial multipolarity is only in its infancy, but it’s already produced impressive results such as the BRICS New Development Bank, the BRICS Currency Reserve Pool, and the AIIB. There’s still a far way to go before either of these can fully compete with the predecessors that they were modelled off of (the World Bank, IMF, and ADB, respectively), but they’re a convincing ‘proof of concept’ in demonstrating that the MWO is capable of producing alternative institutions.
The most impactful alternative institution that the MWO can spearhead won’t be those related to finance and economic development, but to governance. All states party to the SCO and the greater Eastern Hemispheric Multipolar Community will retain their sovereign governments and borders, but should try to diversify their membership in decision-making and conflict-resolution organizations so as to avoid the unnecessarily bureaucratic and politicized ones in favor of embracing the more fine-tuned and relevant ones. In practice, this would mean the de-facto devolvement of most multipolar states’ participation in the UN towards heightened involvement in a replacement structure operated under the SCO.
The UN has been a great forum for many statesmen and countries and its historic significance is unprecedented, but equally historic is its inefficiency in resolving most forms of conflict and in creating a rules-based regulatory system for all of its members to adhere to. The UN is just too large and ‘global governance’ too broad of a topic rife with countless disagreements and political manipulation for it to ever be realistically applied, which is why something better attuned to the Multipolar Community’s needs must take its place.
Russia, China, and the other Great Powers could still rely on the UN for their multilateral diplomatic engagements with the unipolar world and on-the-fence countries not (yet) part of the SCO, but it would make more sense for the Central Asian states for example to focus their diplomatic energy on the SCO’s intra-organizational governance and conflict resolution mechanisms. An equivalent of the General Assembly could be established for countries to promote politically binding resolutions within this alternative institutional framework, just as a formal or de-facto counterpart of the UNSC could be set up for peacekeeping and counter-Hybrid War operations within the bloc.
The details will have to be negotiated and the SCO is still a long way off from fully actualizing all of these concepts in practice, but the saliency in the above recommendations is to start the construction of alternative multipolar institutions that organically challenge and progressively replace their Western-dominated counterparts that presently define the global system.
Only when all members of the MWO have a tangible stake in the success of their counterparts will the SCO be able to sustainably construct the alternative institutions that are necessary for gradually replacing the Western-led global system. Prior to that, participation in such an ambitious framework might be more for show and positioning than importance and intent for some parties, but once they’re all tied together in the same Chinese-spun economic web, the SCO will take on a qualitatively different significance that then could finally begin to physically remold the world order into something more multipolar and equitable.
The decisive factor in whether or not the Silk Roads succeed and the rest of the MWO falls into place will be the SCO member states’ ability to unilaterally and collectively counter Hybrid Wars and ensure Civilizational and Democratic Security. If the US can disrupt, control, or influence critical connective projects within key transit states by enacting regime tweaking, regime change, or a regime reboot against their targeted governments, then the MWO won’t ever stand a chance. The first step in building a multipolar future, then, is to secure the Silk Roads by countering the US’ asymmetrical aggressions against the Great Eurasian Powers of Russia, China, and Iran, safeguarding the stability of Central Asia, and deterring an American-scripted “Clash of Civilizations”.