Image Credits: Vox
The year 2020 was a landmark year which signaled the decline of the West, the USA in particular, and the rise of a new world order; one not based around America. Its power is being challenged more from within the western fault lines rather than external players.
‘Wokeism’ – the new phenomenon is in full swing and with the electoral victory of the Democrats and Joe Biden in the USA, it’s poised to achieve its new zenith. The fact that every black/non-white American is economically backward, not because of his incompetence or lack of skills and knowledge, but because there is a systematic alienation of every Asian/Black American from professional spaces and corporate hierarchy in the US, the same white-dominated nation which elected Barack Hussain Obama, an African American as its president for two consecutive terms.
This does not mean there is no discrimination against the non-white/Amerindian population at all. The fact that we still find many racist incidents, not just in the US, but in the entirety of white-dominated western hemisphere is indeed a cause of grave concern and something which is now being kept under check more than ever before in the history and how people and public personalities are endorsing people of all colors, regions, faiths, ethnicities, etc, is a good indicator that the future isn’t so bleak after all.
The clearest example of how wokeism is affecting the mighty American economy is the migration of big businesses and startups from California, the former Beating Heart of America, to Texas (a red state). The shifting of Tesla from California to Texas was one of the most consequential moves in the recent 100 years of American history since it clearly shows how more and more businesses of the capitalist American society are moving from the coasts (Blue States) and settling inwards in the middle of the US (Red States) to have their fair share of the big fat American dream.
It sets a dangerous example for the corporate world since the US, a country whose very founding principles include minimum government and maximum governance along with a privatized sphere of goods and services isn’t able to provide the best kind of environment to its corporate giants in California, a state which once defined the American way of living and houses the Silicon Valley, the very core of the American Soft Power. This phenomenon which makes every economically backward or to some extent an unsuccessful person, black or white, revolt against the system in the form of massive protests and movements sets a dangerous precedent for this hard-working capitalist dream of America, which paved the way for it to become a mighty superpower.
Image Credits: New Yorker
This does not mean that this capitalist culture is a fairy tale – the support of the Tech Giants of America (whose very birth and rise took place because of this Right-Wing setup) for the Democrats (a Left-leaning party) shows the emergence of crony capitalism and how technoligarchs want to establish a never-ending monopoly over their respective fields by restricting the access of other startups and ventures.
They have often been accused of censoring or downgrading content that doesn’t align with the ideologies of these crony capitalist corporations or promoting a particular political party and its candidates because they would help in consolidating power for these multi-billion-dollar businesses. This clearly indicates that Google, Facebook, and Amazon possess enough power and money to alter any election the way they want, manipulate the mindsets of their user base, and a crack down on dissenting voices.
This can be summed up as the end of free speech in America and the West in one way and the emergence of authoritarian regimes, something favorable to the biggest threat to America – the Chinese Communist Party ruling mainland China since 1949. The fact that many of these organizations haven’t been granted operating permits in China makes them very vulnerable to Chinese demands and wishes. The CCP can, by promising to let these giants one day operate in Mainland China and earn billions off its 1.4 billion population, severely threaten free speech and anti-Chinese voices on these platforms.
The fact that Google has a huge office in Beijing despite not having a permit to operate in China is a prime example of just how much these corporations are vulnerable and compromised to the Chinese. This gets even more horrifying when you take into account the financial help that these companies provide to some Senators and Congressmen to campaign for their election and, in return, frame favorable policies for these tech oligarchies.
Another prime and hotly debated example is the banning of Former US President Donald Trump from almost all major social media platforms, including music streaming app Spotify! in January 2021 after the Capitol Hill Incident. Trump, despite urging his supporters to go home in his last tweet, was banned from the platform indefinitely for the same video. Twitter was the core medium through which he used to communicate and connect with his support base directly and this move has severely jeopardized the electoral prospects of the second largest American political outfit in the upcoming elections, something which will clearly benefit the Democrats (eye candy of these social media platforms).
Image Credits: Conde Nast Traveler
Another thing that must be taken into account are the business dealings of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, in China, a country where you cannot even travel from one place to another without being kept under check and under tight surveillance of the CCP. Many analysts have come to the conclusion that because of Hunter Biden and his Chinese links and business prospects, Joe Biden will be severely curtailed and prevented from taking any bold anti-China steps in his presidency.
This gets even clear and evident in his first 100 days in the White House, which saw the enactment of even more sanctions on Russia and turning a blind eye to China and its human rights atrocities. This notion that Russia, a country that associates itself more with the western civilization, has a declining population of less than 1/3rd of that of the US and an economy less than 1/16th of America is a threat whereas China, a country as big as the USA in land area, a population of more than four times of the US and an economy which is going to overtake the US by 2030, is a competitor. This is the same notion that is very aggressively subscribed to by the Democrats ever since the fall of the Communist regime in Russia in 1991.
BY VANDIT SINGH
PSIR, Foreign Policy