SYDNEY, Jan 02 (IPS) – 2022 has been a yr of nice uncertainty when it appeared the world perilously reached the brink of self-destruction – be it human-induced local weather change or navy battle. Welcoming 2022, we had sufficient causes to be optimistic; however it was one other ‘yr of residing dangerously’ – Tahun vivere pericoloso within the phrases of Soekarno, or an annus horribilis within the phrases of the late Queen Elizabeth.
No finish to Covid-19
The enjoyment of the COVID vaccine discovery shortly vanished because the ‘vaccine apartheid‘ blatantly prioritised lives in rich nations, particularly of the rich, over the ‘wretched of the earth’, and company revenue triumphed over folks’s lives. In the meantime, Dr Anthony Fauci’s sober warning of a extra harmful COVID variant rising this winter could come to be true as China, the nation of 1.4 billion, struggles to cope with the surge in instances because it has largely deserted its unpopular ‘zero COVID’ coverage.
New chilly struggle turns into proxy struggle
Whereas the worldwide pandemic required extraordinary world unity, sadly, a ‘new chilly struggle’ shortly became a ‘sizzling struggle’, bringing the world to the verge of a devastating nuclear struggle for the primary time because the 1962 Cuban missile disaster. Russia, discovering itself cornered by an increasing NATO, determined most foolishly to invade Ukraine, believing it may overrun the nation with none resistance. Whereas the heroic Ukrainians proceed to defend their motherland, Russia appears to have turn into slowed down in a proxy war with NATO.
If the proxy struggle with Russia was not sufficient, the US is recklessly frightening China in the direction of one other ‘sizzling struggle’, following Trump’s trade war. Clearly the monopoly capital of the US and its military-industrial complicated are pushing the US to a ‘Thucydides Trap‘. Greater than 60 years in the past, President Eisenhower, in his farewell address to the nation, warned concerning the military-industrial complicated, a formidable union of defence contractors and the armed forces. Eisenhower, a retired five-star Military normal, who led the allies on D-Day, noticed the military-industrial complicated as a risk to democratic authorities and world peace. Alas, his dire warning fell on deaf ears.
Western hypocrisy uncovered
The Russian invasion of Ukraine uncovered Western pretence. The Western mainstream media unashamedly declared the dislocation of Ukrainians insupportable as a result of the victims are blue-eyed, blond-haired Europeans, not “uncivilized” third world inhabitants or “barbaric” Arabs. Western duplicity is nowhere as blatant as it’s within the case of the Palestinian plight. To them, Russia’s occupation and annexation of elements of Ukraine is illegitimate; however Israel’s occupation and annexation of Palestinian land in addition to gross human rights violations are justified on numerous professed grounds, e.g., proper to safety from “terrorist acts”.
The world now wants Eisenhower to withstand the military-industrial complicated; it wants Teddy Roosevelt to interrupt monopoly capital’s stranglehold and to guard customers, staff and the atmosphere; it wants Franklin Roosevelt to advertise multilateralism and social justice; it wants Kennedy to defuse crises. On the top of the ‘previous chilly struggle’, Kennedy ate humble pie by quietly eradicating the safety risk to the USSR posed by offensive weapons (Jupiter MRBMs) deployed in Turkey, and publicly pledging that the US would by no means invade Cuba or try one other Bay of Pigs operation. Eisenhower was magnanimous sufficient to bear the lion’s share of financing the USSR’s proposal for world efforts to eradicate smallpox – the main explanation for demise and blindness then.
Alas, we see no such indicators in a world of Trump, Biden, Johnson, Marcon and Scholz. Even ‘out of touch‘, billionaire Sunak doesn’t encourage any hope, regardless of being the primary colored particular person of colonial descent to occupy the ten Downing Road. Sunak will most likely attempt to show himself holier than the Pope, as an alternative of selling the curiosity of former colonies or descendants of colonial topics or downtrodden.
No higher management within the South
The South can also be devoid of visionaries, equivalent to Nkrumah or Nehru who promoted non-alignment and Southern unity. Nehru’s land is now overtaken by Modi’s Hindutva motion, overtly selling violence in opposition to minorities. Unsurprisingly, Modi was in sync with Trump; however he equally cosies as much as Biden professing to advertise democracy and human rights. Sadly, Mandela’s South Africa is mired in scandal after scandal.
Though many, together with myself, eagerly appeared ahead to Lula’s victory in Brazil, neither his return to energy nor the so-called ‘second pink tide’ in Latin America ought to make one overly joyous. The Left has demonstrated its propensity to fracture or implode simply, e.g., contributing to Correa’s defeat in Ecuador, or aiding the Proper to strike again in Peru. In Colombia, Finance capital, mining giants and the elite have already ganged up on Petro’s vow to deal with inequality with tax and land reforms and his proposed ban on new oil and fuel exploration. Chile’s Boric has confronted setbacks together with the rejection of a brand new structure, forcing his concessions to the Centre-Proper. Constitutional coup is a standard technique of the established vested curiosity.
Some inspirations down beneath
Down beneath, the Australians soundly defeated an more and more autocratic and unaccountable conservative authorities in Could. It was the federal government that carried out inhumane off-shore detention centres for folks looking for to flee persecution and hunger in their very own nations (about to be emulated by the UK Tory Govt.). It additionally was merciless sufficient to pursue susceptible folks on social safety funds with a robotic program while chopping taxes for the rich and letting them evade tax. It was the federal government which created plumb jobs for the boys. It was the federal government which continued to disclaim local weather science and refused to behave.
Lastly, the Australians removed it. Labor confirmed extraordinary self-discipline in opposition, and in authorities, it stood as much as massive enterprise and vested pursuits. It has shortly moved to place in place the processes to:
- arrange an unbiased anti-corruption physique with actual enamel;
- recognise the voice of First Nations folks;
- respect human rights of asylum seekers languishing in detention centres;
- tackle environmental degradation & obtain 43% emissions discount goal by 2030;
- restore labour rights, truthful and respectable wages;
- overview RBA’s efficiency to make sure financial coverage serves broader nationwide curiosity, not the finance; and
- steadiness geo-political alliances.
Its progressive agenda is sort of lengthy. Let me finish right here, wishing the Australian Labor Authorities success to encourage different nations – giant and small, developed and growing; and with greatest needs so that you can be protected and stay wholesome, even when not fairly bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
IPS UN Bureau
© Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service