An old dream that is not of this world!

A “new order” has been the object of religious belief, philosophical debate or political manifestos for as long as man has been trying to make sense of the world around him. With the emergence of the “Enlightenment” and the seemingly limitless “progress” of science, the West may have thought for a while that rational answers would be found to all its questions; but reality has caught up showing that the sum of the mysteries remaining unsolved grows in proportion to our new discoveries and deeper knowledge.

If the vast majority of mankind has, since the dawn of civilization, projected into another world their fears of the forces of nature and the weaknesses of human nature, as well as the definitive realization of their ideals of justice, liberty, fraternity, etc., others have sought to exploit these beliefs in order to monopolize power here on earth.

Thus, Presidents Putin and Xi are loudly proclaiming their desire to endow the globe with a new “world order” to replace the one dominated by the West in general for the past five centuries and by the United States in particular since the Second World War.

These expressions of intent to turn the tables must be listened to carefully, because like so many autocrats before them, there is every chance that they attempt to practice what they preach. They are sowing their ideologies in fertile ground that is mainly based on the detestation of the West, a legacy of the colonial period, and exacerbated by the growing explosion of inequalities both within and between national communities. This movement agglomerates a broad common front “against” a reality that has effectively become unsustainable as well as unbearable; it proposes, however, absolutely nothing concrete around which a consensus can be built to remedy it.

On the contrary, an examination of the proposals of these regimes and their active and passive followers, shows that they are even less likely to provide a constructive response to the growing challenges. While it is clear that the West must assume much of the responsibility for the problems facing humanity, it is precisely because it has been one of their main causes that it is also best equipped to propose and implement the solutions that it will not only have to initiate and finance, but also submit to.

The globalization of communications, information and knowledge, an irreversible phenomenon, requires the collective treatment of many of these challenges, whether they are scientific (climate, pollution, pandemics, famines, etc.), economic (demographics, distribution of wealth and resources) or ethical (inequalities, social justice, powers, freedoms, etc.). This becomes an unavoidable requirement for the survival of humanity, which unequivocally corresponds to the interests of the entire world population.

By the same token, it immediately disqualifies the claims of authoritarian regimes to introduce their vision of a new order based on the slogan of “every nation for himself”. Indeed, these regimes concentrate and maintain the exercise of power over their populations in the hands of a ruling minority and extend their influence abroad by maintaining in power similar regimes that they aspire to control.

While the evidence points to the fact that mutually assured destruction (MAD) is threatening us, the concomitance of the many crises unfolding before our eyes makes it hard to believe in a peaceful resolution of the current conflicts. These crises, whose causes and consequences are intimately interlinked, highlight conflicts that call into question “interests” that are considered – or designated unilaterally – as vital by the parties involved, justifying, regardless, a behavior that can only lead to the Apocalypse.

In avoiding this disaster scenario, in which succumbing to blackmail would only make things worse,   the West has a particular responsibility and a central role to play. Radical changes in the way of approaching these challenges must emerge. For example, the sharing followed by the accelerated transmission of power and accumulated wealth to the younger generations to ensure their wider distribution while getting rid of the sclerosis of those who currently monopolize and cling to their possession. Only youth has the power, energy, vision and generosity to bring about a genuine renewal in the way we conceive of relationships between people able to develop a sustainable solidarity and to preserve the fragile environmental equilibrium of our planet, where everyone is entitled to find their place.

If believers, including myself, are certain to find this new world “at the end of time“, nothing must hinder our efforts to aspire rendering the earth’s slowly suffocating atmosphere, more breathable here and now!