When Olaf Scholz Explains What’s Wrong with Western Geopolitics

Remarks by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at the Global Solutions Summit 2023 in Berlin May 15-16 show that, contrary to the official narrative from Brussels, EU leaders – at least some of them – are well aware of the growing isolation of Europe in the world, and that the Global South is revolting against them. However, that same speech shows the limits of current Western thinking, which makes it virtually impossible for them to change policy.

“The unipolar or bipolar world of the past might have been easier to organise – at least for those who held power. But it’s not the world we are living in anymore”, Scholz said. “Countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas have growing populations and economies. Hundreds of millions of people globally have lifted themselves out of poverty and joined the middle class. They have every right to aspire to the same level of prosperity, participation and global influence that citizens in Europe and North America enjoy. That’s what a global order in the 21st century needs to reflect.” The fact that China, India, Brazil and the “Global South” have not backed western-designed UN resolutions against Russia, he added, reflects the lack of the West’s attractiveness.

However, Scholz is convinced that the leaders he speaks to “don’t question the underlying principles of our international order. What they are struggling with is the unequal application of those principles.” What does he mean by that? The West has only one principle: that of implementing inequality. As Scholz went on, he made it even worse, as he recommended the European Union as a model for regional economic and political integration of countries in the South. In reality, the EU is a failed organization, and is seen as such by an increasing number of countries. It is based on the divisive principles of free market, both domestically and internationally. Its current “Green transition” policy – “Within two decades, we’ll be living in a solar, wind and hydrogen-powered world” — is not only an illusion, but part of a neocolonial policy towards the Global South. And yet, Scholz proposes that the World Bank fund green technologies.

Thus, the German government remains loyal to those same institutions which Scholz himself said are viewed with suspicion by the Global South. Irony has it that the Global Solutions Initiative which sponsored the event, involves think tanks of G20 countries, many of which oppose the western economic model. Therefore: Germany could contribute to constructive changes in global cooperation – but to do so, it would have to completely reject the paradigm on which western geopolitics is based.

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