The end of US supremacy

A Srinivas | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 01, 2014

Brics are at the centre of a multi-polar world

We live in tragic, interesting and momentous times. Within a month or two, there has been a tectonic shift in power relations and the global moral climate, comparable to the effects of 9/11. Media pundits would hate to admit this: the days of US hegemony — strategic, economic, financial and ideological — are over. It was a reign that lasted 25 years, starting with the collapse of the Soviet Union. In an ironic turn of events, Russia has bounced back.

Let’s welcome the birth of a multi-polar world in 2014, a world that may afford individual countries more economic and political choices than the world’s most powerful democracy would allow. It gives India the option to play out one power against the other. The US era has ended not with a bang, but with a whimper. The US’ closest ally, Israel, has robbed it of any moral authority to take on Russia over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine. The carnage in Gaza has been an embarrassment for a country that projects itself as a defender of human rights and individual freedom, as opposed to radical Islamists in particular. Now, children are being ‘smoked out’ in Gaza; George W Bush’s post 9/11 remark has come back to haunt his country: Who’s the enemy, Islam, Russia or Israel?

Essayist Pankaj Mishra was perhaps off the mark when he said that unlike the West, the Brics nations lack the moral authority to emerge as a countervailing force. Israel hadn’t erupted then. But Brics has truly arrived. Russia and China have entered into a 30-year gas deal, with a long-term price denominated in roubles. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his intent to have this pipeline extended to India. There’s the Brics Bank to manage the finances, dollar be damned. Or, India can even explore some kind of barter system, like the earlier rupee-rouble model.

India need not depend entirely on dollar flows. Indeed, it shouldn’t — the world economy is too feeble for India to expect sustained inflows from the West. The game’s nearly up for the US: only, the West is yet to accept this reality.

Senior Assistant Editor

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Published on August 01, 2014
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