By Pauline Easton
The G7 which claims to represent “the world’s most influential and open societies and advanced economies,” has adopted the campaign slogan of the President of the United States “Build Back Better.” Essentially this means that the countries meeting together at the G7 “leaders’ Summit” think they can impose their “shared values” and so-called rules-based international order on the entire world. They say that “might makes right” is something from the past but everything they do is to find new ways to bring it into the present and mold the future based on their pragmatic imperialist conception that nothing succeeds like success. In other words, they make the rules and then they use force to impose the rules against those who do not submit. They do that all over the globe. They did that when the Soviet Union fell and they adopted the Charter of Paris which dictated the rules they subsequently imposed onto the peoples of the world in the name of democracy, human rights and prosperity. They decided the rules for the so-called free movement of goods and capital, multi-party election systems and human rights, none of which adhere to the standards adopted by the United Nations which constitute the international rule of law. Whosoever does not abide by their own arbitrary rules faces sanctions and other forms of death and destruction.
Their striving to be “great again” harkens back to a past which they see as glorious even as the peoples of the entire world settle scores with the legacies of genocide, slavery and capitalist and imperialist relations of production and the nation-states whose structures are designed to defend property rights at the expense of human rights. They lord it over their competitors, especially China and Russia and all countries which defend their own path to development, by promoting the imperialist conception that the U.S. is the “indispensable” nation. In the words of the White House, the G7 Summit will serve to “advance key U.S. policy priorities on public health, economic recovery, and climate change, and demonstrate solidarity and shared values among major democracies.”
Biden’s message to the media on his departure for the G7 was “The U.S. is Back” and “Democracies Are Standing Together.” He said his aim for the G7 is ”Strengthening the alliance and make it clear to Putin and to China that Europe and the United States are tight, and the G7 is going to move.” Seven countries and assorted allies are spending millions of dollars to attend and secure their meeting to declare what the remainder of the 193 nations which comprise the United Nations can or cannot do. Since their deeds do not constitute the argument they need so as to be convincing, all that remains is their firepower through which they seek to defend their monopoly on the use of force.
It is a prescription for war which must not pass. The peoples of the world are rising as one humanity engaged in one struggle to settle scores with the colonial and imperialist legacies. It is their struggles to advance the claims they are entitled to lay on societies by virtue of being human that are decisive to stem the tide of imperialist war for the redivision of the world’s resources, zones of cheap labour, areas for the export of capital and zones of influence.
The use of bravado to inspire confidence is never convincing. The sigh of relief that with the presence of Biden in lieu of Trump, “collegiality” will prevail and on this basis all the problems can be tackled is both desperate and pathetic. For all his collegiality, the civil war scenario in the United States looms as large as ever. As for the dulcet tones of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to further the rights of women and girls, or Indigenous peoples, or as concerns health and safety or the environment, his allegiance to the Queen of England and all the prerogative powers linked to the executive and judicial functions of the state makes him duty bound to preserve the colonial legacy and power relations which are enshrined in Canada’s constitution. Political renewal is the order of the day in every country to keep up with the demands of the times while internationally, all peoples and countries are duty-bound to uphold international rule of law which guides relations between sovereign nations. The standards and content of international rule of law is violated by the so-called rules-based international order and this must be condemned without letup.
There was a lot of fire power and behind the scenes deal-making in favour of the global oligopolies and their cartels and coalitions under the cover of the Trump presidency’s bellicose attitude towards U.S. partners in the so-called transatlantic alliance. Biden’s affirmation of “the United States’ commitment to NATO, Transatlantic security, and collective defence,” while also demanding, like Trump, that NATO countries increase the presence and funding in NATO’s war exercises reveals that this firepower and deal-making remain constant behind Biden’s so-called collegial approach which is no less arrogant and even more demanding. Brinkmanship in the Black Sea and South China Sea is designed to test the strength of the armed forces of rival powers. It is a very dangerous game whose only outcome is inter-imperialist war.
Biden’s open claims about the U.S. being the world’s “indispensable nation” and the transatlantic alliance being “tight” flies in the face of the material conditions in the world today. The old equation according to which whoever controlled Europe would dominate Asia has no bearing on today’s reality. Neither is the U.S. succeeding in controlling Europe nor can it dominate Asia whose productive powers far supersede those of the United States and on the global scale, the scientific and technical revolution has created productive powers which can be described as a geological force beyond the control of any narrow private interests. To settle scores with the imperialist warmongering led by the U.S. and its aggressive NATO alliance, the peoples have to advocate and find solutions on the basis of modern proletarian internationalism, not old geopolitical calculations based on the superiority of those who make the rules and get to interpret the rules of a so-called rules-based international order.
No peoples anywhere give a U.S. President, Canadian or British Prime Minister or the likes of Germany, France and Japan the right to declare that the “values” institutions like the G7 or NATO impose by economic, political and military force upon the world are the best that humanity has produced and must be defended at all costs. They present doing so as a given. It is a matter not to be discussed or questioned. To do so is to be labelled an extremist, a fringe element, a populist, an enemy agent or some other epithet that puts one into a category deemed unfit to be worthy of consideration. But what are these “values” and who decided that they are “our values”? Everything is done to squelch discussion on the so-called shared values the G7 and NATO push which are also said to be Canadian values, British values and so on.
Because of the surge of refusal to accept the state of affairs on the part of the peoples within the United States and the world, a common response on the part of ruling elites is to declare a “commitment” to do better. To realize that “commitment,” war preparations are raised to a fever pitch and the disinformation campaign is directed to promoting Sinophobia and Russophobia, blaming China and Russia for all the ills in the world. It is done to undermine the people’s movement against war, against the racist legacy and for empowerment. A main way they divert the movement is by setting the agenda and having everyone to respond to their agenda in lieu of establishing their own agenda and engaging in actions which further that agenda. The fact remains that their creation of a frenzy of hatred will never justify the anarchy, violence, deprivation and suffering in which the great powers have plunged the world.
The G7 is a group in crisis which is why their own solutions are to go back and try to maintain systems that have shown themselves to be dysfunctional and unsustainable. Their democracies, with their “shared values” of “free and fair elections” and “multi-party systems” and “market economies” lurch from crisis to crisis. They are controlled by corrupt elites who have no arguments suitable for the present which address the problems of the present. Their so-called rules-based international order where the rules are opposite to what is recognized as comprising international rule of law are defined by them on a self-serving basis which no self-respecting country or people can accept.
The G7 is a crisis-ridden alliance holding a crisis-ridden summit. Indeed, the crises are such that even the rulers’ own think tanks, like the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations that claim to bring the vying ruling factions together, are talking about eliminating the G7 and post war institutions altogether in favour of a “Concert of Powers.” They propose this “Concert of Powers” should include the U.S., China, the EU, India, Japan and Russia to reach a consensus on how to sort out all the problems facing them and humankind and thus avert war.
Of course, all the countries would have to submit to the U.S. demand to be the “indispensable nation” and make the rules as it sees fit. It merely underscores how pathetic they have become and the very urgent need to save humanity from such condescending saviours!
(Photos: Extinction Rebellion, Circular, P. Egerton.)
TML Monthly Supplement, June 11, 2021 • No. 13