Biden is trying to foist an anachronistic dichotomy on the world whereby geopolitical rivals China and Russia can be cast as malign.
Inviting some while not inviting others to your party is usually a ploy one associates with petulant, insecure teenagers. It’s my party, so there! U.S. President Joe Biden turned 79 last week – near enough an octogenarian – and in the same week announced the invitation list for a so-called “democracy summit” to be held on December 9-10.
China and Russia aren’t on the list. Neither are a lot of other countries many of whom happen to be on U.S. blacklists for sanctions. They include Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela, among others.
The Summit for Democracy will see 110 participants attend an online teleconference hosted by President Biden. Delegates include heads of state, government leaders, diplomats and non-governmental organizations. The agenda, as outlined by the U.S. State Department, revolves around three main points: countering authoritarianism, fighting corruption, and upholding human rights.
The forum is shaping up to be a giant, rambling talking fest that will produce heaps of useless verbiage. If a legion of nations couldn’t come up with anything coherent and binding regarding climate change after two weeks of in-person meetings at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, it’s even more remote that two days of global teleconferencing in Washington will deliver anything of significance.
But in any case, that’s beside the real unspoken purpose of Biden’s “democracy confab”. The two-day proceedings are of little consequence, even for the American organizers. Because the real aim of the event is to exclude China and Russia and polarize international relations into Cold War camps: one of the camps is designated “democracies” under supposedly noble U.S. leadership; the other camp is for the “authoritarians” who are purportedly nefarious. It’s the cliched American dualist portrayal of the world as “good versus evil”.
Ever since Joe Biden’s inauguration as 46th president, he has been endeavoring to bestow his administration with a historic mission of “standing up for democracy” against “authoritarianism”. This is what he means by the clarion call of “America is Back!”. Biden is trying to foist an anachronistic dichotomy on the world whereby geopolitical rivals China and Russia can be cast as malign. This is another way of renewing the Cold War of dividing nations into making a choice between having the United States as a patron or choosing to side with Washington’s designated enemies.
This polarization of international relations which ultimately leads to tensions, confrontation and war is an essential configuration for how U.S. global power operates. As an imperial power, Washington must possess total domination in order to satisfy its economic imperatives. A vital element of this dominance is maintaining the privilege of the American dollar as the primary currency for world trade.
The emergence of a multipolar world is anathema to Washington’s dictate for unipolar hegemony (or what it cynically calls “rules-based order”). The ascendant reality of China as an alternative economic power and the shift in the global economy towards Eurasian integration is unbearable for the U.S. zero-sum view of its imperial demands.
In polarizing international relations, Washington can exert control over “allies and partners” (in reality, vassals and lackeys) by dictating the economic policy of nations – the euphemistically named “Washington Consensus” – that is designed so as to always benefit U.S. capital. Even supposedly stronger Western states like those of the European Union are effectively under Washington’s economic tutelage.
Another vital strategic objective is to militarize relations so that the United States can justify its gargantuan military budgets – $750 billion every year – in order to prop up the military-industrial complex that drives its otherwise defunct capitalist economy. This is while poverty and social decay across the U.S. are burgeoning to record levels.
China and Russia’s ambassadors to the United States lambasted the “democracy summit”. In a joint media article, Qin Gang and Anatoly Antonov condemned the arrogant presumption by Washington to define “who is a democratic country” and who is not.
The envoys went on: “An evident product of its Cold-War mentality, this will stoke up ideological confrontation and a rift in the world, creating new dividing lines. This trend contradicts the development of the modern world. It is impossible to prevent the shaping of a global polycentric architecture but could strain the objective process. China and Russia firmly reject this move.”
Among the “not invited” nations are Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf Arab states. Of course, inviting absolute Arab monarchies to such an event would make Biden’s rallying of “democracies” look farcical. So a few of Washington’s allies had to be sacrificed for the bigger aim of trying to isolate China and Russia.
Nevertheless, the subjective selection of participants looks decidedly arbitrary and lacks any principle. The invitation of Taiwan and Ukraine look especially self-serving and betray the provocative intent of the entire summit to exclude China and Russia.
Taiwan, under United Nations convention and indeed under the U.S. One China Policy is internationally recognized as a province of China over which the government in Beijing has sovereignty. The Biden administration’s invitation to Taiwan to the Summit for Democracy is a crass incitement towards China. One that is inflaming already fraught tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
As for Ukraine, this country has been doggedly trying to provoke a war against Russia ever since the U.S. and NATO-backed a coup d’état in Kiev in 2014, bringing to power a Russophobic, neo-Nazi regime. The recent tensions and fears of all-out war in Ukraine stem from Kiev’s systematic violations of the 2015 Minsk peace accords and relentless goading of Russia with hysterical claims that Moscow is threatening to invade. American and NATO weapons supplied to the Kiev regime have emboldened its belligerence. U.S. propaganda has also boosted the baseless narrative of an imminent Russian invasion.
The United States and many of its capitalist Western allies have tenuous claims to being “democracies”. Elections every four or five years give individuals a piece of paper to put an X beside a name. But all the names on offer are virtually vetted by Big Business. When are voters ever given the chance to choose something better than capitalism? They are locked in an oppressive system of extreme wealth inequality and exploitation with a nicety of periodic voting to give an illusion of choice. As the old saying goes: if voting really changed anything the powers-that-be would have abolished it already.
China and Russia are systems that aim to enhance the overall development of societies. They have parliaments and lawmakers that are answerable for results. Who is to say their systems are not functioning for democracy – if by democracy we mean the empowerment of lives through social development?
What the world needs is for all nations to engage in genuine dialogue and commitment to mutual cooperation and peace.
There is no actual gain or intention of gain from what Biden is proposing. He’s just finding a petulant teen spirit to snub China and Russia – in a way that is greatly undermining and endangering world democracy.