This is a republication of a post authored by Andrew Korybko, which was first published in OneWorld. It has been adapted with full permission obtained from the author.
Anyone who’s publicly shared an interpretation of international events that contradicts the US Government’s (USG) has almost certainly been attacked for allegedly spreading “Russian propaganda” or even being a so-called “Russian propagandist” by those who disagree with them. These trolls, who can be easily manipulated to break through social media’s shadow blocking of one’s account and thus inadvertently promote their contrarian views via the algorithm if they know how to do it, can’t countenance that anyone is capable of thinking differently than them when it comes to international political issues. Instead of acknowledging the objectively existing fact that it’s impossible for every person in the world to think the same, they immediately react by concocting conspiracy theories.
Even without being a psychologist, one can conclude that the common denominator connecting these individuals is that they’re all at the very least victims of American propaganda that’s indoctrinated them into falling for the fallacies connected to the US’ envisioned unipolar world order. This secular religion preaches the universality of the US’ liberal-globalist model upon which it bases its global hegemony and which its adherents have been convinced is inevitable. America’s junior Western partners, who can be described as ideological vassals, are roped into this ideology by being told that the ideology of “American Exceptionalism” is simply an offshoot of “Western Exceptionalism”, but their shared civilization requires the US to “lead from the front” in order to “defend their values” and “civilize the barbarians” across the world. It’s messianic, supremacist, and quite literally fascist.
The opposite of unipolarity is multipolarity, which refers to the belief that International Relations are more equitable and just if there’s more than just a single global leader like the current depreciating American hegemon. In connection with that, those who support this school of thought also acknowledge the diversity of economic, historical, and socio-political models as well as every country’s sovereign right to choose which ones are best for promoting the interests of the greatest number of its people. They’re completely against aggressively imposing foreign models onto others and believe that everything should always be done voluntarily instead of under coercion. Multipolarity’s conservative-sovereigntist worldview has nothing in common with unipolarity’s liberal-globalist one since it’s inclusive, respectful of everyone’s sovereign rights, and thus the epitome of anti-fascism unlike its ideological counterpart.
Whereas unipolar liberal-globalists (ULG) try to gaslight the world into believing in their subjectively defined “rules-based order” (RBO) that’s really just the selective imposition of double standards to advance the US’ self-interested geostrategic goals, multipolar conservative-sovereigntists (MCS) insist that the only legitimate RBO is the one enshrined in the UN Charter. Another irreconcilable conceptual difference between them is that the ULG always resort to concocting conspiracy theories to explain why others disagree with their interpretation of international events. The MCS, on the other hand, always promote respectful debates between those who think differently because they support a diversity of discourse. Unlike the ULG, the MCS respect everyone’s intelligence enough to let them make up their own mind about what to believe after being exposed to different views even if they still disagree.
It also deserves to be mentioned that the ULG deny the existence of the ongoing global systemic transition (GST) since they’ve convinced themselves that their worldview is universalist and will therefore inevitably be followed by everyone eventually while the MCS are actually excited about the emerging Multipolar World Order that veritably defines the present state of International Relations. This second school of thought doesn’t expect any of the rising Great Powers’ economic or socio-political models to become the global standard, nor would they ever support any of them ever aspiring for such a role in replacing the US’ and thus essentially becoming that which they all presently oppose in principle. Rather, the primary outcome that they’re all pursuing is simply a sincere return to the UN-enshrined RBO so that everyone can independently develop according to their sovereign right to do so however they feel is best for the majority of their people.
There’s an obvious geopolitical division between the ULG and MCS too: the first-mentioned are mostly concentrated in the “Golden Billion” (GB) of the US-led West while the second are mostly found within the Global South (GS). Russia used to be part of the GB (or at least its economic elites sought to make it a member of this exclusive club) during the years that it participated in the G8, but it can nowadays much more accurately be described as part of the GS after being kicked out of that group, and especially following the US-led West’s unprecedented sanctions against it in response to Moscow’s ongoing special military operation in Ukraine. Having clarified that, it’s now time to briefly touch upon another difference between the GB and the GS, which is the potential for conflict within each “bloc”.
The GB is under the complete control of the US with few exceptions, and even those that try to assert their strategic autonomy only very rarely successful, let alone for long enough to make a significant enough difference in the GST. The GS, by contrast, is actually beset with quite a few geopolitical contradictions between its many more members that have led to tense ties between them and even the occasional outbreak of conflict. Prominent examples include Armenia & Azerbaijan, China & India, China & Vietnam, Egypt & Ethiopia, India & Pakistan, Iran & Saudi Arabia, and Russia & Turkey, among others. This doesn’t add credence to the ULG’s so-called “Democratic Peace Theory” (DPT), however, but actually shows how natural the MCS’ worldview is compared to the ULG’s artificial one.
To elaborate, the DPT is a misleading information warfare narrative promoted through academia and aimed at indoctrinating people into believing that the universal application of the ULG’s worldview is the only way to achieve global peace. That’s utopian, which therefore means that it’s destined to be dystopian exactly like all prior such projects ultimately turned out to be throughout history since that outcome contradicts human nature. The only “peace” that’s present in the US-led West’s “sphere of influence” is that which is aggressively imposed by the American hegemon onto its vassals after stripping them of their strategic autonomy in order to perpetually dominate them. Dissent isn’t allowed and is always responded to through various Hybrid War means to punish the “rebels”.
The existence of conflict and tension between those states that support the MCS’ worldview isn’t proof in support of the ULG’s DPT but actually evidence that human society will never be perfect no matter how much it aspires to be since differences of interest are natural between different countries. They can more effectively be managed by all parties sincerely applying the principles of the UN-enshrined RBO in their relations with one another, though that of course doesn’t imply that conflict and tension will ever disappear from human society. All that it does is make their disputes more manageable than in the comparatively much more anarchic international system of the present. Considering this, the MCS’ worldview is more pragmatic, realistic, and humane than the ULG’s DPT.
Returning back to the observation that inspired this analysis, it’s all but certain that anytime someone immediately concocts a conspiracy theory in response to someone else publicly sharing an interpretation of events that contradict the USG’s, the one launching this unprovoked ad hominem attack against their interlocutor is indoctrinated by the ULG into supporting the “American/Western Exceptionalist” worldview that’s the unofficial secular religion among many within the GB. Likewise, the one sharing the contrarian view questioning the USG’s is in all likelihood an MCS who’s probably also from the GS or is one of those brave dissidents from within the GB. The indisputable conclusion is that the ULG is a fascist ideologue while the MCS is a freethinker who respects everyone.