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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Global Political Order in Changing

"The spirit of compromise in the common interest is also crucial in meeting some of the greatest global challenges of our time," Theresa May [1]

On July 17th Theresa May delivered her speech where she highlighted her sentiments towards the current situation of British politics and the future of liberal democracy around the world. She attacked absolutism in politics and the rise of populism in the world and her ability to deliver Brexit, which she failed to deliver. For all intents and purposes she is a failed leader.

She defended liberalism and the global institutions and urged the cooperation between nation states, mutual consent and compromise. However, May as Prime Minister failed to compromise with the EU on mutual agreements and cooperation.

Europe is also not going to compromise and offer a deal to Britain due to its recognition of Britain’s true colours, which potentially will put the country into a serious economic anaemia, where its economic growth will drop to 2% by 2020. Due to Brexit, Britain will deal with 27 nations independently due to exiting the union where the privilege of having similar trade policies, tariffs and low trade barriers will not apply to Britain.

The vice president of the EU said: 'We thought they are so brilliant that in some vault somewhere in Westminster there will be a Harry Potter-like book with all the tricks and all the things in it to do.”[2] The strict conduct with Britain by the EU, shows that the EU has lost trust in Britain due to Britain’s shifty behaviour towards the EU since the beginning of negotiations. Britain always had one foot in the EU and one foot out since the establishment, this has made the EU nations aware of Britain’s true standards, and is cautious towards it.

Political Crisis Europe & Britain

“Both Le Pen and her father, Jean-Marie, the former party leader, lavishly cheered Trump’s election on Twitter, while other European nationalist party figures in the Netherlands, Hungary, and Greece touted his win as a positive sign of things to come. She has promised to “take back” France by withdrawing from the European Union (EU), a move that Trump has applauded, as he did when Britain voted last year to leave that body, rocking the EU to its core” [3]

The rise of the far right, in Europe and Britain shows that liberalism has been hijacked by nationalism, and that everyone is transitioning into an illiberal, authoritarian path. The far right is rising in countries like Slovakia, Poland, Denmark and now in Germany. Even France’s far right secured 23% of the vote in the last election and is ahead in opinion polls of relative to President Macron. Today debates are taking place that no one envisaged merely a decade ago, such as should Germany develop its own nuclear weapons due to the failure of NATO and Trumps attacks towards it allies. Germany doesn’t feel safe in the world anymore and no longer wants to linger in the shadows of America.  This poses a serious threat to Europe, Henry Kissinger once stated: “Poor old Germany is too big for Europe but too small for the world.”[4]  If Germany gains political will under these far-right movements, then it will change everything, this is the biggest threat that Germany poses to the rest of Europe and America.

As the far right grows it becomes harder and difficult for the minorities, Geert Wilders from Holland commented last year that “The Moroccan scum in Holland … once again not all are scum … but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe, mostly young people ... and that should change,”[5]  the trend of cooperation, tolerance, compromise and liberalism is now over , and the trend of ''ours” , “win back”, “ you don’t belong here” and “Self-help” is becoming dominant but not unprecedented.

This will take Europe back to pre-WW1 condition where the European long peace 1814-1914 was broken, due Otto von Bismarck arms race and political will. The rise of nationalism made a breakthrough causing untold destruction in two world wars.  Europe’s history has always been dark and bloody due to them possessing these animalistic bonds like nationalism, patriotism and also traits of deceit. Even before 1814 peace agreement, millions died in Europe due to Europeans fighting each other over colonial districts. Till this day the Europeans haven’t unified due to them still possessing these peripheral bonds hence, their destruction is inevitable.

The liberal order continues to get closer to its last days as populism and far right nationalism rises. This will produce a change to the economic climate of the world as more protectionism and economic sovereignty over resources will become the new norm, and the current institutions and agreements will dissolve and new ones will rise.

Nationalism and Populism

The rise of nationalism and populism is due to different identity groups emerging under the liberal democratic system. Liberalism propagates globalisation, individualism and the four freedoms which tries to impede different races, cultures, religions, and nationalities. Hence, liberalism creates division, than unity as it does in theory, due to its individualistic nature. It regards these such things meaningless and imposes its ideals on to the people, therefore what you have is muscular liberalism. Where in one instance you have the freedom to do, to believe and to say anything, but on the other hand it imposes its ideals on to the people. Also, the imposition of how one should live, what one should accept and what one should reject, and what is backward and what is progress.

For example homosexuality, feminism and transgenderism are a product of liberalism, these ideas are forced on to the people for its acceptance, and is portrayed as ”progress”, if people do detest this definiton of progress, than they will be treated as an “outsider” in society. “Many commentators have observed that liberalism is coming apart”.[6]

Identity is another issue because of muscular liberalism, where it imposes its culture on to the people of different cultures in society under the guise of progress. Hence, there is a wide range of people who live in society not knowing who they are, what they are and where they belong, due to them being stripped of their own culture. Hence, what you have here is an identity crisis.

Religion is another issue, where the freedom of belief has been propagated but instead, people are forced to compromise aspects of their religion. The liberal system forced many to accept things which are totally against their beliefs and practices.

Nationalistic bonds have arisen due to the failure of the current poltical ideology to bind people and nations. Due to the failure of preserving people's identity, beliefs and culture this has split people into groups, nationalism being the prominent one. With nationalism people seek recognition through it, due to them being an outsider in the muscular liberal society. Another reason for nationalism is once an ideology starts to become inoperable, the nation eventually moves on to something else to bind themselves with, in this case nationalism.

Politicians who have noticed the rise of nationalism due to the failure of liberalism, have decided to utilise populism in order to appeal to the people’s nationalistic sentiments. They have chosen to promote nationalism in order to bind the people, a bond that’s not adequate to bond a nation with.

Furthermore, populism has a very polarising effect on politics of a country, due to it not being either left, right or centre, which causes an uneven shift in the equilibrium of the political spectrum. Populists propagate themselves as the ones who are for the people and only for the people, not 50% or 90% but a 100% for the people. Hence, when rigid measures are taken place against immigrants, Muslims or the elites, the people don’t find anything wrong with it due to them thinking it’s being done for their benefit.

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in part by promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., of political elites and to “Make America Great Again,” a broad-brush populist slogan that supported a more isolationist, protectionist, “America First” posture toward the wider world. His campaign rhetoric criticizing some Muslims and Mexicans and his recent efforts to limit immigration and trade have left many analysts wondering whether his presidency could effectively move the country toward a period of ethno-nationalism.” [6]

America

Trump is the orchestrator of these new tectonic shifts, who has utilized populism and made it mainstream. Therefore, the presence of political crisis in Washington is predominant, where the democrats are divided between left and far left, where Trump has capitalized on these crises. Demographic groups in the United States have voted more towards Republicans being more conservative, compared to the demographic groups which have voted towards Democrats being more liberal. This goes to show that Trump’s sentiments and advocations are in correlation with its people, when you see Trump blasting a tweet which no US president will ever do, the public silence remains, which goes to show that they agree with his nationalistic, patriotic, anti-liberal and white superior logic.

“Indeed, some in the Trump administration have embraced the value of a far-right coalition between the United States and Europe. Leading the way is Trump’s chief White House strategist, Stephen Bannon.” [7]

America wants to return to its old style of foreign policy which was present during the Cold War and the pre-economic liberalism of the 1980s. At that period, the idealistic concerns were hardly given attention to. Nixon-Kissinger policy is what Trump constantly resorts to, in order to secure America from all the threats in the world and secure its interests in places where it requires. Rather than doing all the heavy lifting for its allies in Europe and waging regime change wars, in this context the liberal institutions and its EU and NATO allies.

Henceforth, Trump has a big role to play in the rise of populism and the far right in Europe, where many countries in Europe have ended up being influenced by America and are applying this very same approach. Which has lead to authoritarianism, illiberalism, zero tolerance, anti-immigrant sentiments and nationalism, which will mechanically change the liberal economic situation to an illiberal one.

Trump wants to dissolve current institutions and create new ones where Europe will do the heavy lifting themselves, rather than the US doing it for them. Henceforth, the verbal attacks on its NATO allies and the EU, is done to dismantle the current policies and styles of the current liberal order and implements new ones. Therefore, Trump needs Europe to be on the same path as the US hence, nationalism and populism is on the rise even though many of the liberal democrats have contested it, yet continues to prevail. However, if Europe due to right wing nationalism, breaks out wanting to be divorced from the United States completely, this will turn into a disaster for the US. Where another power will try to lead Europe within and will cause multipolarity, where the unipolarity of the US will cease to exist.

Conclusions

During the last days of the Ottoman Caliphate, the Kuffar took advantage of our intellectual decline, by planting alien bonds and foerign thoughts which failed to correlate with our sentiments.

Now the same events are occurring amongst them, where a lack of unity and trust is becoming popular amongst them. Where they have started to question their ideology and have adopted ideas which contradict their own ideology, in order to cling on to its debris.

Stagnate they have become hence, there is a high possibility of someone to change the status quo which will result into a power vacuum. If this vacuum does occur and hope it does than we “the people of struggle” have a very good chance, to secure our position as a power and establish Khilafah Rashidah (rightly guided Caliphate).

We should also remember to do what we can do within our sphere, and never should we cease to strive towards our intellectual and political struggle, as it is an obligation for us. The matter of Khilafah has already been fixed by Allah (swt) based on the choices that we are going to make, and only with His is permission victory can be granted.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by

Muhammad Mustafa

References:

  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/17/uk/theresa-may-last-major-speech-gbr-intl/index.html
  2. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7259779/Britain-face-consequences-leaves-EU-without-deal-says-Barnier.html
  3. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/02/in-europe-nationalisms-rising/
  4. https://worldin2019.economist.com/germanysweakness
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/18/geert-wilders-netherlands-describes-immigrants-scum-holland
  6. ibid; 3
  7. ibid; 3

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