A remarkable interview with Israel's Minister of Finance Avigdor Liberman was published in the February 4th issue of the "Jerusalem Post" magazine. In the interview, Liberman states that due to four circumstances, the world is headed pell-mell towards a future of chaos and anarchy. The four circumstances are:
1. Technological developments facilitating the hacking of almost any communications system, due to the lack of any regulation or oversight. .
2. The rise of cryptocurrencies, again with no effective regulation or oversight, leading to the weakening of traditional monetary and financial systems and facilitating criminal and terrorist activities.
3. The development of the darknet. which is used by the same criminal and terrorist networks that use crypto-currencies to coordinate their nefarious activities..
4. The breakdown and collapse of the international order. The nation-state system is breaking down and nothing is replacing it but the logic of brute force.
I agree with Liberman on all these points, and even think he understates the dangers of some of them, such as cryptocurrencies, which are backed by nothing and thus represent massive Ponzi schemes, which like all Ponzi schemes will one day collapse to its underlying value--namely nothing.
However, I think Liberman overlooks a fifth factor leading to global chaos, namely the internal social and political deterioration within Western civilization, including its principal power, the US. Political polarization, social disruption by fanatics of both left and right, perversion of the educational system, and an obscene concentration of wealth in a tiny percentage of the population are all spreading throughout the Western world, along with an almost total absence of competent leadership. Historically, great civilizations have rotted internally before they were overthrown by outside forces.
Liberman concludes his comments by saying that it is not too late to reverse the trend to chaos and anarchy, but that time is short and mutually-reinforcing actions must be taken by all the relevant actors, including the G-7 countries, Russia and China "...to find ways to regulate a new world order and to stop the slide toward global chaos.".
I leave it to the reader to decide how likely that is.
Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute, and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 7, 2022.
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