Roll back the time to 3 years ago when Barrack Obama was still the President of the United States, when the European Union and the European Central Bank were grappling with a debt-ridden Greece and failing Italian and Spanish economies, and when the UK leaving the European Union was not yet decided.
The rules of international political games and engagement were unchanged, Russia was still holding strong due to its tight grip on Europe’s security of energy supply, and the international community was struggling to understand a new form of Islamic extremism brought along by ISIS.
Globalisation, just like the European Union itself, is slowly proving to be a utopian concept aimed at bringing everyone closer together, making the world markets safer and the global population seeing a new dawn of prosperity, integration and “brotherhood”.
Today, nationalism and extremism of all kind (not just in its terrorist form) are thriving, the public and political discourse are anything but conservative and measured, the European Union is likely to be faced with its toughest challenge ever, and the security and safety guaranteed by NATO do no longer seem to be certain.
The playbook and the script of a new Theatre of Power have been totally rewritten once with the arrival of USA’s most controversial President ever, one who not only dismisses the formal rules of protocol and diplomacy, but one who has the potential to bring the world’s economies at a standstill. What he says and does sends ripples across stock markets.
This is a new world order we’re witnessing, one no book on diplomacy & international relations prepared us for.
Politicians everywhere like rules, guidelines and strict protocols on what to say, what to do, when to say it and when to do it. They dislike uncertainty, lack of political prescriptiveness and imbalance which, when ruling a country, they can lead to chaos and economic destabilisation.
The former US President Obama believes that “all people are created equal”, that equality of opportunities and international co-operation are beneficial to us all; that the world can thrive only when diplomatic relationships and efforts are constantly undertaken:
At the opposite pole, we have America’s current President, one who not only lacks the manners any head of state should display, but also one who walks back his remarks made to the Prime Minister of his country’s most important ally, while being Kremlin’s laughing stock:
Our societal make-up is slowly shifting towards exclusiveness, disinterest for integration, and an decreasing acceptance of “different” in all its forms. Just like Angela Nagle told The Economist in this interview:
“the reality of what we are like when we are given the freedom to say what we like is actually extremely ugly. Public discourse has never been as idiotic, cruel, irrational and utterly pointless in my lifetime as it is now.”
And I happen to agree with Angela. It’s quite frightening when those on whose leadership we rely on as people and peoples, seem to have little or no clue of what is expected of them; and it’s equally frightening when the power of rhetoric and discourse is elevated at unprecedented levels by the politicians’ hunger for their “daily dose” of social media frenzy.