Identity Crisis

It follows that the politics of the Western world at the moment is being built largely around the identity crisis which has resulted from the process of globalization. The ‘Collective West’ has yet to decide whether it wants to expand its national and regional framework in order to accommodate the political and social changes and the evolutions which have been wrought by the process of globalization, or to draw inward in order to fend off the political and social changes and evolutions which have emerged out of the process of globalization. In other words, the ‘Collective West’ has yet to truly decide between globalism or nativism and in turn has yet to solidify its identity in the face of globalization. 

And in a sense, the “Great Game” and the ‘balance of power’ dynamic which is at the heart of the ‘Great Game’ is centered largely around the issues of identity and religion, even though many are in denial of the fact that at the heart of the “Great Game” is in fact the issues of race and religion. Much of the British and American involvement and imbroglio in places like Afghanistan and the Middle East over the course of the past couple of centuries was aimed towards the imposition of British and American ‘ideals’ and ‘values’ and so forth. Hence, we cannot take issues such as race and religion out of the picture when we are considering even the balance of power principle, even if economic and financial interests are now at the forefront after the failures of the cultural and religious projects. As Sir Winston Churchill said:

“When one looks at the petty subjects which have led to wars between great countries and to so many disputes, it is easy to be misled by the idea that wars arise out of the machinations of secret diplomacy. But of course such small matters are only the symptoms of the dangerous disease, and are only important for that reason. Behind them lie the interests, the passions, and the destiny of mighty races of men; and long antagonisms express themselves in trifles.”

Churchill added: “’Great commotions,’ it was said of old, ‘arise out of small things but not concerning small things.’ The old diplomacy did its best to render harmless the small things; it could not do more.” 

For instance, one of the main concerns of the Western bloc upon their withdrawal from Afghanistan a couple of years ago was that other non-western peoples and nations would imitate or follow the Taliban’s lead and in turn stand up to the West in the manner by which the Taliban did. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and in turn the strain which Russia’s politicking has now put on the collective Western psyche is not a mere coincidence, and it is part of a chain or sequence of events which have cultural and religious meaning and significance. All of it amounts to a major blow to the aura of prestige and the self-image which the West has built for itself over the course of the past few centuries. Moreover, there is greater common interest and mutual understanding between Russia, China, and the Islamic world, for instance, than there is between these regions of the world and the West, and it is largely due to the issues of race and religion, although we have been in denial of this reality and still are in denial of this reality at the moment. How we bridge the racial and religious gap between “The West and the Rest” remains up for discussion and debate.

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