Arguably, much of what determines the quality of our research as well as the outcomes of our research are the questions we ask. I actually learned this based on a tip I got while I was a student from one of my graduate school professors. Thus, when we analyze and interpret the world, the quality of our analysis and the quality of our interpretation of the world depends largely on the quality of the questions we are asking. One important question which follows from our suggestion that China could be pushing to solidify and render permanent a shift in a global balance of power dynamic is the question of what kind of international structure enabled such a situation to arise? In other words, what is the true character and nature of the international system at the moment given that we have now departed from a unipolar system?
The answer, arguably, can go either one of two ways. First of all, we can rule out a unipolar system based on everything which has been said by all and sundry up until this point. Thus, on one hand, we could be in a bipolar structure which parallels China with the United States. Or we could be in a multipolar structure given the Russia factor and the fact that a ‘triangular relationship’ has arisen between the United States, Russia, and China which reflects and mimics the triangular relationship that arose between these three superpowers during the 20th century Cold War.
A number of scholars of international relations are of the opinion that we are actually in a multipolar world rather than a bipolar world, and what explains the fact that we are in a multipolar world rather than a bipolar world is largely the instability of the international system. As John Mearsheimer argued, a multipolar system inclines towards instability, whereas a bipolar system theoretically inclines towards stability. Hence, we can infer that we are actually in a multipolar system rather than a bipolar system because of the instability of the international system at the moment.
Hence, if China is seeking to address the instability of the international system as it says it does, it must first address the basic structure of the international system and how the structure has changed due to its own rise. Moreover, if China does solidify and render permanent the shift of the global balance of power by casting its lot with Russia and fomenting a parallel pole with the United States in the international system, the biggest challenge and risk for China will be to avoid failing and faltering in the responsibilities that come with being the world’s foremost power. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
In America, we are now covering up our failures while we were the unipolar power, and we are shifting the focus away from our failures by justifying “cancel culture” in the Rolling Stones Magazine. Why any attempt or effort to justify “cancel culture” would be ludicrous and ridiculous and beside the point, as I have mentioned recently, is because the same brains who are enforcing “cancel culture” in the Pentagon and Big Tech are the same brains who are coming up with the algorithms that promote ISIS videos. There is absolutely nothing worse than giving a boost to ISIS, and yet, that is exactly what Washington did in recent times, namely, to achieve the absolute worst that can possibly be achieved. Hence, we can assure ourselves that our project in moral uncertainty and moral relativism did more damage than good to all of us, and that damage is now being reflected in the very basic condition, nature, and structure of the international system at the moment, all of which hinges on the ultimate result and outcome of a balance of power dispute that is largely in flux at the moment but is nevertheless leaning more towards one direction rather than the other.