Contributed by Jim Hayes
Julie Bishop is on a mission to “defend the rules that have underpinned a period of relative global peace and prosperity.”
She revealed this during a recent address at La Trobe University.
Australia’s foreign relations ministers must live on another planet to the rest of us, if she really believes what she says.
Let’s start with the matter of peace. The last two decades have been among the bloodiest ever. There has not been a moment without a significant war, and Australia has been involved in military conflict for every minute of it. N other more than half century period of human history has seen so much conflict on a world scale.
The Middle East is a place that has obviously missed out on he peace. Wars have also been taking place in Latin America, Africa and Asia. It has even come to parts of Europe.
Today, the world is threatened by dangerous hot spots. In addition to the Middle East, there is the Russian border, the North Korea issue and the South China Sea standoff. Gunboat diplomacy, using the threat of military action risen again, to become a mainstay of global big power diplomacy. This is a dangerous planet.
Just how have Julie Bishop’s favoured rules secured the peace?
The truth of what she about, is revealed by her warning about Chinese presence in the Pacific region. She is pushing for the continuation of a single super power, the United states of America, and the that the Pacific should remain an American sphere of interest.
It fits in well with Australia’s designated role as deputy sheriff to the United States. The minister’s position is not about keeping the peace. By defending the rules, she means maintaining the status quo.
About maintaining prosperity. The reality is that the economic boom brought in by the ending of World War Two petered out a long time ago. The old dominant economic powers and the global economy have been in a weakened position for decades, and are now starting to go backwards in real term. Without the Chinese boom, the global economy would be in a real mess.
The extent of global poverty is horrific. Poorer nations have worn the largest part of the economic decline, and their populations had little to spare in the first place. If not for the Chinese boom lifting hundred of millions out of poverty, the global figures would be horrific.
Even in the developed countries, the situation is getting worse for most people.
So where is the prosperity?
Five percent of the population has taken hold of a bigger portion of global wealth than ever before. They are the ones who have experienced prosperity. It has been a period where greed has been elevated into a near religion and corruption grown along with it.
The global system has seen the explosion of money laundering and tax evasion by the major corporations and richest individuals.
Julie Bishop faces allegations about her own corrupt activities.
This is the real world, where people are jacking up and want to get rid of the rules that the see as having made the world a worse place, Australia’s foreign minister my well fear that this would not be good for people like herself.