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Will Russia’s war in Ukraine spell the end of the Western axis?


Will the U.S./U.K. axis lead to the collapse of the West-centered world system, or are the foundations of a new world order being established? The Ukraine war took the Western world by surprise as it deemed it inconceivable that such a conflict would take place in “the homeland of the blond-haired and blue-eyed.” Although this war is being fought between  Slavs, the location of the war was associated with the West in the past. Therefore, it should not come as a shock that a region previously dubbed as the “house of Europe” has become the stage of such undesirable events.

For this reason, claims that the Western-centered world is hurtling “toward collapse” should not be overlooked. By the same token, the same claim should not prevent us from pondering whether a new world order will be established in its wake.

After the First World War, the Soviets set off on a course that could potentially weaken Britain and France. I think there is benefit in comparing the ideas of the October Revolution with the changes brought about by the French Revolution. However, it is clear that drawing this comparison according to the metrics we are used to will not be useful in terms of making sense of what’s transpiring today.

Especially towards the 1930s, there was a significant change in the activities carried out to undermine the colonial hegemony of European countries. The Soviet experience, which ushered in a new era of fresh interpretations and ideas that would prompt nations to awaken, began to spread at an astonishing rate. The aftershocks caused by 1933 should thus not be confined to the rise of Hitler.

Despite Hitler’s presence at the time, the anti-colonial struggle against Britain and France was also escalating. In this period, the rapprochement between the Soviets, on the one hand, and England and France, on the other, led to the establishment of a world order dominated by Paris and London.

However, the independence movement that emerged in African and Asian countries toward the end of the Second World War showed that a system that lasted for nearly five centuries could, indeed, collapse.

As a matter of fact, countries striving for independence have only become stronger over time. Although the colonial system showed signs of expansion with the presence of Israel during this period, the consequent changes that took place, especially in the Muslim region and India, laid bare the weaknesses of the Western system. It’s clear that common themes between communism, nationalism, and Islamism will make a good topic of research, especially when it comes to the Muslim region. In fact, we can even attribute the disintegration and conflicts within these movements to similar themes. This may also finally allow us to see the network of relations shaped according to the Western world for what it is.

Today, within the West-centered world, there is such a thing called the American and British axis.

In the second half of the twentieth century, it was extremely hard to distinguish between the U.S. and Europe. However, developments over time showed that the Western world was incapable of acting as a unified front in the face of challenges. This change is extremely significant, as the most important pillars of the West’s globalization were political, economic, and legal institutions.

These institutions practically functioned as the tools of a global sovereign’s hegemony. The American and European seizure of Russia’s international assets during the Ukraine war is extremely crucial, as it points to the collapse of these institutions, and it helps us better understand the nature of the U.S./U.K. axis. By drawing analogies between Putin and Hitler, a liberal West-centered analysis can be made on the basis of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. This is not a new situation either. But as I was trying to say, this world is now collapsing. The most important piece of evidence of this is the disintegration of the Western world as it collapses from within.

The disintegration within the Western world is bound to have lasting consequences. Because those who direct the trajectory of this disintegration can also see the evidence of the change currently taking place in the world.

On a different note, one of the most important developments of the coronavirus pandemic is the crystalization of the Turkey and Azerbaijan axis. No one could have imagined such a development before the 1990s. Personally, I am trying to further understand what intellectual foundations this axis is built on.

Selçuk Türkyılmaz
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