Extraordinary events change the world and often one cannot keep up. This is what happened to Winston Churchill at the end of the Second World War, who despite being a great statesman in peacetime, was not re-elected after the war. The reason? He wanted to bring the United Kingdom back to the pre-war period, opposite to the citizens’ opinion who did not want to relive the hunger, poverty and class differences of the so-called “golden times”.
Even nowadays, 78-year-old Joe Biden, a Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, wants to turn back the hands of time to 12 years ago, when he was vice president, to wipe out the Trump administration and the Coronavirus catastrophe. This is the banana peel the American Democratic Party could slip on next November.
Is it possible that no one recognizes the changed global geopolitical conditions, or has not hunched that we have entered the 3D Cold War where we fight in digital and we can’t go back? I only need to mention one company, Huawei, at the center of the 5G war, a conflict with enormous repercussions on the technology of the future; that, of transport without a driver. And what to say about the hackers, the modern excellent warriors, the digital spies who steal everything – from potential vaccines against Covid-19 to the profiles of politicians and famous faces of Twitter?
Against the background of this seemingly sci-fi scenario, and going back to politics, Biden’s reassurances about the return to the post-war Atlantic alliance, functional to the old Cold War, appear more than anachronistic. The future has arrived, we are living it and neither Biden nor the Democratic party that supports it want to accept this truth. Donald Trump was only instrumental in the epochal change taking place since the beginning of the century, perhaps his schizophrenic way of doing politics has accelerated the breakdown of the balance of the past, but it was certainly not he or his administration that changed the world.
The transition is the result of globalization, of the significant transformation of modern capitalism which is now unstoppable and with which we must learn to live. And here are the key points, the borders of the Cold War in 3D.
Politically, the world has metabolized Trump’s conceited nationalism, think of countries like Poland or Hungary, but also the United Kingdom with Brexit; the world has also learned not to trust the United States and to look at Washington no longer as a protective umbrella but as a nation among many others, although still large and important. In this context, Beijing has stopped avoiding any confrontation with Washington for fear of stepping on the feet of the superpower and has started to weave a foreign policy in open opposition to the Trump administration, think of the recent agreement with Iran.
What does Biden offer? A return to Obama’s past, which in foreign policy has not been at all glorious, and to the even more remote past of the Clinton administration. So, the Biden administration will oppose Israel’s annexation of 30% of the West Bank, will re-confirm the 2015 nuclear deals with Iran, which Trump abandoned in 2018, provided Tehran does what it promised, and will have a more skeptical attitude towards Putin. All interesting proposals that will serve little to curb the ongoing geopolitical transformations, to revive the primacy of the United States or ensure a global balance.
Economically, the world has understood that dependence on the dollar as an international exchange currency is dangerous because it affects international trade and exchange rates to the needs of the American treasury. The European Union has even begun to study mechanisms to replace the dollar with the euro in international transactions. Biden, we know, is well seen on Wall Street, which means that Trump’s monetary policy will continue, pumping liquidity wherever it is in short supply.
Even in environmental matters, the assurance that a Biden victory will bring Washington back to the signatories of the Paris climate agreement is a small matter, everyone knows that to save the planet from climate change it takes much more.
The moral is clear: with or without a Trump re-election, the decline of the United States is unstoppable, as it was for the Soviet Union, the sunset avenue will be long and will go through epochal changes, incomprehensible to a political class firm in the golden age of American supremacy.