A reader asks this question:
Hi, Keith. I am concerned that a lot [of]anti-imperialists are so used to America being the only and worst empire, that they are blind to foreign powers interested in becoming the next America, in the same way anarcho-capitalists are blind to the possibility of big tech companies becoming the next state. At what point should we be concerned about power shifting from Oceania to Eurasia and/or Eastasia?
The reader is referring to George Orwell’s use of “Oceania,” “Eurasia,” and “Eastasia” as metaphors for the Atlantic powers, Russia, and the Asian powers, respectively, in the dystopian novel 1984.
Certainly, anti-imperialists should not wish for the unipolar hegemony of the Anglo-American-NATO (Atlanticist)-Zionist-Wahhabi axis to recede or collapse only to be replaced by the hegemony of the rising BRICS-Shiah-Global South axis. However, the first crucial fact that has to be recognized when considering the relationship between the Western axis and Eastern axis is that the East is currently nowhere near the position of being a “counter-hegemon” of its own.
There’s a long way to go before the East will be able to achieve anything approximating the hegemony that “Oceania” has had since the end of the Cold War. Compare the number of military bases the US and NATO have around the world with the number that Russia or China have and the Eastern powers barely show up on the radar.
Probably the best scenario from anti-imperialist perspective (as far as anything that is possible or reasonable) would be a multipolar world and armed peace between the major powers who function as constraints on each other.
Within a multipolar framework, there might be more room for independent blocks of nations to emerge, for regional independence movements to proliferate and for startup societies or anti-authoritarian movements to develop.
I agree that “Oceania” is slowly being challenged by “Eurasia” and “Eastasia” but we’re still a long way from genuine multipolarity.
The main thing Western anti-imperialists need to be concerned with is the use of Russiahate, weapons hysteria, and faux humanitarianism by “Oceania” in order to hold or extend its position. Anti-imperialists in the East need to be focused on what their own states are doing because 95% of the time it is your own state that is your main enemy.