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The irreversible decline of Western supremacy, under the leadership of the United States, will not be a peaceful process, and it would be naive to think so.

Current diagnoses assert that the international system is going through a period of epoch-making changes. The tectonic plates on which the world geopolitical chessboard rests have shifted, unleashing profound modifications in the structure of the system and in the nature of its main players. This is true, but only if it is recognized that this journey has already reached a point of no return and that the trends that have been operating in recent years have matured to the point of producing an irreversible result: the configuration of a global geopolitical chessboard marked by the emergence of multiple actors endowed with different power capacities that put an end to five centuries of Western supremacy over all nations. Multipolarism has arrived and it is here to stay.

This means, in practical terms, the irreparable disarray of the hegemonic order instituted since the end of World War II, and which established a sort of Pax Americana that completely failed in its voiced attempts to create a more secure and stable international order. What characterized this final phase of Western dominance was an event of enormous historical significance: the beginning of the unstoppable decline of the relative power of the United States in the international system and, in parallel, the extraordinary rise of China as a world-class economic power and the resurrection of the critical role of Russia in the international scene.

This changed situation was compounded by a never-ending succession of military operations and wars fought on the five continents; the exorbitant expansion of US warmongering, sowing almost a thousand military bases throughout the length and breadth of the planet; the aggravation of the scourges of backwardness and underdevelopment in vast areas of the Global South which, in the current era, is translated into an endless torrent of massive migrations that are profoundly altering the ethnic and cultural composition of the former European metropolises and the United States.

The irreversible decline of Western supremacy, under the leadership of the United States, will not be a peaceful process. It would be naive to think so. But what is certain is that in the current constellation of political actors there is no one in a position to rebuild, in their favor, the lost US hegemony. This would require: (a) an overwhelming economic and technological superiority, as the United States had in the early years of the second post-war period; (b) a no less overwhelming military primacy, but which, as military experts note, has not helped the United States to win wars; and (c) the hegemonic vocation, which in the United States is rooted in the national ideology of "American exceptionalism", a belief that confers on the nation a supposed responsibility to become the champion of the spread of freedom, justice, democracy, and human rights in the world.

Carrying out this self-imposed mission requires a socially solid and politically unified domestic front that will enable the hegemonic ambition to translate into the construction of a stable hegemonic order. The United States already lacks these attributes: it is a country deeply divided politically and increasingly unequal and unjust economically.

Today, none of the major players on the international scene meet these conditions.

China's formidable economic and technological progress would not be enough to make it the new world hegemon. Besides, it has neither the military strength and, as an ancient civilization, nor the ideological creed of being as Americans believe, to be a nation chosen by Providence to do so. Russia has undergone a remarkable economic reconstruction and, although taken for dead by American ideologues and advisors in the post-Soviet era, it has recovered its role as a major player on the international scene, but it is not - and was not - in its plans to become a substitute for the United States. We are therefore moving toward the strengthening of this new multipolar structure that coexists with increasing difficulty with the "rules-based world order," as constructed and publicized by the United States. This order is unfair, a disorder that causes innumerable wars and conflicts of all kinds, and in no way represents the complex landscape that characterizes the international system today.

The obstacles to overcome the survival of the old institutional order, however, are many.

Russia has been under constant attack since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In fact, even if it is not recognized, it is a country at war. Enemy troops (NATO) are amassing along its entire western flank and much of the rest of Russian territory. In line with the belligerent Defense Planning Guidance (dated February 18, 1992) written by the US Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, the organizing principle of US foreign policy towards Russia must be to "bleed and weaken" this great country and to balkanize it as was done with the former Yugoslavia, because even though it has already abandoned communism, Wolfowitz noted, Russia is too big and powerful and will always be an obstacle to US foreign policy in Eurasia.

The same warmongering philosophy is found in the Rand Corporation Report of 2019, and entitled "Overextending and Unbalancing Russia" with the explicit addition that it was recommended to install lethal weapons on the border between Ukraine and Russia to make this country go to war with its neighbor and bleed to death in the effort. In short, for more than 20 years Russia has been the object of a hybrid war that is expressed as media aggression by the entire Western press, with few exceptions; diplomatic offensives; demonization of Vladimir Putin; trade sanctions that began long before the war in Ukraine, and a whole range of aggressions aimed at making Russia explode in numerous small independent nations, easy prey for the US and its European partners.

For world peace and the prosperity of our peoples, it is essential to stop this offensive against Russia and the plague of Russophobia that is spreading especially in Europe. A bled and torn apart Russia, as the collective West wants, would be a tragedy, because the crucial contribution to the stability and balance of the international system that Moscow provides would be lost. Furthermore, it would open the door to a frontal attack against China, endangering world peace, and to a brutal restoration offensive (primarily military in nature) against countries close to the United States, especially Latin America and the Caribbean.

Moscow has reacted with extraordinary prudence to these provocations. Referring to the coup d'état promoted by the Obama administration in Ukraine in 2014, University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer observed that if an analogous situation had occurred on the southern border of the United States, i.e., a coup d'état that overthrew a pro-US government in Mexico and replaced it with one decidedly adverse to the United States, US troops would have invaded Mexico within hours of such an incident. Economist Jeffrey Sachs made the same remarks a few months ago.

Fortunately, Russia acted differently and went through all diplomatic channels before ordering the "special military operation" in Ukraine, but these attempts were systematically sabotaged by the United States and its European allies. Unlike the permanent commitment to negotiation and diplomatic agreements that characterize Russia's foreign policy, as well as that of the People's Republic of China, Washington would not have done the same in a similar case, as pointed out by Professor Mearsheimer.

It is this attitude of Moscow and Beijing that allows us to be cautiously optimistic about the future of the already established new multipolar order.
Atilio A. Boron Sociologist, political scientist, and journalist.