According to realists, it’s in human nature to dominate and exploit others, to satisfy his selfish interests. Throughout the history of mankind, survival of the fittest has always been the norm. In medieval times, people were divided into different tribes or clans. Some cultures were considered superior to the others, like Roman and Greek civilizations are still remembered for their magnificence. Later on empires emerged, which dominated the weaker states. The colonial era was marked by the exploitation of resources in Asia and Africa.
Eighteenth Century and The Western World
Since the eighteenth century, the western world became more developed than the rest of the world. With the rise of capitalistic states in the west rather than invading other states and dominating them by means of military power, these western countries came up with the liberal ideas like free trade, cooperation, globalization and similar ideas to gain their own interests. It increased the trade and the world become more connected than ever because of the boost in information and technology. The United States, being the center of multiculturalism and globalization and was popularly regarded as the melting pot of the world.
These collective liberal ideas were generally referred to as ‘Western modernity’. While those, who rejected these ideas, were considered conservative and uncivilized. To a degree, every part of the world did come under the influence of western ideas of modernity and there was a spread of multiculturalism. However, the eastern countries rebelled against the influence of western culture, by firmly attaching themselves to their own cultures. In Iran, the Iranian revolution came; in India, Hindu revivalists rose and formed Bharatiya Janta Party. Similarly, many revivalist movements started in South East Asia. The most extreme form of this rebellion is the current terrorist groups operating in different parts of the world.
The Western States in These Days
In today’s world, the western states, which were once open to multiculturalism and to the liberal ideas, are now closing their borders to the refugees and supporting the nationalistic policies. In America, people elected President Donald Trump for his “America comes first” policy. Britain is busy in making a Brexit deal with the European Union to regain its sovereignty. In many European countries, like Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Sweden, Austria, Slovenia and Hungary, politicians have started campaigning for their elections with the slogans which are anti-immigrants and are pro-nationalism.
How is the World Going to End?
Today the world is facing many problems, global warming is increasing along with water crisis, millions of people are homeless in Afghanistan, Africa, Syria and Yemen, and incidents of violence and terrorism are increasing. Apparently, the resources are becoming limited and the states are fighting for their survival. A breaking point may come in a few decades, when the so called liberal states revert to conservative nationalistic ideas. Though a major war may not be waged, due to the nuclear age, but a continuous violent conflict among states, over resources, is inevitable.
The question is: are liberal concepts like multiculturalism and cooperation for greater good are losing their meaning? As the western countries, who were the biggest supporters, are themselves alienating these ideas. In short, revival and dominance of religion, culture and nationalism in every country’s policies have begun serious conflicts which are more fatalistic than ever before in the history of mankind. If these conflicts and problems continue at this pace and if the world leaders continue to work for their own selfish interests, the world may end within a few decades.