Gomberg’s infamous “New World Order” map 1942

During the height of World War II, the new world order was being crafted. It assumed the new superpowers that would be taking the world stage after the war. In concert, these superpowers would ensure that the world would achieve “permanent peace, freedom, justice, security and world reconstruction.”

While the map suggests how the world should be aligned, it is neither authoritative nor published by a government entity. Surprisingly, this well known work was the product of an individual who shared his views with the public with the aid of a map. He promoted the map through advertisements and it received a lot of attention. Later it would be referred to as an indication of the real intentions of the superpowers. Could this happen today? Sharing one’s views through mapping is prevalent but the possibility of being mistaken as authoritative might be a long shot.

Gomberg’s infamous “New World Order” map 1942.

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All Options on the Table

All Options on the Table

Britain recently announced cutting aid to India for obvious economic reasons. Two thoughts come to mind when considering this action and the stated reasons for it. First, this move makes perfect sense at a time when the economies of many nations are forcing them to take very austere measures that affect the common population. Although the annual amount (£280 million/$457m) is so low that it was referred to as “a peanut” when compared to the overall Indian budget, it is a start in the right direction to spending reductions. In no way can aid to a foreign nation help the average person with their affairs at home. A policy that is truly embedded with concern for the welfare of a nation’s citizens would be reflected by such a decision to cut foreign aid ties in times like these. More to the point of this idea is why have U.S. leaders neither brought this up for discussion nor advanced it has a potential factor in reducing the debt as a spending cut measure and paying for programs at home. The U.S. spends billions annually on foreign aid for supposedly strategic purposes but that strategy is not helping to solve the economic crisis. Also, spending billions monthly on wars is not aiding in steering the nation away from the approach to the fiscal cliff. Ultimately, the basic needs of a nation should be considered before grand ideas of winning the hearts and minds of others across the world.

Whilst many of these aid programs are the offspring of genuine concern and care for the world’s poor, the host countries have demonstrated, through the material gains of a few, that they have the potential to solve these problems themselves. In all these places you can see lavish hotels, cars, houses, etc. This disparity between the rich and poor is exacerbated when aid continues to flow and perpetrators of corruption are not held accountable. In some cases, these same people will one day resent the very aid that they received when it is used as leverage to install puppet leaders or thieves in order to dictate and influence from afar.

Perhaps if US citizens would have similar protests as those in the EU, the leaders would be forced to consider more common sense approaches to solving the economic problems. Work stoppages and the like might be the real next step in ramping up the collective voice. However, in order to maintain an objective view, many public workers in the EU are unionized where in the US that is not the case. If you think Occupy Wall Street was the solution, where are the results? The effectiveness is hard to measure because it suddenly effervesced without any real policy changes at the local, state or federal levels of government. Is the US citizenry too subordinate to launch effective protests or are things not as bad in the states as they are in Europe?

National Ties Conquer All

How did Britain end up in this predicament in the first place? In making the case for cutting the aid, Britain cited a geographical fact that cannot be ignored and has been a glaring contrast from the early days of the rise of the empire. The question posed has been why Britain, a very tiny island, should be sending aid to a country as large as India? Britain measures 243,610 sq km (slightly smaller than Oregon) and India measures 3,287,263 sq km (slightly more than one-third the size of the entire US). In other words, Britain could fit roughly into India thirteen times. If size doesn’t matter, then what does? I believe that nationality is a significant factor that binds a people, giving them the courage, strength and audacity to conquer a loose collection of people with different names, languages, backgrounds, religions and so on, scattered across a vast continent. While the present case is India, this point can be made even easier considering the African continent. With full support from the government for exploration and conquest and at a time when global egalitarian concepts were not even a thought, sheer will and bravery ensured success at subduing other peoples and lands. In contrast, history has not shown China to be conquered at such depth thanks to minute differences between the people as a whole. Technically speaking, another view is to consider how people are labeled. An Englishman speaks English and is typically from England. A person born on the continent of Africa doesn’t speak a language called African and their nation is not called African. They may speak Ewe and their nation is called Ewe and they represent a very small percentage of the entire population of the continent. Just as in India, a great collection of peoples have been generalized and their respective differences have all too often been overlooked.

Now that the world is much more cognizant of the fact that human beings foreign to them, living in faraway places, deserve the same rights and opportunities, a balance must be struck. That balance must take into account also the converse. How did such a large collection of people end up in this situation in the first place? While the hands of time cannot be reversed, would the people be safe and happy today if they had been given the same equal respect upon first contact centuries ago? Had they been left alone to live their own lives as they saw fit and exercise their rights as humans, would they be better off? If they had not been conquered and dealt with as equal members of the global community, would they have advanced at their own pace ensuring social and economic stability? While the answers to these questions may be elusive, cutting certain ties is definitely a start down the path to independence.

Sources:

  1. CIA Factbook: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/
  2. Hindustan Times BLOGS: UK-India: Trade, ditch the politics of aid.

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/terminal-3/2012/11/12/uk-india-trade-ditch-the-politics-of-aid/

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