I warned about the trap of virtue signaling in my article Virtue signaling over Ukraine. This video is still relevant – but have we moved on since then?
The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was universally condemned at the time. Or was it? Certainly, the political atmosphere in countries like New Zealand/Aotearoa was clear. Anyone arguing the Russian case was shouted down. Media sources like RT were banned. Social media took it upon themselves to actively censor any pro-Russia arguments. And the New Zealand government enthusiastically introduced anti-Russian actions with justification based on bias rather than logic.
But even in those early days when 141 countries voted in favour of a UN resolution deploring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there were words of warning. The Economist Intelligence published this map in its article of March 30, 2022, “Russia can count on support from many developing countries”
This article pointed out that only “36% of the world’s population live in countries that have actively condemned Russia and imposed sanctions on its economy. Led by the US and the EU, this bloc includes all Western-leaning governments.”
However, “nearly one-third of the world’s population live in a country that has so far remained neutral.” Economist Intelligence warned, “that a significant share of these countries would align with Russia if tensions were to escalate.”
Added to this “another 32% of the world’s population live in a country where the government has supported Russia’s actions or where official declarations have echoed Russia’s narrative.” The article concluded that “these countries will try to benefit from closer ties with an anti-Western bloc, further reinforcing a split in the global economic and geopolitical landscape.”
Only a third of the world supported the US/EU/NATO condemnation of the Russian Federation. While another third was neutral, the fact is only a minority of the world was prepared to take any action.
The West vs the rest – it’s serious
These figures suggest that the world is now divided between a US-led minority and the “rest” a majority which refuses to go along with the US/EU/NATO narrative and actions.
In fact, this map shows that the US is taking economic actions (sanctions) against many countries in this majority.
Countries sanctioned in some form by the United States (as of 2022) according to Wikipedia. Map credit: JojotoRudess – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0[/caption]
Sanctions are a form of economic warfare suggesting that this division of the world is serious and permanent.
The West now refuses to condemn Nazism and Racism
The rest of the world can be forgiven for coming to this conclusion. The map below shows the distribution of voting on the UN General Assembly resolution “Combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”
The final vote on this resolution last December was 120 in support, 50 against and 10 abstentions.
I am certainly very unhappy about our government’s vote on this resolution. Opposition to Nazism and racism should be accepted by all rational people. Our government should not have succumbed to pressure from the US/EU/NATO bloc on this resolution.
The majority of the world wants economic justice
Last December the UN General Assembly resolution “Towards a new international economic order“ was approved by 123 members, opposed by 5o (including New Zealand again) and there was 1 abstention.
The text of this resolution is very interesting. It calls for “a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest, cooperation and solidarity among all States.”
It opposes “unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede the full achievement of economic and social development, particularly in developing countries.” The majority of the world opposes the sanctions (really a form of economic warfare) imposed by the US/EU/NATO countries and their supporters like New Zealand/Aotearoa.
The resolution also demands “respect for each country’s policy space” and “respect the territorial integrity, national sovereignty and political independence of States.”
These are all things which I agree with, and it disgusts me that my country opposed these principles.
Let’s leave aside detailed arguments about the conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation – they can be discussed elsewhere. But I find the way counties have lined up on important issues like the need to oppose the glorification of Nazism and racism and important economic and financial principles related to justice and equality interesting. These are principles I willingly endorse, and I wish my country had sufficient independence to stand out against pressure from the US/EU/NATO and also endorse such important principles.
Sadly, our country does not have that independence. History will show we have chosen the wrong side.