Op-Ed: Trump Is Creating a New World Order – Where China and Russia Will Be Its Leaders by Stan Salett

It has become commonplace to describe how we are experiencing dramatic disruptive changes in how we communicate, how we purchase and how we see the world around us. Gone are the chains of bookstores, many newspapers and magazines and many movie theaters. The telex, the fax, the phone booth, all gone. Retail stores and shopping malls are closing in record numbers. Once-powerful media companies are being sold off and dismembered. Our largest taxi companies own no cabs; our largest hotels own no rooms. We no longer use or need travel agents. Welcome to the Age of Disruption.

We are living in a period famously described and anticipated by Joseph Schumpeter’s monumental work, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. In it Schumpeter coined the phrase, “creative destruction.” Schumpeter described it as a process “that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”

In Trump, we have a president who is gladly riding the wave of disruption and leading what he obviously views as the destruction of the old world order. In this view, the United States is clinging to a position of solitary dominance through a perceived series of failing multi-nation international alliances like the United Nations and the World Trade Organization that only survive through U.S. taxpayer subsidy.

To Trump, this is a losing hand and does not reflect the real power and political reality of today. He sees China and Russia not as modestly modified former Communist states but as recently emerging capitalist societies. He views this new world not through the prism and norms of traditional diplomacy but being constructed anew through reciprocal trade agreements.

Insufficiently noted in this emerging new world order is the influence of Henry Kissinger. Soon after Trump’s election, Kissinger was interviewed on “Face the Nation” (December 18, 2016). At that time, Kissinger called Trump, “a phenomenon that foreign countries haven’t seen,” and said, “I believe he has the possibility of going down in history as a very considerable president.”

Throughout Trump’s presidency, Kissinger has been a continuing if largely unnoticed presence. As Trump visits NATO and then Russia, it would be good for more of us to realize that the old world order has been in disrupted and the new world order is emerging as a great power alignment of the U.S., China, and Russia. Donald Trump sees himself as the agent of this change. Like it or not, it’s happening while a national media wonder what Michael Cohen had for breakfast.

Stan Salett has been a policy adviser to the Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton administrations and is the author of The Edge of Politics: Stories from the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Poverty, and the Challenges of School Reform. He now lives in Kent County, Maryland. This essay was originally published in Alternet.com on July 9, 2018.

Poem: The White Male Dilemma by Stan Salett

The White Male Dilemma

He was here before the beginning
When he was easily winning
Women, gays and others of color,
Seldom entered his circle of power.
That was a time,
Has it all gone by?
Does he have to buy in?
Should he lie?
Where is his place,
In this new world he can see,
Every day of his life,
In the streets,
In the malls,
In the movies,
And on TV?
His time may be passing,
His status declines
His opponents are massing
He can see all the signs.
But he will not go away,
He says he’s here to stay.

He wants his country back!

Stan Salett
December, 2013

Poem: Veterans Day (Arma Virumque Cano)

I sing of arms and of the men and women,
Who forced by fate,
Set sail to distant shores,
And faraway places,
With strange sounding names.
Who are seldom the sons and daughters,
Of the makers of our military missions.
Who, in our name, straddle the earth,
Like a postmodern virtual colossus,
Bringing death and destruction,
To distant enemies seen or presumed.
Who try to be all that they can be,
And hope that it is enough.
Who are self-selected,
And not always eager participants,
In making the world safe,
For free trade and constitutional democracy.

For without them,
How could we extend our American Empire.
And without them,
How could we offer the world,
Peace in our time,
And on our terms.

Stan Salett
November 11, 2002