West vs. the Rest?

Politics and democracy are all about majority versus minority. Numbers matter? Hmm, sometimes statistics confront us with some unpleasant facts.

"G7 developed countries" (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States):

  • 10 % of the world's population
  • 29% of global GDP
  • 4% of key commodities (oil, gas, iron ore, rare earths)
  • 8% of global food production

"New G8 emerging economies" (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, Russia):

  • 48% of the world population
  • 36% of global GDP
  • 45% of key commodities (oil, gas, iron ore, rare earths).
  • 58% of global food production.

(Data courtesy of Swen Lorenz)

The "G7" and some smaller Western countries happen to be the ones that like to impose economic sanctions and fight economic wars, while the "new G8" and most other countries don't (*1,2). Who will win in the long run? Just asking ...

Well, whatever it means to win a war, be it economic, cold, or hot. Who won the Second World War? History books say, Russia, the USA, Great Britain and France. Would the 20+ million Russians or the 1+ million Americans, British and French, who died in that war, and their families give the same answer? Or the 30 million dead Chinese who "won" the war against the Japanese and the civil war against the troops of Chiang Kai-shek (*3)? Probably not ...

For nations victory may be worth it. For individuals nothing matters but survival.  Heroes are those to whom monuments are erected, but survivors are those who rebuild their countries and ensure that the life of their nation continues.

"International politics is never about democracy or human rights. It's about the interests of states. Remember that, no matter what they tell you."

Egon Bahr, the man behind German "Ostpolitik" in the 1970s

*1 Woodrow Wilson Center

*2 Economist Intelligence

*3 Neue Zuericher Zeitung

If you want to leave a comment, click here.