West vs. the Rest?

Politics and democracy are all about majority vs. minority. Numbers matter? Hm, sometimes statistics confronts us with some unpleasant facts.

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

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

"New G8 emerging" countries (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 world food production.

(Data courtesy Swen Lorenz)

"G7" and some smaller western countries happen to be those which like to impose economic sanctions and fight economic wars, while "new G8" and most other countries don't (*1,2). Who is going to win in the long run? Just asking ...

Well, whatever winning a war means, may it be economic, cold or hot. Who won World War II? History books say, Russia, the US, the UK and France. Would the 20+ million Russians or the 1+ million Americans, British and French, who died in this 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)? Maybe not ...

For nations winning may be worth it, for individuals nothing but survival matters.  Heros are those for whom monuments are erected, but survivors are those who rebuild their countries and make sure that their nations' life goes on.

"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

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