World Orders do not just shift like weather patterns or climate. They are fundamentally affected by the rising and falling of relative power between the various regions of the world.
Europe and its Overseas Subsidiaries have ruled the planet for only ~500 + years. Its first truly global impetus was seen in the expansion of the Iberian states. Portuguese ships, which were either traders, pirates or naval depending on the circumstances pushed around Africa and up into the Indian Ocean. The Spanish stumbled into and conquered the Americas on their way to the Orient from the west.
For half a millennium the West ruled the Rest. That is but a blink in historic time and a mere glitch in deep history. The Indian Ocean had a highly evolved trading system mostly run by Arab and Malay sailors. The Portuguese only needed to decapitate the system and place themselves at the apex. This is also exactly what the Spanish did in Central and South America: decapitate and replace the native imperium with their own.
Much of the Iberian empires fell into the hands of the British and their descendant peoples and the French. The British and French then spent the 18 and 19th centuries tearing at each other’s shares of the Iberians’ bequest.
The Great Civil Wars of Europe in the first half of the 20th Century exhausted the French and British and prevented the Germans from grabbing “their” fair share of the Rest. The two great para-European nations were left glaring at each other across a weakened and dimming Europe. Russia and America formerly peripheral to “The Continent” replaced Europe throughout the World.
But a system can sustain only so much change before its basic qualities begin to decay. Europe’s 20th Century self-inflicted exsanguination and its sudden loss of confidence in its own Historic Inevitability together allowed the sudden collapse of its civilizational immunity. The Muslim menace had always loomed from below Europe, always awaiting its own “Inevitability”. The moral and physical weakness of Europe attracted the Muslim hordes. America and Russia remained indifferent to the European demographic decline so long as they prevented the other from absorbing the corpse into its rival’s hegemony.
So much death breeds disease and more death. Islam has re-emerged to reclaim the Indian Ocean littoral, and to expand far beyond the limits set at Tours and Vienna into the heart of the Continent.
The loss of Pride in the West has become mental illness. The apparent masochistic desire to submit before The Rest has all of Greater Europe including North America clumsily committing suicide as if that would satisfy their “debt” for bringing on the Modern Age.
Even in the larger wave oscillations of history the West is reaching a nadir. Until the Persian Wars, Europe was a mere peninsula of Eurasia. Two and half millennia have elapsed since the Athenians and Spartans threw back the Persians. That expulsion only ended when Alexander, the heir of Greece conquered the Persian emperor. Though 2,500 years is a long run, it seems it too is but a passing wave. Persia rises again as “Graecia” ages ungracefully. And China restores her Pride or more accurately her sense of being the great and Middle Kingdom of the planet. China is poised to do that which it had never done historically until now.
Only briefly did China ever cast its eyes out over the world with anything but disdain. Never did China as a unitary state set about expansion. Always “barbarians” from the north or west were attracted by its wealth when it became powerful. And always the barbarians succeeded in replacing the previous stabilizing dynasty with a period of chaos.
Unless Islam clashes with China I believe we are witnessing the collapse of what was once The Modern World. I.e. unless the followers of Mo’ fight the heirs of Mao.
Though there appear to be waves and cycles in history, as in the rise and fall of various powers and regions, they are NOT forces beyond human intervention. Much of the philosophic poison the West is imbibing is based upon this fallacy. It is partially the faith in Marxism that allows for the new fatalism in Western thinking about itself. The Post-Moderns, Marxists have “deconstructed” Western Civilization from an achievement of the highest order, to being considered a predatory net-evil. The pride of being the most ashamed of their own civilization is something New Under the Sun. Just as the Modern Age with its Middle Class was the only New Thing Under The Sun; so too is the spectacle of civilizational suicide.