The G7 summit has confirmed my worst fears about the chronic decline of the West

In an article for the Telegraph dated 27.06.22, Sherelle Jacobs laments the failure of the West to defend the cause of liberty in what she sees as a pathetic response to the threats now engulfing it from Russia and China at this year’s G7 Summit.

“The reason for this is bleak: European elites are more interested in pursuing narrow interests than the greater good.

Germany has fluffed its best opportunity to send out a message that it is finally ready to meet its leadership obligations on the world stage. With the G7 taking place on home turf, here was an excellent opportunity for Chancellor Olaf Scholz to draw a line under the dismal mercantilism that has shaped Berlin’s foreign policy, and officially scrap Nord Stream 2.

Instead, speaking at the conference, Scholz remained stubbornly vague on how exactly Germany would “stand” with Ukraine, as it comes under fire for dithering over sending weapons."

With France and the US also displaying a similar lack of resolve, an obvious question arises:

“Why are Western technocrats failing to make the case for the liberal world order? Is it a cosmic leadership failure – a reflection of the fully automated cretinism that passes for technocratic managerialism today? Partially, but we also need to factor in the precipitous decline of neoliberalism over the past decade.

Neoliberalism, for all its flaws, was the religion of freedom that once united Western powers. It had two sacred tenets. First, that human wellbeing is best advanced by entrepreneurial liberty, which can only be secured through free market structures. Second, that the spread of free markets would organically lead to liberal democracy, ushering in a new era of unparalleled harmony.”

Part of the reason for the decline in support may be its disdain for the nation state:

“Conceived as an antidote to populist socialism in the 1970s, [neo-liberalism] also carries within it a cancerous suspicion of sovereign democracy, which it argues must be tightly bound so as not to interfere with the cause of global free markets. Friedrich Hayek called popular sovereignty a “nonsense notion”; Milton Friedman branded the majority “a fundamental threat to freedom.

Of course, the truth is that free market globalisation is only sustainable with democratic support. It is this single intellectual error by otherwise brilliant minds that has ultimately led neoliberalism to implode in the face of the financial crash and the resulting rise of populism."

Nonetheless, concludes the author:

“the demise of neoliberalism has created a big problem. The West has lost all its confidence in the sacred power of freedom. And as the West loses its faith, so will the rest of the world.

The number of countries that are becoming “more authoritarian” is three times the number of countries moving towards democracy.

Protectionism is surging across the world. That makes it more important than ever to send out the message that liberty matters. There is a mountain of empirical evidence that freer nations tend to be wealthier and that free trade is a force for good.”

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article by Sherelle Jacobs for the Telegraph - The G7 summit has confirmed my worst fears
Download • 89KB

G7 Summit - 2022


As an addendum to the article above, we include a German perspective on the G7 Summit from Karl Mathiesen and David Herszenhorn.

In an article for Politico, they lament the lack of concerted action by Western leaders across a multitude of policy areas from climate change to the war in Ukraine.

“Climate change, which is killing glaciers and reshaping the planet, has been a top priority of the G7 for years. But with the war in Ukraine, spiralling inflation, global food shortages, and spiking energy costs — the leaders of the largest industrialized democracies were once again daunted and distracted by immediate imperatives.

As they wrapped up their talks, the world’s most powerful leaders seemed to be tinkering at the margins and failing on all fronts — powerless to stop Russia’s war or stop prices from racing out of control, unable to stop the Zugspitze glacier from melting, or to even to end the blockade of millions of tons of Ukrainian grain vitally needed to feed the developing world.

While they boasted of uncommon and unprecedented shared purpose in tackling all of these challenges, the solutions they endorsed in some cases seemed self-defeating and contradictory, such as seeking to lower the prices of oil and gas while simultaneously restating their aims to end the use of fossil fuels. They want to end the war but not fight in it. They want to promote rules-based capitalism, while imposing price controls on energy.”

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for Politico by Karl Mathiesen and David Herszenhorn - View from the summit A self
Download • 587KB

Germany's highest mountain Zugspitze in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany | Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images

31 views1 comment