Tony Blair wants the West to reign supreme, but ignores his own role in its decline
The UK’s divisive former prime minister recognizes that the world has become multipolar, but not the fact that it’s his own legacy
Tony Blair, a former British prime minister is controversial and highly polarizing. His cheerleading and participation in the Iraq War of 2003, brandished upon the false premise that Saddam Hussein possessed ‘weapons of mass destruction’, is one of the most memorable features of his premiership. Coupled with the domestic policies of his ‘New Labour’ project, it illustrates that Blair, despite being a Labour prime minister, was a de-facto right-wing leader who embraced the political consensus of Thatcherism.
Blair was an ardent neoconservative, who represented the era of ‘Pax Americana’ in the 1990s and early 2000s, and engaged in military action more than any other British prime minister of modern times. This is still accepted by the British and Tony Blair’s foreign policy is not an issue. However, his internal politics can cause divisions within the Labour camp. Recently, Blair made a speech at the Ditchley Annual Lecture, which focused on the challenges posed by Russia and China.
The final topic of the speech was to preserve Western supremacy in an increasingly changing international world. Blair brought up the collapse of the Soviet Union and the advent of Western unipolarity and attributed the domestic economic policies of both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as being fundamental to the Western triumph – in other words, free market capitalism and neoliberalism. The argument he made was that Western politics became what it is today because of its poor economic choices and inadvertent response to the global financial crash. “dysfunctional”And “ugly”The rise of populism
Blair stated his belief that with the challenges posed by China and Russia, “We are coming to the end of Western political and economic dominance.”China, which he considered the greater challenge because of its economic power, Blair noted that Beijing would pull countries out from the West’s orbit and join Moscow as well as Tehran. Blair demanded that the West unite and maximize its soft power to overcome populism and achieve technological dominance across many regions. This was what he described as “the foreign-policy project of Western democracy in the third decade of the 21st century: to protect our values and way of life in the era of China not rising but risen.”
Blair is, ironically enough, speaking as though he was merely an observer rather than an active participant in creating the world he hates. At the end of his speech, he chided: “How did Britain ever reach a point where Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn came for a short but consequential time to shape our politics?”Tony Blair, the man who can answer that question, is the one to thank. He created a disillusioned and unbalanced Britain, which resulted in the rise of populism and Brexit. But it was also the main themes that have fueled the West’s resistance to him.
Blair unambiguously speaks out about Western supremacy. He argues that the global southern looks up at the Western powers. “prefers”They were sent to China. But has Blair’s own legacy – the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and above all the ‘war on terror’ – not influenced the way the non-West perceives the West? Has it not led to ‘geopolitical pushback’ in the form of Russia’s reactions to the expansionist policies of NATO? Is there a nuclearization of Iran or North Korea? China’s rise in tension? Could it be that the conclusion of the Cold War was not ‘the end of history’ but the beginning of the backlash to an American-centric world – and Tony Blair’s actions were instrumental in strengthening that backlash?
As an arch-neoconservative, Tony Blair remains completely unapologetic and seemingly oblivious to the legacy of his own mistakes, both at home and abroad. He speaks of the supremacy of the West, yet falls short of recognizing that he is a key figure in causing the West’s disillusionment in itself – and the demise of its supremacy. The fact that there are demands that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, be held accountable for alleged war crimes, yet Tony Blair remains a free man continuing to advise the foreign policy of the future, is the reason for the change to a multipolar world – which Blair admits has arrived, yet detests so much.