War-addicted West must stop dreaming of global domination by force
Published: Sep 06, 2022 10:06 PM
House of Hegemony Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

While the developing countries have long been free from colonialism and imperialism, some Western countries are still dreaming about recreating the "golden age" of imperialism and colonialism, where they can achieve global domination by force.

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday condemned the West, particularly European countries, for being "addicted to war and killing people" in a Facebook post. "They glorify wars. They celebrate the killings … They prepare for wars with exercises and war games. They are constantly inventing new weapons which are more efficient in killing people."

In this post, Mahathir also criticized the West for provoking Russia, which eventually led to the current military conflict between Moscow and Kiev. This echoes his remarks in a recent interview with the Financial Times, where he blamed "US provocation" for increasing tensions in the Taiwan Straits and called on Southeast Asian countries to stay away from the US and the West's provocation against China.

As a 97-year-old veteran politician, Mahathir has witnessed how Malaysia has embarked on an independent development path after experiencing the pain of being colonized and the trauma of WWII ignited by Western powers. This is also a part of the history of many other Southeast Asian countries.

Mahathir's statement reflects the mainstream public opinion in regional countries. Southeast Asian people know that they should not take today's peaceful development for granted, as such a road was built on fighting numerous bitter struggles and overcoming countless formidable obstacles. Therefore, it is natural that they are unwilling to be forced into another war between great powers, not to mention becoming a victim of the conflict. 

The Malaysian politician has obviously seen the prominent threat of Western provocation to regional and even global peace and security. Mahathir is warning Southeast Asia against becoming a disposable, small pawn in the West's Indo-Pacific strategy. He is also reminding regional countries not to become accomplices of the belligerent Western powers.

As former colonizers leaving scars to many developing countries, the West has written its history of prosperity on violence, including bloodshed and wars. Since the Age of Exploration, Western civilization has been using force to plunder poorer and weaker countries to gain more wealth, leading to its domination in the world.

However, Western countries don't like to see their hegemony challenged, because otherwise they will lose a critical violent tool to subjugate other countries. As a result, the West has taken all sorts of repressive measures against countries that might threaten their hegemony, even going so far as to wage wars.

Although it is difficult to portray all European countries as enthusiasts of violence, some ex-empires in Europe are still keen to bully others through the use of force as if they were still in the imperial period. Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that even though European powers have mostly stopped to provoke wars after WWII, they still have participated in US-led reckless bloodshed and unjustified wars in modern times, especially under the mechanism of NATO.

Chinese military expert Song Zhongping believes that the obsession of war in some Western countries reveals their hegemonic mindset. The development of Western civilization has fallen into a dead-end - It is still haunted by imperialism. Deep inside, some in the West still regard developing countries as their colonies, so they are still trying to find ways to bully and exploit to acquire more benefits and advance their interests.

Yet, most countries have now become acutely aware of the need for self-reliance to avoid becoming the target of Western bullying and plundering. And where there is oppression, there will be resistance, said Song.

Colonialism and imperialism used to create robbers and pirates of Western powers. But it is completely unrealistic for these countries to think such savage and atrocious manners can still guarantee them to throw their weight around in today's world. It is high time for them to wake up from the dream that they can rule the world with the advantage of its strength in power.