The international order itself is racially structured


Photo by Kon Karampelas on Unsplash


“Too often…we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”
– John F. Kennedy

Some of the biggest arguments about power – who should have it and why – revolve around race.

It goes beyond the Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and allegations of institutional racism in the UK.

The very structure of the world order rests has a racial basis.

Think about it.

The world’s five largest economies by purchasing power are:

** China ** The US ** India ** Japan ** Germany.

And here are the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council:

** The US ** Russia ** China **The UK ** France

Notice the mismatch?

Is it any wonder that the UN’s writ is increasingly disregarded? The UN’s power structure doesn’t seem to represent much of the world.

As Gideon Rachman (paywall), the Financial Times’s chief foreign affairs columnist, has noted, “The fact that four of the ‘perm five’ are predominantly white countries arguably represents an international form of ‘white privilege’, inherited from the age of empire. It looks unsustainable when roughly 5.8bn of a global population of about 7.6bn live in Asia and Africa.”

Spot on.