It took lots of effort by the richer countries, especially the US, to goad others to change their inward-looking policies, and adapt changes with free trade agreements, and market economy with currency convertibility. Once the benefits, which started as a trickle became a flood, made their presence felt, some got into the game with zest, none more than China. They have become unstoppable, running away with the spoils, accumulating huge reserves mainly at the cost of the US & Europe. The genie is out of the bottle & has become a game changer, even threatening others’ prosperity, as whatever they can do; China does better & in a bigger scale with the whole world as their market!
The Olympic Games saw China running away with the most medals; similar hunger to succeed is being shown in real life situations to out-do the rest! The game has become relentless as modern technology knows no boundaries. The hunger to succeed in countries with huge population, held down earlier by self-defeating policies especially in China & India, is relentless. With their numbers, it is natural that the economic output should add up to a considerable number, leaving others in their wake. In a way, the soft bellies of the developed countries are being exposed, with others snapping at their heels, an uncomfortable feeling, not experienced earlier!
The earlier ways of languid democratic traditions are under threat not only from hungrier new kids on the block, but also technology changing the ways of the world. It is seamless with latest products and knowledge reaching every nook & corner; no more the preserve of some to stay ahead of the game! No wonder China, with their competitive spirit & national pride with a top-down no-nonsense government, is running away with the spoils & threatens the rest, including the US.
It is becoming a mad, mad world by the day, with no respite; all having to run faster to stay where we are! Even, retirement is getting postponed; the harsh reality of having to work to stay alive with multiple wants and snazzy newer gadgets by the day! These can sprout out from anywhere, as technology can now be replicated!
Olympic Games are held every four years, so the records & pole position change; it does not matter even, except for some national pride! But pole position in world power equation has been held unquestionably by America, and that means a lot; as major policies and decisions across the world are influenced by them. It will be a different world indeed if they are dislodged & a communist China takes over. It looks possible indeed, and with the huge reserves at their command, it helps to bail-out others and there could be many requiring such help, especially if there are no other options to fall back upon!
The world is inexorably moving into unknown territory and it is not business as usual. Even the rules of the game can be changed unilaterally by those with the might; why should all be considered equal, when others are insignificant when reckoned by the harsh realities of economic & military might! Even now, there is no real equality, with some countries treated more than equal; like Permanent Members of UNSC, G8, G20 groupings etc., which decide pole positions in world power equation & clout. But generally, all have been made to feel counted, but the future looks cloudy & less wholesome! The rules can indeed be changed unilaterally, whatever be the protestations now. Even we, individuals, find it difficult to stick to the rules, if circumstances prevent us from staying rooted to our causes that we hold dear for now! Like in personal lives, let us hope for the best that it would be a fair world, but be prepared for the evolving realities and enjoy the moments at the same time!