Denis Bright continues discussion of three scenarios for the future of Australia’s international relations in 2051.
Scenario 3 offers the prospect of more substantial paradigm changes. Let’s explore the New Fifth Dimension (NFD) in global democratic politics.
A lot of progressive activism will be required to change the status quo and to deter the ships of state from potential conflicts unless fair consideration is given to the current Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which is anathema to all nuclear powers and their allies.
The US mid-term elections of 2018 brought a revolt against the excesses of Donald Trump. With its income divide comparable to Mexico and indeed China, the US electorate was ready to embrace New Social Justice Commitment to make Capitalism Work Again.
The depth of political change was comparable to Mikhail Gorbachev’s commitment to glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in the old Soviet Union.
In the US, Bernie Sanders remained the patron of the New Social Justice Commitment. It had attracted youthful and charismatic new generation of grassroots leaders who were popularized in the media as the New Fifth Dimension (NFD).
NFD was active in the Democratic Party. It demanded accountability and democratic processes over traditional machinery politics.
The NFD was linked to thousands of US nationwide beats in music bars, coffee shops and mainstream religious networks. Similar trends caught on in the megacities of the Indo Pacific Region. The NFD was welcomed in China to ease social tensions.
NFD avoided the narcissistic focus of the counter-cultural movement in the 1960s. Too much opting out of macro-political participation had enabled far-right leaders like President Nixon to make the world safer for market capitalism and military industrial complexes world-wide. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher would achieve similar results a decade later.
The NFD combined having fun with the institutional renewal of progressive politics through mass mobilization, commitment to sustainable economic, cultural awareness involvement, spiritual awakening and of course peaceful international relations.
In Australia, NFD has a big influence in institutional renewal in the Labor Party which achieved control of both houses in the new Australian Republic through a return to a viable two-party system.
From its former position as a nuclear umbrella state within the US Global Alliance, Australia had decided to act with New Zealand (NZ) to:
- Control visits by vessels and aircrafts carrying nuclear weapons through Australian ports and air-fields
- Negotiate with ASEAN Countries to our Near North to prevent the movement of nuclear weapons between the Pacific and Indian Oceans
- To encourage similar initiatives to de-nuclearize sea lanes in East Asia in return for the abandonment of nuclear testing in North Korea
- To support initiatives in the General Assembly to further the progress of the Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and other Weapons of Mass Destruction
- To facilitate strong Security Council sanctions on countries persisting with the spread of nuclear weapons and existing and experimental weapons of mass destruction
The momentum for progressive change had become unstoppable as national politics across the region were no longer dominated by preparations for war.
NZ’s Labour/Green Alliance under the new leadership of Jacinda Ardern made substantial gains at the 2017 elections.
Australia moved in a similar direction in 2018 due to the excesses of Donald Trump’s administration and the inability of the federal LNP to stand up for Australian sovereignty within the New Coalition.
In reaching towards the New Aquarius, substantial consensus had been achieved between indigenous, traditional, modernist and progressive political values in Australia.
In the traditions of Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs, a complete reaction to the old politics of elitism assisted in fueling the paradigm changes in both domestic politics and international relations.
Global spending through global military industrial complexes had exceeded $US 2 trillion for Twenty Year War on Terrorism (2001-21). This co-existed with appalling poverty and malnutrition levels from Yemen to PNG.
The political priorities of the NFD were not particularly radical. Its US mentors merely advocated social market concepts within a mixed economy run on established continental European models along with vast reductions in military spending.
Chance opportunities for dialogue were seized upon to develop NFD solutions to global diplomatic problems as once advocated by President Alexander Dubcek during the Prague Spring of 1968 at the height of the earlier counter-cultural movements.
North Korean defector and artist Sun Mu noted the North Korean Disney Musical in 2012 soon after the accession of Kim Jong-Un might have been a missed opportunity for dialogue with President Obama.
Another opportunity was the representation of both Korean States, the US and Australia with most other countries in the Indo-Pacific Region including Israel at the Silk Road Forum in Beijing in May 2017.
Then came the opportunity for representatives of North Korea and the US to meet at the ministerial meeting of the Association of South Asia Nations (ASEAN) in Manila in August 2017. Both countries are associate members of ASEAN.
As a responsible middle power, Australia demonstrated true flexibility.
After vigorous internal debate within the Australian Labor Government in 2019, Prime Minister Bill Shorten accepted the broad terms of the Draft Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Britain, France, Canada and Japan also reversed their initial opposition. The US eventually followed. Bans on nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction were made illegal under international law.
Ratification Day for the new Treaty is a global national holiday and there is no looking back to the Twenty-Year War on Terrorism as a real solution to anything but ongoing conflict and suffering from human rights abuses in places like Yemen and Saudi Arabia which had once been excused in the interests of political stability.
Denis Bright (pictured) is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion to evaluate pragmatic public policies that are compatible with contemporary globalization.