It goes without saying that the New Silk Road , as all political projects, is exposed to several kinds of threats.
The first one of them is the risk of economic failure. Since 2013, a lot of elements have worsened in the world economic landscape, with some of the BRICS countries still in a phase of recession. Notwithstanding certain signs of recovery, the future either is not yet completely clear.
A second risk is derailing because of wars, such as it could happen in Korea, Himalaya or Eastern Europe. During the Xiamen summit, the Korean crisis had arrived at a summit, whilst Indian and Chinese troops were confronting each other in Doklam and the “Zapad” drills were just starting in Eastern Europe.
The third risk is the one of not being understood by Europe. In fact, Europeans are living in a confuse transition, where a sense of superiority and of arrogance is defused step by step by the economic crisis and by their lack of ability to cope new challenges, such as migrations and terrorism. Because of the depth of the cultural changes required, the required processes are lengthy. In the meantime, Europeans have not understood that joining the Silk Road Initiative is their last occasion for participating to the ongoing renaissance of the Eurasian Continent.
A fourth risk is that the Silk Road Initiative remains confined to politics and economy, without being able to reach the cultural domain. During the debate organised by CGTV at the occasion of the Xiamen BRICS Forum, some voices had invoked a de-ideologized attitude, while others stressed a confrontational approach against the manipulation of truth by western media.
How to cope with all these challenges?
According to us, the response lies first of all in stressing the role of culture. In fact, the uniting concepts of the so-called “BRICS Plus” is that the culture of the West is unable to supply a satisfactory basis for a debate among the different peoples of the world for solving their problems. But does this happen only because the West is wicked, or because it is monopolised by a narrow group of powerful people? Or, said otherwise, is it so because it has adopted a fanatical ideology divinising technology, and, as a consequence, abhorring humanity? May the coloured world “there outside”, represented, for instance, by the Beijing Opera, the World Yoga Day, al-Azhar University, the Bolshoi theatre, Bantu dances, the Rio Carnival, be coerced into the aseptic theories of Post-humanism?
According to me, it is this incapacity to understand the complexity of the world which is bringing about the economic disaster of the West, as well as its useless tentatives to “bridle” diversity, in Cuba as in Irak, in Iran as in Afghanistan..
The concept itself of the Belt and Road initiative is an exemplification of the above dialectics (if you want, Yin and Yang), among different civilisations along the “Seven Climates” of ancient Persian culture: the agricultural civilisations along the oceans and of the Mediterranean shores (the “Wen” according to Shiratori), and the nomadic peoples of the Asiatic hinterlands (the “Wu”). It is normal that all these civilisations have their contributions to give to human history, even in the present globalised and technological era. Only if globalisation will incorporate such elements of multiplicity will we escape the prospective “End of Mankind”, overwhelmed by “Intelligent Machines”.
Only once such new multi-faceted “techno-humanism” (as Harari calls it) is shared, different problems may be solved: the economic crisis by means of economic policies adapted to each different area; military confrontations via an open debate about the conflicting requirements. At the end, there should be a phase of debate among all participants, based upon common goals. Europe must understand that, within this wide debate area, it has the duty to declare its own proposals, which may not be a simple photocopy of the American vision.