Amarynth interviewed London Paul for the Saker Blog
London Paul from the Sirius Report has a story to tell. This is the story of the history of multipolarity and the global move to a new multipolar structure in our world with the old single polarity hegemon now collapsing.
He graciously agreed to this 5-question written interview to bring Saker readers up to date and we are grateful for his time.
Paul will probably not be a new voice for some of our readers, but for others, you can read his background here: https://www.thesiriusreport.com/about/
His work was some of the first that was scrubbed from the internet and for years, he was laughed out of the house, as what he was observing was just too different to be true. To avoid the continual internet scrubbing games, he set up a monthly subscription podcast, where he discusses current affairs in relation to economics. Yet today, we are in this process and we can visibly see the progress and effects of this massive move to a multipolar world.
At the Saker Blog, we’ve focused on the Russian military action in the Ukraine. We understand that this is a fight not against the Ukrainians but against the US-led NATO military alliance, and the single power center, west. The Ukraine is but a proxy. In the bigger picture, this move toward multipolarity is one of the reasons if not the major part, for this military action.
With that short overview, we move straight into the questions.
Question: Paul, give us the background. How did you arrive at your understanding? What drew you to this specific study and what makes you excited about it, even today? Where do we stand as a world community? What do we stand to gain by changing the complete underpinnings of our world to a fairer system, where each country has a voice?
Response: I was originally an academic who studied Physics at degree and PhD level. I then moved into the financial services sector, so that’s when my interest and understanding in economics and finance started in earnest. It was around the time of 9-11 that I developed a serious interest in geopolitics.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2008 Global financial crisis, which I predicted in 2006, it was immediately apparent that the West had not implemented any policies which would resolve the causes of that crisis. They merely decided to bailout the financial system and then implemented QE and ZIRP which should only ever have been implemented on a very short term basis. I wrote to Western governments at the time advising them not to implement these policies for more than a few short months because the consequence of long term implementation is unsustainable asset bubbles, failing economies addicted to – and propped up by – cheap credit, and a completely unsustainable financial system. Developments made by China, Russia and other nations, which we will come to in the next question, were the first genuine suggestion that those nations saw the need for an alternative to what had become the utter failure of unipolarity by the 2008 GFC.
It was around a decade ago that I came to know the architects of what is now known as the multipolar world. They understood back in the 1990s that US hegemony and the US Dollar were in terminal decline. They advised the Chinese and Russians that they needed to develop a multipolar world, the resurrection of the Old Silk Road, to seek win-win cooperation with other nations and to develop sound monetary policies and currencies backed by real wealth, such as gold and commodities. From discussions with these architects I began to study China, Russia and the wider Global South in great detail as we began to see the embryonic development and implementation of the multipolar world.
Given these are fundamentally game changing developments in the so-called global order, my interest remains as strong today as it was a decade ago. We are now seeing a world that operates in two distinct spheres: a rapidly developing and ascendent multipolar world and a unipolar world in terminal decline. When these two worlds collide as the latter seeks to retain its relevance, we then see the risk of serious conflicts developing such as what we are now witnessing in the Ukraine.
Whilst the developing multipolar world is a decades-long project in the making, its adoption and the benefits that will be accrued are multifold, in that it seeks to develop nations domestically, bilaterally and in multilateral formats. It strives to promote true globalisation, not the highly abusive Western adoption of this theory. By promoting win-win cooperation and the development of vertical poles across the entire world, it will provide prosperity and security for everyone.
Many will argue that this is a nonsensical pipedream but it is already becoming a reality. Challenges will remain, not least in the ideological bias that exists between nations and in deep-seated historical grievances. However, all journeys have to start with the first step and that is what we are already beginning to see across the Global South. The sum of our parts can be infinitely greater than the individual components and that is something we, as responsible custodians of this planet, should be striving to achieve. It is for these reasons that my understanding of this paradigm shift remains as strong today as it was a decade ago.
Question: Is it only China and Russia that designed the concept of multipolarity for us, or were there more involved historically?
Response: Whilst I think it would be fair to say that China and Russia were the trail blazers for multipolarity, we should not forget the role that has been played by many other nations in the last decade which is equally as important and significant.
Firstly, there was the announcement of the BRIC alliance, which became the BRICS alliance, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the GFC of 2009. We also saw the foundation of the SCO or Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2001, which included Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Full membership was granted to India and Pakistan in 2017. There are also four observer states: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran (soon to become a full member), Mongolia and 6 dialogue partners.
We also saw the creation of the EAEU in 2014 which now includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia. In 2016, there was the formation of the AIIB or the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is a multilateral development bank focusing on developments in Asia. The bank currently has 105 members, including 16 prospective members.
We have also seen the modification of long-term institutions such as the ASEAN alliance or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations which was founded in 1967 and is a political and economic union of 10 member states in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation in the realms of economic, political, and security integration between its members and in a wider context throughout Asia.
One development which has been years in the making was the adoption of the RCEP or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in early 2022, which is a free-trade agreement. It includes Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
These are just a few examples of developments in multilateral formats. There have also been many developments in bilateral and trilateral formats which are all pieces of the development of this multipolar world.
Question: What do you envisage as we move further into this world configuration in terms of trade? What could be the everyday currencies? As we are a Russian-oriented site, there is much concern about the Russian Central Bank. Will we end up with Central Banks? Has Russia’s move to set a price standard for gold ended in a gold backed Ruble, or a commodity based currency? Explain to us what it means in broader terms for the ordinary person? Why should we be interested?
Response: Global trade, finance and ecoomies will literally go through a revolution. The BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) has laid the foundation for a global trade system but it is fluid and subject to change. There is no doubt that banks and the global financial system are going to undergo radical changes, including their investment arms. There will be a radical overhaul of the function of governments and financial institutions to include central banks. We expect to see the adoption of sophisticated barter systems which will facilitate trade whereby the respective counter parties will set transaction prices as they see fit, free from government interference.
Blockchain and other technologies will totally change the way business is conducted. The multipolar world will seek to facilitate trade and allow trading partners to generate and keep their wealth. There will be a radical overhaul of how basic needs are managed to include healthcare, education, food and energy security. The domination of unsustainable cartels and cooperations will come to an end and we will see an explosion of creativity in terms of industry, medicine, science and the arts. Ultimately, it requires a complete overhaul of all existing Western institutions which have ruthlessly abused their responsibility for self-interests.
We will see, in a very broad sense, the marrying of true capitalism and socialism into workable models for nations and alliances. The ongoing challenge to US unipolarity will continue via the Global South and, in essence, the Eurasian Trade Zone. Existing Western institutions will continue to unravel and the insidious practices that have underpinned the world since WW2 will continue to be exposed.
In terms of future currencies, we are going to see the adoption of new payment mechanisms outside the purview of the USD / UST complex. This will include nations trading in local currencies, adopting future cryptocurrencies or digital currencies in multilateral formats such as the EAEU and the ASEAN nations. The backbone of future trade will be in currencies which are backed by real wealth, to include gold, perhaps silver and a basket of commodities. There will be no single world reserve currency in the future. China has always made it clear that it doesn’t seek to make the yuan a world reserve currency but merely to internationalise its currency. Russia also has that possibility via its vast commodity resource base, for the future global adoption of the ruble in terms of trade, particularly with the Global South but also the West and not just in terms of demanding ruble for gas as we are currently seeing.
The 5000 ruble per gram price fix was merely meant to stabilise internal markets and miners. It has now been removed because that stability has been achieved. Unfortunately, in the West, that announcement was interpreted as meaning that Russia had backed the ruble with gold and it was wrongly conflated with a far bigger story which we have discussed for years about the future role of the ruble in international trade.
For Russia, the stability and global adoption of the ruble in terms of trading commodities will be beneficial to the Russian economy, its financial stability and enable it to access markets free from the potential interference of the US via the weaponization of the dollar. It will also permit Russia to continue to implement further domestic changes, not least including the development of the Russian Far East and its integration into the BRI. A stable ruble and the benefits that will accrue will also see greater international investment in Russia in the future.
Question: People talk about food scarcity and prices are rising everywhere. So, is this purely sanctions blowback, or the result of years of fiscal mismanagement? And then how is an ordinary person to hedge. Where are we going to see major country defaults on their debts?
Response: We have spoken about food and energy insecurity for a number of years. The sanctions blowback has merely exacerbated a long-term problem caused by utterly failed policy decisions. Firstly, nations should have long since been aware of the flaws of a global ‘just-in-time-system’, in that if one aspect of that mechanism fails it can have damaging consequences.
We have seen during the pandemic how global supply chains were impacted in very serious and sudden ways. The just-in-time-system was the primary cause of this. Whilst we are not advocates of protectionism, because we see that as being equally flawed, nations need to understand that they need to become more self-sufficient where possible, in terms of food and energy security. There also needs to be a radical overhaul of this just-in-time-system because the pandemic highlighted eloquently why it is quite simply unfit for purpose.
This also highlights the need for nations to adopt a new approach via multipolarity which seeks to find mechanisms to address the future disruption of supply chains, how nations can begin to address some of those concerns domestically, particularly in terms of food production and via their energy needs. There also needs to be an understanding that this Western ideological zero-sum game mentality is contributing to global food and energy instability because of its very weaponization by Washington and its vassal states.
In terms of energy security, the desire to push ahead with the utterly flawed green revolution has also led to unnecessary imbalances in the energy mix, putting even Western nations at serious risk of future energy and food insecurity including rationing and perhaps even the complete absence of basic sustenance food items. There needs to be a radical global overhaul of how we address energy needs and how we can address this via a mix of traditional fossil fuels, nuclear reactors to include a global drive for commercial fusion development, hydroelectricity and the adoption of viable renewable energy sources because currently the renewable sector is appallingly myopic and fails to address obvious issues such as the cost in terms of energy, resources, commodities and the environmental impact to implement e.g. solar and wind farms. In very basic terms the cost-benefit ratio of seeking to implement such technologies has not been adequately addressed.
In terms of how people can manage the current risks of food and energy insecurities, that depends on their individual circumstances. If possible, they should look to stockpile non-perishable foods, grow their own fresh vegetables, utilize alternative off-the-grid energy sources for cooking, heating and lighting. However, this is often not possible due to financial and domestic constraints. What is clear is that we are expressing a global crisis in terms of food and energy security and currently we don’t sense that Western nations are taking this seriously enough. The consequences are potentially catastrophic and not just in terms of the global South. The West is now highly vulnerable to similar shocks and we are simply unprepared, not least in dealing with the societal impact this could and will cause.
Question: What is the question that you would have liked people to ask you, initially, in the early days, when your message was not taken seriously. And of course, if you can answer that question as well.
Response: Ironically, this is a question within a question. I was asked back in 2014 what I regarded as my fundamental observation for the next decade. My response was that we should all pay attention to what China and Russia do domestically, bilaterally and internationally. This was greeted with utter disbelief, ridicule and anger. Instead of reacting in such a manner, the next question should have been why I gave such a radical response and what was my reasoning, instead of being summarily dismissed.
If I had been asked why I believed this to be the case I would have explained why the GFC in 2008 was the signal that US hegemony, the US dollar and unipolarity were in rapid and terminal decline. Why – as I stated at the time of the Kiev maidan in 2014 – this was the final nail in the coffin lid of the US hegemony and the USD and Russia would play the long game to see this reach its inevitable conclusion. Why I stated that the major energy deal between China and Russia for the Power of Siberia, signed in 2014, was a major catalyst for the acceleration of the multipolar world and de-dollarisation. Why post GFC 2008, the US burnt its bridges with China by printing trillions of dollars instead of asking China to buy their debt. Why the rollout of the multipolar world was baked in the cake in 2014 and the US weaponization of the dollar would continue to erode global trust in the US and the USD leading to the collapse of unipolarity.
My reasoning was based on an unfolding reality which Westerners have continually, for the last 8 years, failed to see, often because of their arrogance and ignorance. Even now, many still regard the US as the hegemonic power it was in the 1990s and China and Russia as they were in the 1980s economically, societally and military. They also tend to see China and Russia through the eyes of the West, which is a very myopic perspective and makes the assumption that neither nation is capable of offering a better alternative to unipolarity. A failure to grasp these fundamental issues will continue to see Westerners fail to understand the unfolding paradigm shift and therefore to continue to dismiss it as being an irrelevance.
Thank you Paul! for your time and your complete responses. But, I feel we’ve hardly touched the subject and this is most probably the one issue we will be talking about far into the future.
We open to the Saker commentariat and if you have a question for Paul, please put that in the comments. We will choose another five questions and do another interview in written form. It is now your turn, dear reader.