The current world situation shows much more uncertainty than ten years ago. In the Netherlands there is uncertainty with social discontent in people's lives. This image also applies in several European countries. For example in France, where there was unrest between the government and the inhabitants (1). This is reinforced by the war in Ukraine (Will Tiemeijer and Anne-Greet Keizer, WRR) (2).
What explanation can be given for this?
The concept of Wallerstein (2004) has been used to present clarity, focusing on social/political consequences. In addition to a general analysis, a specific analysis of the situation in the Netherlands is presented. Finally, an analysis is presented from the metahistory.
The world is a (social) system, where all kinds of interactions between nations take place. The system remains in balance if these activities can be kept under control. If not, the system is likely to break down and become unmanageable (Meadows, Meadows, and Randers, 2004).
His concept is that the nations of the world are connected in a closed system. Wallerstein defines this as the world system. There is a world order between the nations. The regions of the world consist of three parts: the core, the semi-periphery and the periphery.
It concerns the relations between these three parts. The core areas are now the Western world, China and Russia. These nations are militarily, technologically, politically and economically dominant over the rest of the world's nations.
The peripheral countries are economically, militarily, politically and technologically weak and are also largely dependent on the core countries. The semi-periphery consists of the areas that combine features of core and periphery. These could be core areas in decline or developing nations. India is a country that is developing rapidly. India's economy would be more than double today's size by 2031, surpassing both Japan and Germany (3) (Dylan Vynck, Business AM, January 26, 2023).
At the core, there is always one nation that is more powerful and stronger than the rest of the strong nations and largely maintains order in the world. When this nation weakens, a power struggle ensues at its core and global unrest. This continues until a new equilibrium develops. Geopolitical processes thus ensure that the positions of states in the world system can change.
Unrest at the core
There is currently turmoil in the core. The West against Russia and also China. Partly as a result of the war in Ukraine, tensions have increased. As a result, the existing polarization in world opinion will increase (Virginie Mamadouh & Herman van der Wusten, Europa Nu, 24 February 2023).
There are two opposing blocks in the world. The maritime bloc around the United States with mainly Europe, East Asia and Oceania, as opposed to the bloc around China and Russia. This block also includes North Korea. It is a familiar picture from the history of geopolitics, but it requires further explanation (4) (Virginie Mamadouh & Herman van der Wusten, Europa Nu, 24 February 2023). Russians and Chinese visit North Korea to improve ties. North Korea supports Russia, among other things, in the war against Ukraine (rtl news, July 26, 2023). Russia and Iran are working even more closely together militarily. Moscow is said to have received more than four hundred drones from Tehran since August to use in the war against Ukraine (De Telegraaf, May 15, 2023)
After years of austerity, the military defense of the West and especially in Europe is top priority in the European member states (Afshin Ellian, Elsevier Weekblad, 12 May 2023}.
In addition to the core instability mentioned above, there is also the problem of massive immigration to Europe.
Mass migration is a recurring demographic phenomenon. Just as millions of Europeans moved to America at the end of the 19th century and millions of Mexicans migrated to America in recent decades, millions of Africans will come to Europe in the coming decades (Google, June 24, 2018).
A demographic explosion is taking place in the Islamic world and in Africa. The population of sub-Saharan Africa roughly doubles every twenty-five years. Just go and calculate that: one billion now, two billion around 2040, four billion in over fifty years. Such immigration has consequences for the welfare state. The Netherlands can only take limited responsibility for the millions of people who have been cast adrift, according to immigration expert Dr. Jan van der Beek (5). (Wierd Duk in the AD, 27-4-2017) .
There is no political consensus in Europe on this important issue. One camp wants the borders wide open and the other camp wants to stop immigrants at the border (Afshin Ellian, EW, May 12, 2023}.
The situation in the Netherlands
In the Netherlands there are the problems of:
Population increase. The number of inhabitants in the Netherlands has increased by 2,387,169 persons from 15,424,122 in 1995 to 17,811,291 in 2023 (ie 15%). The number of inhabitants is the number of persons as recorded in the population register on 1 January (Statistieken Nederland, 2023).
The population has increased more than fivefold in the last century and a half. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) expects the number of inhabitants to grow to 18 million in the year 2024 and 19 million in the year 2034. Population growth is determined by migration (Wikipedia, 2021).
It is high time for a business debate about population growth in the Netherlands. That is what demographer Jan Latten and journalist from Het Financieele Dagblad Jean Dohmen say in Op1 on Friday evening. “The quality of life in the Netherlands must be guaranteed,” said Latten (WNL, February 3, 2023).
The country is locked. The interests of nature, agriculture, housing, road construction and business parks have collided head-on. Even more people will only increase that pressure (De Telegraaf, 27 June 2023). The problems in infrastructure, education and healthcare also apply.
More than half of young adults (16 to 25 years old) in the Netherlands experience psychological complaints (De Telegraaf, June 27, 2023).
The actors behind these interests demand that their problems be given priority (Media reports, June 2023).
As a result, confidence in politics has fallen to a new low: six out of ten Dutch people are dissatisfied (good morning the Netherlands, April 20, 2023, source Social Cultural Planning Office).
On 7 July 2023, the cabinet fell due to the difference in the vision on asylum policy between the four political parties.
The differences between the coalition parties in the field of migration (6) have proven to be irreconcilable, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at a press conference on Friday evening about the fall of his government (Nieuwsblad, July 8, 2023).
On Monday 10 July, the Prime Minister decided not to stand for election and to leave politics.
We see instability at the core because of the geopolitical instability. As far as Europe is concerned, the pressure is exacerbated by a massive migration flow from the periphery and partly from semi-peripheral regions.
The Dutch situation provides an example of the crisis that arose with the fall of the government. Institutions to maintain the welfare state function insufficiently. Dutch society is more divided than ever. The Netherlands is in the danger zone when it comes to a polarized society with a danger to the functioning of democracy (De Ondernemer, March 2023).
In a puzzle, the pieces fit together. But beforehand we see loose puzzle pieces that don't fit together. Putting together puzzles can be a difficult job for the puzzler. According to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, reality is a loose puzzle. Modern man must wake up from the illusion that the world is a beautiful and throbbing structure.
Before, God was still there. He was the guarantee that everything is a good unity. He created the world according to Genesis 1 and saw that it was good. But to modern man (says Nietzsche), God is dead. The world is no longer a good creation. Everything is mixed up. There is no separation of light and darkness, no good or evil, and no fixed orientation point (ds. Stephan de Jong, Theologie.nl, 08-04-2022).
M. van de Dussen (Aristotle, 1979) and Dr. F. de Graaff (When gods die, 1969) point to the departure of the divine powers. According to M. van de Dussen, this happened when the gods or angels fell out of sight of the people (8).
Dr. F. de Graaff mentions that the Western countries are losing God. Examples. Britain is no longer a Christian country. For the first time in history, the number of Britons who say they do not believe in anything exceeds the number of Christian believers (KN Redactie 8 June 2016). The Netherlands is becoming increasingly secular. More than half of the population did not consider themselves to belong to a religious denomination or philosophical group in 2019 (rd reformatorisch dagblad, 16 December 2020).
When divine revelation disappears and a people becomes separated from God, the result is both a godless culture and other spiritual powers closing the spiritual vacuum or fill up. People try to explain reality with their own human thinking. Because of the resulting spiritual emptiness, people also become susceptible to wrong powers.
(1) Why are so many French people furious with the government? (Peer van Tetterode, in Europe, 2021), unrest in French cities (NPO news, July, 2023).
(2) Scientific Council for Government Policy in the Netherlands.
(3) Why is this important? Japan and Germany are currently the third and fourth largest economies in the world. Germany is the industrial engine of the European Union. Japan, meanwhile, is struggling to maintain a growing trend. Now that India appears to be catching up with both countries, this will probably be felt in the European market, regardless of the shifting geopolitical balance of power.
(4) Research on wealth disparities and political struggles around authoritarian and democratic viewpoints, including the growing differences between these two blocs on a scale that includes lifestyle tolerance, individualism and gender equality. While in the Eurasian block no changes occur with a low score on this index, the scores in the maritime block increase significantly (Virginie Mamadouh & Herman van der Wusten, Europa Nu, February 24, 2023).
(5) Dr. Jan van der Beek is a mathematician and anthropologist who worked at the University of Amsterdam.
(6) The asylum policy of the Netherlands has been discussed for months. In recent days, the discussion about the migration package has intensified and the various government parties have been diametrically opposed.
(7) That is, the natural connection and clarity to perceive the gods or angels disappeared. Gods no longer reveal themselves directly (Dr. F. de Graaff, The European Nihilism, 1956).
Increasing uncertainty in the world, dr. H. Dubbelman