Legal Documents

Rebranding the West
Rebranding the West

Rebranding the West

LONDON – The following confidential memo from a top consultancy to a well-known Western leader has found its way into our hands:

It is over. As a first step on the consulting journey that we have embarked on together, we propose to rebrand you out of existence. We know it will be tough, but there is no alternative.

We must get rid of “the West” as a concept. The “Western alliance,” “Western values” – all of it must go. Anything that has to do with the West has been on its way out, marketing-wise, for a long time now. Sustainable, eco-friendly, and free from animal testing? Fine. Just not Western.

The last straw for “the West” came in Davos last week. With all due respect, Western leaders like you looked silly beseeching India and Indonesia, Turkey and South Africa, and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to join the “Western coalition” against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. You only got to see the nonplussed look on the faces of these countries’ leaders when you popped the question. We also overheard the unkind things they said about you afterward in the corridors and cafés.

Geography, for one, is dead set against you. Japan has long been part of the West, but it happens to be in the East. Likewise, South Korea. Australia and New Zealand look like they are in the West only if you live in Vancouver or Pacific Palisades. To inhabitants of Asia, Australia and New Zealand are in the East.

Plus, if you stick with current labels, you will have to invite Ukraine to join the premier “Western” clubs – NATO and the European Union – once this unpleasant episode with Putin is over. And Ukraine is clearly in the East. Or, given that Kyiv is farther east than St. Petersburg, if Ukraine is in the West, so is Russia. That is a nonstarter.

As you move to excise “Western” from your vocabulary, expect some pushback. The problem will not lie with the guys out in Wyoming and Montana, sporting cowboy boots and driving pickup trucks with gun racks, who will continue to live in “the West” no matter what.

Rather, the complaints will come from Latin Americans, who were occasionally told they belonged to the West, just not as first-class members. Take it from us: Latinos will be angry. It is no fun to be told the disco will be closing its doors forever after you have spent decades trying to get in. They may even threaten to take their corn tortillas and soybeans to China, but President Xi Jinping is too busy enforcing his zero-COVID policy to pay much attention.

So, what do we replace “the West” with? It is a question that calls for out-of-the-box, forward-looking strategic thinking. Having extensively consulted with stakeholders, we are in a position to suggest some options:

The world’s democracies. It may sound a little stodgy, but it has a nice moral ring to it. Plus, it has the advantage of focusing on what India and South Africa are, but China and Russia are not. And Indonesia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Brazil, and Mexico, all countries with over 100 million people, fit in nicely here.

The world’s open societies. This is a solid and brainy option, and going with it might unlock funding from a foundation or two. But with immigration such a hot-button issue in many democracies, would governments really wish to imply that they are ready to take in millions of migrants? Better not go there.

The world’s market economies. Sadly, this is a clear no-no. Markets may work well in practice, but not in theory – at least not in polite company. To make this a viable branding proposition, you would have to speak of the world’s inclusive, transparent, post-reset, after-the-just-and-green-transition market economies. That is a mouthful.

The world’s capitalist societies. Ditto. Aside from Elon Musk and Peter Thiel, who wants to be called a capitalist nowadays?

So, we recommend going with “democracies.” It is the right label to describe the countries coming together to fight Putin and his crimes. But it matters how you say it. US President Joe Biden gives “the world’s democracies” a nice firm twist, which comes with the gravitas of being almost an octogenarian. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been trying hard of late, but his smirk as he utters words like “democracy” gives the game away. So, go with Uncle Joe, not Boris.

But it is not just the term “the West” that is problematic. While the “Global South” may be better than the offensive “Third World” and the mealy-mouthed “developing countries,” it nonetheless has real drawbacks. At Davos fireside chats, people from these countries repeatedly griped: “Who do these Americans and Europeans think they are, lumping us together in one big blob?”

They have a point. Some “Global South” countries are poor; others are rich. Some are democracies; others are autocracies. And many are not even in the South. To be blunt, the “Global South” sounds a bit like “you nice brown people down there.” You would not want to be caught dead uttering such a thing nowadays.

At Davos, “Western democracies are fighting Russian aggression while the Global South sits on the sidelines” was repeated ad nauseam. It is the wrong thing to say, which is why Western leaders like you achieved little.

“The West” has had a great run, but you need to retire this obsolete label. Do it now. And expect an invoice soon.

Andrés Velasco, a former presidential candidate and finance minister of Chile, is Dean of the School of Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

By Andrés Velasco


Most Recent News

Title Category Create Time Eng Nep
Nepal to have benefit in GSP facilities even after Nepal's LDC graduation News 2023-09-27 00:00:00.0
UK has come out with The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) News 2023-09-07 00:00:00.0
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) visited Trade and Export Promotion Centre News 2023-08-29 00:00:00.0
Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy in Kathmandu visited Trade and Export Promotion Centre News 2023-08-28 00:00:00.0
Nepal-USA Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Meeting News 2023-05-23 00:00:00.0

Search All News

Title Category Eng Nep
It is important to increase the role of TEPC News
Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) visited Trade and Export Promotion Centre News
जर्मनीका व्यापार मेलाहरुबारे छलफल सम्पन्न News
Nepal participated in Biofach Trade Fair 2022 in Nuremberg, Germany. News
Rebranding the West News
Services-led growth key to Nepal’s green, resilient, and inclusive development News
Cargo tracking system will be implemented soon : Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and Supplies News
Foreign Trade Statistics of Nepal [First two months (Shrawan-Bhadra) of Fiscal Year 2074-75] News
UK has come out with The Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) News
मंसिर २३ देखि हस्तकला व्यापार मेला News
Upto 8% Cash Incentives in some of the Potential Export products News
Nepalese Chyangra farmers trained to add value to pashmina fibres News
India hands over Jaynagar-Kurtha cross-border rail section News
The problem of trade and transit between Nepal and India will be resolved. News
Nepal to discuss trade barriers at IGC meet News
Nepal to have benefit in GSP facilities even after Nepal's LDC graduation News
Nepal's Export Trade via Rasuwa Border Resumes (Nepali Version) News
China announces zero-tariff treatment for 98% of tariff lines for 16 LDCs News
ITC partners with national private and public stakeholders and the World Bank to establish a Nepali value chain for the Pashmina sector. News
Revolving fund of Rs 10 million set up for agriculture and education News
Millions of rupees of tax evasion in carpet industry revenue News
Nepali EPG urges new peace, friendship treaty with India News
MoC launches updated NTIS 2016 News
EU-TIP Support to Capacity Building of MSMEs in Trade and Export (Nepali version) News
स्वदेशी उत्पादनलाई ‘कलेक्टिभ ट्रेडमार्ग’ आवश्यक छ : राणा News
Training of Trainers (TOT) on Nepali products designs as per Demand in the International Market News
Policymakers voice for enhancing bilateral economic cooperation News
Nepal-India ICG meeting will be focused on trade facilitation News
Minister Yadav directed the ministry to make Birjgunj ICP ready for inauguration in 3 days. News
Govt fixes support price for coffee News
Bangladesh permits Nepal's yarn export via Banglabandha Dry Port (Nepali Version) News
China agrees to open market for Nepalese tea News
Export opportunities emerge as Nepal prepares move beyond LDC status News
Kiwi fruit saplings being exported to Bhutan News
Production of seven provinces in a single sales center News
Cardamom insurance, compensation if plant dies News
Export of Rs. 80 Billion in 6 months of fiscal year 2079/80 (Nepali) News
प्लास्टिकका फूलहरूको उत्पादन र आयातमा रोक, अबको विकल्प के? News
Root cause analysis addresses non-tariff measures in Central Europe News
कफी खाने बढे, सरकारले ध्यान दिए अर्थतन्त्रको खम्बा बन्नसक्छ News
EU-Nepal Trade and Investment Project News
Discussion on Trade facilitation News
From now 'output- based' on grants only News
नेपाली चिया अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय प्रतिस्पर्धामा अब्बल News
निकासी प्रवर्द्धन सम्बन्धी छलफल तथा अन्तरक्रिया कार्यक्रम सम्पन्न News
राष्ट्रवादी नाराले हुँदैन, उपभोक्ता र व्यापार सन्तुलनका लागि सस्तो वस्तु आयात गरेर महँगो वस्तु निर्यात गर्ने हो : सरद बिक्रम राणा [अन्तर्वार्ता] News
Nepal: Coffee Export Guides, Market Access Map and Quality for Trade Platform launched News
सुनको मूल्य तोलाको एक लाख नजिक News
President Obama Signs Nepal Trade Preferences Bill News
ECTS system in Nepali cargo coming to Kolkata port. News
DoC introduces ExIm code for traders News
Nepal's trade is now surplus in US market News
India to grant Nepal access to two key ports in Gujarat & Odisha under trade, transit treaties News
President Obama Signs Proclamation to Implement Nepal Preference Program News
Int'l Women's Trade Expo concludes on a high note News
Commerce and Trade Agreement will be reviewed News
Insurance designed to make cardamom farming commercial News
१७ करोड बराबरको नेपाली सिमेन्ट भारतमा निर्यात News
UK's New trading scheme cuts tariffs on hundreds of everyday products News
ADB forecasts modest economic growth News
Govt targets 4% GDP contribution from NTIS products News
Prime Minister's China Visit: Agreement on three ports News
The process of building dry port in Chobar has started. News
ऊनी फेल्टका झोला निर्यात News
भन्सार दर तथा अन्तशूल्कको दर हेरफेर News
लगानी प्रवद्र्धन केन्द्रित नीति बनाउन सुझाव News
Nepali VP sees huge market in China for Nepali products News
Railway agreement between Nepal and India News
TIFA meeting after 6 years: US interest to increase export of Nepali products. News
सिमेन्ट र क्लिंकरको निर्यात बढ्यो News
वार्षिक निर्यात ५० करोडभन्दा बढी भए थप सुविधा कार्तिक 3, वुधवार News
वित्तीय क्षेत्र सुदृढीकरण गर्न विश्व बैंकको १८ अर्ब ऋण सहयोग News
Economic growth rate of Province-2 is 3.5 percent News
Nepali Cargo Rail Access to Calcutta News
U.S.-Nepal Joint Statement on 3rd Trade and Investment Framework Council Meeting News
Honorable Minister for Industry, Commerce & Supplies Ramesh Rijal's visited TEPC News
केही वस्तुको आयातमा प्रतिबन्धको निरन्तरता News
राष्ट्रिय सम्पत्तिको मूल्यांकनमा जोड News
Cereal crop production up, vegetable production down in Karnali News
Minimize Trade Deficit News
'EXIM Code mandatory from Augusut: Deposit amounted reduced to 3 lakhs News
Registration into GACC for Exporting to China News
Nepal participated in the first International Planning Meeting ahead of Expo 2025 Osaka Kansai. News
Narrowing gap on Trade Deficit due to Import Restriction (in Nepali) News
इन्डोनेसियाको निर्यात प्रतिबन्धले नेपालमा असर News
Government and World Bank complete annual review of portfolio performance News
Minimize trade deficit News
Nepal-China trade: free trade feasibility study on the cards News
Nepal-USA Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Meeting News
Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy in Kathmandu visited Trade and Export Promotion Centre News
व्यापार घाटा झन्डै १६ प्रतिशतले घट्यो। News
भन्सार एजेन्टको परिक्षामा उत्तिर्ण भएकाहरुलाई ईजाजतपत्र News
चियाले विदेशी मुद्रा भित्र्याएको दाबी News
Around 50,000 he-goats, sheep to be brought in Valley for Dashain News
Nepal-China trade set to surge with Tatopani Customs re-opening News
Kerung is now an international border point News
मुस्ताङबाट ५० करोडको स्याउ निकासी News
जनप्रशासन संघ एवं व्यापार तथा निकासी प्रवर्द्धन केन्द्र बिच अन्तरकृया कार्यक्रम सम्पन्न News
काठमाडौंलाई व्यापारको हब बनाइने News
मुस्ताङको स्याउ बजारमा News
Consultation meeting on Trade Policy Review held News
Department of Customs and the Trade and Export Promotion Centre sign Memorandum of Understanding News