History tells us that empires are rarely defeated, by any external rival. Once any global power reaches such a stature of might and influence as to be considered an “empire”, it generally has sufficient military might and economic resources as to be virtually invulnerable to outside conquest/destruction.
Exceptions to this principle exist, but mostly in our distant past. When technologically superior Western empires collided with indigenous empires of the New World, the vast superiority of their military technology allowed European powers to directly conquer the “empires” of the Americas (as well as Africa).
Outside of such exceptions, a more general rule is observed: empires destroy themselves, internally. The precise evolution of such destruction varies, from empire to empire. However, the causes of such implosions are always the same: corruption or arrogance, and generally a large mixture of both.
It is with this context in mind that we can view the current geopolitical stage. We see, once again, two “sides” emerging. Adding to the déjà vu, once again this bipolar reality is being characterized as “a Cold War”. However, there are key differences between this Cold War, and the period of the latter half of the 20th century which originally acquired that name.
It is through looking back historically that we gain important insights from the original Cold War. It is when we examine these revelations that we see that only one side has learned the lessons of the first Cold War.
Cold War I was clearly a contest of two empires. In the West; we had the American Empire. In the East; we had the Russian Empire, known then as the Soviet Union. The Russian Empire had official control of several “satellite states” in Eastern Europe. The American Empire had unofficial control of several satellite states in Western Europe.
Who “won” this non-war? How did it end? The American Empire is credited (obviously) as the victor of that geopolitical contest. Where the “history books” particularly those written in the U.S., become vague and nebulous is in describing how the U.S. emerged as the winner.
It won by default. There were no overt actions or strategies, at all, which led to the victory of the American Empire in Cold War I. It “won” by default, because it was the only empire to survive. The Russian Empire/Soviet Union imploded, internally.
As a result of this structural economic inferiority, the Soviet Union was economically incapable of sustaining the reckless arms race initiated by the U.S. However, adding arrogance to corruption; the Soviet Union refused to admit to itself that it was incapable of matching the U.S.
The result was a simple, but catastrophic, economic implosion. Symbolically, the “Berlin Wall” was torn down, as the Iron Curtain crumbled. In a few, short years, the Soviet Union simply ceased to exist. It’s “empire” fragmented (as all former empires do) into its component parts. Only Mother Russia remained intact.
When we flash ahead a generation, to Cold War II, we see a very, very different world. The most obvious difference is that Cold War II is a one-empire paradigm. On the left/in the West; the American Empire remains. On the right/in the East, however, we have not an “empire” but rather a bloc: Russia and China.
A generation later; Russia has come a long way in rebuilding itself economically, from the “rubble” of Cold War I. Meanwhile, the world has seen the re-emergence of China. It is now universally accepted that China’s economy will soon become the world’s largest economy. China’s currency is replacing the debauched/disgraced U.S. dollar as the world’s “reserve currency” – or at least the closest thing to it.
While the American Empire still exists and has extended its imperialistic reach, it is a very different empire from the days of the Reaganites. Most obviously, the Rule of Law is dead. Saturation corruption permeates this now rancid empire.
Financial criminals (primarily based in the U.S.) commit crimes literally a thousand times larger than anything previously seen in our history, and then repeat these crimes again and again. The U.S. ‘Justice’ Department spends its time not in prosecuting and incarcerating these criminals (and criminalized “banks”). Rather, it expends its energies explaining why it refuses to prosecute these criminals.
The primary “prey” of this banking crime syndicate is now the American people and the U.S. economy , itself. The United States has not merely become insolvent, it is obviously bankrupt. The Oligarchs who control its puppet government literally shipped the U.S. manufacturing base to the low-wage regimes of Asia, which ironically included China. As a result, the once-envied U.S. Middle Class has been transformed into the Working Poor .
In most respects (outside of economic parameters), the American Empire would be judged to be “stronger than ever”. Clearly this is true militarily. Despite having no real “enemies” since the defeat-by-default of the Soviet Union; U.S. Neo-Cons have been busy as beavers inventing Boogeymen (and then destroying them) in order to justify the continued, relentless expansion of its war machine.
Politically; successively more-fascist regimes have rendered the U.S. Constitution essentially obsolete. Legally illegitimate (i.e. null-and-void), fascist laws have been wallpapered over the Constitution, stripping the American people of their rights and liberties.
In legitimate democracies; Constitutions are the ultimate Law of the Land, which serve primarily to protect the People from the State. In fascist regimes; invariably illegitimate governments create endless laws designed to protect the State from the People. The American Empire used to represent the former paradigm. Now it epitomizes the latter .
At one time; the closer that one moved toward the “heart” of the American Empire, the more strict was adherence to the Rule of Law. Today, the closer one approaches to the political cesspool known as “Washington, D.C.”, or the financial cesspool known as “Wall Street”, the more-overpowering becomes the stench of corruption – and lawlessness.
In a perverse twist of fate; the American Empire now mirrors the Soviet Union, in almost every respect. In the Soviet Union; voters were given the choice of two candidates, in what it called “elections”. However both of those candidates represented the Communist Party.
In the American Empire; voters are also given the choice of two candidates, they simply pretend to represent two, different parties. Incredibly, this political charade has managed to persist for at least a century.
Perhaps more significantly, the American Empire now bears considerable resemblance to the Roman Empire, as well. Historians are in agreement that at the time the Roman Empire was at the absolute peak of its military might that “the decline of the Roman Empire” had already been underway for centuries.
Where the ancient Roman Empire differs from the modern American Empire is that in the 21 st century, events – including the rise-and-fall of empires – progress much, much more rapidly. Roughly speaking, what used to stretch over centuries now takes place in decades. Instant communication, rapid global transportation, computerization, and numerous, other technological advances are responsible for this accelerated pace of political/economic/social evolution.
Morally and economically bankrupt; the American Empire now relies more and more heavily on its Big Stick, which it wields with ever more impunity and recklessness. Statesmen such as Ron Paul and Paul Craig Roberts have regularly warned that the current generation of Neo-Cons (who wield all, real power in the U.S. government) are marching relentlessly toward World War III.
However, while we see Psychopaths on the left/West, we see an entirely opposite political dynamic in the East. The strengthening alliance between China and Russia, represents two, large, global powers which (at least at this point in time) demonstrate no imperial aspirations. But this is only one significant way in which the East differs from the West.
In an essay titled Grandmaster Putin’s Trap , Russian writer Dmitry Kalinichenko provides us with an insightful allegory . Cold War II is not a militarily-oriented confrontation, rather it is a geopolitical chess match. The important point here is that only one “side” understands how to play (and win) a chess match.
How does a skilled chess-player achieve victory? Positioning, positioning, and more positioning. It is only once one’s opponent has been completely out-positioned that any thought is given to overt attack. Chess is a game of patience, and (often) a game of simply waiting for one’s opponent to self-destruct, via strategic error, or mere impatience.
This brings us back to the current geopolitical stage. In the East; we see Russia and China constantly engaged in improving their position. Unlike the American Empire; they are improving their economies – not cannibalizing them. They are relentlessly adding to their gold reserves (“He who has the gold makes the rules” – The Golden Rule), while the American Empire has squandered most of its own reserves .
While the U.S., and the West, in general, unremittingly alienates the Rest of the World, Russia and China have been rapidly improving their political and economic cooperation with other nations. While the political/economic institutions created or sponsored by the American Empire lose their legitimacy due to corruption, Russia and China are creating parallel, corruption-free institutions – to replace them.
If this was a real chess match, the player on the left would have already ‘pushed over his King’ (i.e. capitulated). The player on the right now has such superior position that the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt. However, this is not a game, but rather real life – where one side has utterly no respect for anything resembling “rules”.
Russia and China are clearly headed for victory-by-default in Cold War II. The psychopaths of the American Empire have demonstrated that they are ready-and-willing to do literally anything to prevent this seemingly inevitable outcome. For this reason; the warnings of people such as Ron Paul and Paul Craig Roberts should be given our most serious consideration.
TV: “Researchers say massive decline of fish is throwing off ecosystem” along California coast — Expert: “Population has truly collapsed”… They’re gone virtually everywhere — Whale numbers dropping significantly, squid disappearing, other major die-offs seen
Local whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… Fishing groups disagree, though they note the bay has seen some dramatic environmental changes.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oct 30, 2015: Monterey Bay anchovy numbers in decline, groups say… “Since late September, the whale numbers have decreased, their behavior has changed and their food, anchovies, are less abundant,” said Nancy Black, marine biologist… Whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons… The fishing industry says that’s not the case though ocean conditions have been unusual. Some scientists, however, are finding a drastic decline in the forage fish… [Pacific Fishery Management Council staff officer Mike Burner said,] “The council’s definitely concerned with some of the things they’ve heard.”… “The population has truly collapsed,” [said] William Sydeman, president and senior scientist at the Farallon Institute. “There’s no way fishing could have that kind of impact, so it had to be environmental.”… plankton populations are low, affecting their predators up the marine food chain… “When anchovy numbers are low, they crowd at the coast and appear to be abundant,” Sydeman said… At the same time, the lack of anchovies offshore are maybe in part why scores of sea lions and sea birds… are starving up and down the coast. “Right now we’re seeing that the whales are more scattered and seem to be looking harder for food,” said Dorris Welch, marine biologist…
KION, Oct 21, 2015: California’s last anchovies crowd in the Monterey Bay; Researchers say a massive decline of the fish is throwing off the ecosystem — Several conservation groups and whale watching operators are very concerned about the anchovies in the Monterey Bay… Recently, fishermen have been hauling out 120 tons of anchovies every night, but those anchovies are some of the last along California’s coast… “The anchovy abundance out here, and off the entire state, has gotten to some of the lowest we’ve seen since the 1950s,” [Oceana’s Geoff Shester] said. “Scientists are calling it an actual collapse.”… Anchovies are an important part of the ecosystem. That’s why these groups say if nothing is done, there could be long-term impacts. “We’re really worried that right now we are seeing major die-offs of sea lion pups and pelicans because they’re starving and not able to reproduce,” Shester said. “And that’s because there’s not enough sardines and anchovies out there.” “We’ve noticed the numbers of whales have dropped significantly,” [marine biologist Nancy Black] said.