By Nathan Barton
Be sure to read part 1, or this won’t make much sense.
The FedGov, imperial or not, whatever our “objectives” are, needs to have nothing to do with China or Russia. Why? Why are they doomed? For geographic, demographic, and historical reasons. Which are the same reasons that the Fifty States – America – does not HAVE to be doomed.
Look first at China. Its history is one of constant rise and fall of empires, warlords and chaos. It This last time, China has really only been unified for a mere 70 years. It isn’t even one country and one people: it is a hodgepodge of ethnicities and tribes and languages and even cultures. And modern China is very much a creation of the US FedGov and the Bretton Woods world order.
Since 1949, it has been hurt by mistake after mistake. Entering the Korean-American War, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the invasion of Vietnam, the one-child mandate, the enormous money and financial games, and more. Despite this, China’s economy and prosperity has exploded, and it has become equal (or more) to Russia, and an economy competing with the Fifty States and the EU. But it is all built on sand, and the consequences of all those mistakes will be coming home to roost. Possibly within a decade. Its demographics are even worse than most of Europe: it is running out of workers. And the vast imbalance in the male-female ratio is deadly. It is a land power, but most of its power is necessary to keep “unified.” Though they pretend otherwise.) They have somewhat balanced a capitalist economic system (really a mix of crony and state capitalism) with a growing authoritarian government at all levels.
It really has no external enemies that are truly threats (as long as it is “united”). There is little risk of the European-Japanese colonialism that bedeviled and brought down the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty over a century ago. But soon there may be more than the “two” Chinas of today. It is getting nasty. The biggest external threat is being cut off from external energy supplies. Losing oil and gas from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Persian Gulf will collapse its economy. To be followed by a crash of society (if that hasn’t already happened). And then another era of warlords, like much of Africa. Oh, there may be a few areas (mostly in South China, like Hong Kong and Shanghai) still intact and able to be part of a world system.
China today is bluffing. They don’t dare carry through to threaten American objectives, or even interests. If the United States were really challenged and defeated (or badly damaged) by China, China would be dooming itself.
When China goes down, it will likely become fair game for lots of people. Especially if the US (FedGov) is not around to keep things to a dull roar. Again, just like much of Africa.
As the recent trade war shows, China is really NOT essential to the US or the FedGov economically. Or for much else: no matter how much is produced by China for us. New (and better) sources can be found and are already developing in Thailand, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and especially Mexico. And frankly, what does it matter if Happy Meals no matter have Chinese toys and have to substitute Mexican or even (gasp!) US-made ones?
But what about Russia?
Almost no one in the West realized what a paper tiger the Soviet Union was prior to 1991, and just as few realize that the Russian Federation is itself a hollow shell racing time to survive. Again, they have geography, climate, demography, ethnicity, tribes, and a horrible history all going against them.
Their population is dying off, worse than China and Europe. Their geography makes transportation and defense very difficult. Their climate is hideous and prevents exploitation of their natural resource wealth. Russians are getting to be a minority in their own country. And they’ve made an incredible number of generational enemies. So they are exposed to more threats than they can stick a nuclear missile at.
Many of the old Soviet republics are threats, short and long term. Not Ukraine, but Uzbekistan and Turkestan and the other Muslim-majority states. And those threats could easily be backed up by the likes of Turkey and Iran. And China, if it hasn’t already collapsed.
Why? They don’t have enough people and will have even less soon – they’ve “forgotten how to have children.” Drug and alcohol abuse, suicide, remnants of Soviet society, all further weaken the Russians. Putin is racing to get the borders and other systems necessary to preserve Russia “set right” while there are still enough people. I don’t think he’s going to make it.
And even if there were a formal making-nice and alliance between the US, Europe, and Russia, the rest of Europe have reasons to NOT make nice for real (except for maybe natural gas), and the Fifty States, when we get down to it, just don’t care. (Any more than we really care much about Europe, especially with the UK leaving the EU.) I give the Russians less than a decade: collapse, invasion, warlords, and howling chaos are likely.
So the NYT and the Regressives are living in a dream world. Not just because they think the choice is between China and Russia, not just because neither of those choices offer much. And for one more reason: the Fifty States do not NEED China or Russia. Or really, most of the rest of the world.
But more on that in another commentary. Leave it at this: the NYT and their buddies are not just ill-educated, irrational, and delusional: they are crazy and desperate. Ignore them.