There are very few empires left on this planet. I count three, to be precise; some might have a total of five. Those are the FedGov (USA), India, and China. Some would add France and Russia. All of those are, their predecessors (or earlier versions of themselves) in the process of falling, as happened during and after the First and Second World Wars.
Indeed, they jockey for position, as if it were a race. Right now, it seems that China may be the quickest to succumb.
Given that I’ve already discussed the geopolitical reasons that China is (a) an empire, and (b) in great danger of collapse, why am I again beating this drum?
In a word: coronavirus. For the latest panic-magnifying results, read the Daily Mail article. A brief summary: although admitting only a couple of thousand cases of the illness and 81 or so dead, the government’s “transparency” and truth is suspect. Some observers report at least 90,000 cases. And with video and photos showing shrouded dead bodies next to living patients in hospital corridors, less than a hundred dead in a city of 11 million seems questionable. (Wuhan is as big as London; and halfway between Chicago and LA’s metropolitan populations.)
China is frantically building four “temporary” hospitals, each with capacity for 1,000 patients. But apparently 19,000 doctors have been ordered to the areas infected by the virus. Train and bus traffic between major cities in China has been suspended; about 40 million are in quarantined areas.
It appears that China has lied about how long this virus has been spreading, how deadly it is, and how late their health agencies (government) have been reacting. This is, of course, exactly what we’ve come to expect from government in general, and especially from Communist governments.
Some are speculating that actual deaths may be a hundred times the reported number: 8,100 or more. And that even a figure of 90,000 infected may be a lowball estimate – and an outright lie. And quarantine may not even been possible. The coronavirus is apparently infectious even during its incubation period (of 1 to 14 days). And that is enough to let it spread virtually across China. Even while jumping borders and oceans to pop up around the world.
They report about the Chinese government appeal for hundreds of thousands of isolation suits for medical workers, for basic food, sanitary supplies, blankets and more. They point to the disappearance of too many earlier reports – and reporters. While the observers claim this is the Communist government cracking down, I wonder. Maybe it is death that is shutting them down? So it appears that the Beijing regime (and all its vassals down to the city of Wuhan and its districts) not only is lying, not only is incapable of responding effectively, it also does not have the resources to respond.
And the crisis seems to be accelerating. As does its effect on the fractures already existing in China: geographical, ethnic, social, and more.
If a Chinese city is unable to handle an additional 80+ deaths (over a week or more) to the usual number who must die in a city of 11 million people, what will if do if that number jumps ONLY to 800+? Or 8,000+? And even if the 80+ in 11 million is accurate? China has more than 1.4 billion people. That is 10,500 additional deaths per week: a half-million more per year. The numbers quickly add up to a sum of collapse.
We’ve seen it before – and not just in ancient times or the Middle Ages. (Justinian’s Plague, the Black Death, and more.) We’ve had epidemics in the 20th, and now 21st, Centuries which have killed millions. Almost as many as died in the 20th Century’s blood mass wars. Yes, we have better – incredible! methods of detecting and treating disease, and a good understanding of transmission and control. But in today’s interconnected world, with transportation and dependence constantly growing, it becomes more and more difficult to contain. Even to the most totalitarian of governments.
If it turns out that the Chinese government is following its usual methods of lying, and if the Hong Kong situation and the Uighur mess and the growing fear of economic ruin provide opportunities for more fear and panic among the population, the collapse of China could be much nearer than we could imagine even a few weeks ago.
If the virus here in the Fifty States gets beyond the patients Zero, one, and two known as of 26 January 2020, there is potential for great trouble here as well. But nothing compared to what China faces. Many other countries, such as the Philippines, Thailand, those in the Indian subcontinent, and especially Africa (which has been much penetrated by Chinese in the last decade), are also at great risk.
Indeed, many nations of the world will appeal to the FedGov and Europe for aid of all kinds, from food and water to doctors, nurses, and all sorts of technicians – and no doubt soldiers. An appeal to which deep-state government bureaucrats will respond with eagerness. Recalling that saying about crisis and opportunity – for government to grow, expand, and do more and more.
Lovers of liberty, too, must be prepared. Not just to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors from the coronavirus and its immediate affects of illness. But to protect ourselves from those who will use this crisis for their benefit.