Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 14, 2020

U.S. Fails To Find Allies For Waging War On China

The U.S. wants to counter China's growing economic and political standing in the world.

The Obama administration had attempted a 'pivot to Asia' by building a low tariff economic zone via the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). It would have excluded China. The Trump administration rejected the TPP and withdrew from it. It launched an economic war against China by increasing tariffs on Chinese products, prohibiting high tech supplies to Chinese manufacturers, and by denying Chinese companies access to its market. 

It has also tried to build a military coalition that would help it to threaten China. It revived the 2007-2008 Quadrilateral Security Dialogue and rebranded it as the U.S.-Australia-India-Japan Consultations Quad. The aim was to turn it into an Asian NATO under U.S. command:

The U.S. State Department’s No. 2 diplomat said Monday that Washington was aiming to “formalize” growing strategic ties with India, Japan and Australia in a forum known as “the Quad” — a move experts say is implicitly designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region.

“It is a reality that the Indo-Pacific region is actually lacking in strong multilateral structures. They don’t have anything of the fortitude of NATO, or the European Union,” U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said in an online seminar on the sidelines of the annual U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

“There is certainly an invitation there at some point to formalize a structure like this,” he added.

But it turns out that neither Australia nor Japan nor India have any interest in a hard stand towards China. All look to China as an important trade partner. They know that any conflict with it would cost them dearly.

On October 6 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Tokyo for a meeting with the other foreign ministers of the Quad. He soon found that no one would join him in his militant talk:

In a meeting with foreign ministers from Japan, India and Australia in Tokyo, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged on Tuesday that they strengthen their quartet of democracies to resist an increasingly assertive China.
If, as it appeared, Pompeo was pushing other members of the Quad to take the U.S. side in a confrontation with China, he did not score any ringing public endorsements, and his remarks clashed with those of his host.

Pompeo aimed straight at the Chinese Communist Party in remarks before the four nations' top diplomats sat down to talk.

"As partners in this Quad, it is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP's exploitation, corruption and coercion," he said.

But Japan's chief government spokesman, Katsunobu Kato, insisted at a press briefing Tuesday: "This Quad meeting is not being held with any particular country in mind."

Australia and India were similarly reluctant to say anything that would potentially offend China.

Pompeo's initiative has failed. The former Indian ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar explains why the Quad won't fly:

China cannot be beaten since, unlike the USSR, it is part of the same global society as the US. Look at the sheer spread of the US-China battlefields — global governance, geoeconomics, trade, investment, finance, currency usage, supply chain management, technology standards and systems, scientific collaboration and so on. It speaks of China’s vast global reach. This wasn’t the case with USSR.

Above all, China has no messianic ideology to export and prefers to set a model by virtue of its performance. It is not in the business of instigating regime change in other countries, and actually gets along rather well with democracies.
The US created the ASEAN but today no Asian security partner wants to choose between America and China. The ASEAN cannot be repurposed to form a coalition to counter China. Thus, no claimant against China in the South China Sea is prepared to join the US in its naval fracas with China.

China has resources, including money, to offer its partners, whereas, the US budget is in chronic deficit and even routine government operations must now be funded with debt. It needs to find resources needed to keep its human and physical infrastructure at levels competitive with those of China and other great economic powers.

Why on earth should India get entangled in this messy affair whose climax is a foregone conclusion?
China has no need to fight wars when it is already winning.

The U.S. also tried to incite its European NATO allies to take a stand against China:

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Saturday that China's increasing influence had created a "fundamental shift in the global balance of power" that should not be overlooked.

In an interview with Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper, that was released in advance, the Norwegian official said that Beijing had the second-largest defense budget in the world after the United States, and was investing heavily in nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that could reach Europe.

"One thing is clear: China is coming ever closer to Europe's doorstep," he said. "NATO allies must face this challenge together."

That initiative will sink in Europe just as fast as the Quad initiative has sunk in Asia and for the very same reasons. China is not an ideological or military danger to Europe. It is an economic behemoth and relation with it need to be carefully handled. They require respect and talks and not saber rattling.

China has overtaken the U.S. as the EU's biggest trading partner:

In the first seven months of 2020, China surpassed the United States to become the biggest trading partner of the European Union (EU), said Eurostat, the EU's statistics organisation.
The EU's imports from China increased by 4.9 per cent year-on-year in the January-July period, noted Eurostat.

According to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany, the largest economy in the EU, China, Germany's biggest trading partner since 2016, surpassed the United States for the first time in the second quarter of this year to become Germany's largest export market, and Germany's exports to China in July have rebounded almost to last year's level.

It is time for the U.S. to look into a mirror and to awake to reality. It is highly indebted country with a way too expensive but ineffective military. Over the last decades its economic role in the world has continuously declined. The constant militant positions and 'do as we say' attitude has alienated its allies. Without allies the U.S. has no chance to defeat China in any potential conflict.

What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force.

Neither of that is in sight.

Posted by b on October 14, 2020 at 17:07 UTC | Permalink

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Instead of competing honestly, the US engages in massive propaganda, subversion and destabilization in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, sanctions, extortion and mafioso thuggery (ex. waylaying and threatening a very long US incarceration of Huawei's founder's daughter, Tik Tok), making up rules, etc.

Or put in the words of "We lied, we cheated, we stole" Pompeo's Orwellian projections, the US engages in "exploitation, corruption and coercion."

A psychopath/sociopath often seeks to turn others against their target. Such is the behaviour of the US as well-personified by Pompeo.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Oct 14 2020 17:39 utc | 1

The little US vassal that could...

Trudeau Vows to Stand Up to China's 'Coercive Diplomacy'

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada intends to work with allies to challenge the Chinese government's 'coercive diplomacy'."

And it's working...

Toronto Launches Campaign to Combat Rise in Anti-East Asian Racism

"...More than 600 incidents of anti-Asian racism have been reported across Canada since the onset of COVID-19. Assault accounted for nearly 30% of the reported incidents. Verbal harassment - including name-calling, swearing, racial slurs and threats - occurred in 65% of reports. Sixty percent of all incidents were reported by women."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Oct 14 2020 17:53 utc | 2

U.S. compete honestly against China? Ho, ho, ho, the U.S. is not in any position to do so, because so much of their "work force" is incompetant for lack of education, or on drugs.

Posted by: Robert | Oct 14 2020 17:56 utc | 3

In order to maintain the US Dollar as a world reserve currency, we need to run trade deficits. Offshoring to China does this and solves other problems as well such as increasing corporate profits, suppressing wage growth and masking inflation with cheap imports. It even stimulates military spending due to obsolescence from industrial espionage and to counter PRC investments in their military from profits made from US businesses that relocated to China.

It’s a win-win! Just not to the average US citizen.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 14 2020 17:59 utc | 4

the problem is the ussa is losing the means to ‘reach out and touch’, other than its vast military machine ...and it is becoming increasingly difficult to fund. Iff we can get past the next 5 to 10 years, the ussa will be past any real ability to sc,rew with the world as they have, since 1945.

Posted by: James j | Oct 14 2020 18:03 utc | 5

Oh, the sweet delusions of a dying empire!

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 14 2020 18:03 utc | 6

Australia has actually been an eager accomplice (rather pathetically so along with the rest of the Five Eyes countries) of the US in the economic war on China, and India's desire to not participate in OBOR while offering their own (not very good) counterpart also makes them an ally of the US. However, there's a difference between having the courage to join the US in sanctions and propaganda to actually be ready to field forces...

Posted by: worldblee | Oct 14 2020 18:04 utc | 7

thanks b.... so true everything you say...

@ 2 john gilberts... canada is quickly becoming irrelevant... i guess it is doing what the usa is presently doing - becoming irrelevant... remember we are swamped with msm bs 24-7 in canada coming from the usa.. it is no surprise some of this shit sticks in small people's minds... the fiasco with hauwei is a good example of how wrong canada has got all of this...

Posted by: james | Oct 14 2020 18:07 utc | 8

China lodges complaint with Canada over Trudeau's 'coercive diplomacy' remarks Social Sharing

our neo-lib leader trudeau gets some things right and a lot of stuff wrong too, like above...

Posted by: james | Oct 14 2020 18:10 utc | 9

"What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force."

Totally agree with the US needing some serious soul searching and finally ending this "if i dont get laid, then no one else gets laid" cockblocking attitude to international affairs... but as far that 'well paid workforce'.. i'm afraid that is precisely why it has been losing out to China: even US companies have outsourced their labour there to save costs.

It could compete like Germany does, in quality products and high end manufacturing, but time is fast running out there too. Just look at how Japan's car manufacturing has gone from cheap tin can crappy cars, to winning LeMans and Formula 1 titles in just a few decades Toyota is now the world's largest car manufacturer and a leader in electric mobility going forward. How long before China joins them?

Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 14 2020 18:15 utc | 10

Who'll fight China? Pomp-ass by himself, supposedly the first in his class?

Senior Lebanese political analyst Anees Naqqash predicts that an American ‘civil war’ will ensue from the 2020 US presidential election on November 3, regardless of whether Donald Trump wins or loses the election.

Posted by: Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 14 2020 18:31 utc | 11

Shit hits the fan when dollar hegemony ends.

The Empire's power-elite would rather have war than see that happen.

Western elites/Deep State crossed the Rubicon when they chose to enrich themselves and trample on human rights as they helped their main future strategic rival to rise. Who will fight - and die - for these corrupt asshats and their pampered progeny?

We will look back and marvel at the legendary hubris and greed. And the disastrous aftermath.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 14 2020 18:31 utc | 12

SEATO - 1954 - 1977 did not work either.

Posted by: Dorian | Oct 14 2020 18:36 utc | 13

So that people can understand the depth of Pompeo's thinking, he has created his personal group ; "Pompeo's Own Private-Corporate Organizing-Regimes Nexus". It may be a bit of a mouthful to swallow, but whenever there is some doubt about his meaning you can always reach out for the POPCORN which will bring much needed clarity.

Seriously, I am wondering why some of the wonkier Politicians and military industrial types are not subject to obligatory tests for their mental abilities. At the same time that the US navy was sailing ever closer to fully armed Chinese troops in the Pacific and the Chinese mainland, the US airforce has been parading 48 nuclear warheads in B-52's at 100 kms from Murmansk, and even closer to the enclave of Kalingrad.

Obviously the "Thinking heads" are safely hidden in Bunkers in New Zealand or false ski-resorts in South America. But we in Europe are where all the fallout will happen. They are calmly considering about 750 million deaths in the EU as "collateral damage", plus the millions (billions?) in China, Russia and other places on maps in front of them.

MAD was mad because "they" (incuding scientists) would have overkilled the entire human population many, many times. (100x ?) This time, the same type of people are only planning to kill the entire populations of a couple of continents.

Posted by: Stonebird | Oct 14 2020 18:36 utc | 14

Above all, China has no messianic ideology to export and prefers to set a model by virtue of its performance. It is not in the business of instigating regime change in other countries, and actually gets along rather well with democracies.

My, oh my, it seems the Indian educational system is not very good - even for a high-caste individual like Mr. Bhadrakumar.

On Liberalism's inherent messianic character, I recommend you all to read Liberalism: a Counter-History, by Domenic Losurdo.

And Bhadrakumar's claim is even more absurd for the fact that, from all ideologies he could pick up in human history, he chose precisely the only non-messianic one: the Russian Revolution (October, not the February one) of 1917 was the first revolution in History to be scientifically planned, the first one to be generated from a scientific theory, according to a clear-cut plan by a clear-cut organization of revolutionaries. The same was true for the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949, which is a direct descendant from October 1917.


What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force.

Neither of that is in sight.

Kevin @ #4 is right. The USA doesn't do it for the simple fact it can't.

In order for the USD Standard system to survive, you have to give up industrialization. Otherwise the USA would suffer from chronic and incurable episodes of hyperinflation, collapsing quickly. This is a mathematical certainty, and is independent of the party, POTUS, or Deep State bureaucrats in charge: the USA will continue to deindustrialize as long as it keeps the title of financial superpower.

Posted by: vk | Oct 14 2020 18:54 utc | 15

The immediate and most solid market of any important nation is their neighboring countries.
And the immediate defense ring of anyone is exactly the same.
That s what Beijing been doing the last 25 years. And both market and defense can be shaped up by diplomacy all around the nearby horizons.
It turns out that the US is no border to the pacific and it turns out the US has no diplomacy anylonger. At least since the loud fall of Berlin wall the State dept diplomacy has been replaced simply pressure, threats, arm twisting -as Obama himself candidly confessed- false flags and blackmail. Or some proxy war pure and simple.
Any surprise on the Asian countries reaction to the obscene foggy bottomish crap?

Posted by: augusto | Oct 14 2020 19:10 utc | 16

What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force.

Yes, that's actually rather obvious. The problem is those pulling the strings have zero interest in crafting such a policy, and they control the political Duopoly. The Outlaw US Empire has followed the same basic policy direction for 120-140 years. As I wrote on the Week in Review thread, it's addicted to its policy course, and the patient refuses to get treatment.

The only hope I see is for the Better Examples to eclipse the Empire and downgrade the status of its currency while also reforming the global financial system such that it finally loses those hegemonic levers. I wrote that I expect such a process to consume this next decade. For those living within the Empire, the quality of life will further erode until social unrest reaches a Critical Mass and explodes with unpredictable results. I wish my prediction was different, but I don't see how.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 19:24 utc | 17

Since the US stock market, and its major share traders are the only people making money during the pandemic, and with the Tik Toc and Huawei fiascos in mind, maybe China could use its idle stash of US Dollars to jump into the market as predatory short sellers and thereby disrupt the gravy train? It's a very whimsical and panic-prone market.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14 2020 19:29 utc | 18

I have thought since when I first noticed it (1970s) that the offshoring of our production capacity and (even more important) productive knowhow, the stuff that is not written down anywhere, the degradation of our workforce, and the debasement of our educational, health care, and other social service institutions, in the name of profit, in the name of "the market", was the STUPIDEST geo-political decision I've ever heard of.

After hundreds of years of conflict among nations for who can be on top, all focussed on maximizing technological and economic development, the "genius" Kissinger decides to give it all away, because politics.

And that is what our so-called "elites" cannot face. When they sold us out, they sold themselves out too. Now they have no recourse but lying and shamelessness.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 14 2020 19:34 utc | 19

The reputation of australia in the south pacific is rather poor as it deserted the many island nations through its meanness in aid, rapaciousness in resource extraction, and idiocy in diplomacy. These days it whines about China's unfair influence on these same island nations and flaps about kissing uncle sam's arse.

The bunya nut republic is an unpleasant and expensive neighbour to many and lacks the diplomatic and economic subtlety to prosper together with its neighbors. Just like the usa it prefers dominance abroad and destruction of its education at home.

Its diplomacy is based on colonial thinking and theft and doing whatever the usa moron demands. Not a good look and certainly the subject of disdain in many of the island nations that China is trading with.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 14 2020 19:52 utc | 20

The problem is the USA is the only one feeling threatened and everyone knows the USA is not actually threatened; Only its previously unassailable position as King of the playground is threatened and its military/foreign affairs establishment is squirming and desires to reassert its top dog position. Problem is: the USA is a day late and a dollar short. Hegelian historical dialectic has been at work for decades now and, as Konrad Adenauer said of Britain back in the fifties. "A former rich man who has lost all his money, but doesn't realize it". It is an historical baked in destiny that the USA will be just one among nations, not necessarily insignificant, but no longer the boss. The sooner we accept that and give up our delusions, the better off. Pompeo's jetting around trying to recruit "allies" just makes him look foolish.

Posted by: A. Pols | Oct 14 2020 20:03 utc | 21

Ships from the Royal Australian Navy were reported as recently as 23 July to have encountered Chinese navy vessels near the Spratly Islands. If there is some ambivalence in leadership circles about doing whatever US wants then someone should probably tell the navy to pull their heads in.

Posted by: Deltaeus | Oct 14 2020 20:18 utc | 22

CENTO (1955-1979) suffered the same fate.
All these NATO clones have been tried and found wanting before.
And NATO itself only limps along because the 'nation states', of which it is comprised, long ago gave up any pretence of sovereignty as their rulers transformed themselves into subordinate agents of the United States, wannabe Americans, traitors to their own people and the world as a whole: Synghman Rhee, Ngo Dien Diem, Tony Blair, Stoltenberg, Rasmussen, Reza Pahlavi.. etc

Posted by: bevin | Oct 14 2020 20:21 utc | 23

Pretty good article.
I hope the Americans wake up, and find a way to correct their government's irrational and destabilizing behavior. Those in positions within the political establishment seem unwilling or unable to do so on their own.
The elections are contrived to keep the rich in power (and rich). But there must be more realistic ways of influencing the situation, peacefully, but still effectively.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 20:22 utc | 24

Nathan Mulcahy | Oct 14 2020 18:31 utc | 11

re "...Pomp-ass by himself, supposedly the first in his class?"

Vital to note here the discrepancy between college/university and Military Academy. The latter strictly spreads course-content that is exclusively chosen to implant 18 year-olds with viewpoints that are deliberately created to ensure compliance with current and undisclosed U S military planning for operations that require recruiting entry-level personnel.

Before arrival at a .gov military academy, said 18 year-olds have only followed others' orders. To wit, from kindergarten thru high school, they have been located in space and time by a band of military "adults". I.e., be at such-and-such location at such-and-such time...and do/learn what you are told to do/learn by school staff/teachers/coaches...or you will not be passed thru.

No doubt Pompeo had great capacity to absorb all the military-selected information and viewpoints that made-up his military-edited course content...and graduated with said edited content brick-by-brick composing his mental faculties...mistakenly defined as "intelligence".

Beware the limitations of a "military education". I discovered, long after my university graduation, what "education" originally meant:

education = from Latin "e-", out; and Latin "ducere", to lead. Thus, "to lead out". It is up to the recipient to decide what s/he wants to be led out of.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 14 2020 20:25 utc | 25

Bemildred @19--

I have zero sympathy for the criminal Dr. K, but in fairness the policy was set prior to his rise within the Establishment. Since 1913, it's always been about corralling the most dollars no matter the outcome for the nation at large. There was one opportunity to alter that course, but FDR bungled it my agreeing to the ousting of Wallace in favor of Truman.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 20:34 utc | 26

If you look at the corruption in the current US government as if it were, say for instance, a foreign object, like its own seperate organism...
Ask what this organism needs.
Does it need air? Heat? Fuel? Finance? Supply? Connectivity? Conductivity?

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 20:35 utc | 27

ARIES | Oct 14 2020 19:39 utc | 20

My gut reaction to this video is that it is the usual yellow peril propaganda. Whatever else happens in this field, of editing/improving the human genome, I think one can be sure that the Chinese will think very long and hard about it before they do anything. PC will, I guess, not have much to do with their decisions.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Oct 14 2020 20:35 utc | 28

Just honestly following most international and national basic laws would deprive the organism of quite a bit. Beyond that don't feed it. Don't pet it. Don't support it. Don't play with it, etc.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 20:37 utc | 29

The creature is not a puppy, and it is not yours. Don't own it, since you actually don't.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 20:40 utc | 30

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 20:34 utc | 28

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 14 2020 20:40 utc | 31

Pompeo is stupid and an ass hole does nor know much about the world affairs especially the Chinese, their time is out very soon , they are in Syria illegally, and in Iraq after destroying the country infrastructure and killing more than million citizen .
One day they will pay heavy price for their criminal acts along with their European partners in crime .
Their crimes in the Arabic Muslims countries are dispecable criminals .
Iran along with their resistance outfits will get them out of there .

Posted by: Bobb | Oct 14 2020 20:42 utc | 32

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 20:34 utc | 28

I don't feel any great need to be fair to Kissinger. (Although you are correct about the way they fetishize money.)

I think our present problem (the Duopoly) arose in the post-Reconstruction period, and that would also be the first failed reform here (Reconstruction). Some rather good reforms were implemented before WWI, but Wilson managed to gut then again. Some of those still exist at the state level, i.e. initiative and recall. Wouldn't it be great is we could get up petitions to remove any public servant?

So anyway, it looks like a back and forth struggle, on-going as we speak.

I quite agree that the problem is the money power, the big piles of cash, they are a weapon. That is one reason the banks must be too big to fail, we use them as weapons.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 14 2020 20:51 utc | 33

Another loss to the US -- China is currently leading the way on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement which has been scheduled for finalizing on November 14 in Vietnam. The agreement will be between the ten member states of ASEAN, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, and five of their FTA partners—Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. The 15 negotiating countries account for 30% of the world's population and just under 30% of the global GDP.

Recall that while TPP was a massive trade deal that excluded China and included the United States, RCEP does the opposite. So what does the creation of this massive bloc of free trade (or relatively free trade, at least) mean for China and the United States?

Brookings: The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will reinforce these relationships. For all its bad press, over time the BRI will offer $1.4 trillion in investments for transport, energy, and communications infrastructure to neighboring economies. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s offer of $113 million in U.S. investments only highlights the gulf between Chinese and American priorities. The United States used to counter aid with good access to its sophisticated markets, but no more — it is retreating unapologetically into mercantilism.

Brookings Institution suggests that RCEP has the potential to grow the global real incomes by $285 billion annually if put into place before 2030, which in absolute gains is twice that of the successor to the TTP, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The deal makes significant strides on rules of origin, intellectual property, and tariff reduction, while falling short in other areas like e-commerce. Nonetheless, RCEP represents a significant achievement for free trade in the Asia-Pacific.

from Pepe-- China FM Wang is in Bangkok today and tomorrow - part of his Southeast Asia tour. China and Thailand are strengthening their own comprehensive strategic partnership. China is on charm offensive ahead of the completion of the RCEP trade deal, which unites China and all of Southeast Asia with partners Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. India is out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 14 2020 20:51 utc | 34

there is an economic-political-historical theory of human development which I personally call THE NEXUS OF POWER. It is easy to explain and formulate: The economical-political center of current economic power isn't static; in fact, it moves around the Earth in Westward direction. It has been circling the Earth for the last 8-9 thousand years; it started in South East Asia, traveled all around the world and it now back in Asia and is currently in China. it is easy to trace that circle when one takes a good size map of the Earth and maps all the civilizations and Empires, where they developed and at what time in Human history. There is a sub theory of NEXUS OF POWER that postulate that NEXUS OF POWER also travels slightly north while traveling Westward. It isn't well known in the West; nobody talks about it much of any; the only traces I could find it was in Robert Anthon Wilson book Prometheus Rising. If anybody wants to read it, it is freely available on the biggest library of free books at:
Robert Anthon Wilson says that Timothy Leary taught him the theory; in fact, Wilson doesn't even call it THE NEXUS OF POWER, it is my personal name that I came up with.
Viewed through the prism of NEXUS OF POWER, it is easy to see WHY the so called "democratic freedom loving" West is terrified of China; they can see some part of the NEXUS OF POWER and are scared shitless that their 500+ years of pure reign of terror they unleashed upon the world is coming to an end and with it, their power and their ability to live well off the spoils of war and exploitation.

There is much more to the NEXUS OF POWER theory but I will keep it short:
1. each civilization has a shorter time span that the previous one. Thus, China will only be in power for about 30-40 years.
2. Changes happen faster and faster; for example an event to occur and influence other events took about a decade during the 1970s. Today it takes less than a few hours.
3. Russia may the next super power after China
4. Singularity might occur once THE NEXUS OF POWER has made a full circle around the Earth. After that, nobody knows what will happen. Personally, I predict that with luck(and without the West starting a nuclear war) the Singularity to happen around 2060-2070.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Oct 14 2020 21:04 utc | 35


Shit hits the fan when dollar hegemony ends.

The Empire's power-elite would rather have war than see that happen.

Yeah but can the Empire's power-elite win wars these days? Other than button-pressing type of pandemonium launching nukes, the hegemon hasn't shown much forte in winning in-your-face dragged-out wars in the past quarter century; and those were fracases against lowly regarded ragheads who were given no chances of ever prevailing a priori, and they did time and again. So, are these power-elites nutty enough to resort to nukes as the iron-clad monopoly to dollar hegemony? And even nukes may not win them the day, as other players in this world has shown some degree of superiority in the launching the same stuff.

The Western elites/Deep State crossed the Rubicon of losing their edge over rivals when they grew fat at the waists and lazy in the heads some 70 years ago. The Korean War was the testament to this reality and later the Vietnam shenanigan, although most folks in the west chose to stick their heads in the sand rather than facing the facts an search their souls for remedies. Their waists continued to grow and their heads continue to slow, but they made use of the one weapon they alone have in possession, the MSM, to puff make-up over their faces and hid their shortfalls. Oh, MAGA; oh, USA! USA!

You pinned the right question: Who will fight - and die - for these corrupt asshats and their pampered progeny?

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Oct 14 2020 21:04 utc | 36

"It's the economy, stupid!" -B. Clinton

The US became world hegemon last century because it was the only major industrial power still standing after WWII. That is it. There was no magical "exceptionalism", or superior culture, or magnificent military involved.

Forget the empire's posturing and loud braying noises from its figureheads, the spokespersons of the empire's vassals earnest pledges of loyalty, and the empire's military getting in everyone's faces. The only thing that matters is that China is the world's industrial superpower with no other country even close. At this point China can become the world's unrivaled military superpower overnight if it wanted to, and there is absolutely nothing that NATO, or POTATO (Pacific Ocean Total Asshat Terrorist Organization?) can do about it.

The only way to reverse the empire's demise is to restore America's globally overwhelming industrial productive capacity, but as VK implies above @15 this is impossible. The empire cannot be salvaged so long as it holds to capitalism, but capitalism is the entire raison d'être of the empire. That contradiction is impossible to resolve.

... except for one way: World war can buy the empire a several more decades. America could once again have globally overwhelming industrial productive capacity if China's industry were to somehow be neutralized. America cannot win a conventional war with China due to China's vastly superior industrial capacity, and the effort to use unconventional biological warfare backfired horribly. There is, however, one weapon that America has not used yet, though. The only question is if the empire's senile dementia is severe enough for America to decide to use that weapon.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 14 2020 21:30 utc | 37

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 20:34 utc | 28

It was not that simple: FDR's last reelection he won by just 2 million votes. The electoral college made it look like it was a landslide, but it wasn't: conservatism was already growing from Roosevelt's belly.

Posted by: vk | Oct 14 2020 21:48 utc | 38

Gruff @39--

And even the use of that weapon is no guarantee of success and could easily be the direct opposite.

Hoyeru @37--

That's a modification of Vico and Spengler's theories of historic circularity which seems plausible. I blended them into a hybrid wherein the circularity traverses a linear temporal path. I see a future point when the two will become one and humanity will progress as one entity instead of mixed temporal entities at differing stages of development, provided Earth as its domicile doesn't have that capability destroyed beforehand.

Bemildred @35--

Actually, there was quite a lot of political fighting between R & D that almost allowed the People's Party to gain control. That close call caused the Rs to become more Bismarckian, but the fight between Roosevelt and Taft allowed Wilson to win and throw it all to the Bankers, an Act quickly forgotten with WW1, Russian Revolution, Red Scare, and the War on Alcohol. The initial inklings of what would later be called Neoliberalism can be seen in the refusal to cancel war loans, aggressive Dollar Diplomacy, and the Ponzi Schemes that led to the 1929 Crash and Debt Deflation of the Great Depression. There are many lessons to be learned from history, but as Lavrov ruefully intoned at the Valdai Club yesterday, History isn't the teacher.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 22:07 utc | 39

The US has not had capitalism in a long time,soft fascism (neoliberalism) would best describe the current state of affairs,only the trappings remain hiding the truth from the public,

Posted by: winston2 | Oct 14 2020 22:09 utc | 40

vk @40--

FDR won by 3.5+ million votes and voter turnout was down 6.9% due to the war.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 22:17 utc | 41

winston2 @42--

What the Outlaw US Empire has had since 1971 is Finance Capitalism based on Neoliberal Principles, what Bertram Gross in 1980 called Friendly Fascism in his book with the same name.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 14 2020 22:23 utc | 43

US should indeed compete fairly, but this means a relative reduction in status. Down to 'ordinary superpower' vs 'most exceptional of all'. Which shouldn't be such a big deal for most people. But not the national security paranoiacs, and they are in charge (with the cooperation of big business).

Rebuilding domestic industry in the US comes with the problem that lack of it creates a natural method of bribing otherwise ambivalent allies with import cash. One solution is rebuild industry anyway but compensate 1st class allies like Japan etc with direct $$ transfers. This requires forcing 2nd class countries to accept those $$ (not a problem) and balance the flow by periodically taking the $$ away from 3rd class countries via IMF programs etc. That part of the program seems to be working. But it might be the first to give - if a China center's finance system is established.

Before that can happen, China has to prove it can survive a round of economic warfare (sanctions etc). Which it will, and will possibly come out economically stronger in the end, not to mention militarily and in spirit. It might take a decade or so to play out, and we seem to be starting right now. Only after that trial by fire, would the security of Chinese credit be able to partially displace western finance, for 2nd and 3rd class countries outside of EU and the Americas.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 14 2020 22:45 utc | 44

donkeytale @Oct14 20:14 #23

Your position is well stated.

Here's why I think you're wrong:

  • Your description of economic realities is trumped by the reality of Thucydides Trap. USA is giving us every reason to believe that they will not accept the rise of a equal or near-equal global power. Indeed, USA stragetic military doctrine has clearly stated that they would never accept a competing strategic power.
  • USA has recently implored Taiwan to become a "porcupine" (rationale: Lions don't eat porcupines) buy buying loads of USA military technology. China has described such arming of Taiwan as a red line.

    Among the miltech that USA offers are missiles. Sound familiar? We could soon see a crisis much like the 1960's Cuban missile crisis. Who will "blink" this time?

  • USA-China frictions have intensified this year. And many believe that there is already a fourth-generation war against China: trade war, propaganda war, proxy war (India-China tensions, Taiwan-China tensions, etc.)
  • The Empire has not taken its collective foot off the gas. We see no let-up in pressure on other nations to conform and fall in line - or suffer the consequences. No one paying attention is fooled by the pretense that Europe is independent, that Bolivia independently chose to oust Morales, or that Gulf Arab Monarchs have suddenly fallen in love with Israel.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 14 2020 22:47 utc | 45


If by drugs you mean sugar and caffeine, then you are spot on.

Posted by: anonymous | Oct 14 2020 22:50 utc | 46

I love American entrepreneurship:

US University Warns Students May Intend to Contract COVID-19 to Sell Antibody-Rich Plasma

Love that "can do" attitude.


@ Posted by: winston2 | Oct 14 2020 22:09 utc | 42

Neoliberalism is literally the New Liberalism. Liberalism is the ideology of capitalism.

But yes, Fascism is indeed a form of liberalism (albeit a very conservative one), which is the ideology of capitalism. So you're wrong but at the same time you're right.


@ Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 14 2020 21:30 utc | 39

World war is indeed the only way out for the American Empire. But it has to be conventional (non-nuclear) and the USA would have to achieve total victory over China.

Even then it would only guarantee for all the debt the USA has to wiped out; it wouldn't guarantee it to be reborn as an industrial superpower. It would only guarantee more Lebensraum for American capitalism, but it's a long distance from a new Kondratiev Cycle.

For example: the UK waged a world war against Germany to stop Germany's inevitable ascension to take the UK's place as the world's main superpower. It achieved that goal. However, it didn't mean a revival of the British industrial economy; on the contrary: it put its economy into an even deeper crisis, which would eventually lead to its dissolution and transfer of the post of world's superpower to a third party - the USA.

Posted by: vk | Oct 14 2020 22:55 utc | 47

I would suggest not to underestimate the US Empire, especially due to the large numbers of vassals willing to prop it up.

Anti-China hatred has increased in Europe, as per recent surveys.

Germany, France, Belgium and the UK banned Huawei, and Germany led recent attacks against China at the UN.

High tech cooperation on semiconductors and sattelites was recently blocked by the Netherlands and Sweden.

You also saw that Europe has clearly defined itself as enemy of Russia, joining the US. Something that many did not expect.

What many people fail to realise is how much vassals are willing to prop up the US Empire, and the amount of internal degeneration in US vassal states.

They themselves want to prop up the Empire. They have a battered wife syndrome.

In response to the US decline, the Anglosphere and the EU are trying to prop up the US Empire even harder.

There is no attempt to break free. For them, the western vassals, the US Empire is the alpha and the omega. The beginning and the end of everything. They can not live without it. They want it themselves.

The whole culture of western countries is rotten, which turns them into eager and willing puppets of the Empire.

Then there is the issue of India being a spoiler to China or the US putting puppets in most of Latin America, including in Brazil.

And then, recently, thre were two bad news on the economic front.

The Covid crisis has ultimately hit non-western countries harder than Western countries (except China), as measured by potential economic growth lost.

That is, growth over the next 5 years will be lower than potential growth for developing countries and thus the decline of the West will slow down.

What happened is this (an example):

Before Covid:
Western Economies 1.6 % GDP growth
Emerging economies 5 % GDP growth

Net gain 3,4 % for emerging economies.

After Covid (next 5 years):

Western Economies 1.3 % GDP growth
Emerging economies 4 % GDP growth

Net gain 2,7 % for emerging economies. Net gain decline for emerging economies. Thus they end up losing more from the pandemic, and the pace of western decline slows.

The fact is, money printing of the reserve currencies has been very useful to the US and the EU, as it is money printing that allowed them to have lower losses than developing countries (except China), who simply can not afford to print money without massive inflation, in response to the crisis.

Even with far bigger pandemic, the US will register better growth than, let's say, Canada, that had a mild pandemic. This is the result of trillions of dollars being printed, of the reserve currecy, which means that the whole world pays for that. To prop up the US.

Potential russian growth was hit too. If before Covid, russian gdp growth would be larger than EU and US growth, after Covid, russian gdp growth is estimated to be similar to the US and the EU.

Again, a result of the fact that Russia can not print trillions of dollars.

The second bad news that happened is that the International Comparison Program (ICP) that estimates PPP GDP (everybody uses their data) downgraded the Chinese economy by 17 %, blaming improper PPP measurement of the earlier PPPs from 2011.

So basically China dropped, in let's say 2019, from being 1,27 times bigger than the US in PPP GDP to 1,09 times bigger than the US in PPP terms.

That is not to say that everything happening is bad (the rise of the yuan has a good reason for it - that is - China is outperforming everybody this year and the next).

But the problem is also that there are serious setbacks for the multipolar world and the overall result is that the relative decline of the West has slowed.

So its not all roses situation. There is serious fight going on and the West is trying to stop the decline, mainly not by fixing its situation, but by stealing from the World by printing the reserve currencies and by attacking and harming others, pushing for negative sum games, where everybody loses, but the point is to get the other side to lose more than you.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 14 2020 23:01 utc | 48

The US modus operandi is to get others to fight for it, decimate each other in the process, and to stand back for as long as possible so that it's the last power standing when the dust settles, ready to claim credit, territory, and other spoils of war. WWII, which Gruff brought up @39 and Bemildred @44, was a prime example, with the US holding back on its long-promised western front until the outcome between Germamy and the USSR was pretty much determined, and then rushing in at the end to claim as much credit and territorial-political control as possible.

Now it's trying to get India via its nationalists to fight China, Japan via its nationalists to fight China, Taiwan via its separatists to fight China, Hong Kong via its misguided, social-media-manipulated youth to fight China, Uighurs via radicalized elements to fight China, etc.

Canada had been actively pursuing a free trade deal with China. When Trump rebranded NAFTA as USMCA, the US added an unprecedented special new clause to explicitly lay down a line in the sand against such a trade deal. Perhaps that wasn't enough. The US then asked Canada to detain the Huawei CFO and the obsequious Freeland-Trudeau regime eagerly complied. Fruitful relations quashed, to US satisfaction.

Hopefully enough people in all of these countries or areas wake up and recognize how they're being used and exploited as cannon fodder for US hegemonic interests, at the expense of their own interests. b's post gives some hope.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Oct 14 2020 23:40 utc | 49

@ vk 49
World war is indeed the only way out for the American Empire.
"Out" is correct, down and out for the count. The US hasn't won a war any time recently, its army currently is stuck with a diminishing section of young manhood (actually teens) who are (somehow) fit and smart, and military leaders have been unimpressive (I'm being kind) in recent wars. Such a one-sided war against the Chinese should no be allowed. A country should only fight in its class! Something weaker than Somalia, say.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 14 2020 23:46 utc | 50

Re: Taiwan as reprise of cuba missile crisis

Forget the thucydides trap, that is too clever and abstract. It could happen anyway if future US administrations push too hard on forceful defense of status quo, because China will have much more ability to respond.

By the late 2020s China can realistically develop the capacity to enforce a no fly zone and then threaten a naval blockade of Taiwan. They might not, but the tech and industrial capacity is there now. Talk of invasion misses the point completely.

If a blockade were threatened, the US would have to do something, years before in fact, because that's where our electronics come from too.

One option is replace the US Taiwan imports, but that takes away Taiwan's reward for being a US ally (with Trump's brilliant moves, China will have replaced critical Taiwan imports by mid 2020s if not sooner).

If US leaves Taiwan import dependence as is, then the result of excessive containment efforts is a showdown over a blockade.

Once started, US doesn't know how to walk away because domino theory logic is hard wired in the imperialist policy maker's DNA, and any crisis just elevates the hawks. All it takes to produce this is another Pompeo a few years from now.

More savvy US policy would defuse by quietly moving Taiwan chip fab to Korea, Japan, or EU. This in eventually gives up Taiwan, and they might not want to.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 14 2020 23:48 utc | 51

Look at it this way,
If you knew that your next breath would be your last, what would you do, or say, in the presence of Creation's Source?

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 23:50 utc | 52

Tell you fucking what,
Right now...
I'd much rather speak to Mr. Lavrov,

Posted by: Josh | Oct 14 2020 23:52 utc | 53

@ Pb 50
Anti-China hatred has increased in Europe, as per recent surveys.

Of course it has, their citizens get the same fake news that Americans do. Quote some Pompeo! What Pew (nice name) hasn't done is a survey in non-western environs. Africans and Asians are probably leaning in a different direction than westerners are.
Regarding all your numbers, any effective manager knows that one must look not at current situations but at trends. In sports and politics it's called The Big Mo. Currently China has it, the US doesn't, and that's been exacerbated for the US recently. Last I heard, China will be the only developed country with a positive GDP this year. That's doing The Big Mo the hard way.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 14 2020 23:58 utc | 54

@Oriental Voice (38). You hint at the Western power elites possibly resorting to nuclear weapons in an effort to maintain dollar supremacy. I’m not sure how such a strategy could ever achieve that goal, as all-out nuclear war means curtains for all parties, whether directly involved or not. Surely, even the psychos who own/run the West can see the futility in such an endeavor. Or perhaps they cannot.

Posted by: Rob | Oct 15 2020 0:00 utc | 55

vk @49

You are correct on all points, but the imperial elites are desperate, stupid, and making mistakes with practically everything they do. That worries me because that mix of desperation and delusion could lead them to make the ultimate stupid move.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2020 0:08 utc | 56

The only possible way to use nuclear weapons to maintain dollar supremacy would be to use them for blackmail: help us to maintain dollar supremacy, or we will nuke you all.

Problem with that is credibility. Why would anybody believe somebody's threat to carry out a suicidal policy?

Posted by: lysias | Oct 15 2020 0:10 utc | 57

Deltaeus @ 24:

It is usual for a nation to send its warships to greet warships from a foreign nation transiting past its territorial waters and to provide the foreigners with an escort.

This is why every time Russian warships sail through the English Channel, the Royal Navy despatches warships to the area and the British warships escort the Russians. This is a custom observed by most if not all navies. Nevertheless, the British MSM goes completely berserk with cries of invasion or espionage when the Russians come anywhere near UK maritime territory.

The wonder is that Vietnam and the Philippines did not send their own naval escorts to greet the RAN warships. That in itself tells you which nation is the de facto power over the Spratly Islands regardless of what we may believe the rightful owners should be.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 15 2020 0:37 utc | 58

There is nothing the US can do to win even a conventional war against China and especially Russia. The US carrier battle groups, US air force bases, staging grounds and supply lines would face saturation waves of hypersonic missiles, and US satellites would also be destroyed, all within a few hours. The Empire will be comprehensively defeated, and it knows so. It is a generation behind Russia in terms of the new and real revolution in military affairs. The risk is that, because Russia and China will control escalation dominance in conventional arms, the US will move quickly to nuclear armageddon, something it won't survive either. However, this is the logic of the US abrogation of every arms control treaty and of the 2017 National Security Strategy. Domestic politics will then intervene at the moment of conventional defeat. If a fanatical, fundamentalist power bloc is entrenched in DC or establishes a dictatorship, it might welcome such a universal death wish. The US will likely bring the world down in flames, and that is why Xi and Putin will do anything to avoid a war, and why we must recognize them as the first line of defense of humanity.

Posted by: Prof K | Oct 15 2020 0:48 utc | 59

Deltaeus @24 says: "Ships from the Royal Australian Navy were reported as recently as 23 July to have encountered Chinese navy vessels near the Spratly Islands. If there is some ambivalence in leadership circles about doing whatever US wants then someone should probably tell the navy to pull their heads in."

In addition, Canadian warship also cruised along Taiwan Strait recently, not to mention British intention to send her aircraft carrier (without aircrafts, LOL) to South China Sea. (and Japanese warships).

People don't know that many countries have given the control of their military (certainly during wartime, but also in some situations during peacetime) to the American military machinery. Chinese Internet reported that when China warships encounter Australian ones in South China Sea, they behaved very professionally, responding to Chinese queries and questions promptly and courteously. But when they are found cruising with American warships in sight, the Australian ships become aggressive in their maneuver and seldom respond directly to Chinese questions.

Posted by: d dan | Oct 15 2020 0:48 utc | 60

T-minus 4 days until the UN sanctions on Iran end. Pompeo will fail as no one sane wants to fight a war for the US. Frankly, it's too late for Washington to do anything about it.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 15 2020 0:54 utc | 61

China will push all three and more into the arms of the United States.

No need to persuade anyone. or talk shit

No pun intended. . .

Posted by: ed wood | Oct 15 2020 0:55 utc | 62

@ Posted by: Passer by | Oct 14 2020 23:01 utc | 50

Yes - when we use the term "American Empire", we're automatically including its sphere of influence: Canada, Latin America (minus Cuba and Venezuela), Africa, European Peninsula, Oceania, the Middle East minus Iran, Japan, South Korea, the island of Taiwan, and much of SE Asia.

During Bill Clinton, the American Empire was at its largest extension, as it also included Russia, Belarus and the Donbass ("New Russia"). After Bill Clinton fell (2000), George W. Bush would lose Georgia (war of South Ossetia and Abkhazia) after they lost Russia to Yeltsin's collapse of 1999 (1997 Asian Tigers Crisis) and Venezuela after the ascension of Chavismo (1999). Obama lost the Donbass (New Russia) in 2014 and Syria in 2011. Djibouti was also lost sometime during Obama's reign. Obama also kind of lost Turkey, after trying to assassinate their president (Erdogan) in 2016 - as a result, Turkey became more of a client state and less of a province.

Trump risks losing more provinces of the Empire. For starters, he may lose Taiwan to conventional warfare if he's reelected. He may also lose small Oceania (Oceania minus Australia and New Zealand) through Chinese co-opting (treaties). Other significant nations from SE Asia may also be downgraded to client states (Philippines). He also literally wants to lose Afghanistan and may lose Pakistan also to treaty (with China). To compensate, he's trying to win back Russia (through treaty) and is trying to win India (also through treaty, but maybe to convert it into a province with the Quad). He may also try to convert Taiwan into full provincial status through conventional warfare (if he wins the war). He was also trying to convert North Korea into a client state through treaty (which may have been an attempt to win the Nobel Peace - a honorific title that, over time, became customary to successful POTUSes during the post-war period). If he wins back Russia, not only the American Empire will go back to nearly its greatest extent (1999), but would also win, by default, Donbass and the lost territories of Georgia.

Of the provincial regions, Latin America is the most secure, as all of its regional (comprador) elites are firmly in American hands. Africa is the second most secure, as it is a wasteland that nobody cares (North Africa is not considered as part of Africa in geopolitics; it's part of the Middle East). The European Peninsula is the third most secure provincial region, as it is home to NATO, therefore it is fully occupied with American troops and nukes. The Middle East comes fourth because of Iran and the fact that it is the province of contact between both China (BRI, imports oil) and Russia at the same time, plus it is the most volatile. SE Asia is the least secured provincial region, as it is home to Vietnam (socialist brother), where there is a strong tradition of bilateralism (therefore, it's a region where China can count of each nation's pragmatism to negotiate) and it's the nearest region to China, therefore the main contact region with China alone. I don't know where to put Oceania, but I think it is one of the most secure regions to the Americans (on par with the European Peninsula).

Little known region is the Arctic. When the Arctic was frozen solid, it was an estuary of the North Atlantic, thus putting the region firmly under American supremacy. But now, thanks to global warming, the Arctic is melting down, thus opening a huge flank for Russia to harass the USA and Canada by conventional means. Russia has the best icebreaker technology, and has the upper hand both in Arctic warfare and economic exploitation (the estuary is rich in oil and gas). Also, the Arctic is one of the main reasons Russia and China cooperate economically, as China enters with the money and Russia enters with the means. It is possible the Arctic, if it really continues to melt down, to become a "Russian Lake" in the near future.

Posted by: vk | Oct 15 2020 1:00 utc | 63

People forget quickly, forget that both halves of the big euro war for empire which occupied most of the first half of the 20th century, while its effects dominated the 2nd half, kicked off by accident, both times.
No one wanted a full on war, nobody expected that conflict which is self-reverently referred to as WW1 & WW2 started when all the protagonists least expected it, world 'leaders' did what they had been doing previously expecting that the 'other', the frenemy wouldn't over-react, because they hadn't last time & "anyway it isn't in anyone's interest for that to happen".
Much the same guff that is being spouted here, both times they discovered after the fact, an old street brawler maxim, "the best blues kick off by accident".
Immediately after the two halves of that blue, the pols in charge clung to that notion and all parties strived to avoid a repeat.
Thing is, after a generation or two has passed pols forget that lesson and we get small-dicked strutters like pompous who sound off belligerently, playing brinksmanship in the vain belief there is no one on the other side silly enough to do back to him, exactly what he has threatened them with. That goes along for a while until the inevitable happens & 'the other side' has had enough & takes him up on his offer because "we all know pompous is a tiny weiner who will back down". Ooops! they got it wrong pompous is a micro-dick who cannot be seen to back down and whammo missiles are flying left, right and center killing us all.

Wishful thinking plus a belief that neither side really wants a war hasn't worked in the past and it won't work this time.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 15 2020 1:00 utc | 64

@ Debsisdead | Oct 15 2020 1:00 utc | 67 who wrote
Wishful thinking plus a belief that neither side really wants a war hasn't worked in the past and it won't work this time.

I agree and want to say to the commenter above who thinks there will be a limited EU/Asia/Russia/ME nuke war to read up about MAD.

To Bemildred I want to say that the elite that own global finance don't give a shit about the USA. There are some billionaires and bankers in the US that have some nationalistic bent but mostly the global financial elite are working on ways to keep themselves in change of global finance and as many countries finance as they can game like the well as increase everyones debt level.

Back to Debsisdead.....I don't want to agree with you but it really is a "better dead than red" sort of thing....delusional as it may seem to the rest of us.....sad

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 15 2020 1:25 utc | 65

No one will join the waning power, that is the US. Not to mention the historical records of US being unreliable ally.

Posted by: Smith | Oct 15 2020 2:19 utc | 66

Posted by b on October 14, 2020 at 17:07 UTC | Permalink Neither of that is in sight.

Duh. Countries don't change until they get their ass kicked. Problem for us is what happens to the rest of us in a nuclear ass-kicking.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 14 2020 20:14 utc | 23 No one I have spoken with ever in the US across a wide ideological spectrum desires hot war with China, or Russia for that matter. No one. It is never even a topic of thought much less discussion on the streets.

And that's why there will be one. The entire Western society has its head in the sand over the corruption in their governments and finance. It's called cognitive dissonance. No one wants war, they can see their governments do - so it's head in the sand time. No surprise there to anyone who understands human behavior.

Reminder to all: The second episode of "Devils" airs tonight on the CW. Episode 1 streams for free here at the CW. Episode 2 will stream free tomorrow. The original trailer from Sky Atlantic last spring is here. Highly recommend watching this series if you're into how finance and banking controls and ruins the world.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 15 2020 2:26 utc | 67

M.K.Bhadrakumar is a high ranking Hindu whose father was a high ranking communist. He's been an ambassador so he knows the elites but his journalism is pragmatically grounded. He is what I'd call a "straight talker", and Indian Punchline offers a geopolitical perspective that has been invaluable to me for years. Above all his opinions are (historically/materially) regional and of some importance with regards to China.
Why are you inferring that he is stupid? Please explain.

Posted by: Australian lady | Oct 15 2020 2:40 utc | 68

B. you gave us an excellent summary of the present Geo-political moment.

Here follow some words to situate the context of the present moment that your analysis addresses:

1. the last 5000 years have been the triumph of power societies.
A small minority of men of power got to decide the fate of nations and their citizens. The last iteration of power societies followed the crusades and the advent of "long distance trade". During a first phase of commercial capitalism, that lasted some 6 centuries, Western European Christian merchants accumulated, largely through plunder, the capital that was used to finance the European industrialization at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. Soon thereafter Western big capital holders owned "the economy-world" and the "state decision making processes" worldwide.
Note that big capital holders are the ones who control societal power in Modernity and not some professional elites as political theorists would want us believe. These professional elites are merely the highly visible servants of the big capital holders who themselves remain hidden.

2. a protest against the status-quo by the Western youth, at the end of the sixties, awakened Western big capital holders to the risk that they they could one day potentially lose their hegemonic ownership of "the economy-world" and the "state decision making processes" worldwide. So they came up with a strategy addressing the following :

2.1. they financed the production of the intellectual foundations of the following ideologies :

---- Postmodernism : the target was to destroy all "grand narratives", or worldviews, at the exception of their own TINA narrative.
What ensued was ‒ the decapitation of the trade-unions and the atomization of the working-class (the middle-class) ‒ the melting away of the Marxist movance followed by the slipping of nearly all leftist narratives in TINA mode ‒ the silent retreat of believers from their churches which, in the West, soon fell in desuetude ‒ the banalization of the arts into entertainment and decoration that killed the traditional function assumed by the arts, since their emergence with tribal societies, which was to share with the community the foundational narrative of their societies; a necessity for ensuring sufficiently high levels of societal cohesion so that their societies could reproduce over the span of the many generations to come.
Seen from a historical perspective the result was instantaneous ‒ the arts have lost their traditional "raison d'être" and have transformed into gimmicks serving the interests of speculators ‒ all grand narratives that glued the minds in earlier times have vanished and Western societies suddenly atomized. That societal atomization is on full display for all to see in the spectacle of societal madness that pervades the response to Covid-19 by the entire West.

---- Neo-liberalism : the target was to liquidate all state institutions in charge of the production of goods and services, and of social solidarity, while enhancing all state institutions of power necessary to control the populations. In that sense the state was never meant to vanish. It was meant to be re-organized as a stick used by big capital holders to quell all resistance to their ultimate power. The militarization of police services is emblematic of such a reinforcement of the institutions of power.

2.2. in the field of economics big capital holders observed that by the sixties their profits had ceased to grow and as a strategy they wanted to expand the territory where their enterprises could operate. In other words they have been fighting to open the whole world to their capital investments. As a result they got globalization and the ensuing pauperization of Western citizens. Postmodernism and Neo-liberalism were meant to mold the cultural and institutional context for globalization to succeed. And it was an unmitigated success for big capital holders and their servants...

3. three unforcast obstacles emerged that put the whole strategy, of big capital holders, at risk :

3.1. the pauperization of the Western middle-class is unleashing Western nationalism, protectionism, and isolationism. And Western big capital holders divided in two camps ‒ the nationalists who are culturally conservative ‒ the internationalists who are culturally liberal and open to use whatever identitarian movances within the population to attain their goals. Let's always keep in mind that the ultimate target of capital holders is to increase their capital base so there should be no doubt that the internationalists are in the majority among Western big capital holders and that they control the bulk of the present Western capital base...

3.2. the success of Russia at disentangling itself from the chaos that followed the fall of the Soviet-Union and to restore its societal cohesion by encouraging the restoration of its traditional worldview (Christian Orthodoxy) was a huge surprise tor Western big capital holders and their servants. As a result the Russian society grew more cohesive by the day and this served as a trampoline for a clever governance team to restore Russian "national grandeur" through the restructuring of its national economy and its state machinery while operating a re-alignment with Est-Asia and more particularly with China.

3.3. the emergence of China as the leading national world economy came as an even bigger surprise to Western big capital holders and their servants. Chinese state controlled capital was soon perceived as a threat to their hegemony and they resuscitated Mc Kennan's Doctrine that says the destruction of the Communist party will collapse their society... But questioning the legitimacy of the CPC is a rather peculiar strategy when, according to US polling institutions, this party has approval ratings approaching the mid 90th percentile.

4. By necessity of keeping the control over their populations, Western states have embarked on a path of hardening power. Some talk about fascism. The fact of the matter is that the biggest Multi National Tech Corporations are implementing the traditional control work of the state in silence but in stealth mode. There seems to be a partial fusion today of the functions of the state with the activities of Multi National Corporations while the populations are regarded as expandable chattel.

5. the 4 factors laid-out here above give the contextual setting of the present moment and its defining trait : the war between Western big private capital holders and Chinese state capital...

If interested to read more about this contextual setting and the Late-Modern predicament of humanity see

Posted by: laodan | Oct 15 2020 2:40 utc | 69

I would not be prepared to believe that the Chinese would be so dumb to believe that a Biden victory in the forthcoming election would change the US behaviour towards China. As V. Putin said: "the US presidents change, the state policies do not". The Russians never expected that Trump win in 2016 would have made relations better, they just did not expect them to get so much worse.

The Chinese, just as the Russians, are sitting in the peanut gallery of the US election and generally could not care less who wins. This is because it ain't gonna change anything. Interfere into the election!?!? For what purpose? To replace one crapster by another? Let US select its leading troublemaker, no need to help. US is now at the stage of collapse overseen by Gorbachev, who cares who will become the US Gorbachev?

The real problem is the disastrous US system and the general corruption of all Western systems best exemplified by the common alliances between private crooks and government crooks - how the rich get richer at the expense of the society. The function of the President does not matter much.

This is in line with b's conclusion:

What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China. But that would require humility, a strong industrial policy and a well paid and competitive work force.

In US, everything is going for the worse and worse. There is no force to change this direction. In your wildest dreams could you imagine that a pussy grabber like Trump, or a religious nut like Pence, or a leading international crook like Biden, or sleazebag Harris, or ... could change the direction of US. At least MAGA was a concept signifying a need for change, albite promo concept without any substance. This president or that president, this Senate or that Senate, it will get really, really bad before it gets any better. But the fate of the US could turn into a fate of humanity on this planet if this glass-ankled giant collapses into a radioactive heap.

Posted by: Kiza | Oct 15 2020 2:40 utc | 70

Thanks to karlof1 and to bemildred (41,44) for directing us to Lavrov's address to the Valdai Club and Putin's recent speech relating historical details of Russia's role in WWII. In light of the reference karlof1 made, it would seem that the two were somewhat conflicting. Karlof1 said:

"There are many lessons to be learned from history, but as Lavrov ruefully intoned at the Valdai Club yesterday, History isn't the teacher."

Here's the quote from Lavrov, which came in the Q&A after his speech:

Once in the midst of ‘perestroika’ one of our politicians was asked at an election campaign meeting: “Why is our life so bad?” He replied: “But is it? Our grandchildren will envy us for the life we had.” There is a homely truth in that of course, but I would prefer some lesson to be learned from the bloody wars of the past. Alas, there is another wise maxim: history teaches nothing.

It interested me that Lavrov in his speech is gently critical of the recent report of Valdai members with respect to their approach to the historical implementation of international law at the United Nations. In this he is totally in sync with Putin's lengthy speech. Both uphold the UN positions, especially with respect to the Security Council veto. Both insist that diplomacy is the only way forward, and that Russia is ready to meet on those grounds. Both speeches are well worth absorbing in their entirety.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 15 2020 3:13 utc | 71

The civil war there ended in 1949. China is Taiwan's largest trading partner. A quarter of Taiwanese visit China each year, while 4 million "red" Chinese tourists invade Taiwan each year. China will never invade Taiwan, and would fail if it tried. More here:

Posted by: Carlton Meyer | Oct 15 2020 3:21 utc | 72

Given the historical record we can not rule out that the Western empire could start a nuclear war before giving up.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Oct 15 2020 3:22 utc | 73

Putin's speech is powerful. As he begins, I'm reminded of this from Debsisdead @67:

"...Wishful thinking plus a belief that neither side really wants a war hasn't worked in the past..."

Here's some of Putin:

"...But of course, the most important reason that predetermined the greatest tragedy in human history is state egoism, cowardice to resist a growing aggressor and the unwillingness of the political elite to find a compromise...All leading countries, to varying degrees, contributed their share to its [the war's] beginning. Everyone made irreparable mistakes believing they could outsmart others, secure one-sided advantage, or stay away from the impending global evil. And for this short-sightedness of not creating a system of collective security, millions of people had to pay with their lives..."

And in his final paragraph:

"...Based on shared historical commemoration we can and should trust one another..."

It is a fine speech.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 15 2020 3:31 utc | 74

This looks reasonably interesting. Podcast with a transcript exploring how Trump is the inevitable consequence of American government policies.

Part One: Manufacturing the Carnage
Donald Trump is an autocratic nightmare wrapped in incompetence, made in the USA.

Eddie Glaude Jr.: Think of this moment as the decline of the empire, that something is dying while something is trying to be born. Donald Trump represents an exaggerated version of the rot that’s at the heart of the country, that he’s a reflection of something that’s here. In some ways, all of the contradictions of a particular economic order, of the kind of exploitation of white fear, combined with a deepening sense of precarity made Trump possible.

JS: In assessing the Trump presidency, there are two significant tracks we will explore. First: The ways in which Trump is, in fact, a particularly dangerous autocrat who doesn’t believe in any semblance of a democratic process. And second: The ways in which various U.S. systems and the policies of Trump’s predecessors carved the way for many of his most dangerous actions.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Oct 15 2020 3:36 utc | 75

donkeytale @Oct14 20:14 #23

No one I have spoken with ever in the US across a wide ideological spectrum desires hot war with China, or Russia for that matter. No one.

LOL. Of course they don't! This might matter if USA were a democracy. It isn't.

The anti-China campaign has been ramping up with one "outrage" after another: Trade; Hong Kong; Uyghurs; South China Sea; Taiwan; and Covid. The result is greatly increased tensions and threats:


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 15 2020 3:37 utc | 76

@james 8
The tool recently installed as head of the Canadian Cons wants to be even more a US stooge.

"msm bs 24-7 in canada coming from the usa"
IMO, CBC more closely parrots the Trudeau Neo-Liberal line.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Oct 15 2020 4:02 utc | 77

@73 Laodan. Thank you for your eloquently written contribution. A great post..

Posted by: Lozion | Oct 15 2020 4:15 utc | 78

@lysias | Oct 15 2020 0:10 utc | 60

The only possible way to use nuclear weapons to maintain dollar supremacy would be to use them for blackmail: help us to maintain dollar supremacy, or we will nuke you all.

Problem with that is credibility. Why would anybody believe somebody's threat to carry out a suicidal policy?

Because they could discreetly be reminded of certain no so distant 'practical' examples?

Posted by: Norwegian | Oct 15 2020 4:44 utc | 79

Since many here believe the mainstream media speaks as the voice of God as far as truth-telling, it's not surprising also to see a resurgence of the Norman Angell cult - to paraphrase, "the economies of the European powers are so interdependent, and mutual profit depends so much on cooperation, a general European war is impossible in the 20th century."

Yes indeed. And since no such war ever happened in, say, 1914, because it was rationally impossible, and the elites and masses are so rational (as we see especially in 2020), therefore it's impossible that the US will send the missiles flying even in its last desperate ditch trying to prop up its power. (And of course the US never would prefer total destruction to giving up with grace - that's not how the US has a record of acting. Just like its bunker-hunkering predecessor Hitler decided not to try to drag everything down with him, but rather gave up with grace when he saw the war was lost. Oh, wait.)

It's only terminal irrationalists like myself who think the governments and masses are insane and who strongly suspect there's almost no chance of the economic civilization letting itself go down without resorting to nuclear war out of some deranged notion that such an extreme self-destructive action can bring a miracle. That, along with the retreat to the bunker, seems to be the most common mode of thought these days, as 2020 has spectacularly demonstrated.

As for the reluctance of Japan, India, Australia, and the increasing conflict with China and Russia driven by the US's own provocations of course, including its unwillingness to give any ground or even "allow" the existence of an imperial peer (as much as that goes against the party line that the US elites are rational and truthful), I think of Revelation 17.15-18:

Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.”

They all handed the US Babylon authority following the second world war. Now the ten horns hate her and will join in rending and burning her. And she will burn them back.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 15 2020 5:45 utc | 80

Broadly related to the above, I offer the following, from The Saker:

Posted by: Paracletus | Oct 15 2020 6:20 utc | 81

In another thread
Donkeytale claims "you are off base and argument lacking historical relevance".

Yeah right - not. The great war kicked off in 1914 after years of argy bargy between european powers which resulted in nations signing treaties of mutual military support, Germany had one with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and as well as the entente cordiale between France & England, both England & France had similar treaties with Belgium & Russia.
The purpose of these treaties was not to fight a war but to prevent a war, on the grounds that everyone believed that no one would attack any other nation because they would kick off a huge conflagration.
It didn't work, when the Austrian emporer sent an ultimatum to Serbia both he and Kaiser Wille believed that england and France would treat this as water off a ducks back and persuade Russia to let the emporer extract revenge for his nephew's assassination. They didn't they believed that Germany & Austria-Hungary would back down because all in all it was just a blip. As things heated up no one could contact Kaiser Willie - he took the issue so seriously that after he saw the ultimatum Austria was going to present, he went off on a ten day cruise round the Baltic.
The war suddenly exploded at a time when both Whitehall & Berlin had persuaded themselves that this was a storm in a teacup.

I'm not in the habit of presenting links for easily available information - what I presented above is a doddle to check out, but the kick off of the 'WW2" half is best displayed by William Shirer's "Rise and Fall of the #rd Reich". I Apologise to others for the lengthy quote but it is really the only way to demonstrate how hitler's obdurate stupidity based upon the asinine belief he was a genius who 'knew' englanders wouldn't stand up to him kicked off WW2 part of the 20th century euro war.

The Henderson referred to below is Nevile Henderson British Ambassador to Berlin, picked because in the opinion of the Foreign Office he got on well with dictators, his previous appointment had been Ambassador to Argentina, who in the link above (wikipedia sorry but I don't have all day) is disparaged by a later englander PM, Harold Macmillan, who wrote of that appointment: " Henderson proved a complete disaster; hysterical, self-opinionated and unreliable" The man was practically a Nazi himself, but by the time Germany was about to invade Poland the penny had finally dropped that a war could kick off so he went to meet with hitler the evening before, the nazis invaded Poland to talk some sense to hitler.

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Chapter 16 "The Last Days of Peace"

In the meantime, at 1:30 P.M., the Fuehrer had received Ambassador Henderson at the Chancellery. His resolve to destroy Poland had in no way lessened but he was more anxious than he had been two days before, when he had talked with Henderson at Berchtesgaden, to make one last attempt to keep Britain out of the war.* The ambassador found the Fuehrer, as he reported to London, “absolutely calm and normal and [he] spoke with great earnestness and apparent sincerity.” Despite all his experience of the past year Henderson could not, even at this late date, see through the “sincerity” of the German Leader. For what Hitler had to say was quite preposterous. He “accepted” the British Empire, he told the ambassador, and was ready “to pledge himself personally to its continued existence and to commit the power of the German Reich for this.”

He desired [Hitler explained] to make a move toward England which should be as decisive as the move towards Russia … The Fuehrer is ready to conclude agreements with England which would not only guarantee the existence of the British Empire in all circumstances so far as Germany is concerned, but would also if necessary assure the British Empire of German assistance regardless of where such assistance should be necessary.

He would also be ready, he added, “to accept a reasonable limitation of armaments” and to regard the Reich’s western frontiers as final. At one point, according to Henderson, Hitler lapsed into a typical display of sentimental hogwash, though the ambassador did not describe it as that when he recounted it in his dispatch to London. The Fuehrer stated take the offer very seriously” and suggesting that he himself fly to London with it, for which purpose a German plane would be at his disposal.5

that he was by nature an artist, not a politician, and that once the Polish question was settled he would end his life as an artist and not as a warmonger.

But the dictator ended on another note.

The Fuehrer repeated [says the verbal statement drawn up by the Germans for Henderson] that he is a man of great decisions … and that this is his last offer. If they [the British government] reject these ideas, there will be war.

In the course of the interview Hitler repeatedly pointed out that his “large comprehensive offer” to Britain, as he described it, was subject to one condition: that it would take effect only “after the solution of the German–Polish problem.” When Henderson kept insisting that Britain could not consider his offer unless it meant at the same time a peaceful settlement with Poland, Hitler replied, “If you think it useless then do not send my offer at all.”

However, the ambassador had scarcely returned to the embassy a few steps up the Wilhelmstrasse from the Chancellery before Dr. Schmidt was knocking at the door with a written copy of Hitler’s remarks—with considerable deletions—coupled with a message from the Fuehrer begging Henderson to urge the British government “to
take the offer very seriously” and suggesting that he himself fly to London with it, for which purpose a German plane would be at his disposal.

But behind the “offer,” no doubt, was a serious purpose. Hitler apparently believed that Chamberlain, like Stalin, wanted an out by which he could keep his country out of war.* He had purchased Stalin’s benevolent neutrality two days before by offering Russia a free hand in Eastern Europe “from the Baltic to the Black Sea.” Could he not buy Britain’s nonintervention by assuring the Prime Minister that the Third Reich would never, like the Hohenzollern Germany, become a threat to the British Empire? What Hitler did not realize, nor Stalin—to the latter’s awful cost—was that to Chamberlain, his eyes open at long last, Germany’s domination of the European continent would be the greatest of all threats to the British Empire—as indeed it would be to the Soviet Russian Empire.

Next day nazis invade Poland and contrary to hitler's 'genius' england & france pile in.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 15 2020 6:31 utc | 82

- Keep in mind that China is (literally) buying influence in e.g. Europe and other parts of the world. In that regard China is beating the US with the same tools the US previously did and beating the US with its own game. And that's something the good folks in Washington have a hard time adopting to. Because they considred themselves to the master of the world.

- But I don't like it at all that ANYONE is buying influence.

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 15 2020 8:29 utc | 83

The recent trouble of Huawei in some European countries is no indication that the Europe supports the American "New Cold War" against China (let alone a hot war) but, as Borrell(?) has put it: "Europe learning to speak the language of power". China has repeatedly offered closer cooperation with the EU but so far has delivered nothing beyond words. "Fine. So you want Chinese companies to have unrestricted access to the European market? No problem. Open up the Chinese market to European companies in return and abolish current restrictions." Just reciprocity, nothing else.

If Beijing desides to not open up the Chinese market - which the Chinese as a souvereign nation are of course perfetly entitled to - than the EU won`t open up either and the Europeans will move on and try to find reciprocal, mutually beneficial agreements with China in other areas.

Posted by: m | Oct 15 2020 8:34 utc | 84

donkeytale | Oct 15 2020 8:13 utc | 87

"Why should the world's wealthy keep making easy bank through its Chinese investment portfolio when it can destroy China and the world?

...Thanks for the serious analysis guys."

I've never heard anyone evoke a more gossamer faith than your belief in the perpetuity of investment portfolios. But, as you say, there's lots of unserious analysis out there. Your hero Angell's book wasn't titled The Great Illusion for nothing.

Posted by: Russ | Oct 15 2020 9:00 utc | 85

Posted by b -- "China is not an ideological or military danger to Europe.... What the U.S. still could do is to honestly compete with China."

China is not an idealogical nor military threat to ALL the world. She just wants to sell better products to ALL the world to help their 1 billion countrymen rise from poor nation to middle class nation.

It is easy for the US to compete: just honestly make a better widget; diligently make a better mouse trap; intelligently make a better 5G thingie.

But noooooo... the US must bring others down to their ungovernable, uneconomic shithole level to feel good about themselves. They call that kind of "competition" the art of the steal, about "winning" until they are tired (of winning).

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 15 2020 9:01 utc | 86

From the latest Lavrov interview, the best pearl for my taste, when asked who does the Kremlin prefer as winner in the coming US elections, Lavrov as an old diplomat did not say who, but quoted a song by a Russian comic by the name of Slepakov, the song starts with the line: America doesn’t love us.
Here's the song and a quick machine translation:

America doesn't love us ...
England doesn't love us ...
Germany doesn't like us ...
For many centuries in a row

France doesn't love us ...
Japan doesn't like us ...
In short, nobody loves us ...
But everyone really wants to fuck!

And we, and we cannot live without love ...
And we, and we do not want to fuck without love ...
For us, this feeling is more important and dear that any,
And we will not fuck without love, we will not fuck, we will not fuck!

And they all want us, like a slut
Get drunk and bend in the alley.
They want to sneak up on us when we
In our hearts we will bend over the Crimea.

We expand into all cracks,
And after - stay friends
And do it over and over again
And not a word about love!

And we, and we without love do not agree ,
And we, squeezing the rolls, stand on our own -
After all, everyone who studied history knows perfectly well
That we, without love, never ever will give it to anyone!

I can understand you guys.
It's hard to love us
But before you climb under our skirt -
You should know something:

We may disappoint you ...
Russia is a woman with big cock ..!
So it's better for you
Do not take off your pants in front of us ...

Posted by: Paco | Oct 15 2020 9:02 utc | 87

@vk | Oct 14 2020 18:54 utc | 15
I feel you're pulling our leg, vk.

>Above all, China has no messianic ideology to export and prefers to set a model by virtue of its performance. It is not in the business of instigating regime change in other countries, and actually gets along rather well with democracies.

[...] Liberalism's inherent messianic character[...]

And Bhadrakumar's claim is even more absurd for the fact that [...] the Russian Revolution (October, not the February one) of 1917 was the first revolution in History to be scientifically planned, the first one to be generated from a scientific theory

So what is China's messianic ideology, according to you?
I hope we it's not Liberalism really, although you wording could imply that.

And a scientific theory cannot be or become messianic, is that what you posit??

I mean so far almost all your posts I've read here were pretty reasonable, but this one baffles me.
Care to explain?

Posted by: michael | Oct 15 2020 9:19 utc | 88

Posted by: A. Pols | Oct 14 2020 20:03 utc | 22 -- "Pompeo's jetting around trying to recruit "allies" just makes him look foolish."

Pompeo IS foolish. His jetting around only EXPOSES his foolishness.

If he did not take on his present job, no one would of known his stupidity, nor of top US military people's stupidity.

Still, Pompeo is not jetting around to look intelligent: his eyes are on how many martha's vineyard mansions he would of earned by the time he retires.

Just ask OBummer, who earned 2 mansions just for reading from a teleprompter.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Oct 15 2020 9:24 utc | 89

"Trump most assuredly is no Hitler"

What a facile comment. That is why I rarely bother to respond to so much in here, some dingbat who imagines he has to have the last word or his sense of self will be lost avoids the substance of an issue and twists an irrelevant piece of a discussion to give a flip.

Trump doesn't have to be hitler, he just has to remain trump and pompous, stay pompous and the world could blunder into war.
No one said that has to happen, my contention is that it could happen & the more amerikan pols of whatever ilk spout their bellicose tosh, the more probable that their inability to see the rest of the world as people who also have skin in the game who will reach the point where they cannot back down, the more likely it is that a disastrous conflict will kick off.

As long as the amerikan empire sounds off like this, reaching that point becomes inevitable - something no one wants yet it happens because egoists cannot back down for what? Loss of face?. Kinda like some of the dingbats around here.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 15 2020 9:26 utc | 90

Laodan #73

Great analysis/material, thank you.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 15 2020 10:04 utc | 91

@vk | Oct 14 2020 18:54 utc | 15

>Above all, China has no messianic ideology to export and prefers to set a model by virtue of its performance. It is not in the business of instigating regime change in other countries, and actually gets along rather well with democracies.
[...] Liberalism's inherent messianic character[...]

And Bhadrakumar's claim is even more absurd for the fact that [...] the Russian Revolution (October, not the February one) of 1917 was the first revolution in History to be scientifically planned, the first one to be generated from a scientific theory

So what is China's messianic ideology, according to you?
I hope we it's not Liberalism really, although you wording could imply that.

And a scientific theory cannot be or become messianic, is that what you posit??

Posted by: michael | Oct 15 2020 9:19 utc | 89

There's no Chinese messianic ideology is what he mean. They don't go out into someone countries and decries neoliberal values nor it care to force other government into some sort of political or ideological reforms. At least not yet.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 15 2020 10:09 utc | 92

>>as Borrell(?) has put it: "Europe learning to speak the language of power

Posted by: m | Oct 15 2020 8:34 utc | 85

Funny thing that "power" is never directed at the US (the master), always at those who the US attacks, who are always not US vassal states like you.

US attacks Venezuella --> EU attacks Venezuella
US attacks Russia --> EU attacks Russia.
US attacks Huawei --> EU attacks Huawei.
US attacks Serbia --> EU attacks Serbia.
US attacks Libya --> EU attacks Libya.
US attacks Syria --> EU attacks Syria.
US attacks Iran --> EU attacks Iran (there are defacto sanctions on Iran by the EU, unlike other independent countries expanding commercial relations with Iran).
US attacks Turkey (after failure of 2016 coup) - EU attacks Turkey.

Even in the Iraq war - most euro puppets joined the war and the current Merkel supported the Iraq war, with former Schröder being under attack recently by Spiegel, the ruling class media.

In other words it is not "power", rather is a cowardly puppet following the master when it is safe to do so, in hopes that it can get some leftover half eaten food from the master's table.

What kind of "power" can that be, since Germany rejected independent European military from the US?

The US listens to Merkel's phone. This is EU "power"?

The Huawei problem too started right after the US demanded it.

So what did you puppets do after the US sanctioned the International Criminal Court, the love child of the EU? That's right, absolutely nothing. Power my ass.

A colony with german parties begging for US military to stay in the country. Can you imagine US parties begging for german military bases in North America? No. Because they are not puppets like you.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 15 2020 10:23 utc | 94

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 14 2020 23:01 utc | 50

I don't see GDP statistics as anything else than a public relations ploy.
Take the FIRE sector, whose debt services, financial fees, overdue fine, etc are all part of the offical GDP. Similarly, US phony War on Drugs or the phony War on Terrorism which led to an increase in law enforcement expenditures all add up to an increase in Gross Domestic Product.
If you substracted these figures you would get decades-long negative/zero growth rates of GDP for the USA and other financialized, debt-driven economies like Britain, Australia (its house price inflating mania was the focus of the latest Renegade Inc. episode) or former Eastern bloc member states.

So yes, as you rightfully point out, the Western decline of the ruling class might have slowed down, but the polarization and socio-economic degradation of its population has accelerated, although, as Ramin Mazaheri reports from within Empire Inc.

3 weeks to election: No 2nd household stimulus? No mass protests? No pulse?

Republicans don’t protest, period. After all, they are status quo-lovers, and they aren’t about to muck up the system which they believe is the best in the world and always will be.

Democrats aren’t protesting because their elite leadership in 2020 has kept them overflowing with fear (corona), anger (Trump), identity politics (Black Lives Matter (which is not nonsense to Black people, of course, but which is inherently a minority-based movement as opposed to a broad, class-based, majority movement), and – above all – the rabid, competitive, evangelical fervor to win short-term growth via any means necessary in November’s elections.

But the bottom line is: for decades Americans have insisted on the status quo and violently rejected the call for any sort of revolutionary change in the economic and political structures upon which several centuries of Western culture has been based (bourgeois, aristocratic liberalism (for those who can afford it)). They have said to any nation or person – if you are not totally with us in maintaining these structures which preserve the status quo then we are totally against you.

Nothing new under the sun.

Posted by: vato | Oct 15 2020 10:28 utc | 95

Carlton Meyer @76

You are imagining the empire defending its influence in Taiwan through conflicts from a big part of a century ago. You are not just fighting the last war here, but one several wars prior to the last. While you are correct that China will never "land six million troops on Taiwan", they don't have to and have no intention of ever doing so.

This isn't a simple-minded board game of Risk, where you count the units on each side and start rolling dice. This is Sun Tzu's "Art of War". There are many factors involved, not the least of which is that Taiwan doesn't have "a mobilized army of two million men" except on paper. Only a tiny fraction of Taiwan's military can be reliably counted on to fight, but the mainland won't really even engage those in your imagined beachheads and trench warfare. Next is that Taiwan's military is equipped entirely by the United States, but US military hardware is 100% offensive in nature, not defensive. US military strategies and the hardware to support those strategies are all about offensively defeating non-peer adversaries in its offshore imperial holdings. Americans cannot even imagine having to defend, which is why the Iranians were able to smack the US bases in Iraq so hard without the Americans even lifting a finger to defend themselves... they couldn't defend themselves. Taiwan has the misfortune of adopting the same hardware, strategies, and mindset as the Americans. The military defense of Taiwan is doomed and will collapse within hours of the beginning of any hostilities.

The mainland will neutralize airfields and port facilities, and take out key military assets and infrastructure using precision strikes with missiles. This stage will largely be completed in about four hours and will involve very little loss of life on Taiwan, and deliberately so. US efforts to support and resupply Taiwan with military hardware will be kept at arms length by Chinese A2/AD. Now time is once more on the mainland's side. Remaining military assets in Taiwan will be eliminated at the mainland's leisure, all the while avoiding casualties as much as possible (most Taiwanese are Chinese, after all). The two million draftees in Taiwan will desert rather than hang around military equipment that will be attracting missile strikes. Large numbers of them already desert occasionally without that additional motivation (morale in the Taiwanese military has been at epic lows for years).

There will be only very limited amphibious operations from the mainland. The "occupation" of Taiwan will be handled by military police, who will arrive on regular passenger ferries. "Combat" will just be policing actions in which armed gangs hiding in the mountains are prevented from entering populated areas and occasionally rounded up and arrested. Most of these former ROC troops will serve very brief prison terms and be released.

The mainland's occupation of Taiwan will be very anti-climactic to those imagining a massive D-Day style fight.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2020 10:35 utc | 96

Consider how China's one-child policy led to a surplus of males. They could go to war, lose 10-20 million for only minor gain and it would be a net demographic plus for them.

Something to consider before trying to take them on.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Oct 15 2020 10:52 utc | 97

>>I don't see GDP statistics as anything else than a public relations ploy.

Posted by: vato | Oct 15 2020 10:28 utc | 96

GDP does matter, economies of scale matter too, and you can see that in the US leveraging the internal market access to very succesfully ban many countries from trading with Iran or selling semiconductors to China.

>>If you substracted these figures you would get decades-long negative/zero growth rates of GDP.

Exactly, and you can see how the US fixes that - by printing the world reserve currency and thus stealing trillions of dollars from the rest of the world. This is what the reserve currency gives you. The right to steal in trillions from the rest of the world.

To see how that power of printing reserve currencies works, see that.

"Emerging market and developing economies are having to manage this crisis with fewer resources, as many are constrained by elevated debt and higher borrowing costs." (i.e. can not print trillions of dollars).

"The divergence in income prospects between advanced economies and emerging and developing economies (excluding China) triggered by this pandemic is projected to worsen."

"With this, the cumulative growth in per capita income for emerging-market and developing economies (excluding China) over 2020–21 is projected to be lower than that for advanced economies."

The polarization in many western societies did increase though, for that i agree too.

Posted by: Passer by | Oct 15 2020 10:57 utc | 98

@ Posted by: michael | Oct 15 2020 9:19 utc | 89

China has no messianic ideology. It has the polar opposite of that: the first ever system born scientifically (socialism).

But the same was true for the USSR: it was fruit of the first ever scientifically planned revolution in History. Indeed, the Chinese Revolution of 1949 is one of its direct descendants (the CCP is a Marxist-Leninist Party).

Posted by: vk | Oct 15 2020 10:57 utc | 99

Willy2 @84: "But I don't like it at all that ANYONE is buying influence."

China is just playing the game by your society's rules. In capitalist societies, everything is for sale and everything has a price. If you don't like that then you should do like China did and have your own revolution. Develop "Socialism with [insert your culture's name here] Characteristics". Socialism with Chinese Characteristics isn't likely to be a good fit for your society, and the Chinese know that. It is not their responsibility nor prerogative to "fix" your society in any case. That's your job.

I am consistently surprised that people from capitalist societies of whores always expect the Chinese to treat them differently than they expect to be treated under their own rules. You're selling, but then get offended when the Chinese buy? What exactly is with that? Racism? You suddenly decide that being a whore is not to your liking now that the buyer is Chinese instead of some old white guy? Makes me wonder how westerners will react when Nigeria has their revolution, develops "Socialism with African Characteristics", races up the industrial value-added chain like China did, and starts "buying influence" in western societies.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 15 2020 11:16 utc | 100

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