Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 14, 2023

Emmanuel Todd On The Third World War

The French Le Figaro has an interview with the well known anthropologist Emmanuel Todd.

Emmanuel Todd: «La Troisième Guerre mondiale a commencé»

"The third world war has began" is his new thesis. Todd is quite famous for correctly predicting the devolution of the Soviet Union long before it happened. He was quite alone at that time.

I once had a piece on Todd's later predictions for the U.S. and Europe which still seems spot on. I also quoted him in a piece on social decline as a national security issue.

Unfortunately the Figaro piece is paywalled. But Arnaud Bertrand has done us the favor of translating the gist. Here is his slightly edited thread:

Arnaud Bertrand @RnaudBertrand - 15:42 UTC · Jan 13, 2023

Emmanuel Todd, one of the greatest French intellectuals today, claims that the "Third World War has started."

Small 🧵 translating the most important points in this fascinating interview.

He says "it's obvious that the conflict, which started as a limited territorial war and is escalating to a global economic confrontation  between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war."

He believes that "Putin made a big mistake early on, which is [that] on the eve of the war [everyone saw Ukraine] not as a fledgling democracy, but as a society in decay and a “failed state” in the making. [...] I think the Kremlin's calculation was that this decaying society would crumble at the first shock. But what we have discovered, on the contrary, is that a society in decomposition, if it is fed by external financial and military resources, can find in war a new type of balance, and even a horizon, a hope."

He says he agrees with Mearsheimer's analysis of the conflict: "Mearsheimer tells us that Ukraine, whose army had been overtaken by NATO soldiers (American, British and Polish) since at least 2014, was therefore a de facto member of the NATO, and that the Russians had announced that they would never tolerate Ukraine in NATO. From their point of view, the Russians are therefore in a war that is defensive and preventive. Mearsheimer added that we would have no reason to rejoice in the eventual difficulties of the Russians because since this is an existential question for them, the harder it would be, the harder they would strike. The analysis seems to hold true."

He however has some criticism for Mearsheimer:

"Mearsheimer, like a good American, overestimates his country. He considers that, if for the Russians the war in Ukraine is existential, for the Americans it is basically only one 'game' of power among others. After Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, what's one more debacle? The basic axiom of American geopolitics is: 'We can do whatever we want because we are sheltered, far away, between two oceans, nothing will ever happen to us'. Nothing would be existential for America.

Insufficient analysis which today leads Biden to proceed mindlessly. America is fragile. The resistance of the Russian economy is pushing the American imperial system towards the precipice. No one had expected that the Russian economy would hold up against the 'economic power' of NATO. I believe that the Russians themselves did not anticipate it.

If the Russian economy resisted the sanctions indefinitely and managed to exhaust the European economy, while it itself remained, backed by China, American monetary and financial controls of the world would collapse, and with them the possibility for United States to fund their huge trade deficit for nothing. This war has therefore become existential for the United States. No more than Russia, they cannot withdraw from the conflict, they cannot let go. This is why we are now in an endless war, in a confrontation whose outcome must be the collapse of one or the other."

He firmly believes the US is in decline but sees it as bad news for the autonomy of vassal states:

"I have just read a book by S. Jaishankar, Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs (The India Way), published just before the war, who sees American weakness, who knows that the confrontation between China and the US will have no winner but will give space to a country like India, and to many others. I add: but not to Europeans. Everywhere we see the weakening of the US, but not in Europe and Japan because one of the effects of the retraction of the imperial system is that the United States strengthens its hold on its initial protectorates. As the American system shrinks, it weighs ever more heavily on the local elites of the protectorates (and I include all of Europe here). The first to lose all national autonomy will be (or already are) the English and the Australians. The Internet has produced human interaction with the US in the Anglosphere of such intensity that its academic, media and artistic elites are, so to speak, annexed. On the European continent we are somewhat protected by our national languages, but the fall in our autonomy is considerable, and rapid. Let's remember the Iraq war, when Chirac, Schröder and Putin held joint anti-war press conferences."

He underlines the importance of skills and education: "The US is now twice as populated as Russia (2.2 times in student age groups). But in the US only 7% are studying engineering, while in Russia it is 25%. Which means that with 2.2 times fewer people studying, Russia trains 30% more engineers. The US fills the gap with foreign students, but they're mainly Indians and even more Chinese. This is not safe and is already decreasing. It is a dilemma of the American economy: it can only face competition from China by importing skilled Chinese labor."

On the ideological and cultural aspects of the war: "When we see the Russian Duma pass even more repressive legislation on 'LGBT propaganda', we feel superior. I can feel that as an ordinary Westerner. But from a geopolitical point of view, if we think in terms of oft power, it is a mistake. On 75% of the planet, the kinship organization was patrilineal and one can sense a strong understanding of Russian attitudes. For the collective non-West, Russia affirms a reassuring moral conservatism."

He continues: "The USSR had a certain form of soft power [but] communism basically horrified the whole Muslim world by its atheism and inspired nothing particular in India, outside of West Bengal and Kerala. However, today, Russia which repositioned itself as the archetype of the great power, not only anti-colonialist, but also patrilineal and conservative of traditional mores, can seduce much further. [For instance] it's obvious that Putin's Russia, having become morally conservative, has become sympathetic to the Saudis who I'm sure have a bit of a hard time with American debates over access for transgender women in the ladies' room.

Western media are tragically funny, they keep saying, 'Russia is isolated, Russia is isolated'. But when we look at the votes at the UN, we see that 75% of the world does not follow the West, which then seems very small.

With an anthropologist reading of this [divide between the West and the rest] we find that countries in the West often have a nuclear family structure with bilateral kinship systems, that is to say where male and female kinship are equivalent in the definition of the social status of the child. [Within the rest], with the bulk of the Afro-Euro-Asian mass, we find community and patrilineal family organizations. We then see that this conflict, described by our media as a conflict of political values, is at a deeper level a conflict of anthropological values. It is this unconscious aspect of the divide and this depth that make the confrontation dangerous."

There you go. Is he right on everything? I don't know, but Emmanuel Todd is certainly always a very singular and interesting thinker, with a vastly different analysis from the depressingly predictable bad takes that usually dominate French media.

Todd's thinking rhymes well with that of Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson as reproduced at Naked Capitalism

Economists Radhika Desai & Michael Hudson Explain Multipolarity, Decline of US Hegemony - Original here

Yves Smith introduces it:

Yves here. Some rousing weekend listening! Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson are launching a bi-weekly talk show, Geopolitical Economy Hour. The opening segment gives an overview, starting with the breakdown of US dominance and how it has been accelerated ironically by self-defeating efforts to preserve the system. It seems trivial at this point to observe that American defense of its hegemony has helped forge a strong Russia-China alliance. But will this partnership wind up dominating other countries, and stymie the development of a truly multipolar order?

Good food for thought ...

Posted by b on January 14, 2023 at 14:52 UTC | Permalink

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Emmanuel Todd was a good read, I totally agree we are in WW3.

Posted by: dp | Jan 14 2023 14:59 utc | 1

The Chinese, as Ray McGovern puts it, are basically the last defenders of Westphalia. They do not interfere with the internal affairs of other countries and perhaps more importantly, they do not export revolution as the USSR did. They are purely for business and trade which gives me great hope for the future of the multipolar world

Posted by: leaf | Jan 14 2023 15:00 utc | 2

I often tell family this:
If I told you 10 years ago that in the next decade many NATO countries would be invading and bombing military bases INSIDE Russia through Ukraine with hundreds of thousands killed, would you have called that WW3?
Everyone says yes.
No one would have hesitated to call that WW3 just a few years ago.

Posted by: Mar man | Jan 14 2023 15:00 utc | 3

Already posted that link in the previous Ukraine thread. There is a 90 minutes conference by Todd on that subject which is available in YouTube. The Figaro article being a sum up of this conference.
For those who understand French it's a "must see" - including for Todd humor :

savoir si Ursula dispose d'un cerveau est une question en soi !

Knowing whether Ursula is having a brain is an open question in itself !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCVsoYjihdE

Posted by: w | Jan 14 2023 15:07 utc | 4


If the Russian economy resisted the sanctions indefinitely and managed to exhaust the European economy, while it itself remained, backed by China, American monetary and financial controls of the world would collapse, and with them the possibility for United States to fund their huge trade deficit for nothing. This war has therefore become existential for the United States. No more than Russia, they cannot withdraw from the conflict, they cannot let go. This is why we are now in an endless war, in a confrontation whose outcome must be the collapse of one or the other."

Like I said in March 2022 on this site: "This is the game for all the marbles"

There's no turning back now.

As I've been telling my family for the past 5 months - "World War 3 has already started, we're just all in denial".

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 14 2023 15:15 utc | 5

He just wrote an epitaph for England's tombstone:
" As the American system shrinks, it weighs ever more heavily on the local elites of the protectorates (and I include all of Europe here). The first to lose all national autonomy will be (or already are) the English and the Australians. The Internet has produced human interaction with the US in the Anglosphere of such intensity that its academic, media and artistic elites are, so to speak, annexed. On the European continent we are somewhat protected by our national languages, but the fall in our autonomy is considerable, and rapid.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 14 2023 15:19 utc | 6

WW3 has already been lost by the US and it is dragging Europe and Aus/NZ down with it.
As Todd points out it is a great time to be a country outside the US block. I hope for their sake that they take full advantage of it.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Jan 14 2023 15:29 utc | 7

One way to prevent World War 3 is for Putin and/or Xi Jinping announced that, if Russian and/or Chinese sovereignty is to threaten the American elite with being nuked and state that such an event would be "liberation of the American people from the elite and America moving back to the country closer to the one envisioned by the forefathers".

Such a threat would also be practically feasible: with the exception of New York, most US elite live in highly gentrified neighborhoods with wooden/flammable mansions amid vast expanses unimpeded by concrete and metal around a hand ful of cities. That's a perfect use for a multi-hundred kiloton air burst that ignites as well blast these elite residences away en masse.

Now, back to that threat. Such a threat by Putin and/or Xi Jingping won't move the American people and likely even cause anger. But... here's the but... the punchline is the mainstream media putting a spin on such a threat like they always do.

In their attempt at pushing their usual agenda, the mainstream media has to sell why the elite matter to the lowest common denominator among the public. Politically speaking, nothing angers an American than being told why the common person should care about the elite.

It won't work the first time, but keep doing it and you'll eventually have Russian and/or Chinese flags replacing/complementing/augmenting the MAGA hat as an expression of dissent against the elite and the deep state.

The deep state would then have to live with the fact that there's virtually no public support for whatever they do. At some point, eventually, they either have to relinquish power voluntarily or understand why the 2nd amendment exists.

Posted by: FieryButMostPeaceful | Jan 14 2023 15:30 utc | 8

The EU is toast in other word's.

Posted by: jpc | Jan 14 2023 15:35 utc | 9

Nothing of value from Todd and Mearsheimer.

Saying that WW3 has began is obvious by now.

Saying that a decaing Ukraine found unity in war is incorrect and disregards the fascist past and present of the country. So fascist that the soviets gave them russian territory to have them quiet.

Saying this:

but the fall in our autonomy is considerable, and rapid. Let's remember the Iraq war, when Chirac, Schröder and Putin held joint anti-war press conferences."

Is funny, because I don't remember Chirac, Schröder and Putin giving Saddam billions of military aid and rockets to defeat the American aggressors and protect itself from an American invasion. They were not independent then are are not independent now. Russia will gain independence when they win the war.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 14 2023 15:35 utc | 10

Good read. Agree with the premise - this is WWIII.

The question is how will solitary-super-power Empire declare victory while it agrees to drastically reduce its global footprint and relinquish its 'big stick.'

Reportedly, Larry Fink/Blackrock and Zelensky have crafted a lucrative deal for Blackrock to rebuild Ukraine after it destroys Russia. Since that won't happen without global mass death from which there is no rebuilding, and the crackhead Zelensky isn't long for this world, maybe Putin can agree to let Blackrock rebuild Ukraine after it surrenders. As the Profit Motive is the ONLY thing that drives The Empire of Lies, perhaps this will soften the blow for the Americans who thought they were gods, but in the end are a small-minded, stiff-necked very stupid people.

I kid. I kid. There is no offramp from the current trajectory of 'western' provoked escalation to the point of weapons of mass destruction. And 'duck and cover' is for school children.

Wisdom is not humanity's strong suit.

Posted by: gottlieb | Jan 14 2023 15:36 utc | 11

The game plan ends with the 1st left hook landed … so also with such predictions.

Quite likely the destruction of life on planet earth from ”natural” causes will precede any M.A.D. succes.

Korean War - Cuban crisis - Vietnam War (book by Robert McNamara) -last days of Trump presidency … hiding the nuclear football. 😂

Posted by: Oui | Jan 14 2023 15:41 utc | 12

Thanks to b for taking the boil to the doctor to examine a photo of, even though the doctor will only prescribe steroidal ointment, which is pretty useless.

I have a son who was brought up by his mum , who thinks he's gay. Whatever she didn't succeed in convincing me of, she has brainwashed him with, and got the Western shrinks to chemically lobotomise the lad every time his mind rebelled against his allotted task. We will meet on the Day of Judgement about that.

My sister is staying with and looking after a potentially terminally ill lady who is a doctor, who is afraid of doctors because they are liars, and who is very relieved thatvthe NHS cannot offer her an appointment.

A metaphor for French intellectual Todd discussing terminal cancer of the US. It's glaringly obvious what the treatment for the boil on the US testicle is, no, not cut them off, but give them the war they want, to replace the last wars they continually lost, in a handy SMO ointment.

The US has discovered what Islam could tell them easily, that banking interest will make you poorer, and vastly increasingly poorer the more you use it, until it is choking you to death and the only remedy is to start another war at vast expense to distract you from the total collapse of your economy.


The cure for the US, to wean itself from the banking interest it is addicted to and in denial of. It conceals its addiction by cutting up the figures into minute amounts which have many 0.000000s which make it all.look less scary.

The $100,000,000,000,000 they have usefully invested in Ukranian democracy in the last year is their moral balance against many trillions of colonial theft they take every year from their colonies. But the conscience money was prescribed by a couple of quacks called Soros and Wolfowitz.

Doctor, your ointment isn't working. If we fight a world war for democracy, is that as good as shagging everything for virginity?
With no moral compass to judge by, we need your advice.

Sorry, but it's difficult to describe the vastness of the stupidity of the Anglosaxon Empire without resorting to crude , tasteless metaphor. There are no words to describe their lack of moral balance.

Posted by: Giyane | Jan 14 2023 15:41 utc | 13

I'm Australian and just sent this email to others and the Prime Minister...............
Nuclear War!......... and Albo is all for it because he couldn’t find his arse in broad daylight.... using both hands !
If there was a definition of an Idiot, it is the self-proclaimed singular aspirations for life after taking the High Office of Prime Minister, with ... No 1) The Rabbitohs! ... No 2) The Labor Party! ... No 3) The Catholic Church.
You have to wonder what is going on inside someone’s head to even make such a bloody stupid and ridiculous affirmation after winning an Election and being sworn in as Prime Minister on 23 May 2022? But it tells you all you want to know about a creature wanting to be loved with the security of being part of the “Pack” in the light of what I said on (24/03/22).......... Which explains why he has no dignity but insecurity!
“ The War we had to have!” is in Ukraine?
And it is between The United States and Russia........ Ukraine happens to be where it started..... Whatever you read in the ABC from a variety of ill-informed High School Students and Serial Liars posing as knowledgeable they to a person are telling you processed Horse Manure and some of them, the Serial Liars, are fully aware it is a toxic spray of intense HATE! ............
A War of momentous consequences began on the 24th of February 2022 which has changed the course of the last 100 years in what I described at the time (24/03/22) as ..................
“A Tectonic and momentous event happened this week!”...... See attached email of 24/03/22
We are now one month short of a Year since that, Tectonic Event which has taken us to the precipice of a Catastrophic event where Ukraine has and is relentlessly attempting to detonate a device on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, being the largest in Europe and which if it did achieve what it has relentlessly pursued would render a large part of Europe equally destroyed as was the case with Chernobyl.... And these are the people we support? ......... And the “Quisling” Albanese with his cohorts are now plunging Australia into the jaws of a Nuclear confrontation with imbecilic Debt purchasing Nuclear Submarines and the subjugation of Australian Sovereignty to the will of those contemptuous NeoCon Globalists about to attend the Davos meeting of Satanic Imperialists from 16 to 20 January under the theme "Cooperation in a fragmented world", who if need be would have no hesitation using Nuclear weapons. And are prepared with Bunkers if and when it should happen!

Which brings me to the National Broadcaster responsible for truthfully informing the Australian Public?
And the question.............How can a non-stop 24 hours a day Billion Dollar Organisation be so ignorant about the facts on the ground in Ukraine being so wrong!
When all I see as the obvious answer......... Because it’s only interested in Image? And following what the “In Team” of the Establishment wants a gullible Pubic to know!
Exactly the persona and humiliating equivalent of Zelensky the Ukrainian Impresario who stage manages appearances for money ?
Ignorant to the point there is obviously no one who has any idea about things if they can’t be viewed from lying on a towel under an umbrella looking at some beautiful woman or tanned muscle rippling individual with a dog walking along the beaches of Bondi or any other place in Paradise?
When an event changes how the World will be run, and the entire understanding of what it means begins to filter through the consciousness of those who previously controlled how the world worked, expect repercussions from what I call the “Cadre” as it sees and realises what it represents is passing onto an inglorious page of History ..... It will in a fit of spite and pique chose to resolve its ignominy by possibly going Nuclear?
With Scott Ritter warning of that possibility in a most logical and emotionally coherent display outlining how his Country cannot be trusted....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyKTjdqxFUo
And his opinion..... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AQdvZ6x1hA ...........We Are On The CUSP Of Thermonuclear War !!! Situation Is Out Of Control.........................
You see no one appears to consider that possibility if what comes out of the ABC is the compulsion which cannot be stopped of telling people multiple times a day ...... In propagandised “Good Feelings” promos .... how trustworthy it is! And the best it can put up is fools and charlatans like Mick the Dick who insinuates the incompetence of the person and the Country which activated that Tectonic Shift and at the same time he predicts a Fascist Jew ... who betrays for me the qualities of the Jews I have known ... is “Inspirational” and will, with incalculable amounts of Arms, drive an incompetent and poorly trained ramshackle lot of “Orks” out of Ukraine restoring it to its previous unquestionable state of “Progressive Democracy” which ties up Gypsies to lamp posts, gaols the Opposition Leader and then trades him in a “Prisoner swap” and follows that up stripping him of his Citisenship ....... If you get my drift? Furthermore this humourless and bottomless well of crap presented as knowledge has also claimed that both Soledar and Bakhmut are of little Tactical and Strategic importance inferring how stupid the “Orks” are? (And assumes because he somehow attained the heights of becoming an Australian Army major general) ....... to do so (The “Orks” capturing them) will by ‘est quod id est’ means nothing! When the Gloriously as he says “Nimble” Ukrainians must have had some sort of brain fart to relentlessly send Battalion after Battalion to be slaughtered with estimates of up to 25,000 killed in Soledar apart from those wounded? The Battle for Bakhmut is ongoing with the same reality the Ukrainians keep filling the “Killing Hopper” with totally ill-equipped and exhausted young men who now know they will die for nothing but the brainlessness of a TV Comedian who lives off opportunism, insisting as he did of troops in Mariupol ... Do not Retreat! ... It looks bad for the Image? ... And all that money might stop? Thankfully Stan Grant has now shut his mouth when it comes to the “Orks” or at least it appears that is the case?
So when you sit down and look at what represents the working brains running Australia to me it’s horrifying as the Prime Minister bumbles his way and the ABC is barren of all reasonable thought and discussion!
What can I do for my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren in the making? When you have FlutterCucks with their heads up an orifice where the only way out is down!

William Kierath

Posted by: William Edward Kiera | Jan 14 2023 15:44 utc | 14

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 14 2023 15:35 utc | 10

Saying that a decaing Ukraine found unity in war is incorrect and disregards the fascist past and present of the country.

I agree.

That's where Todd's analysis falls flat and veers off into the sewers. It's clear the Russian Ukrainians in the LPR and DPR do not have the same idea of "hope in unity" as those in Kiev and Lvov.

Ukraine isn't a threat because of it's 'newfound national unity', it's a threat because it's a zombie corpse animated by NATO.

It will keep coming until every last limb has been dismembered and separated, and the rest burned.

A horrible analogy, but true.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 14 2023 15:48 utc | 15

"This war has therefore become existential for the United States."

Indeed. Simon Tilford and Hans Kundnani wrote a couple of years ago:

The domestic costs of accommodating large capital flows are likely to increase and become more destabilizing for the United States in the future.
As China and other emerging economies continue to grow and the United States’ slice of the global economy continues to shrink, capital inflows to the
United States will grow relative to the size of the U.S. economy. This will amplify the distributional consequences of dollar hegemony, further benefiting
U.S. financial intermediaries at the expense of the country’s industrial base. It will likely also make U.S. politics even more fraught.

Given these mounting economic and political pressures, it will become increasingly difficult for the United States to create more balanced and equitable
growth while remaining the destination of choice for the world’s excess capital, with the overvalued currency and deindustrialization this implies. At
some point, the United States may have little alternative but to limit capital imports in the interests of the broader economy—even if doing so means
voluntarily giving up the dollar’s role as the world’s dominant reserve currency.

Posted by: Maracatu | Jan 14 2023 15:51 utc | 16

His assessment of (at least some of) the reasons for the war in Uke, I agree.

His 75% RoW is more like 85-87%.
Which shows how he lives in a previous generation and is completely anchored in a Western point of view.
His views on family structure around the world are also hopelessly outdated and simply incorrect now. Probably comes from sitting in a Paris office reading UN demographics data rather than seeing with his own eyes.

Posted by: Al Terrier Motif | Jan 14 2023 15:55 utc | 17

@ FieryButMostPeaceful 8

Your remedy, taking out the elites, is excellent, but for the useful idiots in the grenaded foxhole who will think it
their duty to continue the good fight, find the red button and fire it.

I am thinking of a cartoon by Steve Bell where Useful Idiot Theresa May does exactly that. The elites are symbiotically attached to their groupies , and vice versa, unlike Gollum who wants power. The useful idiots will postumously destroy those who have destroyed their idols. That is the meaning of idol worship.

Posted by: Giyane | Jan 14 2023 15:58 utc | 18

WW3 - Germany and Poland to begin with.

(The magical thinking of the USA continues their delusion about their own protective distance from potential enemies.)

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Jan 14 2023 15:58 utc | 19

Wiliam | 14

A lot of us who have been paying attention believe, as you do, that WWIII is upon us. The big one is coming. Some of us try to pass on our thoughts of what things will be like, or might be like. Hope it can help some of us to prepare ourselves:
https://folkpotpourri.com/a-time-of-unimaginable-sorrow-is-upon-us/

Posted by: Ozark Grandpa | Jan 14 2023 16:01 utc | 20

thanks b! and thanks to the poster who linked to the tass article in the past 1-2 days that touched on this as well...

sure, he doesn't get everything right, but he gets the main things very right! we are in ww3... the revolution will not be televised...

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2023 16:02 utc | 21

Very insightful articles, thanks b!

Posted by: Smith | Jan 14 2023 16:02 utc | 22

But in the US only 7% are studying engineering, while in Russia it is 25%.

This is interesting to me. I drifted into software engineering a few decades ago, when doing so without an engineering degree was possible, so my mind had to acquire more rigorous habits of thought relatively late in life. Coming from a creative arts background, where fervent belief might be enough to float the boat, I collided with grounding in scientific principles: don't advertise it, just make it work!

The discrepancy in engineering education Todd notices is a reflection of exceptionally shallow values. I'd expect USA's trouble getting little boys and girls to become engineers to continue getting worse, here in the land of make-believe.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jan 14 2023 16:02 utc | 23

In order for there to be a genuine world war you need 2 willing participants. The U.S. withering empire aka the globohomo empire is coming to an end, they haven't the will nor the military capabilities to fight a real world war against Russia. They know Russia will crush the empire of lies in all out war whether its conventional or nuclear, so at this point all they are doing is siphoning and stealing as much money from the American and EU sheeple as they can. All empires eventually collapse and the majority of the world cannot wait to see the U.S. become a non-militant, irrelevant nation including this American.

Posted by: 7even-N-6 | Jan 14 2023 16:04 utc | 24

World War 3 without the mushroom clouds. The West has robbed and pillaged for decades without accountability. Securing generations of Western elites supported by spoils of war is now the upper limit of Western escalation. Russia has the Green light to cross any border in Europe as she sees the need. As demonstrated with the SU-24 shot down by Turkey in 2015, NATO will do nothing.

The assessment does not take into account the unbeatable corruption and lying nature of US and European leaders. As the case with Afghanistan, if NATO, Poland, Germany or any other Europe entity falls, nobody will care. The rules based order will continue marching on.

Posted by: Goran | Jan 14 2023 16:04 utc | 25

Ukraine isn't a threat because of it's 'newfound national unity', it's a threat because it's a zombie corpse animated by NATO.
@ Arch Bungle | Jan 14 2023 15:48 utc | 15

Well said.

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Jan 14 2023 16:04 utc | 26

I see in M. Todd some of the provincialism he sees in the USA.

But thank you for bringing him up, he is the guy that convinced me in early Bush the Lesser admin that I should be able to live long enough to watch this imperial collapse go down.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 14 2023 16:05 utc | 27

"it's obvious that the conflict, which started as a limited territorial war and is escalating to a global economic confrontation between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war."

Actually, it was only "obvious" to the propagandized masses that it started as a territorial war. It was known to Russia and the USA back in 2014 where this was going and where it was meant to go - War against Russia.

Russia started preparing for a serious confrontation with the USA (the "west) since 2014 and the USA has been preparing to destroy and breakup Russia since 1945.

Posted by: Tyler | Jan 14 2023 16:17 utc | 28

"One way to prevent World War 3 is for Putin and/or Xi Jinping"... to KILL the Dollar and make it a currency for domestic US exchange **only**. Push America back to its own inner borders.

China has bought 100T of gold last month so I guess the war against the Green plague has already started. Yes!

Posted by: Nanker | Jan 14 2023 16:19 utc | 29

usa been in ww iii since truman signed the national security act of 1947, which established a legalist way around 'not maintaining a standing army' to tilt with stalin and global communism.

continuous mobilization and $27 trillion in borrowing to fight stalin!

it has been off and on hot. mostly hot since 2001 when the war on terror became a side show to move to encircle russia around sw asia.... the empire evacuating afghanistan is a major set back!

biden, a closet neocon, has been lead toward heating up bc the collapse of the atlanticist empire is as sure as the collapse of the soviets!

Posted by: paddy | Jan 14 2023 16:24 utc | 30


Strauss and Howe's Fourth Turning from the 90's has been coming to fruition exactly as predicted back then leaving little doubt WW3 is upon us.

Posted by: SwissArmyMan | Jan 14 2023 16:25 utc | 31

(cont.)

I think there'll be a division of work between Russia and China to bring Murica down. China will use its tremendous economical power to kill the UD while Russia and its military power will make sure the Beltway doesn't make any stoopid mistake with its big guns.

Anyway and on a very large scale, the fact that America became a superpower was a historical abnormality. Which is about to be corrected.

Posted by: Nanker | Jan 14 2023 16:26 utc | 32

"I wrote a piece in late October [2021] titled, 'we're already in WW3' " Dr Pippa Malmgren, World Governance Summit

Go to 4:25 for the full statement, openly published early 2022
https://youtube.com/watch?v=CDDlWKSQvS8&si=EnSIkaIECMiOmarE

Posted by: Christian | Jan 14 2023 16:28 utc | 33

This tidbit From Alasdair Macleod is pertinent to the Global North versus Global South economic war:

With the situation in Ukraine likely to escalate, Putin can ill afford to delay. On another front, he has authorised Russia’s National Wealth Fund to invest up to 60% in Chinese yuan and 40% in physical gold. This is probably a move to protect the fund from Putin’s view of future currency trends and from their declining value in gold. It is consistent with what the Saudis are doing with respect to getting out of dollars into yuan, and probably some gold bullion through the Shanghai International Gold Exchange. If this demand for gold extends beyond both Russia and Saudi Arabia, then the mechanism for dollar destruction could be accelerating demand for gold from multiple governments and entities in the Russian Chinese axis.

https://www.goldmoney.com/research/the-evolution-of-credit-and-debt-in-2023?gmrefcode=gata

Posted by: ? | Jan 14 2023 16:31 utc | 34

One of the ways to defeat the west, and very important factor is to fortify the African continent and their resources, and take them in to the multipolar trading system. Even better if they can have gold backed currency (remember Libya, Gaddafi?). Africa is a huge market and I'm sure Chinese products will find the markets there, even if they accept some discounts, they might give some leeway just to weaken the west.

France is already in a decent progress of being kicked out of Central African states like Mali and DR Kongo.

It's no wonder Ursula VDL a couple of months ago was speaking about their Africa "partnership plans", but as it turned out, she can talk, but when you look at what the program is really comprised of, it's pretty much a dud. US will be destabilizing Africa too through the ISIS offshoot proxies any way it can, and when suitable. The Russian leadership is making correct moves with the African leaders by helping them counter the US proxies.

Of course these are long term perspectives - the Ukraine thing must be solved in a decent manner but it's already downhill, mostly for EUrope.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 14 2023 16:32 utc | 35

So that's where the intelligence services are getting their 'money shot' 'happy ending' narrative from...
That's a relief, because I was secretly worried that they were getting it from Nostradamus...

Posted by: Josh | Jan 14 2023 16:34 utc | 36

re: "Everywhere we see the weakening of the US,"
It seems to me that a profile of health in a country would be apropos in gauging weakness in national power.
..from the web
The U.S. suffers the highest-burden for chronic diseases and two times higher obesity rates than the OECD average. America also showcases hospitalizations at the highest number from preventable diseases and the highest rate of avoidable deaths.//

This is a huge and obvious caution light for the military, but would also be a problem for many civilian pursuits like industrialization.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2023 16:36 utc | 37

Ww3 was officially started in 2001. It's roots can be traced back to the "call to arms" with the 1971 Lewis Powell Memo; It's preparations began with neoliberal economic policy in 1979; its full military implementation, 2001.
It is the latest iteration in a centuries old dream of global dominance by elites. This should come as no suprise to anyone with a cursory understanding of history

Posted by: Christian | Jan 14 2023 16:37 utc | 38

A horrible analogy, but true.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jan 14 2023 15:48 utc | 15

Let's get philosophical here.
There is inherent connection between western culture and the dead or better yet "undead". It's an obsession. All those movies and games about zombies and vimpires. All those "celebrations" of the undead at Halloween.

Zombies, Vapires, the undead only "live" to consume what is still alive and make it dead like they are. Only once life is converted to death, they leave you alone.

Such culture does not tolerate multicultures and multipolarity. They feel superior. They need to convert you.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 14 2023 16:39 utc | 39

I noted it in a comment yesterday. Predicting the end of Soviet Russia was commonplace by the 1970s. I got it first as an undergraduate from my Russian history professor in 1973. Cracraft was a 17th century historian, when he spoke of the present it was the consensus view. Soviet leadership was moribund. No one, not even the leaders or their scribes, believed in dialectical materialism. It was over. When the Brezhnev cohort aged out there was nothing left.

Yes, Brezhnev was not even in power in 1973. Didn't matter, the Brezhnev style and Brezhnev rot was obvious.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 14 2023 16:40 utc | 40

Posted by: 7even-N-6 | Jan 14 2023 16:04 utc | 24

Very well said and you have summarized the outcome of this war precisely and in short words rather than writing a lengthy prediction that is full with dead ends as usual.

Posted by: Man | Jan 14 2023 16:40 utc | 41

The US may ‘feel’ secure between two oceans.

However the slave owners and the Western European Banking dynasties who set it up and ALL ‘National Banks’ ever (the few exception countries destroyed for disobedience, or not quite as it seems!) are not themselves immune from existential threat.

The Final War in the endless history of their hubris, ends when such threats they have directed from far behind front lines, often profiting from all sides, finally finds them in their cosy luxury hotels, estates and bolt holes.

Modern weapons and information gathering and dissemination makes those inhumans easy targets.
Ones that have always felt superhuman immunity with massed praetorians, proxies and demented patriotic populations to do their daily and long term bidding.

They cease, desist and face the music, hand back most of their stolen wealth and power or, they go to hell!
By Kinzhell or by miniature drone . 🤯

There a thousand needles that can kill them as easily as the billions of real needles they are trying to use on the billions who are nothing but rebellious slaves in their eyes.

Plenty of bargaining will ensue to remain in their gilded cages, already started; I see Elon King of Mars’s fiddling with twatter as one facet of that, it’s already looking like the hollow hangout, as predicted by some.

Just like that, it can be done, they will vanish as the ‘Dominate’ phase Roman Empire did leaving behind some useful stuff and a lot of weird pornography.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Jan 14 2023 16:44 utc | 42

At #8, Fiery but mostly peaceful,
Yes, that is an idea. Real Estate in the neighbourhoods would plummet! It will not mean that the elites step down at all, but they would lose even more legitimacy and they would have to think twice. This may be the best way Russian and China can forestall a first strike from the US.

Posted by: Biochar | Jan 14 2023 16:49 utc | 43

ombies, Vapires, the undead only "live" to consume what is still alive and make it dead like they are. Only once life is converted to death, they leave you alone.

Such culture does not tolerate multicultures and multipolarity. They feel superior. They need to convert you.

Posted by: Vikichka | Jan 14 2023 16:39 utc | 39

I think it is consumer culture. We have vast industries devoted to making us buy all sorts of stuff that is bad for us. So you get a culture (in advertising and public relations) which is all about controlling other people. They are only happy when they are manipulating someone. It is all about control. All of our media are dominated by consumer advertising. It is difficult to escape it. And 99% of it is cheap crap you are better off not to waste time on.

In any case, it is easy to see what it has done to us.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jan 14 2023 16:49 utc | 44

I have two good friends with PhDs in engineering. One works in a hardware store. One spent most of his career as a musician. Both report they were simply never allowed to do engineering work. The hardware store engineer at age 16 and working after school as a draftsman came up with an innovation that is now used on every automotive automatic transmission. His boss saw value in the 16 year old kid, patented and promoted what his employee drew.

And my friend never again had a boss who knew the first thing about anything but money. Working in a hardware store he gets to solve real problems every day. Doesn't matter what does or does not happen in engineering schools. Late capitalism has no use for engineers.

Another friend is a union plumber. Local municipality built a 9-figure water treatment plant, designed by PhDs. When complete and turned on it sat there and did nothing. So the plumber came and rebuilt the sucker. He got paid union scale for that. The backflips done to avoid blaming the PhDs and to never mention the plumber have been astonishing

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 14 2023 16:55 utc | 45

Unless, US and Russia fight directly, there will not be a WW3. I am from India and find it very amusing the way western analysts so easily use the analogy of WW3. Since 1945, most of the world has freed itself from colonization and breath independence. What you call global south today has no interest in getting involved in this sort of conflict. They have clearly demonstrated their stance in the last 10 months.
So, unless we have nuclear element involve, calling a regional European conflict a world war 3 conflict is sheer nonsense.

Posted by: Ankit Khandelwal | Jan 14 2023 16:56 utc | 46

Well I went to wikipedia to see what kind of a hatchet job or hagiography was there, I found the one thing I wanted to find, his demographics (SU demise) was not how many kids are being popped out or abortions - but infant mortality. OK, he seems worth investigating. I started in on the youtube video (it's long) and, so he says he is big in Japan. And now I am at the point where he seems to say (autotranslate?) that he has never or else rarely talks in public.

I would really like a 20 minute read in english from a year or decade in the past of his or commentary on. I have a sink I needed to put in weeks ago and work is hell.

He really sounds interesting and he very well might have some salient points that at this time have a possibility of letting a little hot air out one of the biggest psy-ops of all time, the nato-ukr war against RF.

"Mange tusen takk" many thousand thank you's for this edition of MOA.

Posted by: paxmark1 | Jan 14 2023 16:57 utc | 47

And the US made it existential by either choice or bumbling. Letting Ukraine lose in April would have been a geostrategic setback, but the economic war could have continued (those sanctions weren’t going to be lifted). The propaganda of Russia subjugating a neighbor would have some value; much more than the continued talk about destroying Russia and being very obviously prolonging the war. It might not have worked for the US.

But what the US has now is fighting this war on essentially Russian terms on Russia’s home court and looking to all the world like the villain. Because it went for all the marbles thinking this was an easy prelude to China, it now has its own existential conflict. And it’s being led by a political class every bit as moribund as the late USSR. Its path to winning is approaching only a severe miscalculation by Russia and/or China. It’s not over but the prognosis is pretty bad.

Posted by: Lex | Jan 14 2023 16:58 utc | 48

Well, with an American citizenry more concerned with pot, porn and sports and has a complete ignorance of the shenanigans of its political leaders, you don’t have to be an anthropologist to figure out that our country and culture is one foot in the grave and the other one is on a banana peel.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Jan 14 2023 17:00 utc | 49

Good related discussion:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uLADN-bMuc

"Russia, from Greater Europe to Greater Eurasia w/Sergey Karaganov, Alexander Mercouris, Glenn Diesen."

Posted by: Scorpion | Jan 14 2023 17:01 utc | 50

The "Let's you and him fight, Over There" plan the US had for fighting Russia is working well, so far. So well that they are starting in on the China version of it. The plan for fighting China, like for Russia, is to use US proxies to rip each other apart Over There, while the US sits here, safe behind those oceans, and waits for the destruction to be complete.

With Russian energy and a billion low paid workers, China is a manufacturing powerhouse. Without Russian energy, those workers become merely mouths to feed, not such an asset. So China has a dog in this fight. So far their plan seems to be follow the US method, let Europe and Russia destroy each other, while the US loses the petro dollar, and then reap the benefits. So I doubt they will fall for the US goading them to attack Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the US ruling class uses race baiting and LBGT elevation to divide the US working class, telling Americans that these "values" are what makes us special, and requires us to spread our superior "values" around the world. Is the world falling for it? Yeah...no. Actually, most Americans are not amused.

And why the US ruling class thinks it can tell its own citizens that we are a racist society founded on genocide and slavery, while telling the rest of the world that we are a shining city on the hill founded on democracy and freedom, and think that the rest of the world doesn't notice the discrepancy is beyond me.

Recall that the Chinese ambassador slapped Blinken down in Alaska by using US domestic propaganda against him, when he started in on the "western values" nonsense. I admit that it cracked me up in schadenfreude (if I'm using that word correctly).

I don't see this ending well.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Jan 14 2023 17:04 utc | 51

Did Todd mention anything about Ukraine's demographics collapsing? a peak of 53,000,000 in 1990 now possibly down to 25,000,000 after 2022. He's all about the demographics and that slice about family structures. All the women in Ukraine appear to have fled to Berlin.

Posted by: Wokechoke | Jan 14 2023 17:04 utc | 52

I do not trust the Todd approach. I am not a Marxist, neither I am well read on that, nor I trust "dialectic" methodology which is a magic asterix that is easy to misuse. That said, there is a big mileage in reducing issues to economics and then adding other aspects as "corrections".

For example, de-facto family structure in USA and Russia is the same, the differences concern the status of narrow groups. Poland is at least as socially conservative as Russia, really much more, with influential "kato-faszyst"s. Ukraine spend recent decades brainwashing toward Banderism, Poland, toward Catholic fanaticism. The point is that Lords of the West do not give a damn about such details but "weaponize them" on the principle "the sheeple will buy it" with additional niche marketing.

Empire is their stable phases provide benefits to subjects and vassals, like reduction in local wars, spread of technologies, wide-ranging exchange of goods etc. Otherwise they enter instability that leads either to a correction or to decline. And "rule-based-world-order" entered instability by failing to provide benefits, with outright destructive behaviors. Yea, you can immiserate your own vassals and manipulate their elites to accept it, but this is precisely the road to instability and collapse.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 14 2023 17:20 utc | 53

@oldhippie | Jan 14 2023 16:40 utc | 40

Yes, Brezhnev was not even in power in 1973. Didn't matter, the Brezhnev style and Brezhnev rot was obvious.

What?! That's news to me. Who was is that Dick and Pat Nixon greeted at the White House in mid June of that year then? You know, that summer before the Pinochet coup in Chile and the soon to follow Yom Kippur War.

Posted by: majoab | Jan 14 2023 17:20 utc | 54

According to Pentagon strategy documents, US military interests go far beyond national security to include US "interests" globally. This is not something that concerns the citizens, but only the ruling establishment.
So the US Navy is active in the South China Sea, and Africa, and the Middle East, and other far-off locales, trying to provoke the locals.
But the world can see that US national interests in far-away places are of necessity declining.
South America has largely escaped from the US grasp. The US can't compete with China in Africa. In Asia, China is more in control via its economic BRI along with its new partner Russia. So in Asia the US can only count on occupied Japan and South Korea. Australia is US-friendly but it's three thousand miles away from Shanghai. So the US is left with a weakening Europe.
The US military isn't much help. The obese US Army can't function in the Indo-Pacific, and if it were foolish enough to join the fray in Europe it would be easily defeated. The US Navy currently is an empty shell. That only leaves aerial bombing and nuclear warfare, which are poor choices.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2023 17:25 utc | 55

I disagree with the assessment that it is for survival of both the US and Russia... Russia has no intention of invading the US.. the same cannot be said of the reverse, the US has surrounded Russia with military bases, and wants nothing less than the destruction of Russia as a single state. the reason is simple, smaller states are easier to control, and therefore easier to steal resources from

this war is about the same thing as the first two world wars (regardless of what western education centers teach) it's all about OIL, petroleum, black gold, Texas tea!!

the first shots of both of the first world wars were fired in Iraq, and were about Germany gaining access to middle east oil and bypassing the British navy which held dominance over the seas in and around Europe.

anyone interested can look up the Berlin-Baghdad railway for WW1 and the Berlin-Baghdad pipeline for WW2

Posted by: Oldcutlas | Jan 14 2023 17:29 utc | 56

"Pentagon recommends Zelenskyy retreat from Bakhmut and to abandon attempts to retake Soledar

Ukrainian channels quoted its sources in the presidential office as saying that the Pentagon supported Zelensky's call to give up Soledar, which is now under Russian control. Additionally, according to the sources, the US Defence Department recommended not to sacrifice the Ukrainian Armed Forces reserves to retake the lost city under its control and withdraw troops from Bakhmut.

We shall remind you that earlier, during a report on the situation in Soledar, Zelenskyy reported about the failure of three attempts of the Ukrainian armed forces to counterattack Soledar. The Western press also acknowledged the retreat of Ukrainian troops from the city, yet the Ukrainian president continued to deny the loss of Soledar hypocritically."

Posted by: pentagon recommends | Jan 14 2023 17:30 utc | 57

@ 54

Writing from memory. Memory screws up. My memory, for what it is worth, says we got lots of Kremlin power struggle stories and Brezhnev was a faceless name until later. I could be wrong about that too.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 14 2023 17:31 utc | 58

I appreciate the insight and and analysis of b. above the predictions of Mr. Todd.

For one, Europe doesn’t get it … the Blitzkrieg of Joe Biden across EU-27 countries after the Kabul retreat and the bullying had effect because Angela Merkel retired and a “soft power” traffic light coalition was positioned in Berlin. Macron was isolated and the NATO war narrative took hold.

Biden did not only target Russia, but even more he knee capped a rising economic competitor, the EU.

The Trump MAGA policy was embraced by Joe … trade with China would be reduced and critical manufacturing should be onshore, the lesson of pharma during the pandemic. The Defense Production Act symbolizes the future of America’s Hermit demeanor. Self-sustainability or autarky as future economic model.

Globalization must be reversed and the strategy of Deglobalization must take priority above all.

The US let the Arab states fund the first Afghan and Iraq War. US soldiers returning in body bags would be detrimental to the succes of the campaigns after 9/11. Second Iraq War became too similar to the Vietnam War, Bush hiding transport of dead soldiers.

The US enforces a growth of NATO to play act in Libya, Syria and today in Ukraine. European nations carry an equal financial burden and their defense material will be ordered with sticker Made In USA.

The Ukraine War is equally an attack on the economies of Europe’s industrial heart. Cheap gas from Russia delivered wealth to the EU, especially Germany.

The Global economic community wil split, not in half bur 25/75 in favor of the Far East, India, Indonesia, Central Asia, Arab states and Iran plus majority of Africa and South America. Japan, South Korea and Australia will side with NATO.

The failed coup d’état in 2015 to overthrow Erdogan loosened the ties with aggressor NATO, a heavy blow to the alliance. Türkiye had been withheld to become a member of the EU [fast-track of Ukraine in comparison] so all paths are open looking East to join China-led SCO.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 14 2023 17:35 utc | 59

Regarding the weak US Navy
AsiaTimes, Jan 6, 2023
US Navy: a looming threat and a hollow force

The year 2022 was an underreported but brutal one for the US Navy. The service is in crisis. Retention issues, an aging fleet, the revelation of several command failures, and a blunt inability to articulate its strategic mission in an increasingly hostile bureaucratic environment bode ill for the navy’s ability to meet American strategic needs.
As the US faces a potential Indo-Pacific war that could spiral into a Eurasian conflagration, revitalizing the navy’s command culture and strategic thought is vital to American interests.
The roots of American naval atrophy run deep, far deeper than even the Cold War’s conclusion. American political culture ironically militates against naval power. In the context of Eurasia, the US is a maritime nation.
The nation’s founders understood this, and thereby authorized within the constitution the maintenance of a navy without restriction, as opposed to the stringent limitations placed on peacetime ground forces. However, strategic conditions did not bring naval power to the fore until the early 20th century.
. . .Most distressing, however, is the navy’s total inability to articulate its strategic mission and ensure congressional support in the face of an unsupportive executive. Exercises at sea, training, logistics and planning all suggest an admiralty that is insufficiently bold in the face of a gathering storm. The pace of shipbuilding and virtually every other category of naval preparedness demonstrate that the most critical service in a West Pacific conflict does not believe that war is possible within the next decade. . . The author is a former undersecretary of the US Navy.. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2023 17:39 utc | 60

I don't think characterizing the conflict the world is in should be called WWIII because it will not fit the pattern of the previous world wars.

The previous world wars and those before it were banker's wars. The Ukraine part of this civilization war was set up to be a banker's war but is turning into a much more existential conflict.
From the posting


With an anthropologist reading of this [divide between the West and the rest] we find that countries in the West often have a nuclear family structure with bilateral kinship systems, that is to say where male and female kinship are equivalent in the definition of the social status of the child. [Within the rest], with the bulk of the Afro-Euro-Asian mass, we find community and patrilineal family organizations. We then see that this conflict, described by our media as a conflict of political values, is at a deeper level a conflict of anthropological values. It is this unconscious aspect of the divide and this depth that make the confrontation dangerous."

I agree that our civilization war is about anthropological values but not like described.

I think that "where male and female kinship are equivalent in the definition of the social status of the child." is BS and posit that the West is quite clearly not just patriarchal but aggressively so as in Might-Makes-Right and MONOtheism (unipolar/Rules based order)

The crux of our existential civilization war is between the Western portion of our society that operates under a form of social organization instantiated by a cult of humans controlling global money/finance and the growing RoW led now my China/Russia that intend on ending the God of Mammon cult that way of jackboot top/bottom society of the past centuries.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 14 2023 17:44 utc | 61

Posted by: pentagon recommends | Jan 14 2023 17:30 utc | 57

"Pentagon recommends" every time they need someone else to blame. Make no mistake - EVERY Ukrainian strategy and operation is planned by western "advisors" a.k.a Pentagon and UK ministry of defense, who in turn probably get influence from various Washington DC think tanks staffed by various political scientist experts.

This has been a recurring theme from Snake Island to Kherson to Balakleya/Kharkov offensives. Every one of them was planned and demanded by aforementioned entities in exchange for keeping support flowing. Every one of them have been near catastrophes, although the Kharkov offensive was perceived as a some kind of victory, but everyone has their own opinion on that.

Posted by: unimperator | Jan 14 2023 17:47 utc | 62

@ wage laborer

Your comment on energy is basically correct, but I would also point out hydrocarbons have immense importance in the chemical industry. And hydrocarbons are a wasting resource. At some point, raw reactants will be more important than fuels for the hydrocarbon resource.

With respect to energy, both China and Russia have a forward-looking take on nuclear electrical generation. Yes, the have made mistakes, but they correct themselves and keep on going. China is rapidly building both nuclear and fossil gen facilities. They also now have a full-scale molten salt reactor, which in my opinion is the way of the future for fission. (Fusion: the future there depends on which crystal ball is back from the shop today.)

IMHO, China and Russia appear to be synergistic in their partnership.

Tusky

Posted by: Tusky | Jan 14 2023 17:48 utc | 63

Thanks b for the post, and to the bar for the comments. It seems to me that too often a discussion of the demise of the US is directed to an analysis of the destruction of Europe. It suggests hubris. Or paranoia. But I don’t know what is happening in Europe. Shopping at a European specialty grocer before Christmas did lead me to wonder: if Europe is dead, why the Protected Designation of Origin? Shouldn’t all that just be sold off like water and oil reserves?

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Jan 14 2023 17:49 utc | 64

@paxmark1 | Jan 14 2023 16:57 utc | 47

"Mange tusen takk" many thousand thank you's for this edition of MOA.
Godt å se flere fra Norge (Good to see more Norwegians here).

I agree with Ankit Khandelwal | Jan 14 2023 16:56 utc | 46 that this is not WW3 by any measure. It has the potential to become so, but right now it is the US Empire in decline and a Europe that has gone insane. But most of the world just wonders what the fuzz is all about.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 14 2023 17:54 utc | 65

No Paywall has the TASS article https://tass.com/world/1561887

US may lose control of world finance due to conflict in Ukraine — French expert
Emmanuel Todd is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II

PARIS, January 13. /TASS/. The Ukrainian conflict is existential for the United States, which, in the event that friendly European economies become exhausted, will run the risk of losing its grip on world finance, French historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd said in an interview with Le Figaro.

In his commentary, he recalls a piece of analysis offered by Professor John Mearsheimer, of the University of Chicago, who argued that whereas for Russia this conflict was "existential," for the United States it was just another game among other countries, and that victory or defeat in it would be of little importance to the US. "But this analysis is insufficient. [U.S. President Joe] Biden now has to hurry. America is fragile and the Russian economy’s resistance is pushing the US imperial system towards the abyss. Nobody had expected the Russian economy would be able to withstand the ‘economic power’ of NATO," Todd said.

He is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II, in other words, Europe and Japan. Against this background the European economy’s collapse, the expert notes, is fraught with great risks for the United States itself.

"If the Russian economy offers long-term resistance to sanctions and manages to bleed the European economy white and manages to survive with Chinese support, US monetary control of the world will collapse, and with it, the US’ ability to finance its mammoth trade deficit for next to nothing. This war has become existential for the United States. It cannot get out of the conflict before Russia. They cannot let go. This explains why we are now in an open-ended war, in a confrontation that is bound to result in the collapse of one side or the other," Todd says.

Economic and social problems
The conflict in Ukraine "leads to a real economy that allows for gauging the real wealth of states and their productive capacity," the expert states. In particular, he points to a two-fold increase in Russia’s wheat production after the first major sanctions were introduced in 2014, as well as Russia's leading position in building nuclear power plants, not only at home, but also abroad.

The outcome of the conflict "will depend on the ability of both systems to produce weapons," Todd believes. The historian notes that the transition to a war of attrition reduces the influence of advanced US military technologies, being used by Ukraine. It brings to the forefront the availability of skilled personnel, material resources and industrial potential. "At this point the

West’s fundamental problem of globalization begins to intervene: we have moved so many industries [from our territory] that we don’t know now whether our military plants will be able to maintain the desired production pace," he added.

In addition to natural and industrial resources the expert notes the great role of human resources and education. He points to the United States’ more than twofold advantage over Russia in population, but advises his readership to remember that in the United States only 7% of students master engineering professions, while in Russia there are about 25% of them, which ultimately gives Russia a competitive edge. "The United States is filling this gap with foreign students, mostly Indians and even to a greater extent, Chinese. This substitution resource is unreliable, though, and is already dwindling," he said.

Clash of ideologies
Todd also urged not to forget about the "ideological and cultural balance of power." He recalled that during the Soviet era, the Communist ideology was used as soft power, which won acclaim in China, and partly in India and Europe. However, for the Muslim world, that ideology was not attractive due to its official atheism, the expert believes. "Today, Russia, which is again positioning itself as a great power, not only anti-colonial, but also patrilineal and conservative in relation to traditional mores, can attract far greater support," he explained.

"Western newspapers are tragically funny: they keep saying: 'Russia is isolated. Russia is isolated.' But when you take a look at the votes at the UN, it will turn out that 75% of the world does not follow the West, which at such moments looks very small," Todd says. "The current conflict, which our media tend to describe as a clash of political values, at a deeper level is a conflict of anthropological values. It is this lack of awareness and depth that makes the confrontation dangerous."

Global confrontation
"The reality is that World War III has already begun. It is obvious that the conflict, initially a limited territorial war, has evolved into a global economic confrontation between the entire West, on the one hand, and Russia, supported by China, on the other, to have become a world war," Todd believes. He speculates that given current economic and demographic factors, the hostilities should be expected to end within five years.

He believes that one way or another the European countries are "participating in killing Russians" by supplying military equipment to Ukraine, even though they do not put themselves at risk. "The Europeans are primarily focused on the economy. We can feel the real involvement in the war through inflation and shortages of various goods," the expert stressed.

Russia, he says, while participating in an economic war [with the West], is partially restoring the military economy, but at the same time it is doing its utmost to take care of the people."

"This is the purpose of the pullback of troops from Kherson that followed the pullback from the Kharkov and Kiev regions. We are counting the square kilometers captured by the Ukrainians, while the Russians are waiting for the fall of the European economies. We are their main frontline," Todd stated.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jan 14 2023 18:01 utc | 66

Am reading through Inside Putin's Brain by Michael Millerman, an analysis of Alexander Dugan's work. (Millerman does not believe that Dugan is all that huge an influence on Putin btw, but that is how Dugan is often described because of his influence in Eurasian intellectual circles and thus the entire multipolarity movement.)

I believe that we are in WW III already, however this is indeed an asymmetric war as both Chinese and Russian grandees have been warning us about for a couple of decades now. So this is not our grandparents 'war.'

I also don't think that Todd's patrilinear notion goes nearly far enough viz describing the axes of contention. Rather, I think Dugan's Fourth Political Theory notion is much more apropos. Simply put, it's what must come next after liberalism which is the primus inter pares of the main ideological giants of the 20th century 'modern' era namely liberalism, commmunism and fascism. Here is an excerpt from the early part of the book which touches on the different notion of 'people' in a nation that the Russians and thus most central Eurasians share. It's a little wordy but deals with important, fundamental issues. If we are engaged in a world wide struggle to determine the future, obviously who that future is for, which means how we view people in any given national or societal context, is part of that struggle for when we are dealing with existential struggles between different polities we are dealing with different ontological experiences of collective reality. In short, how we perceive and feel the notion of 'we' and 'us.' It's that simple, that basic, that important. That is what this 'war' is ultimately about.

Multipolarity assumes multiple different senses of 'we' whereas liberalism, by being based on individualism as the core building block, has ended up generalizing everything to some sort of materialism-based One World in which all individuals dwell. Whereas the more traditional views - which the emerging anti-liberal Fourth Political Theory embraces - embrace a unified polity or collective to which the individual is beholden, for which the individual sacrifices. Modernist liberals regard the world as an atheist 'objective' domain contained within the ideology of the state in which, essentially, all questions are essentially answered. However the view expressed below, which comes from a theistic perspective, has an 'open top' in which all questions are not answered because profundity, which we all can experience in daily life, is experienced in silence, in wordless direct perception. The system cannot possess that or contain it nor should it try. Which is why at root this 'war' has profound spiritual implications, quite possibly for how human polities will run for the next millenia. There's a lot more than patrilinearity in the mix, though that is an interesting aspect to consider.

Or something. Here's the excerpt:


Narod/People

Just as studies of the Chinese character for people min, are “crucial to making sense of political imaginaries in contemporary Asia,” so, too, is the Russian word narod crucial to understanding the political imagination of Eurasianism. In ethnosociology, the narod (laos, Volk) is a derivative of the ethnos. According to the model of the fourth political theory, no forms of liberalism, communism, or fascism-nationalism conceive of ethnosociology, ethnos, and narod adequately, either ignoring them, constructing them based on incorrect methods and axioms, or misinterpreting them in terms of race. The science of sociology itself, based on those incorrect methods and axioms, should be supplanted with ethnosociology. Sociology as it has developed elsewhere would be a species of ethnosociology. Ethnosociology “is not only the definition of the formal ethnological characteristics of a narod, but a study of that which is constitutive for the ethnos, an understanding of its ontology, its being.”

English translations of Dugin’s books have tended to transliterate the Russian word narod, since it would be misleading to translate it as “people” (for instance, the demos is not the narod). That would be good practice even in general studies of the Russian word. It is all the more so in the study of a comprehensive theoretical system in which the word, and the phenomena, plays such an important part: the narod is “the absolute, main, central, first and last concept of Eurasian philosophy.”

The Eurasian discussion of the Russian narod differs drastically from Anglo-American political-theoretic talk of the people. That is in large part because it does not operate with, and indeed rejects, civic nationalism for an ethnosocial interpretation of the “people.” We have already seen that the account of the narod is primarily existential. The narod is as important to Eurasian political theory as the individual is to liberal political theory, the class to Marxist political theory, and the race and state to fascistic political theories. Individualism is “heresy”; man is “an ethnic being.”

Dan Avnon once said that Israelis should raise a red card any time a politician is caught using the Hebrew word “am,” which also means “people” in the sense of narod. His thought was that that sense of “people” carried with it too many non-liberal presuppositions and the unacceptable traces of a pre-modern worldview. Eurasianism, by contrast, is an embrace of the non-liberal, pre-modern resonances of the Russian language, and a concerted effort to reject any attempts to mute those resonances out of modern or postmodern commitments. The narod gives “us” its language, and “this is firewood for the soul.” “The simple utterance of a randomly selected Russian word,” Dugin writes movingly, “is real magic, a colossal spiritual deed.” In short, Eurasian political theory must be the magic circle of the Russian language, given its “ethnocentrism” or more precisely narod-centrism.

Democracy

Eurasianism is opposed to modern democracy. This opposition can be presented on religious or philosophical grounds. For instance, Dugin has called global democracy “the kingdom of the anti-Christ.” This philosophical rejection is partly supported by such sources as Plato’s Parmenides. In two papers hosted by platonizm.ru, Dugin postulates that, because of a parallelism between ontology and the political, the Parmenidean theses about the one and the many are isomorphic to eight different political arrangements. The first four theses affirm the One, and the latter four deny the One. Denial of the One is the basis of democracy. By contrast, Eurasianism is a political-ontological embrace of the One, and is hence modeled on the first four theses.

It is worth noting in response to a potential challenge from the deconstructive left that an embrace of the One does not mean a commitment to a closed system of presence, as the following lines indicate:

…the normative Republic must be open at the top. It cannot be self-identical, since the One does not exist immediately. […] An apophatic hole must gape at the center of the Republic. Only then will the Republic be holy. That does not detract from the order of the political cosmos but on the contrary ensures its noetic respiration. Thus, the Republic should not be self-identical; it is always something non-identical to itself. This is not simply the Republic but the Republic of philosophers (the predicate is necessary). As soon as it becomes simply a Republic and self-identical, it at once loses the wave of ontological resonance with the paradigm and turns from a copy into a caricature, cartoon, parody, anti-politeia.

Needless to say, Eurasianism is not the open society championed by Karl Popper. However, both this statement about the necessarily apophatic and open character of the genuine Republic and other statements concerning the place of the figure of khōra in Eurasian thought show that Eurasianism is not interpreted correctly on its own terms as a closed system, because, on its own terms, the closed politeia is a parody and anti-politeia.

Yes, a little wordy in parts, but I believe it does deal with the heart of the matter. Logistics are crucial in terms of understanding military operations, but they do not explain why the military players in question are busy trying to obliterate each other. It is a sad irony in human history that nearly all wars, when all is said and done, boil down to religious differences. This is not necessarily because all religions are by definition evil - as many here have on occasion expressed. Rather that evil does arise in human affairs at which point struggles break out and those struggles ultimately boil down to different views about the nature of reality and thus society. In other words, religion for religion is the collective spirituality of any given State or narod.

Posted by: Scorpion | Jan 14 2023 18:03 utc | 67

thank you, b, for posting this as well as your take. i disagree with the premise that putin was remiss in his assumptions that ukraine was a weakened pushover. patroshev, lavrov, shoigu, putin all knew nato was behind ukraine, & had essentially orchestrated the entire threat. the russians went first to the nuclear sites, the bio labs, taking for russia huge losses, this shows clearly that russia was fully aware, empire was launching its attack on russia to overthrow her & seize control. this demonstrates from the get go that russia knew it was ww3, & that it was not going to be over in the blink of an eye or with a display of shock & awe. that is why russia went slowly cautiously & continues to, we are barely past through the prologue. empire will die by many cuts: financial certainly, blowback from its bio weapons, as well as blowback from its ridiculous mind tangles & propaganda perpetrated on their populations to control it, rid it of all sense of a higher self & render it comatose. empire cannot build its weapons, it hasn't the necessary metals, empire hasn't the factories if it finds the metals, it hasn't the educated force to design new weapons to match russia or china's. bottom line, neither russia nor china are in a hurry. empire will wear itself down to defeat, let empire believe its bullshit, let empire continue to flail, let it parade its hollow victories while the axis of resistance continues to prepare, build, design & out manoeuvre.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Jan 14 2023 18:04 utc | 68

Posted by: bevin | Jan 14 2023 15:19 utc | 6

Yes, I was taken by that passage as well. Only thing missing was a reference to Canada in the "honour roll" of Anglosphere enslavement.

Posted by: expat | Jan 14 2023 18:37 utc | 69

"But will this partnership wind up dominating other countries, and stymie the development of a truly multipolar order?"

That is a crucial question, but there is a preliminary matter - will humanity survive the current conflict, militarily centred in Ukraine? The use of nuclear weapons is highly probable, in which case human kind may disappear. The planet will, however, survive and new life will emerge. Since human kind is so brainless to have come to this point in its short existence, self destruction by its own invention allegedly created for safety and security despite elementary logic may be the inevitable outcome.

If human kind survives this conflict, it is rational to expect a high probability that the Russia-China partnership will dominate other countries and stymie the development of a genuinely free world simply because great power inherently tends to dominate. That is always the danger. Russia, being an heir to the USSR system, still has a tendency to dictate and strong-arm, albeit occasionally and in the smaller, weaker states. There were some examples of this reflex last year. It is also not to be overlooked that Putin and Xi Jinping will not be the leaders forever. Who knows what kind of individuals and policies may replace them. That means that creating a new international order based on international law and effective safeguards against domination is necessary.

Posted by: JB | Jan 14 2023 18:48 utc | 70

I agree more with John Mearsheimer than I do with Todd on the same point where Todd disagrees with Mearsheimer.

“If the Russian economy resisted the sanctions indefinitely and managed to exhaust the European economy, while it itself remained, backed by China, American monetary and financial controls of the world would collapse, and with them the possibility for United States to fund their huge trade deficit for nothing. This war has therefore become existential for the United States. No more than Russia, they cannot withdraw from the conflict, they cannot let go. This is why we are now in an endless war, in a confrontation whose outcome must be the collapse of one or the other." (Todd)

Russia cannot allow itself to be defeated on the battlefield in Ukraine. Defeat will mean being pushed back to the Russian border and the surrender of all four oblasts, even if Russia hangs on the Crimea, it will be forced to surrender it later.

This, however, can only happen if the US and NATO evades Ukraine in full force. Once the US/NATO takes control of Ukraine they will build a large US Military / NATO base like Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, and they will never leave. Then they will declare full NATO status to Ukraine and the entire Ukrainian border with Russia and Belarus will be covered with medium and long-range missiles, most of them will be nuclear capable missiles.

At that point, the US/NATO will make their demands; first to surrender Crimea (Russia’s only warm water Black Sea port), and then they will proceed carve Russia into small statelets’ until there is no Russian Federation anymore. And that is existential to Russia and the Russian people.
But if the “American monetary and financial controls of the world [should] collapse, and with them the possibility for United States to fund their huge trade deficit…” That is NOT an existential situation for American, the American people, or the world. Sure, it will be bad for a small group of gangsters and bankers among the ruling class elites, but the United States will survive, and life will go on like during the Depression before WW2.

However, since Russia can never surrender to the US/NATO proxy extortion, or a full-on NATO conflict for reasons explained above, if backed into a corner Russia WILL us the nuclear option, as would the US if the table were turned, and that is existential for all life on planet earth.

Posted by: Ed | Jan 14 2023 18:51 utc | 71

The day the West siezed Russia's foreign holdings was the day WW3 began. The actual invasion is neither here nor there and could have been a local conflict, but the decision to deprive one of the most powerful states in the world of its assets meant the willingness to dismantle the 'globalized' international financial infrastructure - signaling to everyone that the old order was gone and that going forward the cannons would do the talking.

Posted by: Boo | Jan 14 2023 18:58 utc | 72

L'article intégral : https://www.herodote.net/Textes/todd-ukraine-guerre-mondiale.pdf

Posted by: Georges MALAKOFF | Jan 14 2023 19:30 utc | 73

He feels superior to Russians because they aren't gay hahaha

Posted by: abel | Jan 14 2023 19:33 utc | 74

A little note about #23. I'm an IT consultant since 1992 and I feel sure the present generation of IT people or engineers or architects or ANY scientific or technological people is the last one. AI applications are progressing so fast that you can't believe it, we are just a few years (less than 5, I have colleagues working in that field) from having AI applications able to draft a bridge, set up a company accounting, or synthesize a drug. And those AI applications, once started, can replicate themselves improving while replicating. Human intervention will be needed seldom and under very specific circumstances.
So 5% of engineering students is more than enough, interfacing with a true AI (not the ones you see on TV) requires psychological and communications skills, not algebra knowledge.

Posted by: mauro | Jan 14 2023 19:34 utc | 75

Lol no, it's not "equally existential" for the US.

The US is not risking direct retaliation against their territory.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jan 14 2023 19:37 utc | 76

TASS published a story based on the original French article:

US may lose control of world finance due to conflict in Ukraine — French expert - TASS, January 14, 2023

Emmanuel Todd is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II

PARIS, January 13. /TASS/. The Ukrainian conflict is existential for the United States, which, in the event that friendly European economies become exhausted, will run the risk of losing its grip on world finance, French historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd said in an interview with Le Figaro.

In his commentary, he recalls a piece of analysis offered by Professor John Mearsheimer, of the University of Chicago, who argued that whereas for Russia this conflict was "existential," for the United States it was just another game among other countries, and that victory or defeat in it would be of little importance to the US. "But this analysis is insufficient. [U.S. President Joe] Biden now has to hurry. America is fragile and the Russian economy’s resistance is pushing the US imperial system towards the abyss. Nobody had expected the Russian economy would be able to withstand the ‘economic power’ of NATO," Todd said.

He is certain that the United States is in a phase of long-term decline and, against the backdrop of its waning influence in the world, it has decided to press for greater influence in its "original protectorates," acquired after World War II, in other words, Europe and Japan. Against this background the European economy’s collapse, the expert notes, is fraught with great risks for the United States itself.

"If the Russian economy offers long-term resistance to sanctions and manages to bleed the European economy white and manages to survive with Chinese support, US monetary control of the world will collapse, and with it, the US’ ability to finance its mammoth trade deficit for next to nothing. This war has become existential for the United States. It cannot get out of the conflict before Russia. They cannot let go. This explains why we are now in an open-ended war, in a confrontation that is bound to result in the collapse of one side or the other," Todd says.

Economic and social problems

The conflict in Ukraine "leads to a real economy that allows for gauging the real wealth of states and their productive capacity," the expert states. In particular, he points to a two-fold increase in Russia’s wheat production after the first major sanctions were introduced in 2014, as well as Russia's leading position in building nuclear power plants, not only at home, but also abroad.

The outcome of the conflict "will depend on the ability of both systems to produce weapons," Todd believes. The historian notes that the transition to a war of attrition reduces the influence of advanced US military technologies, being used by Ukraine. It brings to the forefront the availability of skilled personnel, material resources and industrial potential. "At this point the

West’s fundamental problem of globalization begins to intervene: we have moved so many industries [from our territory] that we don’t know now whether our military plants will be able to maintain the desired production pace," he added.

In addition to natural and industrial resources the expert notes the great role of human resources and education. He points to the United States’ more than twofold advantage over Russia in population, but advises his readership to remember that in the United States only 7% of students master engineering professions, while in Russia there are about 25% of them, which ultimately gives Russia a competitive edge. "The United States is filling this gap with foreign students, mostly Indians and even to a greater extent, Chinese. This substitution resource is unreliable, though, and is already dwindling," he said.

Clash of ideologies

Todd also urged not to forget about the "ideological and cultural balance of power." He recalled that during the Soviet era, the Communist ideology was used as soft power, which won acclaim in China, and partly in India and Europe. However, for the Muslim world, that ideology was not attractive due to its official atheism, the expert believes. "Today, Russia, which is again positioning itself as a great power, not only anti-colonial, but also patrilineal and conservative in relation to traditional mores, can attract far greater support," he explained.

"Western newspapers are tragically funny: they keep saying: 'Russia is isolated. Russia is isolated.' But when you take a look at the votes at the UN, it will turn out that 75% of the world does not follow the West, which at such moments looks very small," Todd says. "The current conflict, which our media tend to describe as a clash of political values, at a deeper level is a conflict of anthropological values. It is this lack of awareness and depth that makes the confrontation dangerous."

Global confrontation

"The reality is that World War III has already begun. It is obvious that the conflict, initially a limited territorial war, has evolved into a global economic confrontation between the entire West, on the one hand, and Russia, supported by China, on the other, to have become a world war," Todd believes. He speculates that given current economic and demographic factors, the hostilities should be expected to end within five years.

He believes that one way or another the European countries are "participating in killing Russians" by supplying military equipment to Ukraine, even though they do not put themselves at risk. "The Europeans are primarily focused on the economy. We can feel the real involvement in the war through inflation and shortages of various goods," the expert stressed.

Russia, he says, while participating in an economic war [with the West], is partially restoring the military economy, but at the same time it is doing its utmost to take care of the people."

"This is the purpose of the pullback of troops from Kherson that followed the pullback from the Kharkov and Kiev regions. We are counting the square kilometers captured by the Ukrainians, while the Russians are waiting for the fall of the European economies. We are their main frontline," Todd stated.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jan 14 2023 19:39 utc | 77

"communism basically horrified the whole Muslim world by its atheism"

Bullshit.

Like a third or fourth of the USSR was muslim.

The attempts at socialist-leaning laicist governance in muslim countries have been squashed everywhere by the anglos and their zionist and salafist puppets.

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jan 14 2023 19:41 utc | 78

@ b., @ all...

You can read the whole article without paywall

https://www.jesuisfrancais.blog/2023/01/14/emmanuel-todd-la-troisieme-guerre-mondiale-a-commence/

Save and copy to pdf avaible, machine translation too

Posted by: La Bastille | Jan 14 2023 20:03 utc | 79

What seems strange is that Le Figaro, the arch conservative newspaper in France, would interview Emmanuel Todd, the guy who strongly supported the Gilets Jaunes and who once confessed to having voted for Melenchon (although with many reservations). It’s bit like the London Times seeking out David Graeber (if he were still among us) for his pithy insights on crucial international matters. But maybe it’s not that strange if you know a bit about Todd.

His educational is background is I think political science/history. He has a PhD from Cambridge on something like “Peasant family structure in 18th century England”. He was a demographer by trade (he’s now retired) but probably fancies himself as an anthropologist. Most of his books are about the influence of traditional family structures on politics and society. You could call him an armchair anthropologist, the kinda guy who reads heaps of academic publications about some faraway places and then writes about them, having never set foot there. His work is not taken seriously in the official academic world.

His “partis pris”, his deep beliefs and worldview. He’s actually a staunch anglophile. He may have written about the decline of the US, but probably in the hope that they would wake up and reform. He pretty intensely dislikes China and Germany. He likes Russia and Iran. So, pretty similar to Naked Capitalism, except for Germany. He may have correctly predicted the demise of the Soviet Union, but he has also consistently announced the collapse of China. He hasn’t yet written a book about it, but if you listen to his interviews that’s his main line about China.

In the wake of the 2014 events in Ukraine, he wrote an article accusing Germany of having a hand in the coup. Basically he claimed Germany was building an informal empire in Eastern Europe and wanted Ukraine in it. He said the resurgence of Germany was a problem the US would have to deal with. Well, it seems he was heard, he should rejoice.

One funny thing is that according to his own theories, China and Russia are very compatible, having the same traditional family structure (authoritarian and egalitarian). But since he likes Russia and hates China, he always tried to find huge anthropological difference between them. For instance he says that the status of women is very low on China but high in Russia.

In addition, he’s a Japanophile (like Yves Smith). According to him, Japan is the only country where his academic work is taken seriously (you’ve got to wonder if Prof. Michael Hudson likes China for similar reasons). So, from time to time, some Japanese newspapers will invite him for an editorial. I haven’t read any of his Japanese stuff, but I suspect he has advocated a Russo-Japanese alliance against China. By the way, according to him, Japan has a different family structure: authoritarian but inegalitarian (same as Germany).

So, he sure has some interesting stuff to say. But he can sometimes be so blinded by his strong likes and dislikes to the point of sounding like a savant idiot.

(Note: For Todd’s family structures, “authoritarian” means children live with their parents their whole lives and “egalitarian” means brothers inherit equally. Todd argues that although traditional family structures have now evolved, their influence can still be felt.)

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jan 14 2023 20:11 utc | 80

@mauro | Jan 14 2023 19:34 utc | 75

A little note about #23. I'm an IT consultant since 1992 and I feel sure the present generation of IT people or engineers or architects or ANY scientific or technological people is the last one. AI applications are progressing so fast that you can't believe it, we are just a few years (less than 5, I have colleagues working in that field) from having AI applications able to draft a bridge, set up a company accounting, or synthesize a drug. And those AI applications, once started, can replicate themselves improving while replicating. Human intervention will be needed seldom and under very specific circumstances.
So 5% of engineering students is more than enough, interfacing with a true AI (not the ones you see on TV) requires psychological and communications skills, not algebra knowledge.
Sorry, but this is serious nonsense. I have worked in IT longer than you, not as a consultant but as a software engineer with civil enginerering background, including bridge building. You can't build a bridge with "AI" or neural networks or such things that are hyped up.

It is the decline of education in the west that leads to such wrong conclusions, and it is one of the decisive factors why the 'West' is collapsing. Nothing is real anymore, everything is hyped up and turned on its head, just like the Ukrainian propaganda. In fact, Instead of Ukraine becoming part of the 'West', the 'West' has become Ukraine.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jan 14 2023 20:16 utc | 81

B

Thanks again. Others have tired of this conflict, you continue to dig.

I feel the need to say: "Pope Francis said it first."

That is not quite a rhetorical statement. Pope Francis' comment, while coming in the context of the Russia-Ukraine/NATO conflict, is really rooted in the observation that across the world, the US is fighting dozens of wars of hegemony.

None of this was supposed to happen in the post-Soviet world. History was to have 'ended'. Corporate America could safely transfer production overseas - to China, to Mexico - and NATO could restructure, because the Communist threat had been vanquished.

...But the economics of the world had already moved far beyond the situation that had prevailed at the end of World War II - in part thanks to the work of the USSR. In fact, I have argued that one of the reasons the Communist Party lost its consensus within the USSR was that it had not really absorbed the new reality it had, itself, created on the world scene. The end of the Vietnam war marked a critical shift in the balance of power between the Socialist/National Liberation front on the one hand, and US Imperialism (Corporate America - no point in using mystifying terminology like 'the Empire' or 'the Elite'. Call it what it is.). Decades of Reaganomics, Bushonomics, Clintonomics, Trumponomics, Bidenonomics, have not changed that reality. Momentary boosts in US Corporate profit margins are, every time, followed by drastic falls, each fall worse than the one before.

What Todd's analysis misses:

The US is not a monolith. Decades of antisocialist propaganda and a long, long history of racism have created a society short on analysis. But people learn. The GOP loss at the midterm is, to my mind, an example of that. Yes, the country is over-focused on culture wars. But the uptick in strikes and labor organizing, across the political spectrum, suggests that the US is no exception to the laws of social economics. Even the contradictory posts of other USers here point to a growing understanding of the nature of US Corporate imperalism.

Europe is not 'merely' a 'colony'. If it were, Meloni would not be Prime Minister in Italy, and Germany would not have passed a Constitutional amendment to expand its military. For that matter, were Europe truly a US colony, the NordStream pipelines would never have been built.

What we do see in Europe - my analysis, of course - is a split in the 'ruling elites' - the Corporate capitalist interests of Germany, France and Italy. Current German and French leadership have both indicated a need for the EU to 'free' itself from US influence. The problem, for them, is that this will of necessity be a costly process. US corporations have deeply penetrated parts of Europe in the last twenty years; the US has a practical fief in the Baltic States and Poland; and not unlike the situation that prevailed in Argentina throughout the 20th Century, there are sections of European Capitalism that benefit greatly from the Continent's subservience to the US. And let us not forget that any German political leader with a sense of history will be remembering the consequences of their country's previous attempts to assert its Continental dominance: World Wars I and II, which were utterly devastating for Germany.

Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq were all 'existential' wars for Corporate America. None of the conflict it has engaged in since the beginning of the 20th Century has been 'incidental'. One can fight an 'existential' fight and lose - the two things are not contradictory. Corporate America has been locked in an existential fight against the USSR and the National Liberation Movements worldwide. What shocks it now is the fact that - somehow - the 'racial inferiors' of the world continue to limit its ability to act unhindered, even after the victory over the Soviets. But to not believe in their own, ultimate, victory is not only not an option - it is unthinkable. It is, for them, the equivalent of saying that the lesser apes will inheret the world.

A final thought on 'culture wars' in the US and the West. I can well see what Todd is saying - that Russia, in projecting an image of itself as staunchly conservative (no LGBTQ+, for example) is playing to be a reference point for countries like Modi's India, or Saudi Arabia. But this bipolar school in not hegemonic throughout the non-Western world. We see, today, the depth of feeling among Iranian women that they are, in fact, equal to men. China, at least in its official ideology, holds men and women to be equals. This attitude is also a product of the National Liberations struggles of many countries, where women fought alongside men, built munitions, learned to lead. It is dangerous to ascribe non-binary, non-male-dominance attitudes across the world to 'pernicious Western influence'.

By the same take, racism has been and continues to be one of the most potent weapons in the Corporate arsenal. It marks a fundamental divide between the anti-Corporate left and the anti-Corporate right. When Trump talked of 'shit countries' he was mirroring an attitude that runs deep in Coporate circles. At the same time, that attitude runs deep beyond Corporate circles, and keeps a chunk of what otherwise would, and should, be anti-Corporate forces, tied to the Corporate cart.

Posted by: Myke Simonian | Jan 14 2023 20:19 utc | 82

The problem for the US is that it cannot bring itself to accept the situation at hand. To have a chance to defeat Russia in Ukraine, the US/Nato must go all in militarily, there is no other way, and even if it did so I believe that it would be defeated. Instead the US tries to play the meaningless middle of partial commitment, sending weapons and providing intelligence. This will prolong the war but not change the ultimate outcome of Ukraine's defeat. So we are left wondering where this will go, and whether the psychopathic neocons in the US government will win out and kill us all. My hope is that the US keeps dithering until the war's developments make it clear that there is nothing more that the West can do. The West has to go through 5 stages of grief and its still on step 1.

Posted by: Mike R | Jan 14 2023 20:26 utc | 83

@Bruised Northerner | Jan 14 2023 17:49 utc | 64

It seems to me that too often a discussion of the demise of the US is directed to an analysis of the destruction of Europe. It suggests hubris. Or paranoia.

from George Washington's Farewell Address, p. 26

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence therefore it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities. Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course.
If we remain one people under an efficient government, the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest guided by justice shall counsel.
Why forgo the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world—so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it. . .. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2023 20:41 utc | 84

What about the citizens of Soledar? Komsomolskaya Pravda does pay attention to this fact, that even during the fierce fighting there were still citizens hiding in the town.
https://www.donetsk.kp.ru/daily/27452.5/4706163/

"We saved lives!" Residents of Soledar told about what they had to endure
Denis Pushilin met with residents of Soledar in one of the temporary accommodation centers

On January 14, the Acting Head of the Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, met with residents of Soledar and other settlements from the vicinity of Artemovsk in one of the temporary accommodation centers in Shakhtersk.

We will rebuild and restore everything!

- I'm glad you're alive - that's the most important thing! Pushlin says. - As for Soledar… unfortunately, we are facing this throughout the entire period: Mariupol, Volnovakha, and other settlements. They (Ukrainian militants) destroy inhabitants, infrastructures, and especially when retreating. Unfortunately, this is true, but we, as residents of Donbass, are well aware that we will rebuild and restore everything! Moreover, now we are already Russia!

- Thanks guys! We are very grateful to them, they saved our lives, - one of the residents says about the Russian fighters.

- I was in shelter for eight months in the basement, both of my legs were injured, it was difficult to move around, since my aunt Nina was nearby, - says the girl. - On January 11, at night, the fighters took us out of one shelter and transferred us to another, from where they gradually took us out. First, they took out older people, the disabled, the elderly, and children. Thank you so much for keeping us alive!

- My daughter and children were evacuated earlier, to Berdyansk. I'll go to her, and then you need to start all over again, - says another resident with tears in her eyes.

Without holding back emotions and tears, people talk about what they had to go through - Ukrainian militants committed outrages, fired at civilians, and destroyed infrastructure.

- Ukrainians deployed "dryers" and fired at Otradovka. Then they rolled out, - says the surviving resident of the Artemovsky district.

“People were shot in the basement, they threw a grenade, it didn’t finish off, they (Ukrainian militants) killed them later,” the woman says.

"There's nothing left but life"
After a trip to the temporary accommodation center and communication with the residents of Soledar, Denis Pushilin spoke about this in his Telegram channel. The leader of the Republic noted that in the near future Soledar would be included in the zone of administrative responsibility of the Donetsk People's Republic. Citizens with a residence permit in Soledar will be able to count on all social guarantees that apply to residents of the Republic.

- They were rescued by the Russian army and taken out, many with small children, from places shelled by Ukrainian militants. People with tears in their eyes tell stories about what they have experienced, they say that there is nothing left but life. But, the main thing is that they were saved, - the head of the Republic wrote in the Telegram channel. - Today they are provided with all the necessary support, including in paperwork. People were interested in employment. He explained that we really need builders in the Republic now, and the participation of men in temporary work in construction teams would be very helpful, - summed up the Acting Head.

Posted by: Oblomovka daydream | Jan 14 2023 20:59 utc | 85

thx comme toujours for the text, b.

But now what? Supposed to shoot myself?

That´s the very point a place like this should inspire to - get out and get organized.

Instead of lamenting we are in WWIII and we all are gonna die.

Because that´s not really progressive thinking.

And if all the smartasses (me included) around here who consider themselves so superior to the dumb MSM - well then why not prove it by acting accordingly.

p.s. the anthropological stuff is nonsense.

And what is regarded as a "Muslim" angst is often only the result and not cause of the destruction of once vibrant progressive attempts to emancipate from colonial rule.

There is a whole history to that which Todd for some reason wishes to ignore. May be because it would lessen the apokalyptic quality of the analysis.

Posted by: AG | Jan 14 2023 21:24 utc | 86

Have google translated the complete article from the link provided by La Bastille and posted it at my VK account.
https://vk.com/@739151204-todd-the-third-world-war-has-begun

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 14 2023 21:26 utc | 87

Posted by: William Edward Kiera | Jan 14 2023 15:44 utc | 14:

When all I see as the obvious answer......... Because it’s only interested in Image? And following what the “In Team” of the Establishment wants a gullible Pubic to know!
Exactly the persona and humiliating equivalent of Zelensky the Ukrainian Impresario who stage manages appearances for money ?

Succinctly put! Applies to not just the Aussie MSM, it envelops the whole western MSM, plus their politicians, military officers, and academicians. The moral decadence of the West is indeed fully reflected in the persona of Zelensky.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 14 2023 21:45 utc | 88

Posted by: Arganthonios | Jan 14 2023 19:41 utc | 78

Thank you. Exactly.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 14 2023 21:49 utc | 89

@75 mauro
I believe you are right in your assumption especially from what we have seen in the usa. AI is definitely on the rise but there may be a hitch if in the next few years there is investment capital to make it all happen as widely as will be needed. The young people of that once great land are literally imbeciles with no maff, science, writing or critical thinking skills whatsoever. If you are not sure about this check out the many Mark Dice videos of the "man" on the street, you don't know whether to laugh or cry at the spectacle. There is a wonderful old SF novel by Isaac Asimov called The Marching Morons that has IMO predicted perfectly what our western world will be like in another generation.

Posted by: safe | Jan 14 2023 22:01 utc | 90

Posted by: oldhippie | Jan 14 2023 16:55 utc | 45:

I have two good friends with PhDs in engineering. One works in a hardware store. One spent most of his career as a musician. Both report they were simply never allowed to do engineering work.

I can vouch for what you just stated. I worked as an engineer for over 40 years (long retired now), and NEVER did any REAL ENINEERING. My main work outputs were narratives that answers to compliances with standards/regulations/legal concerns/(worst of all)making my company(or my boss) look good.

That's how RCA, General Electric, Westinghouse, IBM, et al died.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jan 14 2023 22:07 utc | 91

w | Jan 14 2023 15:07 utc | 4
______

Merci for first posting Todd's article yesterday. His insight is profound, despite flaws noted by vikichka and arch bungle. Looking forward to Michael Hudson's podcast.

The West appears trapped in late-stage finance capitalism, which is essentially a ponzi pyramid scheme built on ever metastasizing, unpayable debt. Seems it's now reached stage four -- the terminal stage -- "killing the host" (as Hudson says). Meanwhile the host clings desperately to denial.

Robin Wright, in A Short History or Progress writes:

Such a civilization is ... more unstable at its peak, when it has reached maximum demand on the ecology. Unless a new source of wealth or energy appears, it has no room left to raise production or absorb the shock of natural fluctuations.

Once nature starts to foreclose ... the social contact breaks down. People may suffer stoically for a while, but sooner or later the ruler's relationship with heaven is exposed as a delusion or a lie. Then the temples are looted, the statues thrown down, the barbarians welcomed, and the emperor's naked rump is last seen fleeing through a palace window.

Posted by: Doug Hillman | Jan 14 2023 22:13 utc | 92

"..And what is regarded as a "Muslim" angst is often only the result and not cause of the destruction of once vibrant progressive attempts to emancipate from colonial rule.

"There is a whole history to that which Todd for some reason wishes to ignore..." AG@86

Very true- Islam is, in fact, very egalitarian and socialist in its ethos. Which is why the capitalist class in the west has invested so much effort and money in sponsoring the expansion of obscure sects like the wahhabi which come from the furthest extremes of obscurantist and xenophobic ravings.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 14 2023 22:15 utc | 93

here is the FULL inteview in French but you can easily translate the page: https://lautjournal.info/20230113/la-troisieme-guerre-mondiale-commence

Posted by: dystoman | Jan 14 2023 22:24 utc | 94

Posted by: bevin | Jan 14 2023 22:15 utc | 93

In fact most Muslim countries have bans or strict limits on usury by way of interest on debt. That's one of the biggest no-no's for the Western private capital class as that's basically the only way they turn profits anymore. Keeping a society with those values permanently relegated to chaos and totalitarian rule is a feature, not a bug, and clearly began as a means of crippling the USSR.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Jan 14 2023 22:32 utc | 95

"When we see the Russian Duma pass even more repressive legislation on 'LGBT propaganda', we feel superior. a reassuring moral conservatism."

Speak for yourself, bud. I applaud their refusal to allow promotion of sexuality to children, period.

"[For instance] it's obvious that Putin's Russia, having become morally conservative, has become sympathetic to the Saudis who I'm sure have a bit of a hard time with American debates over access for transgender women in the ladies' room."

Um, the Saudis are not the only ones having a hard time with this. I cannot believe we even have a "debate" about whether we allow men pretending to be women in the ladies rooms!

An anthropologist calls a small minority of so-called elite shoving gays & trannies down our throats by indoctrinating our children into perverse sexuality for their pleasure "western values?" Show me the exit, someone, please!

As several others have said, this guy ran off the rails early on in this essay.

I'd say he tumbled over a cliff with his blatantly misogynist trans fake women in ladies room crap. Surprised he left out pretend-women taking over women's sports, too.

Posted by: Mary | Jan 14 2023 22:35 utc | 96

Todd is right about Australia being locked into the US. Five-eyes/ECHELON. He in Australia the economy is still good. Propaganda works well if there is food on the shelves. The people about me all believe the media fantasy world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON

William Edward Kiera | Jan 14 2023 15:44 utc | 14
Back around 2014, abbot the fascist rabbit told the ABC they had to bat for the home team. He was directly responsible for the killing of the Australians aboard MH17 then put up a memorial to his victims. But back to ABC, after that they become a cheap British tabloid. Instead of tits they have government propaganda. I still scan it each day to see where our official propaganda leads us.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jan 14 2023 22:41 utc | 97

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jan 14 2023 20:11 utc | 80
thanks Robert, highly appreciated.

Posted by: LeaNder | Jan 14 2023 22:45 utc | 98

In short, the U.S. is the Soviet Union of 1988 where we exhaust ourselves propping up satellite states. I agree.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jan 14 2023 22:53 utc | 99

calling this little skirmish WW3 only makes sense through an obsolete historical lens. modern war is not soldiers and tanks and bombers. modern war is economic, psychological and informational. modern war is not fought against armies, but is fought entirely against civilian populations.

what followed WW2 was not peace, but escalation and intensification of global war by other means. it is no secret that exterminating civilian populations is the primary means and objective of that war. so, yes, this is WW3, but it has been going on for decades, and ukraine is a minor skirmish in terms of the stakes and death toll.

it is completely foolish to think that this is "existential" for either the US or Russia. war is its own end for every state. every state is made stronger by war because war is the purpose of the state. a state that is not at war has no purpose. this war has strengthened both the US and Russia, and the longer it goes on, the more it will strengthen both.

what is correct is that the big losers are US vassals, especially in europe.

the US/NATO have already "lost" in ukraine. nobody cares. the dollar is doing just fine. the US federal government is structurally bankrupt and everyone knows it. nobody cares. the dollar is doing just fine.

the "war" can go on forever. the korean war has never ended. never ending low intensity conflict that allows US occupation and control over the government is the end goal. that is how imperialism works.

Posted by: plutarch | Jan 14 2023 22:54 utc | 100

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