Many find it difficult to follow my picture of us being in a Warring States period bound to end with the victory of one country, probably the USA, before 2100. All seems quite peaceful. Instead of the USA taking over I hear fanciful ideas of the power being in the hands of IT giants like Google or Apple. Or the on the surface more plausible sounding theory of a multipolar world with a series of powers. In this post I will give some arguments.
NO WARRING STATES ?!
The impression that this is no warring states period stems from an egocentric viewpoint. We see the world from a narrow point in time and space:
- The modernity as a whole from 1789 has been extremely violent also in our rich part of the world. Just look at the two World Wars.
- In the poor world there still is terribly much war and violence. Syria, Congo, South Sudan!
- The risk of self annihilation, the Terror Balance has since WW 2 forbidden wars.
- Wars in the rich world have therefore shifted toward the electronic world and the media n a broader sense.
- Another factor is that modern wars in a strict military sense are too expensive to be fought.
NOT JUST ONE POWER ?
Why should we be any closer to a dominance of one major power than in the cold war? After all we now have about the same number of powers or even far more some would say. But this view is also the result of a kind of illusion.
We are much closer to the total dominance of one major country. I want to argue that this must be gauged in the military sphere yes, but even more in other spheres. De facto the Americans are already close to being the rulers of the world as a whole. Here a number of examples and arguments:
- One thing which has brought about the illusion that the dominance of the superpowers is diminishing, is that after WW 2 the European countries and the rest of the war stricken world were so destroyed and in ruins materially and economically. This situation gave the USA and the USSR an unnatural extreme relative advantage. This situation was of course bound to change with the economic growth in Europe and the rest of the world. This development has created the wrong impression of a gradual relative reduction in American power. The Russians of course lost a lot through the fall of so called Communism. These developments are then by analysts simply extrapolated and continued into a multipolar future. But the present reality has already falsified the theory. In reality the growth in influence by for example France and the rest of Europe in the sixties and seventies was just a return to the real level of power balance after these countries had regained their natural strength. Since then the American dominance has just increased
- The last phases of the end fight in the West are not fought militarily. If at all, then only through proxy wars. This means that the military dominance of the big powers is not perceived clearly. But the USA represents a very large proportion of the Worlds military expenditures. China and Russia lacking far behind. Even the big powers of yesterday, the UK and France mostly rely on American aid when they make military operations abroad. But as I argue, strict military force may be important, but of secondary importance today.
- The USA still seem more and more willing to simply occupy third world countries like Iraq and Afghanistan if they constitute an imagined or real problem. If as often today the price in dollars is too big, there is no hesitation to use drone attacks or other limited military means without the permision from the involved countries.
- To take the other extreme, that is the sphere of ideas, I have already commented on the total cultural dominance from the USA, see 'Ils sont fous ces Americains'. Here I will just mention a few examples. We are all filled with and use American phenomena like films,TV series, Facebook, Coca Cola, McDonalds, Disney, Apple, Halloween and cheerleaders. We still need baseball. This will surely follow. This cultural dominance also to a certain extent encompasses competitors like China. All this US culture of course prepares our minds to be more accepting towards other sorts of dominance. It paves the way for more submission.
More knowledge of the American dominance has been provided by Mr. snowden. Even if not all of this may prove absolutely correct, it is still impressive:
- The NSA is spying on ordinary citizens in the USA and abroad. Metadata from many mobile phones in the world are stored.
- Also the position of almost every mobile telephone user is tracked.
- Apparently also all internet activity from almost all users in the world is registered.
- As shown recently, foreign statesmen, ambassadors, EU politicians etc. are being listened to, and other forms of their communication spied.
- Through the british vassals the Americans are also spying in hotels where foreign politicians stay.
- All the thus gained information is being used for political purposes and also economic gains in conferences and meetings.
- All this is also used for economic espionage against foreign firms competing with American companies.
- The Swift system for int'l financial transactions permits US control. This was accepted by the EU as a natural thing.
- The Americans highjack foreign citizens in foreign, even friendly countries and transport the prisoners in their and other countries airspace.
- US military personel are exempt from the int'l court of warcrimes.
- American agents in German airports are apparently telling the local police and other officials what to do. Like arresting people which in turn are then extradited to the USA.
- One of the worst examples is of course Morales' plane forced to land in Ausria after the Americans ordered countries like Spain and even La Grande Nation France to deny overflying.
- The Scandinavian countries and not least their populations were earlier champions of critical views towards American behavior in the world. Now as parts of the Nine Eyes and other written and unwritten agreements and the servile attitude from politicians the Scandinavians like the English look like loyal American servants. They behave like the pro-Roman Atallide rulers of the state of Pergamon who in the second century BC bequeathed their country to the Romans.
All the above examples of US dominance abroad may seem natural to American citizens. But imagine the reaction if the Chinese or whoever did all these things to the USA!
- The whole world is heavily dependent on computer technology, and this is provided almost exclusively by US companies - Microsoft, Google, Apple etc.
- These companies have no hesitation in following all our electronic activities for commercial purposes.
- But the companies themselves are controlled legally and tapped electronically by the NSA, which in this way spies us all around the globe!
- One of the biggest IT providers for customers like countries and their administrators is the American firm CSC. This company seems to have very strong links with the NSA. This gives this agency unprecedented possibilities to follow the behavior of administrative systems everywhere. The CSC has even been involved in the transportation of abducted foreigners in its airplanes!
CONCLUSIONS AND OTHER VIEWS
At least after the recent disclosures nobody should be in doubt, that the Americans are the main rulers in the world. Not only are they stronger than their competitors China and Russia. But their influence is also unprecedented in newer history. Even China is at least culturally partially dominated as well.
La Grande Nation is submitting. Its economic decline just accelerates this. Further downgradings from the US rating agencies will finally bring it on its knees. La Force de Frappe has become a paper tiger. The British have been true servants for a long time by their own willed submission. The countries in the Five Eyes and Nine Eyes think themselves privileged. But they are members because they are loyal vassals!
In Europe outside Russia the only bigger country to resist is Germany. Very politically stable, economically strong and still preserving at least some of their own will and defiance.
And the multipolar world? Naive illusion! India does not become a world power by sending a satelite to Mars. The fact that the ridiculous Bollywood films have not conquered the World while the often also ridiculous Hollywood films have, talk a clear language. India simply is a too heterogenous, rigid and bureaucratic elephant. Brazil, Indonesia and Nigeria are too weak. Population size and economy alone is not enough. In the Eastern Mediterranean 2000 years ago countries like Egypt were very large in population and richness, but they were still easy prey for the Romans.
The idea that Internet companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple etc should become world powers is even more absurd than the idea of a multipolar world. As can be seen now such companies are controlled by the American state. And as these companies control a large part of the Internet all over the World this gives the American state unprecedented powers.
The last battlefields of the present Warring States period in the West are media and the Internet. Here the fight is for the hearts of the world population. Which system looks most attractive? The USA, China or Russia? Or the EU? Here the NSA in collaboration with Mr. Snowden has been most damaging to the USA. This country begins to look a bit like China in level of political control. But as the Americans control so much of the world media, tne public opinion could be on their side when the recent disclosures are forgotten.
But even if this does not happen, the public opinion is not enough to decide. Were the Chinese asked who they would prefer in the original Warring States period up to 221 BC, very few would have prefered the brutal state of Qin, which nevertheless won. It was and is also a question of simple force.
The public opinion may be thought to count more today because everybody has the possibility through the Internet and other electronic media to acquire and indeed publish information and opinions. But what counts in the end is still who has the real power. And as most people seem satisfied by using the net to publish the latest babble of their child and comment the hair cut of Justin Bieber or in the best case discuss ridiculous theories about the Americans themselves having attacked the Twin Towers, this is so much more the case (such communication will be of very limited interest to the NSA!).
But also beyond the influence on public opinion the Internet and other global forms of electronic communication and information handling, because of their use in all kinds of mental and material operations, have replaced parts of the physical world as the most important sphere.
Earlier who controlled the physical battlefield in battles or just preemptive military force in men and uquipment, now who controls the electronic battlefield, will rule the world. Earlier military capability, now Internet capability. The Chinese and the Americans will compete not so much militarily as through the public opinion and on the Internet. They are already testing each other through commando raids in the form of cyber attacks. Therefore the US control over the IT giants is so important.
In the cultural sphere as said China is also quite influenced by the USA. The end fight could be between two American/Americanized powers. But as the Chinese are not totally Americanized and are still a force opposing the USA, from another point of view China can be seen as the last defender of the European soul. Just like Carthagos Hannibal was the last defender of Hellenism against Roman dominance.
As illustrated here the Americans already control much of what goes on in many aspects in many countries in the world.
To other wannabe "poles" like India, Brazil or Indonesia one could say: "the race is almost run". This partly applies to the real poles China and Russia too. To the Americans one could say: "the race is almost won"
The "almost" mostly has to do with internal American politics, as often said. A stabilizing balance and cooperation between moderate and responsible forces within the two parties with a non-isolationistic and realistic conception of the outside world is a condition for continued and growing American dominance. The new just signed budget deal could be an omen for the world. If this is the beginning of a new spirit of cooperation between of course still completing parties with radicals to the right and the left put on the sideline, the destiny of the world may have been decided: Pax Americana.
But already now the USA rules much of what happens. Once more I quote Rammstein, here alluding to the Americans prescribing the dance of 'freedom':
"Und wer nicht tanzen will am Schluss weiss noch nicht dass er tanzen MUSS"
(And he who does not want to dance does not yet know that he HAS to dance).