February 15, 2022
Note: The Monday Taki post is up. The subject of it and today’s post is the rather bizarre crisis in Europe. Of course, Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door for those needing audio stimulation. Much of it is about the situation in Europe.
The question that has not been given much consideration over the last few decades is how exactly will the Global American Empire end? All empires come to an end, but not all of them end the same. Usually, they dissolve into their constituent parts like we saw with the Soviet Union. This may or may not bring with it a spasm of violence, but the unnatural combination eventually returns to its nature. What makes each empire unique is its birth and its death.
Like every empire before it, the Global American Empire will end. This may be what we are seeing with the current crisis in Europe over Ukraine. Russia is well past the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. Europe has also evolved past the old arrangements made necessary by the Cold War. The only player stuck in the past is the Global American Empire, which is carrying on like it is 1960. We are now seeing the hints of the end for the American empire in Europe.
The starting place is the fact that the stuff coming from Washington is so bizarre that not even the Ukrainians understand it. The rhetoric has gone well beyond the normal sort of moralizing that has distinguished the American empire. Washington and now London have conjured a reality in which the Russians are ready to launch into Ukraine while the Russians and Ukrainians are happy to find a peaceful solution. The whole thing is making Washington look a bit nuts.
All of this happening against the reality that if the Russians want to invade Ukraine there is nothing NATO can do about it. If the Russians wanted to move onto Berlin there is not much NATO could do to stop them. Over time, the West would be able to rally and cripple the Russians economically, then roll them back militarily, but in the short term everyone gets that NATO is a paper tiger. It is also a pointless vestige from a bygone era that should have been scrapped a generation ago.
This is one entry point into the crisis. The Germans want to finish Nord Stream 2 and build closer economic ties with Russia. The Russians want to restore their ancient relationship with Western Europe. They will not accept the American conditions that they must embrace the religion of the West. There will be no rainbows and transsexuals in the Russian culture. There will be no scenes of Russian soldiers walking around in pumps claiming to be sorry for their ancestors.
The Germans and the French seem to be ready to make the deal with the Russians and begin a new era for both sides. The Russians can maintain their traditional model for organizing themselves and Europe will begin to normalize economic relations with the rest of Eurasia. This leaves little room for the Global American Empire, which is based on an assertion that there is only one moral way to organize a society. This potential new arrangement is a rebuke of the very idea of empire.
Another entry point into viewing the current crisis as a stage in the dissolution of the Global American Empire is in the reaction itself. Even the American media has lost track of how many times the Biden people have claimed an invasion is imminent. It feels like it is a weekly thing now. The State Department swears the tanks are revving their engines and then nothing happens. European leaders have to be wondering if the empire is losing its grip on reality.
The hysteria could very well be the only thing left. Again, if Russian draws the line on NATO expansion and takes over Ukraine, there is very little Washington can do about it other than make a lot of noise. The promise of crippling economic sanctions is as ridiculous as the rest of the bellowing. Europe needs to buy important stuff from Russia in order to exist. Germany and France will go along with superficial stuff to please Washington, but they are not committing suicide over Ukraine.
What we may be entering is a final phase of the Global American Empire in which conflicting realities create a lot of friction. One reality is that America’s dominion over Europe was always unnatural for both sides. In the Cold War it was seen as a necessity, so it was a tolerable contradiction. Those conditions have not existed for over a generation now and reality is reasserting itself. Western Europe will be dominated by France and Germany and Eastern Europe by Russia.
Another set of conflicting realities is that the heritage stock of America never wanted to be a major player in world affairs. The sales pitch by the imperial leaders was always based on this assumed reluctance. The Global American Empire was a necessity born out of war and tragedy. That necessity is long over and yet the managerial elite of the empire insists on maintaining the empire. Meanwhile the public is dealing with cultural and economic collapse.
There has never been a time when the average American has felt more divorced from his government than now. The guy the empire counts on to wave the flag and respond to war drums is not sure which side to support. This is one of those unspoken truths about this Ukraine affair. The reservoir of patriotism is now dry among the cohort of Americans who have always been the most patriotic. The response from these people over Ukraine is a shrug or maybe a wry smile.
This may be what the end empire is like from the inside. We will have spasms of bellowing and shouting from Washington, but the world will slowly crawl out from under the shadow of Washington. Meanwhile, domestic politics will grow increasingly untenable, with populist revolt replacing electoral organizing. The system simply stops working as the reason for it to keep working no longer makes sense. The end of empire is a million small breakdowns in the system.
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