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Twilight of the American empire After years of liberal imperialism, the US has finally overstretched itself

Who will be the global hegemon? (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Who will be the global hegemon? (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


March 3, 2021   7 mins

When Joe Biden announced to the Munich Security Conference last week that “America was back” at the centre of the Atlantic alliance, his European virtual audience responded with a collective shrug. For all their protestations of fealty, Europe’s leaders, defiantly pushing ahead with trade and energy deals with America’s rivals, are not interested in any great ideological crusade on the hegemon’s behalf.

As Nathalie Tocci, chief advisor to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell Fontelles, notes in a recent paper, “the European project developed under
 an order made up of international organisations, laws, norms, regimes and practices premised on US power”. Yet today, “that world is fast fading”. While the US remains the only state able to project power globally, it “no longer represents the undisputed hegemon of the international system”. Indeed, as Tocci observes, China’s rise “suggests that we can no longer claim with confidence that economic prosperity and political freedoms can only go hand in hand”. Moreover, our dramatically different experiences of Covid “suggests that the jury is out on which governance system is perceived as best addressing the pandemic crisis, prompting questions about the management of other global challenges too”.

To his credit, Biden squarely addressed these pressing questions. Summoning up the ghosts of past confrontations, he declared that “we’re at an inflection point” between those who believe that “autocracy is the best way forward
 and those who understand that democracy is essential to meeting those challenges”. For the President, “Democracy will and must prevail
 We have to prove that our model isn’t a relic of our history.”

Yet this justificatory emphasis on democracy as the foundation of empire is a relic of a very specific moment in world history. As the historian Stephen Wertheim observes in his book Tomorrow the World, following the fall of France in 1940, American foreign policy elites feared that a Nazi victory would see the United States hemmed into the Western Hemisphere. But the British victory in the Battle of Britain opened up a new prospect, hitherto undreamed of by American politicians: first of an Anglo-American imperial condominium, dividing up the post-war world between them; and then, as Britain’s relative decline became apparent, a vision of total global hegemony.

“Americans ever since, from experts to ordinary citizens, have considered world dominance to be their nation’s natural role,” Wertheim notes. It is an ideology which “holds that the superior coercive power of the United States is required to underwrite a decent world order” — one which “assumes that in order to prevent the international realm from descending into chaos or despotism, a benign hegemon must act as the world’s ordering agent,” with that onerous burden falling upon themselves.

To turn its wary populace into eager participants in this imperial project, American intellectual and foreign policy elites framed global expansion as the establishment of a universal liberal-democratic order, guided and protected rather than ruled by Washington. As Wertheim notes in a passage that is as true of American liberal commentators today as those of the 1940s, “anything less [than global supremacy] would be an abdication, tantamount to inactivity, absence, and head-in-the-sand disregard for the fate of the world.” America’s pursuit of global hegemony was not a sordid, self-aggrandising imperial project like that of the fading European powers; instead, it was a moral duty, a noble sacrifice undertaken for the benefit of the rest of the world. In such a way, Wertheim writes, “the country jumped from ‘isolationism’ to ‘imperialism’, acquiring a taste for unilateral intervention everywhere in order to remake the world in the image of the United States”. In doing so, they constructed the global order whose waning days we now inhabit.

Yet by making the Second World War the founding myth of the American-led order, certain pathologies were built into the system which now threaten its survival. As a useful myth became liberal dogma, the neurotic belief that the end of American hegemony would mean the return of dark forces has become so entrenched that it constrains America’s ability to negotiate reality. In the same way US political radicals appear doomed to endlessly replay the ideological battles of 1930s Germany in the streets of America’s cities, it is always 1933 in the world of the D.C. liberal hawk: American hegemony is all that stands between the free world and the rise of new Hitlers, destined to crop up from the blood-soaked soil of the Old World without regular American pruning.

The increasing salience since the 1990s of a Hollywood-esque understanding of the Second World War exemplifies this distortion of reality in the pursuit of a grand, moralising origin myth. It is a worldview shorn of moral compromises, such as the necessary alliance with Stalin’s murderous regime, in which every challenger to US hegemony magically becomes a new Hitler. Complex and intractable ethnic, tribal and sectarian conflicts — literally inexplicable in such a moral framework — are either reduced to the evil deeds of individual dictators, whose removal will lead automatically to the flourishing of liberal democracy, or ignored as too difficult to comprehend.

The results are plain to see. As Tocci notes, more in sorrow than censure, “the last war which the US led and unequivocally won both militarily and politically was over Kosovo 22 years ago.” In the ever-expanding wars since then, the US has “won militarily, but (abysmally) lost politically.” The result, as she observes, is that “the outcomes of the many wars that have been fought in China’s absence during the decades of its economic rise have been, in one way or another, to China’s strategic advantage.”

The danger for America, then, is that its leaders have become high on their own ideological supply, overlaying their fantasy map on the real world. It seems, at times, that by fusing the Realist desire for hegemony with an idealistic mission to remake the world, America’s elites believe they have secured the mandate of heaven for their project. Challengers, from Putin to Gaddafi to Assad, are not merely opponents; they are rebels against the arc of history, individual reincarnations of the 1930s whose very existence, let alone survival, is morally unbearable.

Indeed, there are worrying intimations that America’s leaders believe the victory of liberal democracy is predestined, purely through its own perceived moral virtue: as if the victories of the Second World War and the Cold War were won by holding the correct ideology, and not through the possession of stronger industrial bases and amoral political alliances. The rise of China, concomitant with America’s decline, is largely the unintended product of such a dangerously idealistic worldview.

Yet like the American millennials role-playing Weimar, their elders continue to re-enact the sacred myth on the global sphere, invoking the litanies of another time, on another continent, for their magical power. By intoning the sacred word democracy over and over again at the Munich conference — including three times in his concluding sentence — Biden echoed the themes of his first domestic foreign policy speech: that he will “host the summit of democracies early in my administration to rally the nations of the world to defend democracy globally” and that “there’s no longer a bright line between foreign and domestic policy”. The riot at the Capitol and the future confrontation in east Asia are now part of the same Manichean struggle, a worldview we could term the true D.C. cinematic universe.

Of course, Biden’s framing is not true in a literal sense: the same speech contained a pledge to defend Saudi Arabia — which is not noted for its liberal governance — even as he announced the welcome end of American military support for the Saudi kingdom’s bloody and disastrous war in Yemen. Likewise to confront China, the US will need to enhance alliances with authoritarian or dubiously democratic South East Asian states, with even India’s commitment to “liberal democracy” in the American sense increasingly debatable. Even in Europe, Poland, the most eager cheerleader for America’s continued military dominance on our continent, displays a far more equivocal approach to both liberalism and democracy than Biden’s framing suggests. As in the first Cold War, America can either promote global democracy or preserve its imperial reach, but not both.

Nevertheless, the democratic ideal retains immense rhetorical power for defenders of the American-led global order. Thus the openly imperialist writer Robert Kagan argued recently that Americans must “accept the role that fate and their own power have thrust upon them”, because “the only hope for preserving liberalism at home and abroad is the maintenance of a world order conducive to liberalism, and the only power capable of upholding such an order is the United States”.

In starker terms than Biden, Kagan argues that the empire is necessary to preserve democracy at home: an America that retreats from global hegemony would no longer be America. But as the Realist professors of International Relations David Blagden and Patrick Porter observe in a recent paper arguing for a strategic withdrawal from the Middle East, the precise opposite case can be made. The pursuit of global hegemony since the end of the Cold War has seen the United States overstretch itself, taken on unsustainable levels of debt to fund its military expansion, eroded the country’s image abroad, militarised policing at home, enabled the rise of China and fostered disillusionment and political radicalism in America. The Trump era, they note, was not so much a threat to America’s global mission as its product, a marker of growing popular dissent to imperial overreach now observable on both the Left and Right of the American political system.

As they observe, America’s “position as ‘global leader’ is premised on a set of impermanent and atypical conditions from an earlier post-war era”, but “the days of incontestable unipolarity are over, and cannot be wished back”. The result is that “overextension abroad, exhaustion and fiscal strain at home, and political disorder feed off one another in a downward spiral, cumulatively threatening the survival of the republic”.

The US empire is, then, at an impasse. Its moral and political justification of overseeing a global order of universal liberal democracy — the closest real-world equivalent to the Kantian perpetual peace that has both motivated and eluded liberal idealists for the past two centuries — is now beyond its capabilities to maintain. Yet to return to its core imperial concerns of the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Northeast Asia, as Blagden & Porter counsel, would tarnish the imperial crown. Without the idealistic universalism that has justified America’s global mission since the Second World War, the US empire would be an empire like any other: self-interested, amoral, and hostage to the cycle of rise and fall that has seen every other empire pass into history. Kagan is in this sense correct: without the justifying myth to organise the empire around, the moral logic of the entire enterprise falls apart.

Even within the heart of the Nato alliance, European strategic autonomy therefore represents a dilemma for America, which, as Blagden & Porter note, has always “displayed a longstanding preference for preventing even its major allies in Europe and Asia from exercising true strategic autonomy”. A more autonomous Europe lessens the strategic burden on the United States, allowing America to refocus its forces on confronting China; yet a more autonomous Europe will also be less constrained by American pressure, and more inclined to pursue its own interests.

How does this end for America? Biden and the presidents after him will be forced to make a hard choice: whether to retrench to a smaller and more manageable empire, or to risk a far greater and more dramatic collapse in defence of global hegemony. In the meantime, perhaps our European allies are correct in discerning a greater opportunity to rebalance the Atlantic alliance in our favour for the first time in decades. A more modest American commitment to a limited democratic order, rather than an unsustainable global one, can only enhance European influence, including ours, especially as the bloody distractions of the Middle East, America’s self-defeating imperial burden, fade from prominence. American leaders will soon be forced to choose between realism and idealism; the same is also true of us.


Aris Roussinos is an UnHerd columnist and a former war reporter.

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Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

A lot of finely spun sentences from Aris, as always, and I particularly like ‘high on their own ideological supply’. But most of us as had already reached most of these conclusions. Trump was probably their last chance, but the political, financial, judicial, media and pharma elites rigged the electoral system in various states to get rid of him. (The idea that these people care about democracy in the US or anywhere else is palpably false).
And, in truth, it is not so much the ‘Twilight of the American empire’ we are facing but the twilight of the west. The goons running Europe are clearly incompetent on every level and, like the elites in the US, have no interest in democracy. Putin et al might be unpleasant, but they are at least competent.
Meanwhile, we have sent all our production and money to China, and they are using that money to buy our politicians, our institutions and our universities.

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

My favourite line was ‘American millennials role-playing Weimar’. I agree with you, except for the line about Putin’s competence – I have spent too much time in Russia to fall for that illusion. Domestically it is a kleptocracy that since 2011 or thereabouts has only delivered for its members – and even they prefer to keep their money abroad. The farcical failures to kill Skripal and Navalnyi would have had a keystone cops quality to them had the implications not been so sinister. Even in Syria, where they ran rings around the US, they may have humiliated the Americans, but now find themselves responsible for a ruined country which they do not have the resources to rebuild.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

The evidence that the Russian state was behind the poisonings of the Skripals or Navalny is thin indeed, amounting to little more than ‘you’re surely not suggesting MI6 or the CIA would do such things’.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Indeed, the level of sheer incompetence is so huge it makes me think of the French, and their sinking of that Greenpeace battleship in the South Pacific a few years go, and then to cap it all, getting caught by the New Zealand authorities. Brilliant!

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

If MI6 or the CIA were behind these attacks, they don’t demonstrate incompetence at all. If they were responsible, death was probably not the primary intention, merely an acceptable outcome, while Russia was re-demonised with a fair degree of success.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

And that level of success is far beyond the capabilities of either the CIA or MI6. Ergo, the Russians did it.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

I am not particularly anti-Russian, but I am 100% convinced that they are behind the various poisonings.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Maybe you are, but the evidence is at best extremely flimsy, basically consisting of motive, means, and access, none of which are unique to Russia.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Doesn’t it make you wonder that so many people who have upset or fallen out with Putin have come to sticky ends, while so few of his allies have?
And Putin has openly said that traitors, and specifically turncoat agents, deserve to die.

David Otness
David Otness
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Your assurance is ludicrous. A little fact-checking would remove your ‘belief’ in short order.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Both attempted suicides, obviously. Thank goodness there were Russian medics nearby who knew what they had taken

Charles Lawton
Charles Lawton
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Dream on, once MI5 had worked out, who tried to poison Skripal they were picked out on all their journeys to and from Salisbury , they even knew which hotels they used in London. The GRU have never been particularly sophisticated at what they do but they are great at the art of confusion. Motivation for the attempt is simple Putin believes in cultivating fear to deter potential defectors so he slowly picks off long term defectors.

David Otness
David Otness
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Thank you, Ian. That the mass of the herd buys into this as a result of incessant Wesetern propaganda is daunting for their ignorance, but one must try. Thank you for standing up. We are so very fortunate that Mr Putin and his foreign Minister Mr Lavrov are capable of such remarkable calmness and restraint in such perfidious times. We can only hope their patience is peacefully rewarded. And our own leaders’ fecklessness not.

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
3 years ago

Agree with most of that, except how did Russia ruin Syria, have you seen what the USAF did to Mosul? Or the US proxies have been doing in Syria itself for that matter.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Andrews

As a matter of interest by whose authority are the US in Syria anyway?

Surely it is perfectly legitimate sovereign state, whatever the wretched Saudis and others may think.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Although equally by whose authority are the Russians in Crimea?
Not that I think badly of them for that. But please none of the unbecoming childish handwringing about the brutal world of realpolitik.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Because they ‘owned’ the place up until 1954 or was it ‘58 when it was transferred for financial reasons to the SSR of the Ukraine.
Don’t tell me you are some sentimental Ukrainian?
Incidentally wasn’t it conquered by Catherine the Great in the 18th century, at a time when the Ukraine was just another province of the Russian Empire?
,

Dennis Boylon
Dennis Boylon
3 years ago

The Russians have been in Crimea since the late 1700s. They had a lease for their naval base until 2042 with the pre coup government and an agreement with Ukraine that they were not to settle Crimea. Russia controlled Crimea before they returned it to Russia. At least Ukraine was paid for it before the coup. Now they get nothing.

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Andrews

They certainly didn’t do it single-handedly – the Americans also bear a heavy responsibility for having backed some very nasty jihadi groups. But they are now gone, and it is the Russians who have been left holding the baby…

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

The US are not gone – they are still there siphoning the oil. they (and the Turks) are there illegally and they are still conducting illegal theft (if thats not an oxymoron).
Only the Russians and Iranians are there by invitation of the Syrian government.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

You don’t actually believe the Skripal/Navalny stuff, do you? For example, why would Putin try to kill Skripal in the UK, when he had him in prison in Russia previously and could easily just have ‘dissapeared’ him. Why would the KGB (or whatever) been so inefficient as to b****r up the ‘Novichek’ poisoning the way it happened, especially as it’s so ‘deadly’ – and this supposedly unstable compound can sit on a door handle on a rainy day but still be effective. And by ‘sheer co-incidence’ the first person who found him was the chief British Army nurse, and it all happened close to Porton Down – the UK chemical warfare site, and etc etc.

David Platzer
David Platzer
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Trump was the USA’s last chance and the great and good did everything they could to thwart him and many people followed along without any questions. Here was the first American president who worked for peace in a practical manner and all the old ‘Sixties peace-lovers from the ‘Sixties denounced him and prayed for the victory of a clapped-out veteran of the US’s clumsy war lobby. Goodbye and amen! What hope for a civlization which throws away its inheritance and curls up into a frightened ball over a virus that is only moderately virulent?

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  David Platzer

Nonsense. Trump was just your standard Republican president, but with no control over his mouth, and more importantly, the ‘Deep State’ had no control over his mouth, which is why he had to go.
But he did us all a favour by being blatantly honest about the US empire and its lying, greedy operatives.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Exactly right about Trump. The ad hominen hatred of most of the media blinded them to his attempts to wean America off increased overseas military adventurism and also to the strong and in places successful foreign policy he was pursuing, against the received wisdom of the vested interests who one must presume now are back in the driving seat.
He’d also I think given half a chance come to an accommodation with Putin, which would at least have helped deal with China from a position of greater strength. The whole anti-Russia collusion frenzy that began immediately after his election was almost…too convenient, and not for America either.

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

“The goons running Europe are clearly incompetent on every level and…have no interest in democracy.” The goons running our own country ditto.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

As an American, I agree with this article.
America is an exhausted country, and has been for at least a decade. The manufacturing base is gutted; a huge swathe of the population has no meaningful future. The country is famously divided geographically and politically: affluent blue states along the coasts separated by a vast expanse of poor, red states. Look a little more carefully at the electoral map and you’ll see that most of the ‘blue’ in the coastal blue states is confined to the major cities. Elsewhere, they’re red and poor.
America has one of the weakest social safety nets in the developed world, and its health care system is unbelievably expensive if you don’t have good private insurance.
Most Americans want the country to turn inwards, to start providing for its own rather than funding a bloated military to police the world. The idea of America disseminating democratic values throughout the globe is a painful anachronism. Americans care about China’s threat to the American economy, but most are otherwise uninterested in a globalist foreign policy which is now the preserve of certain government and think tank elites. If this is the twilight of the American empire, I would suggest most Americans are enjoying the soft rays of the setting sun.
As for the rest of the world stepping in to fill the gap left by America, it’s clear China is eager to fill that role, and Russia. I’m not sure about the EU, though. Perhaps they want to step up, in principle, but are they really capable of doing so? Today on Unherd there’s an article about the EU’s botched vaccine rollout program. If they can’t manage such an important task on their own doorstep, are they really up to the task of fostering democracy and capitalism in the world?

CL van Beek
CL van Beek
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The EU is capable of nothing much more then making things worse. The Euro is a good example, it has a negative grip on EU countries, with for every country a different reason, making the EU a transfer union, with taxpayers money moving from north to south, to avoid a total collaps.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  CL van Beek

The EU is doing better than the U.K. on the economic side of covid with a -5% drop vs -11% in 2020 , and of course on deaths where the U.K. is one of the world’s worst performers.

This year growth is expected at 7%. The vaccine rollout was naivety rather than incompetence and the total EU numbers are catching up. What is hailed as far sightedness in Britain is often regarded as treachery abroad.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

As a U.K. citizen, I see exactly the same domestic profile here.
I sense too that most people are not remotely interested in “Britain’s place in the world”, and their patriotism is now focussed on trying to re-instate a domestic society that they could again be proud of.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

very much agree. earlier you suggested a “group of elites that retain fond notions of empire”. I would add many journalists and the foreign office to this.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Fred Dibnah

But, Fred, do you ever hear ordinary people talking about the Empire in a fond way?

Leaving aside the SJWs (who want to talk about the Empire for their own particular purposes) I never hear anyone talk about it at all, let alone with a sense of longing.

Simon Baker
Simon Baker
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis
JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

The Empire, Finchley Road, that would be

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Frankly there aren’t many left in the UK who actually remember the Empire as a going concern.
Then the with advent of absolutely appalling Comprehensive Education in the early 70’s , Empire became a pejorative expression for over 90% of our benighted children.

Who today could tell you who captured Delhi in 1803, or sacked Washington DC in 1814, or when the good old East India Company first set up shop and where in the Indies? Virtually nobody.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Mike Wylde
Mike Wylde
3 years ago

My son who finished school a few years ago couldn’t even tell you that Delhi was captured never mind that Washington DC was sacked!
History for today’s younger generations started in 1939 (or possibly 1933 as they seemed to start – and end – history lessons with Nazi Germany and Hitler).

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Yes that is the problem, History is now Hitler and nothing else.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Wylde

Yes that is the problem, History is now Hitler and nothing else.
Even now, on UnHerd the very mention the word Hitler has caused the Censor to wet his/her pants/knickers!

History is the soul of a nation, it defines who you are. Ours (England) happens to be particularly triumphant, and thus must be suppressed at all costs!

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

“Ours (England)” – so I presume you are not ‘British’ – good for you – support Scottish independence.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Yes England alone, or as WS would have it “This Royal throne of Kings, this sceptered isle, this Earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, this other Eden, demi – paradise, this fortress built by nature for herself against infection and the hand of war, this happy bread of men, this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea, which serves it in the office of a moat or as a wall defensive to a house, against the envy of less happy lands, this blessed plot , this earth, this realm, this ENGLAND!

Why does this come out as one word per line? Is this the new type of censorship Freddie?”if so what utter CRAP, is it not?

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
cmstahnke
cmstahnke
3 years ago

You missed the most important aspect of the story, i.e., money! The neocons who are allowed to dominate foreign policy do do because their policies make money for the military industrial complex and the criminal enterprise know as the CIA and its networks and allies, including Western Intel agencies, organized crime, and the usual platoons of fixers and gunsels associated with various multinational corporations. While ideology does influences the increasingly deranged true believers in Washington any raised voices by the money-making will bring the to heel.

More than any other society in Earth money is the national religion of the USA. It is for this reason the US has the worst safety net in the developed world–sinners must be punished!

Richard
Richard
3 years ago

I rely on the Flashman series for my knowledge of history – and thus, I’m quite well-versed in the days of the Raj! I’d recommend the series to anyone, for a very enjoyable yarn, and plenty of laughter.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Yes a great series by the late George McDonald Fraser. Have you read his autobiography, ‘All safe quartered out here “
Brilliant!

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

And yet the U.K. feels it most do something about Assad, or Libya, or now China. Which is a fools game.

Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Why, for example, is Britain sending an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea ? Are we really in a position – and do we want to – participate in the US-China fight over who is top dog ? I don’t think so.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

I agree. It is insanity even by the standards of our insane foreign policies over recent decades.

Simon Baker
Simon Baker
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

We are doing it in conjunction with the US navy

Web Wu
Web Wu
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

It will be a great day for Great Britain when the CCP Rules the Waves…(?)

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Web Wu

Not long now.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Web Wu

No chance sunshine, the US Navy will exterminate China in thirty minutes, look up the facts.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

To justify the expense of building the thing in the first place, which as will recall was yet another handout to wee little Scotland and Fife in particular.

William Murphy
William Murphy
3 years ago

I recall a futile argument in 2010 at the Fleet Air Arm museum. Two of the new carriers’ fans had been involved in their design and could not sufficiently praise their versatility. I forgot to ask them if the carriers could survive even the Russians’ “Shipwreck” missiles, which had been in service since the 1980s. If we want to give the Russians and Chinese a few minutes target practice, couldn’t we just tow some old merchant ships out to the Indian Ocean?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  William Murphy

Exactly, except as status symbols they are all but obsolete in any but low intensity operations.

I also wonder if anyone recalls the somewhat sad record of HM Capital Ships in Far Eastern waters?

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Yeah. Repulse and PoW – sunk due to upper class arrogance and Oxbridge (or maybe it was RN) education.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Yeah, well, we don’t want these ‘handouts’ – we want to organise our own affairs, without the unwanted input of a load of ‘Home’ Counties Posh Boys and upper class twits from Eton.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Obviously Boris has not been told what happened last time we sent capital ships to the far east in a show of strength

Dr Stephen Nightingale
Dr Stephen Nightingale
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

It’s our essential obligation as first poodle.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Yes, you have a point, particularly as the F-35 aircraft on them are American.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

Why is Britain sending an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea?
The excuse is to protect freedom of navigation, which I find preposterous. China depends on those shipping routes for its trade and essential imports; it’s hard to imagine a reason for them wanting to blockade the South China Sea. Unlike the West.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

You may find it preposterous, others find Chinese intentions to control the trade routes very alarming.
https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/territorial-disputes-south-china-sea

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

I noticed nothing in that to suggest China might want to block the trade routes.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

How dangerous is China? There is Chinese billionaire who has said as much as 45 % of debts cannot be repaid. China has a history of internal fighting but not external conquest. Could China win a conflict against Vietnam, Japan, USA and India with perhaps Russia moving south and Uighur uprising? Aggression over large distances ( As Nazis discovered )requires very good logistics; destroy supply lines, especially fuel dumps and one has armies with minimal capability.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Why would the Chinese want to block their own trade route? It’s just an excuse for the yanks to try to intimidate them. Well, the Chinese navy will be bigger and better than the US (best known for it’s state-of-theart-1980 ships writing themselves off on civilian freighters) within ten years, so good luck then.

Richard
Richard
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

The Royal Navy scarcely exists any more, for all practical services – the same as the rest of our armed forces.
I read that there are only enough crews to have half of our pathetically small navy at sea at the same time.
And our army is now so small that it is scarcely more than a gendarmerie.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

For the next ten years the USN’s Ohio class ballistic subs are supreme.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

I hope you don’t think the tories or their voters are going to do that.

Simon Baker
Simon Baker
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The EU is not, NATO remains the key bulwark against Putin in Europe. The EU can only be an economic power. China is also not really interested in expanding its territory and intervening potentially militarily beyond its immediate area ie Taiwan.

Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

Good luck with hoping the crocodile eats you last.

VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
VĂłreios ParatiritĂ­s
3 years ago

Russia poses zero threat to any European east of the Curzon line. It is an exhausted and broken nation trying to reconstitute itself after the mass destruction of communist rule. The current scapegoating of Russia is cynical and opportunistic on the part of Western defense establishments to justify they continued budgets and existence and to provide culturally acceptable “white” villains.
The real issue Europe faces in the next 50 years is Turkey and Turkish expansionism in the Adriatic, Caucuses and Balkans. Will the combined armed forces of the EU be capable of repelling the Turks when they decide to seize a few Greek islands? Will the capitals of the EU have the political will to fight back? These are the questions we should be asking and planning for. Only France seems to get it.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago

Absolutely Turkey is a big threat. France is allying with Russia on this. Kinda.

Richard
Richard
3 years ago

Amazing that people still don’t realize that the countries of the West are no longer countries in any meaningful sense. Their governments are no more than the obedient puppets of the same global corporations, oligarchs and the globalists.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Russia still has the second largest stockpile of nukes of any country in the world.
Be it what it may, it is certainly not without a sting.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Come off it! Most of their ‘stuff’ is rubbish!
In particular their submarines have an appalling record.
Fortunately the Chinese will “have them for breakfast”.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

Why do we need a bulwark against Putin? Asking for a friend.

Paul Goodman
Paul Goodman
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The EU cannot even foster democracy in the EU. They had a go for a while the Spanish Portuguese and Greek dictatorships fell in the 70s and just as the communist regimes of the east were ending the EU signed Maastrict and Lisbon and gave up on democracy. The Germans choose the Head of the Gang and thanks to the US their constitution is good. However that is then undermined by the fact that the German parliament can then be overruled by the Gang. The other Gang leaders play along because so long as the Germans say its ok they don’t have to take any notice of their parliaments either. So you get the Tusks, Verhofstadts, Von Rompuys and Draghis strutting around looking down their nose at the UK and the US. Meanwhile they are selling their souls to china and Russia. They cannot miss a century of unbroken democracy because they have never had it to miss.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

This is seriously bad. There’s no threat to the EU from either Russia or China. Turkey maybe.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Really? A strong, united Europe is a major threat to Russia as that becomes increasingly attractive to countries that Russia regards as in its sphere of influence. Indeed, several countries that Putin thinks ought to be under Moscow’s influence have already joined the EU.
That makes it important for Russia to try to weaken the EU. And there are more ways to be a threat to the EU than just militarily.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

A strong united Europe is not a threat to Russia – it’s a potential trade partner. The threat to Russia is the US inspired ring of missile and air bases which surround both Russia and China at present. As long as the EU is a US/NATO mouthpiece things will just get worse for everyone. Luckily the Germans are showing signs of independence and will drag the rest behind them, while the US quietly (hopefully) expires.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

Great power has military readiness against other great powers shocker.

Irene Ve
Irene Ve
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

I think that Russian overall strategy game now is to weaken any player bigger than itself, to try and level the playground, so to speak.
Europe they are playing well, really well. High class diplomacy and strategy. The US is weakening itself, I often wonder if the rise of the woke culture was instigated from Moscow. China is very strong now, so Russians are building an alliance with them. Middle East – Russia has become quite a power here.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Furthermore Putin, being a very wily character, is moving towards forging closer ties with Turkey in order to leverage the threat Turkey can pose to Europe.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

To split the NATO alliance. That’s the main thing. Even if it means walking the tightrope with his Syrian friends and their juicy Mediterranean ports.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Paul Goodman

The last sentence is very true. I would, however, add that I do not think that they ever wanted or liked the democracy that was forced on them

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

China may produce cheaper and better than the US, but there is no real threat to the US economy. It will still be the second largest in the world for at least 30 years or so, until Brazil and maybe India get their acts together. Even then it will still be one of the top 5 in the world – if they can stop the military spending (doubtful) and spend on infrastructure, universal health care and jobs (doubtful).

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The wealth in the US after WW2 allowed the US to become a savior to many nations and sadly, to become the world’s policeman. It’s ability to stalemate the Russians with nuclear arms and create a safer world was built on technological power. That stalemate has protected the EU forever mostly at US expense. But the wealth edge has been declining, some might say squandered, and the US refusal to conclude wars despite heavy investment but in response to public pressure has allowed more challenges. As China rises using US trade surplus built on exploited labor, it threatens the order established after WW2. The US moneyed class sees China as a way to even more money so was quite anxious to replace Trump who wanted to reduce the US externals and rebuilt the internal US. Whether the US spirit, culture, is still capable of strong innovation with little fear of failure remains to be seen. That spirit has allowed technical advancements celebrated worldwide, but the wealth accumulated has largely been entertainment related rather than actual life improvements. China in a very few years may come to fear US power less and their goals of power and money do not necessarily align with a better world overall.

JP Martin
JP Martin
3 years ago

There are two main pathologies afflicting US foreign policy. The first is sheer ignorance and a hopelessly naive/moralistic/simplistic worldview. Aris got that part right. The second is a thoroughly corrupt American political class that is cynically betraying the citizenry. The latter, which Aris has skipped over, is by far the greater danger.

Richard
Richard
3 years ago

In what universe is the US – or the West – any longer a beacon of ‘freedom’ or ‘democracy’?
Freedom is now almost completely crushed, across the Western world, with the globalists using their long-planned ‘Corona crisis’ to systematically snuff out freedom, with their systematic and long-planned (long before Covid 19 ever appeared) lockdowns, deliberate economic destruction program to clear the way for the Great Reset; with their ‘Covid passports’ and the clear intention to keep their ‘Corona crisis’ going for years to come, with an endless succession of ‘variants’ or new viruses ready to be released if necessary.
Freedom of speech is almost completely dead now, across the Western world. The mainstream media is almost entirely a centrally-controlled globalist / Left propaganda apparatus – and the ‘hate speech’ laws now criminalize opinions which oppose the agenda of the globalists, who now control the entire political establishment, including all institutions, of all major Western countries.
Everything that the West is now, is what Western politicians used to condemn the Soviet Union for being: an endemically corrupt dictatorship, masquerading as a collection of democracies, where democracy has been ended in most countries simply by taking over all of the mainstream parties in those countries, with all of them working for the same globalist / oligarch puppet masters, so that it makes absolutely zero difference which one of the globalists’ puppet parties is elected.
And where something goes wrong, occasionally, with their totally fake ‘democracy’ – e.g., Salvini and the League in Italy, or Trump in the US – the globalists either successfully convert the threat into becoming their puppet (e.g., Salvini) – or they rig the national election, to get rid of the threat (e.g., the US election).
The West no longer can claim any moral superiority over anyone: democracy is already dead in almost all Western countries, with just the empty theatre of democracy (elections, MPs, etc.) being maintained to delude the inhabitants of those countries into thinking that they still live in a democracy.
And free speech – without which no country can even claim to be a democracy – is now almost entirely dead.
For the politicians – almost entirely bought & paid for by the globalists / global corporations / oligarchs – of the West, countries are a thing of the past. Democracy is only a piece of empty theatre that they have to maintain for the plebs. And that inconvenient freedom of speech has been almost entirely ended – with just the mopping up operation left to do.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Spot on. We’ve been under house arrest on and off for a year, if that’s liberal democracy you can keep it.

David Jory
David Jory
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

I would only add a question:’ In what sort of democracy does a present start off with over 50 executive orders?’
Candidate Biden was highly critical of these, but is now a happy autocrat.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

Keep that tinfoil helmet on – you’re going to need it! You may think that is shallow sarcasm, but the degree of delusion in your post really doesn’t leave much room for any other reaction.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

When I look at the angst that imperial powers drag around after themselves, I can’t help but be glad not to have to do that. Brits incessantly navel gaze over their former empire, sometimes mourning it, sometimes being glad it’s over but I would not want Americans to be in the same position. The author confuses military power with its use to acquire colonies.
But I very much agree that the US should allow other countries to shoulder far more of the peacekeeping burdens than it currently does. In fact, it should insist on it. And pay for it. The problem is that no other country is capable,of doing much, the EU is pointless from a security and military standpoint. I would not be in favor of rescuing the EU from its own folly. My sole reason for supporting Trump was to get out of the military mindset which the US is now sadly back in under Biden (or whomever is running things).
The US is very divided but then it often has throughout its history. People are moving away from coastal states to states with better quality of life. Today, the power centers are no longer California and New York cities. They are Austin and Denver and Nashville and Raleigh and Indianapolis, all thriving while California, New York and New Jersey are sinking under their own weight. The pandemic has accelerated this trend but it was there even before the pandemic. No longer do companies look to California to set up a business, it’s too unfriendly of a climate plus your employees have no quality of life. Look where manufacturing companies are moving, it’s not to states where unions run the show. It’s Alabama and Tennessee and South Carolina where people can work unmolested. Today Florida is a better bet than California, offering a better quality of life to more people. Some states have ruined quality of life for their own citizens which is a shame.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

As always, I agree with you, except for this:
‘Brits incessantly navel gaze over their former empire,…’
The vast majority of Brits are barely aware that the UK even had an empire. Most of them couldn’t find India (or even England) on a map. In a recent survey, far more Dutch people than British people said that they took pride in their former empire.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

There is a very small set of British “elites” that retain some fond notions of empire, but they are very few and far between.
As with most fringe groups, they are only really talking to each other …

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Those people who worked in the Empire are long dead. Churchill did not appreciate the reality on the ground. As someone said The Empire was an accident; it was. It grew out of Trade; ending the slave trade; defeating the French and collapse of the Moghul Empire between 1709 and 1756. Due to their collapse The Moghul’s asked the EIC to become tax farmers for Bengal, Orissa and Bihar in the mid 18th century. The East India Company did not want an imperial role it made profits by selling Indian and Chinese goods to Europe. Northcote Parkinsion in his Book East West says it is the collapse of Empires which creates a vacuum and draws in other peoples. If one looks at technology and armies in 1700 , China and India are more advanced than European countries, then the rapid collapse in the latter.
The last person of the type who ran the Empire who was in the public gaze was Lt Colonel Worsley, ex SAS which was why he was sent to Afghanistan in 2006 to speak to Pashtun leaders. He advised against sending in troops and was ignored. Today’s commentators lack experience.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

A well known Green Jacket General and former 39 Brigade Commander described the SAS as ‘Dustbin men who think they are Brain Surgeons’.

Was he wrong?

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

You could say that about the whole UK Armed Forces. Unfortunately the seem always to be sorting the wrong rubbish.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

Why was Worsley sent to Afghanistan ?
As a Guards officer who was in special forces said ” The reason wy so many soldiers do not respect officers is that so many are poor soldiers”.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

It was a very unfortunate ‘accident’ for a lot of brown and black people.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

So was:-
Huns in 4 and 5 th centuries;Arab invasion of Sindh in 8th century.15 Raids by Mahmoud of Ghazni, 997 to 1026 AD; Mohammed of Gor, 6 raids 1175 to1206 AD;Timur the lame 1398 AD;Babur the Turk 1526 Nadir Shah of Persia 1739 AD and Ahmed Shah Durani of Afghanistan in 1756 AD. The historan K S Lal puts the death toll at 88M over the period of 1000 to 1700 AD. Population of India went from about 206 M in 1872 to 388M in 1941.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Perhaps it is just spending time on sites like this with a high level of political junkies (me included) where you hear so much about empire from the Brits. As for pride, or lack thereof, I can surely believe it. I buy a lovely art product from a woman in Wales who takes great pains to tell me how non patriotic she is. As if 1) I would care and 2) it would make me either buy or not buy from her.
My point was that there seems to be an existential angst about empire in Britain and the US lacks that. Not that it’s perfect by any means but it has never had an empire, by design. Maybe it’s losing the empire, bit by bit, including the US, that causes this British angst. Not in everyone of course but even jokingly you see it. I was once told while in business meeting in Manchester on July 4th that we were welcome to celebrate “your temporary little independence”. We all laughed Brits and Americans but there’s just a little current underlying it.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

I think it’s more a sense of fun than angst.
You may not have seen this delightful missive from a while ago:
https://www.eetimes.com/a-message-from-the-queen/#

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

That’s why we all laughed. It was quite funny.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
3 years ago

Good point – I failed to register your specific reference 🙂

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Barton
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

The Empire was great fun for the selected few. Most couldn’t have given a toss about it until almost the end.
Our major mistake was not reconquering the US in 1814, when we had such an easy opportunity.

My family still has too rather beautiful if small pieces of loot from the sacking of the White House on the 24th August 1814.
Vae victis!

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

But it wasn’t much fun for the conquered, or the poor cannon fodder who procured it.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

The empire certain did mean a lot to the many who moved to places like Australia and Canada where they had opportunities to independently make something of their lives that they often weren’t able to in the UK.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Yes, agreed, for many it was a splendid opportunity to make a new life for themselves.

At its zenith it was about 25% of the surface of the planet and a similar percentage of the world’s population under command.
Not bad for rainy, windswept little island anchored off the NW Coast of Europe.

However, self praise is no recommendation.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Surely some see the empire as fun but many did not, particularly those in colonies.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Thanks for the link, gave me a chuckle early in the morning.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

The US certainly had/ have an Empire ‘by design’ – ask Teddy Roosvelt.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Actually the US is the only world power never to have had one. By design. Just isn’t our thing.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

The Philippines is considering making the US pay for its military presence there.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

We should probably consider doing the same. I know that South Korea and Japan are now paying a more reasonable share of the cost of US troops in those countries. I believe Trump sort of insisted.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright
3 years ago

In my view, ‘Brits incessantly navel gaze over their former empire
’ is completely untrue .. more a figment of the commentariat’s obsession with explaining the motives of people they don’t know & lazily reported or requoted by almost every article about the UK. Especially the NYT I guess but since I don’t read it, I wouldn’t know!

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Wright

Absolutely… Most brits never give a minutes thought to empire, I can’t remember ever discussing it with anyone.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Read this thread.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

This thread is not “Most Brits”. That should hardly need saying. And, again, the reason the British Empire is a topic these days is because empire has been fetishised as evil incarnate by a small but noisy group of British people that is weaponising it to attack Britain’s institutions and traditions.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

No, it doesn’t need saying since I didn’t say it was. There are many reasons empire is a subject in Britain. I made no claim to all of them, I simply noted that it was. And it looks like you agree.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Maybe you should contact the Home Office then – Around a year ago they came up with a plan called “Empire II”.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Wright

It’s just what I hear and read, even here. Look how many people are talking about it. Used to love the NYT but it’s not been readable for many years now.

Dr Stephen Nightingale
Dr Stephen Nightingale
3 years ago

25 years I lived in the US (mostly Maryland and Virginia). In all that time the idea that Florida and “Quality of Life” could be used in the same sentence was risible. It still is.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Oh I wouldn’t live in Florida either (too darn hot for me) but it seems to be a huge draw for people mostly from northern heavily taxed states.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“I can’t help but be glad not to have to do that. Brits incessantly navel gaze over their former empire, sometimes mourning it, sometimes being glad it’s over but I would not want Americans to be in the same position. The author confuses military power with its use to acquire colonies.”

This sounds slightly ambiguous. I:d just like to point out that ‘Imperialism’ and ‘Colonialism’ are two different things. In an Empire (from back to Roman times and beyond), rule is established through local Governors (who were generally military men acting e.g. on behalf of the British Monarch or whomever e.g. Viceroys, whose name denotes their Royal license), who rule and may tax indigenous populations, but who are in tandem with subordinate local indigenous Rulers (e.g. in India, ‘Maharajahs’ of this or that ‘province’ etc. or in ancient Judea, Roman Procurators or Prefects with a subordinate ‘rex socius’ e.g. various Herodian tetrarchs or kings, who were the de facto rulers). Tribute, in the form of money, goods or services is returned to the originating country

‘Colonialism’ by contrast is where the immigrants are private actors, who take over parts of a country (either by inter-community conflict – Cowboys and Indigenous Americans and so on – or, where not opposed, by establishing a legal domain in which their preferred legal and often religious systems are employed). Some colonies are formed entirely peacefully (e.g. Nueva Germania in Paraguay, I think it was), though the ones we hear about tend to be the ones which weren’t (‘the Wild West’). Colonies as far as I know have never started as military operations carried out by the Home Country. They are the result of emigration by subjects of the various countries of origin (e.g. Pennsylvania Dutch, the Amish), which may have to defend their settlements by home-produced civil warfare. A colony is usually sentimentally regarded as a piece of the home country that just happens to be abroad , but it is usually self-governing (except in odd cases like Hong Kong, where the Governor was there to denote that this colony was under British control. It was not a military occupation to pacify ‘the people’).

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

Thank you for that explanation of the clear distinction between Imperialism and Colonialism. This endlessly repeated accusation that “Brits regret the loss of Empire” is very tedious and usually stems from a source that has neither knowledge or experience of any. Empire.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

I dont think it is regularly quite the very clear binary that I outlined (to save even longer discussion). There are various anomalies (as always in human affairs). But in general imperialists always return home eventually (like George Orwell) but colonists want to stay (e.g. Australia) and colonies often later wish to split definitively from the country of origin (e.g. the US and the War of Independence).
A fair number of ‘colonists’ are escaping religious conflict in the home country, e.g. the Pilgrim Fathers.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

I agree, such a complicated matter is not binary. But, having in-laws in Pakistan and having been several times I know that the people living in the former colonies do not spend any time thinking about it. They moved on decades ago and left their history behind. In 2017, on a trip into the mountains we saw, advertised as holiday lets “British era bungalows”. Maybe the empire is acquiring a romantic patina!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

The US was of course part of Britain’s colonial empire. A colony, as established in what would become the US was “a piece of the home country” that happened to belong to indigenous peoples (who also came from elsewhere btw, just earlier). So Americans are very familiar with various European colonies within America.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Arnold Grutt

It would have been simpler to have described the difference between ‘Colonia’ and ‘Provincia’ would it not?

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
Jerry Jay Carroll
Jerry Jay Carroll
3 years ago

Here’s hoping those immigrants to sane living leave their politics behind. Would that asking too much?

Perdu En France
Perdu En France
3 years ago

I really don’t think you comprehend how the majority of Brits feel about the Empire. I’m old enough to remember the end part of its dismantling. The only people who had much interest in it were the ruling elite & sections of the middle-classes who had connections with it. For most it was an irrelevance. Unless, like my mother, you’d lost a brother defending a portion of it. And except as a source of the various waves of immigrants from ex-Empire countries to the UK.. And don’t be under any illusion. From the W. Indians of the Windrush days to the Asians from the sub-continent to the Ugandan Asians, none of them were welcome by the British people at the time. They were imposed on us by government. If we’d been given the choice they’d have received a resounding “No”

Last edited 3 years ago by Perdu En France
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Oh I don’t think all Brits mourn the loss of empire, I made that clear in my post. For some it’s a source of great shame.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
3 years ago

The latter argument is not relevant to American imperialism. On the other argument the US is very much an imperial power. Which isn’t all about colonies (not that the US isn’t a amalgamation of colonies anyway) but projecting power. If anything the US citizen is more imperialistic than the British during the empire. He’ll deny the empire but insist that Assad, Putin, Xi, Ghaddaffi, the mullahs etc are a threat.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

It may make you feel better about yourselves to say that but it isn’t actually true. Perhaps because the US was part of an empire at one point, we see empire a bit differently. Yes there are threats to the US and always have been. That’s not relevant to the topic.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Certainly change the definition to make it suit if it makes you feel better. But that doesn’t change the facts. The US doesn’t have an empire to deny but if you want to pretend otherwise, fine by me. Your comment about threats is not relevant to the subject. Germany being a threat at several times in the past also doesn’t make the US an empire.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Oh, the US has an Empire all right.The part of the North American continent that it currently occupies was taken by force from the indigenous inhabitants, for a start. By now the Empire has bases in most parts of the world to enforce it’s wishes. It doesn’t actually need to physically occupy countries any more – they just do as they are told, and if they don’t, like Syria, Iraq, Libya etc, they are bombed or subverted into ‘freedom’.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

You don’t appear to understand who came here to take the land from indigenous peoples. Or are you thinking that white men sprung from the ground somewhere around Delaware and did it? It was Europeans who colonized the US, it was an extension of various European empires. And if the UK had its way, the US would still be a colony.
By the way, the people you call indigenous also came from elsewhere just from a different direction. And a bit earlier than European colonizers.
Military bases are not a sign of empire, unless they are in other countries that don’t want them there. If you believe that Japan is a US colony, then you aren’t thinking straight.

Pete Kreff
Pete Kreff
3 years ago

Brits incessantly navel gaze over their former empire

I don’t agree, actually. There are certain British people who are obsessed by the stain of the British Empire and never stop going on about it. But without that constant hectoring, most people would never think about it.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Pete Kreff

“I don’t agree, actually.”
well, it looks like you do agree as you go on to add…..
“There are certain British people who are obsessed by the stain of the British Empire and never stop going on about it.”
How would “certain British people” not qualify as Brits?

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Giles Chance
Giles Chance
3 years ago

America ignored the French veto in the Security Council on going to war with Iraq in 2003. The decision was wrong, cost many lives and a lot of money, and damaged America’s reputation irretrievably. So much for the “rules-based order”. There aren’t any rules, when America doesn’t want any. The “rules-based order” idea is a manufacture of American right-wingers and apologists. What it really means is “our rules, our order, and we can change the rules whenever we want to”.
That system worked when America was the sole superpower, infinitely more powerful in economic, financial and military terms than anyone else, or any combination of others. But that’s changed, completely. It turned out that being the only bully on the playground was America’s undoing – as it has been the undoing of famous people and countries since time immemorial. Since 1990, America has gone from shining beacon on the hill to a corrupt, divided symbol of poverty, obscene wealth and inequality that nobody wants to copy, or even to have in their back yard. America needs to change itself, radically. Can it? Probably not. It’s still powerful, but it’s become a part of history. We will still salute the courage of Washington, Lincoln and both Roosevelts, but we won’t be looking to America in the future to show us the way, except to the junkyard.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago
Reply to  Giles Chance

1990? G. K. Chesterton was lamenting the descent into ‘pluotcracy’ and corruption over 120 years ago. I think his essay was called ‘The Last Republican’.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago

There are perhaps some other historical lessons to be learned, from the period of British dominance of 1814 – 1914. Despite the size of its empire Britain was never as powerful or hegemonic as the USA became in the second half of the twentieth century. It had to share the globe with other Great Powers in Europe, as well as the USA, which effectively curbed British territorial (though not commercial) ambitions in the Western Hemisphere. In the summer of 1914 that world system turned out to be less stable than it appeared in, but it did lay the foundations for the world of global trade and international law that we are familiar with today, and which is now increasingly under threat – for instance by rendering the seas safe for navigation for all countries, not just Britain. I think a crucial difference is that all the Great Powers of that era shared certain basic assumptions about representative government and the rule of law – even in Russia after 1905 there were strong voices calling for this. There was a strong element of hypocrisy involved of course as they did not apply those ideals to their own colonies, but it provided something of a shared framework, one that early nationalist movements in those colonies also aspired towards. This is not the case today – the Chinese Communist party not only wishes to displace the USA as a hegemon, it wishes to export its own profoundly oppressive and indeed genocidal political model, and sees the very existence of liberal democracy elsewhere as a threat to its domestic order. I don’t see how some sort of clash – not necessarily a military one – can be avoided. And I also think that if Europeans think they can avoid taking sides they are naive.

Simon Baker
Simon Baker
3 years ago

China does not wish to expand its territory beyond its immediate area eg Taiwan

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

On what authority do you make that preposterous statement?
Is China really content to see Russia retain the lands it seized in the late 19th century for example?
And what precisely is going on in the Himalayas at the moment?

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
3 years ago

As long as Russia and China have a mutually advantageous alliance I doubt that region will be much more than the South Tyrol of Sino-Russian relations. An independent Mongolia also.
Far more likely to face a threat to its sovereignty is Vietnam.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

So why have they taken a lease on an island in the Solomons, granted by the national government but opposed by the islanders.
Even the Australians seem to have forgotten that the management of any Chinese company operating overseas is staffed by
members of the CCP and Officers of the
Red Army.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Simon Baker

And Tibet (tick) and Mongolia (tick) and Nepal (pending) and northern parts of India (in train) and Bhutan (pending), then for main course…

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

Tibet was part of the Chinese Empire for quite a few hundred years, apart from a period around the turn of the last century. Mongolia is not part of China. Nepal is not part of China and shows no signs of becoming a part. Bhutan – similarly. Try posting some facts instead of idle (and prejudiced) propaganda.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

Spot on, China like Carthage before it, must be destroyed.

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago

You misunderstand me if you think that’s what I’m arguing – I would love to see the CCP’s grip on China crumble and its population enjoy the same freedoms Chinese people have in Taiwan. I have many friends and colleagues in China, and am rather in awe of its civilisation and culture – and in despair as to how these have been perverted and weaponised by the CCP.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

In that case they will have to produce another Sun Yat-sen, which seems rather unlikely at present.

However the catalyst of war might provide the necessary stimulus.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Dream on . . .

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

But it’s not likely to happen.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

China “wishes to export its own profoundly oppressive … political model”?
It wasn’t so long ago that China’s critics were complaining that, unlike Western countries and institutions, it did not tie trade, loans, etc to ‘political reform’. What examples are there of China exporting its political model, other than the likes of Hong Kong or Tibet, which it has always, and with some reason at least, regarded as its own?

Alexander Morrison
Alexander Morrison
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

How about Burma/Myanmar, just to start with? And while Hong Kong is legally Chinese territory, legally they were also obliged to uphold ‘one country, two systems’ for fifty years after the handover, an agreement they have simply trampled on. As for Tibet, it has not been part of China for most of its history. It was conquered by the Qing in the 1750s, was effectively independent once again after the 1864 rebellions in Chinese Central Asia, and was only reconquered in 1950. Like Xinjiang It is now a colonial possession, as Hong Kong once was, but governed considerably less benignly.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

Hence my “other than the likes of Hong Kong or Tibet.”
Has China shown any signs of wanting to export its political model worldwide, let alone at gunpoint?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 years ago

I would have thought the obvious prize was the conquest and subsequent exploitation of that vast land mass currently known as Australia.
Then to be renamed New China.

Last edited 3 years ago by Charles Stanhope
David George
David George
3 years ago

New China and New Xi-Land?
The Chinese now, effectively control a lot of the Pacific Islands via debt peonage, Tonga and Vanuatu in particular.

Last edited 3 years ago by David George
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

And what sign is there that China wishes to export its political model to Australia? It has shown interest in Australia’s resources, and would no doubt prefer fewer US troops and bases there, but I don’t think I’ve come across any who think China wants to change the Australian political system in any way.
China has struck me as being fairly uninterested in other countries’ political systems for a long time (apart fro the likes of Tibet and Hong Kong). Their approach has seemed to me keep your monarchy, or liberal democracy, or dictatorship, keep your religion, culture, language and customs, but come and see us when you want to buy something.
China may well wish to exploit Australia’s resources, but has it shown any inclination to change the political system there?

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Your paranoia is showing. The Chinese want trade. They don’t want the bother of exterminating a group of obstreperous colonists, and they don’t want the bother of enslaving them either. Why would they, when the Aussies will eventually have to concede or starve.

Last edited 3 years ago by Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago

Similarly, Scotland has only been part of the English Empire since 1705. I presume you will be supporting Scottish Independence?

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Do you work for the Chinese government, or just do this freelance?!

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

That question could just as easily be turned around.

Muircheartach McGubbligan
Muircheartach McGubbligan
3 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

I say, Peter, thats a great argument – a real show stopper. it’s a sign of a first class intellect, right at the peak of it’s game. Jolly good show, old chap.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

Indeed, as Tocci observes, China’s rise “suggests that we can no longer claim with confidence that economic prosperity and political freedoms can only go hand in hand”.
This says quite a bit more about Ms. Tocci than about the US. As an American, I have no issue with dialing back endless wars and the rest of the world taking a more active role in its own defense. And anyone looking to Biden for something positive is in a world detached from reality. Of the multiple executive orders put before him for signature, one would be hard-pressed to find a single one that is pro the country he is nominally leading.

Don Gaughan
Don Gaughan
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Even as Biden talks of America, democracy , unity and open collaboration is ” back, he pointlessly unilaterally cancels a vital American Canadian infrastructure project midstream damaging jobs and the economy of its neighbor and launches a Stalinist like purge of their main political rival.The neo Marxist progressive left tyrant cult in America has displaced its open democracy and freedoms , as it is doing in every free democracy in the west. The threat and destroyer of liberal democracy is not particularly China , but the progressive left tyranny formed from within.

Miro Mitov
Miro Mitov
3 years ago

In my opinion Aris appears to see too much in Biden’s rhetoric about democracy. Biden himself is a product of a bygone era, and even though he may have once believed in the moral duty of the USA to uphold freedom, I very much doubt that this is his and the US political establishment’s driving force nowadays. Yet it pays off to talk about a glorious crusade against the undemocratic barbarians, because the alternative- let us, the old and new empires, get together and rule the world again – is not something that can be uttered publicly in these times of racial reconning, social justice and critical theories. Every country, even one as strong as the USA, needs allies now and then and needs a beautifully sounding rallying cry to inspire them. In that aspect the examples of quasi-liberal but staunchly Catholic conservative Poland and illiberal theocratic Saudi Arabia as prominent US allies are easily understood- those allies are needed for empire-building, not for defence of democracy.
And by the way- the notion that the war in Kosovo is one that the USA won military and politically is somewhat dubious, unless we consider a land-locked enclave, incapable of supporting itself economically and relying on remittances from diaspora, and source of immigrants and organised crime, a political victory.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 years ago

A very thoughtfully written and well argued article, thank you. But where one has to profoundly disagree is with your comments on the European dimension. The EU is completely incapable of stepping into any post US void, indeed of defending itself, either collectively or via the nations that make it up. Mr Trump drew European attention to this when asking European countries to match pro-rata American contributions to defence expenditure. Joe Biden will find the same; no European appetite even for self defence, let alone trying to defend other democracies.

The UK is maybe a little different to our neighbours but whilst Johnson talks the talk he does not appear to be doing much walking of the walk, and has the extra problem of a military establishment that is very stuck in its ways.

We in the west have it easy for a long time, I fear the medium term outlook is very bleak.

Walter Fawcett
Walter Fawcett
3 years ago

I am Australian and an ex serviceman, my father and grand father served in both World Wars. We don’t “love” the Americans but are very grateful for their sacrifices they made in the Pacific.

Maybe you folks should man up and and remember how the the men of the USA fought and died for you in both Wars. Get over your petty jealousy, give thanks we still talk english ( not German or Japanese)

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Fawcett

What nonsense. America did not fight for Britain or Australia. America fought for its own interests and profitably hugely form both world wars. Indeed American prosperity for the next 50 years was built the profits of WW2. As Stephen Ambrose put it Britain was by some margin the biggest looser out of WW2
Also, it was largely to address the concerns of the US that Britain shelved its alliance with Japan and indeed America stoked the war with Japan.
While we are on the subject, the Soviet Union was not our ally. it was a German ally and the Germans bombs dropped on British cities were made from chemical supplied by the Soviets dropped by plane fueled by oil also supplied by the Soviets while they used the British Communist Party to undermine the British war effort.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Walter Fawcett

Excellent post! It’s not about loving any other country. The US entered WWII because Japan attacked it. Could it have ignored the conflict in Europe and just taken out Japan? Probably and some would have wanted that. While the UK really tried hard to draw the US into war, the obvious loss of life, hundreds of thousands of US lives was not an easy thing to get past, until Japan attacked. Big mistake. In any case, the US donated many lives in Europe as did other countries. In what some saw as not our conflict. Today I’m not sure the US could be drawn into another European world war.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago

In fact Germany declared war on the US shortly after pearl harbour. So the US entered neither conflict voluntarily. Also the US lost 104,812 lives in the European campaign, significantly less than the UK

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

“America’s pursuit of global hegemony was not a sordid, self-aggrandising imperial project like that of the fading European powers; instead, it was a moral duty, a noble sacrifice undertaken for the benefit of the rest of the world.”
Funnily enough, the European powers portrayed their imperial projects in much the same way.

Ben
Ben
3 years ago

“In the meantime, perhaps our European allies are correct in discerning a greater opportunity to rebalance the Atlantic alliance in our favour for the first time in decades.”
Not if the European powers continue to be so reluctant to pay 2% of annual GDP towards that goal. Peace and power cost money.

Earl King
Earl King
3 years ago

Americas problem is Europes problem. In reminding the author of the parable of the Frog and Scorpion, if one gets in to bed with a Scorpion expect to get stung as it is in his nature. Specifically, Germany and Europe with their Nord Stream II dalliance with Russia could come back to haunt them. Trump asked a question, NATO in its traditional mission was to protect Europe from Soviet, then Russian aggression.How is it that America may be asked to fight a war with Russia when Europe is doing business with Russia. Either it is dangerous country or it isn’t. Is the Russian bear tamed?
Other than petrol, Nuclear Missiles and an Army with Vodka, what does Russian produce that the world needs or wants? Putin, in bringing the band back together again is looking for an Empire. When Germany doesn’t go to the aide of Estonia when it becomes the latest Crimea….Article 5 is dead as is the myth of NATO. If Europe feels it is safer to use Russian Gas and Oil rather than Middle East Gas and Oil…be prepared to get stung.
China is filling the vacuum of US withdrawal from the world. We spend more time fighting amougst ourselves. China is the world latest drug dealer, offering for free, the first dose of heroin. In this case money substituting for the heroin. It is buying up and in to second and third world countries. Minerals, resources, ports, industry and in the worst way becoming the worlds loan shark. Anybody who does business with China had better be prepared to be compromised. Better be ready to have China calling the tunes to dance to. If this author thinks America faux hegemony is passĂ©, not needed because the world has grown weary of US Democracy….he going to find out that China totalitarianism is much worse. Europe may end up working solely to fill the coffers of CCP.

KWHK
KWHK
3 years ago

Quick correction re statement about Poland losing democratic values which keeps coming up over and over in various media including this article. Whether you like the current government or not, they have definitely a strong democratic mandate in the sense of winning elections fair and square and having undisputed majority support. What they are is actually a classical example of majority rule that lacks republican values of respecting views of minorities with which they disagree. But even here the main issues of disagreement are primarily matter of their relative social conservatism vs current global consensus – things like abortion or sexual orientation. In that sense they are not so much illiberal as they are out of sync which current trends. If they magically landed in the 80s (or even better in the 50s) they would fit in well with mainstream conservative parties.

Pierre Mauboussin
Pierre Mauboussin
3 years ago

I did laugh out loud at the ‘autonomous Europe’ part. European foreign policy is driven almost wholly by German commercial interests and nothing else, and the fundamental internal illiberalism of the EU empire is fairly clear for all to see. Europe simply has no desire to acquire any strategically significant military power and never will, especially with the Germans in charge. European ‘strategic’ power is limited to buying influence, with the limited exception of French military involvement against small states in Africa. One could speak of a strategically autonomous Europe when the US withdraws from NATO and Europe can defend itself. Until then, it seems to me you’re also high on your own ideological supply.
I would also add that the US still has one geostrategic advantage above everyone else: it could be wholly independent. Both Europe and China are far more dependent on outside trade and resources than the US. The US could easily be completely independent in raw materials, energy, food and technology. It doesn’t need the rest of the world at all, although I doubt few Americans understand the costs that would be associated with defending the continental US without a worldwide system of bases and alliances. China faces a choice between staying within the boundaries of the post-WWII international system created by the United States or attempting to use force and chicanery to overrule it. It appears China has chosen the latter course. Whether it can sustain it is an open question.

Last edited 3 years ago by Pierre Mauboussin
Nick Whitehouse
Nick Whitehouse
3 years ago

I would much prefer to have the US as ally, for all it’s faults than have to rely on China, or Russia.

Steve Wesley
Steve Wesley
3 years ago

The new empire is not based in a country or a continent, it’s worldwide. They do all gather together at Davos however, apart from this year. There is no conspiracy about it, they’re quite open and upfront about it.

Peter Branagan
Peter Branagan
3 years ago

Thanks Aris – a fascinating article.

John MacDonald
John MacDonald
3 years ago

America is the City on the Hill. The fervent ambition of my eldest son (age 14) is to win a scholarship to an American university. My youngest (12) this week researched and presented a talk to his fellows on the plight of the Uighurs and how American sanctions could help.
The young, the idealistic and the ambitious look to America, just as they always have. Why is the whole free world obsessed with BLM? Because America.
America isn’t just back – it never went away. And it’s here to stay, thank God.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  John MacDonald

Do you think this might have something to do with you. America has been not been a friend to this country. As they say, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was persuading people he did not exist.

Richard
Richard
3 years ago

Our ‘democracies’ in the West are no longer democracies at all: they are pretend-democracies, where elections make absolutely zero difference to who really runs the countries – i.e., the global corporations and oligarchs, and the globalists, for all of whom the idea of countries, democracy and freedom is ludicrously out of date: things to be extinguished for good, as soon as can be managed.
The countries of the West are kleptocracies – as endemically and massively corrupt as any African or communist dictatorship.
The media is nothing more than their propaganda apparatus – and freedom of speech has already been largely extinguished.
The corrupt rats who rule over us, having now taking control of all levers of power, all main internet platforms for people to communicate with each other, and almost all of the mainstream media, have realized that there is now absolutely nothing to stop them re-making the world as the oligarchs and their puppet politicians want it to be.
They know that their Goebbels-style Big Lie propaganda operations can now create whatever ‘truths’ they want to create – since any voices opposing these Big Lies can be almost totally silenced.
And thus, we have the ‘Corona crisis’, the ‘Climate Crisis’, ‘Carbon Zero’ and the Great Reset coming, leading to the global Police State which they are already installing, conveniently accompanied by injecting the entire planet’s population with… whatever they want to inject them all with, since the scientists, politicians and anyone else are all bought & paid for to approve whatever they want to do to humanity.
Since population reduction – along with getting everyone bar-coded and prevented from travelling internationally, pretending that this is being done for their long-planned ‘Corona crisis’ – is very naturally what the global corporations, banks and oligarchs want… that is what is going to happen.
Whereas in the past history of humanity, the rise of a such totally evil people as now rule the Western world – and far beyond it – would have given rise to other political forces and leaders rising up to oppose them.
But this time, there is no one rising up to oppose them. And there won’t be, either. So in short, we are doomed.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
3 years ago
Reply to  Richard

A touch extreme I feel but not far off the mark

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson
3 years ago

Anyone know what this article is about ?

Peter KE
Peter KE
3 years ago

Regardless of what happens with the USA the EU will not step up to the plate.

alistair pope
alistair pope
3 years ago

I must point out a major error by the author: he refers to Biden’s policy on this or that and ‘Biden says’. Biden is not at home and thinks of nothing. He has no policies and barely knows what day it is. He is a puppet (or muppet, if you prefer). He should not be treated as a sentient being, but given the Trump Cognitive Test then shuffled off to a Cuomo Aged Care Home .

Last edited 3 years ago by alistair pope
Hugh Carmichael
Hugh Carmichael
3 years ago

The US did not join the rest of Europe in WW11 against Hitler until after being attacked at Pearl Harbour. They subsequently declared war on Japan in late 1941, at which point Hitler/Germany declared war on the US.
Not sure where the US ‘Special Arrangement’ with the UK springs from but feel it was more to do with segments of time when President / PM relationships e.g Churchill/FDR and Thatcher/Reagan held strong.
As for the US and democracy, currently, …I personally don’t see it..but we should ask ourselves if democracy exists now in Europe. Again, IMHO, I don’t see it.
Democracy in the UK can only start when we do away with the House of Lords. The system is farcical waste and when we realize this is a current fact and not fiction, we should ask ourselves if we deserve democracy.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair
3 years ago

It’s interesting how many people still think Trump could have been some great savior of the West. The guy is a mediocre businessman whose only really talent is creating and selling an idealized image of himself that has nothing to do with reality.

Globalized neoliberalism under Obama and his two immediate predecessors so degraded the fabric of American society that it was ready to accept a megalomaniac carnival barker as its messiah. That’s bad.

Once Trump came on the scene it’s hilarious how liberal media and liberal journalists, who claimed to hate him with every fiber of their being, could not STFU about him and hung on to his every word. The NYT, CNN, BBC, the Guardian and, of course Twitter, was all Trump all the time.

People who think a clown like Trump is a worthy leader of men, and who see conniving Chinamen and cannibalistic pedophiles hiding in every shadow, are the flipside of the “woke” crowd. Both of them inhabit a media-fueled and internet amplified reality distortion chamber that causes symptoms of psychosis and serious delusional thinking.

All of these things are symptoms of a moribund civilization whose “elite” thinks destroying the middle-class and turning people into serfs to be exploited by sociopathic billionaires and enslaved by invasive and manipulative technology is good and desirable.

Add to that the information overload that is the internet and a propagandized people who’ve lost their critical thinking and reasoning skills and you get the insane asylum society that we have today.

smargalicious
smargalicious
3 years ago
Reply to  Eric Blair

Nope.
Apparently you are a Federal bureaucrat, given your Trump Derangement Syndrome.
Trump was our last hope. Now enjoy the fraudulently installed Xiden cabal.

RD Richards
RD Richards
3 years ago

This is one of the best pieces I’ve read in a long time. Much of it is not new, but it pulls things together in a concise, incisive way, which is a feat all by itself. Splendid writing too.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

All empires have a shelf life and there’s absolutely no reason to presume that the US will be any different.

The end of the Cold War with its clearly defined ‘single’ enemy that Western governments and it’s populations could all broadly agree on, marked less the end of history and more the end of the post war US empire as we came to understand it.

Today few in the West can focus and agree on who the new enemy is, not least because there are so many to choose from and unhelpfully keep changing and, perhaps most insidiously, nor do they necessarily have to be perceived as exclusively external threats any longer either.

A question of when not if then.

Safe to say that if history to date is anything to go by that once one fades and/or dies, usually essentially at its own hands ultimately born of the decadence and infighting of its own elites, then nature’s ’empirical’ law of abhorring a vacuum means that that space must be filled by something else.

Not difficult to see who’s currently in the running for this new accolade in the increasingly globalised world, not least because its the nation that has come to dominate human history both in terms of time and influence far longer and far more than any other.

The only real comeback kid.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
smargalicious
smargalicious
3 years ago

America’s days are numbered, for sure. Rome, or DC in this comparative case, fell into total corruption and was rightfully sacked. DC will, and should, follow.
Too many systems are out of control, and the last straw was the obviously rigged election. We all saw it happen before our eyes
Trump masterfully drawing millions of cheerful, enthusiastic supporters in the swing states, and the Democrats countering his coming landslide victory by putting BLM thugs in charge of their vote counting centers with the aid of Dominion, thus the fraudulent installation of the senile pedophile and a middle-aged trollop in the White House.
Some say the downfall of Pax Americana started with Slick Willie Clinton, but even he had political skills. It actually started with Obama. He was/is a racist, hated white people (even though he is half white), and used white liberals as saps to promote his grotesque political agenda.
Trump was America’s last chance, but the elitist/globalist Federal bureaucracy, backed by Big Media and Big Tech, enacted The Steal and The Coup to overthrow him and install their puppets.
God help us. After Rome fell, the Dark Ages came. The same is coming for America. Perhaps in a hundred years, we will rise again.

Jonathan Barker
Jonathan Barker
3 years ago

In my considered opinion the appearance of orange haired monstrosity was a definite in-your-face sign that US culture (such as it was, or what remained of it) was finished, and completely beyond salvaging.
Meanwhile is anyone familiar with the Charenton Lunatic Asylum where the Marquis de Sade presided over the chaos created by the psychotic inmates.
That particular and even universal drama was played out in the recent so called conservative action gab-fest which featured all of the usual deeply psychotic right-wing ghouls, and was presided by the master sadist himself -aka orange haired monstrosity.
Believe it or not I have good reasons to propose that Barack Obama was the last very slim chance that something positive could emerge from then wreckage of US culture. Unfortunately due to unresolved father-hood issues he did not have the balls to confront the obstructionist tactics of the Repugnant party who only had one principle which was so say NO to everything that Obama tried to do. Although in the first couple of years he could have forged ahead with his positive hope-filled platform.
The other reason that he inevitably failed was due to the sheer overwhelming power/force of the system itself – the “culture” of death which controls and patterns every minute fraction of the USA. He was taken over by the dark Darth Vader force, or the all-powerful force generated by Mordor. He became an enthusiastic killer.
By the way I happened to be in Chicago when Obama appeared in person directly after the election. Very real positive magic pervaded the space. Everyone was peaceful, there were no gun-slinging “patriots”, and the police did not have to do anything to keep the peace, or restore order (there was no disorder_

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
3 years ago

What happened to the remainder of your rant. By the way considered opinion here is granted by the other denizens. And – What are you on? If its legal I’d like some, if not you should consider taking some form of anti-dote.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
3 years ago

“By the way I happened to be in Chicago when Obama appeared in person directly after the election. Very real positive magic pervaded the space.”

Why does every Liberal want a ‘strong man’ to admire? I know the answer.

Last edited 3 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Ray Zacek
Ray Zacek
3 years ago

“Real positive magic,” my ass. Obamus Optimus Maximis was and remains a supercillious p***k. You can spout your starry-eyed hyperbolic nonsense and anti-Republican bile all you want but it amounts to nothing more than dog fart.