China has cracked down on a range of sectors as part of an effort to tighten its grip on the economy, while Xi Jinping has set his sights on the country’s very wealthy, calling for “common prosperity” – Copyright Sputnik / AFP Alexey NIKOLSKY
The world is moving back, fast. The “new” cold war is basically the same as the previous one. The general ignorance of the past serves regressionism. What is the difference between today and the 1950s? Not a lot, politically. Humanity’s unnecessary and destructive political divides are older and dumber, and that’s about it.
In the 1950s, being a political psychopath was one thing. Stalin and Mao ruled in Russia and China. Senator Joe McCarthy and his persecutions and false accounts have taken paranoia in the United States to a critical level. Rhetoric has taken precedence over reality, at least according to rhetoric. About the same as today.
Global reality, of course, has not gone away. (It never does, in case you’re wondering. Reality tends to lack tact.) Much of Europe, Russia, Japan, and China were disaster areas. , roughly the size of the continental United States. Over 120 million people have died. Millions more have been maimed, homeless and / or in poverty. Apart from the Marshall Plan, or sometimes the reconstruction of Japan, we don’t hear much about it.
Less than a decade after World War II, politics made matters worse. The unnecessary, unnecessary, costly and murderous cold war started entirely on the basis of politics. It was weird. The Soviet Union and China were both genuinely mutilated and utterly devastated by the war. Winners in name only in many ways, their politics have created some hell for their people. They did everything for military equality with the West to the detriment of everything else.
The main lesson is that ultra-political measures like nationwide gulags and ultra-repression in the USSR, and the Cultural Revolution in China have resulted in total self-defeat. Tens of millions of people have died, and try to take this as a “lesson from history” from any perspective today.
The West, spurred on by McCarthy’s managers and conservative mindsets, invented a convenient new threat, “the left,” which has become synonymous with communism. Everyone who disagreed, from Vietnam War protesters to people who wanted public services for their taxes, were Communists.
Seems familiar? It should. You see it every day on all the news sites. The idea that anyone living in Western democracies is unlikely to want to become a communist, jihadist, or any kind of obsessive boner has been, and still is, completely ignored.
Charming ideas like Species Suicide, aka Mutual Assured Destruction, (it’s a real thing) have become the work option. It was for nothing. Reality won the argument. The Soviet Union collapsed. China has become a kind of communist ideal of capitalism. Ideologies have failed miserably and utterly, but they live, arguably worse than ever, in total denial.
The West, meanwhile, has backed down. He quickly fell into the necrotic paralysis of corrupt crony capitalism, blind “wealth” as an ideology, and almost total social irresponsibility. It has happened on a bewildering scale, as evidenced by the ever-declining ultra-conservative United States. The right went so far to the right that everything and everyone was “left” by default. Hence the current political madness.
The West has not just dropped the ball; he forgot that the ball existed. The free world has become the expensive world, almost overnight. “Progress and a better world” have become finance and fraud. Capitalism has become the playground of criminals and crooks, to the detriment of everything else.
The superficiality of the post-Cold War era corresponded to blissful mentalities. Greed wasn’t only good, it was now essential. “Dressing for excess” has become the norm. Everything was fine. There was no problem with this non-existent pseudo-utopia.
The disappearance of a large chunk of America’s population during a highly destructive, decades-long social crisis has barely been mentioned. Gang wars, crack, mass shootings, Mexico becoming a war zone, companies going crazy like Enron, it was all great.
The culture was as shallow as it gets. “Have you seen the game? If so, you probably haven’t seen anything else. For about 30 years. That sort of thing.
The “present” is a revival of the past
To this day, human beings are low on the political agenda all over the world. Politics cause more human misery every day than anything else. Politicians, like pandemics, come and go, but hyper-neglect remains.
The rhetoric is identical to that of the Cold War era. Names may change. Nothing else does. This stagnant pole-to-pole, polarized, necrotizing sewer resulting from a “civilization” is the result. Progress in human terms has effectively stopped, thanks to politics. It’s nominal at best and at worst it’s a throwback to the Middle Ages.
Poverty is rampant around the world and out of control. The conservative economic solution is, as usual, to make everything unaffordable. The progressive solution is endless talk and no action. Also quite normal.
Human misery is only a political target. The last thing on anyone’s political mind is to help people in trouble. Millions of people are displaced each year by poverty and politics. it’s not like they want to be moved or spend so much money to take all these risks and go somewhere else. Their living environments, just like the global macro environment, are impossible.
Cold War v2.0; the result of stupidity is psychosis
The Cold War is back as a Twinkie zombie, this time with glitter and some real madness to go with it. China acts like an even less attractive 1930s Nazi Germany, demanding territory and threatening its neighbors.
The only material result is the formation of the Quad, a somewhat nominal but geographically vast regrouping of Japan, India, the United States and Australia as a strategic counterweight. The Chinese reaction was pure cold war. Every issue is now being propagated by the increasingly Trump-like Global Times / Volkischer Beobachter in a war scenario. Everything is a threat to China, it seems, unless the Global Times says it isn’t.
Just read a selection of Global Times headlines here to see what it says. In one of the current headlines, the Global Times says the Quad does not pose a significant risk to China. In another from last week, he said AUKUS nuclear submarines are likely to cause nuclear escalation around the world. Facts? Try to find some.
Conservatism is a process of fossilization. The far left and the far right are both conservative and effectively the same. The political models and behaviors remain the same and never change. This is pure Orwellian 1984 in theory; the external threat is the universal excuse for everything.
This Cold War, however, could be different. China is getting into ridiculous situations. Instead of just shutting up and buying who or what they need, they talk about war. They risk a massive trade backlash that could derail just about every Chinese business, import and export, outside of China. It would be a train wreck for China.
Instead of ignoring the West as they should and easily could, they decided to fight over all the trivial matters. Even Taiwan doesn’t have to be a problem; until they created the new crisis, the world carefully ignored Taiwan. It wasn’t 1949 until now. Taiwan was totally irrelevant up to China has made it a problem again.
This is the real irrationalism of psychopathic politics. The facts must match the rhetoric. Reality must accord with the grotesque scenarios that rhetoric creates. It’s a world of non-existent things, trying to become real.
The world was lucky with the original cold war. Maybe not this time; the ultimate stupidity of these situations is that there aren’t that many easy exits for anyone. There are not enough off switches to cover these constant conflicts.
The problem with the story is that you have to participate. This time it might not be such a good idea.