Today’s confrontation between the West and the East should be seen through the prism of the current collapse of the United States.
In his article, Dmitry Orlov lists the signs that this crash is not a fantasy of supporters and admirers of Russia, but a tangible reality that has already occurred during the collapse of the USSR, and which is repeated today.
This approach is important for understanding US decisions and Russia’s actions, as well as the importance of propaganda for maintaining the image of the empire, whose days are numbered.
If to think about the current collapse of the American empire, the collapse of the USSR, which occurred almost three decades ago, is an inexhaustible source of examples and analogies. Some events that occurred during the collapse of the USSR can serve as a point of account when we talk about the United States, allowing us to better guess the events that can suddenly turn into a gradual and sharp collapse.
When the collapse of the USSR happened, everyone had the same reaction: “Who could have known?” Well, I knew it. I remember very well the conversation with one doctor who cut out my appendicitis, in the summer of 1990. He asked me what would happen to the Soviet republics, especially to Armenia. I told him that they would become independent in less than a year.
He was shocked. I’ve been on vacation for months. And I think that I can talk about the collapse of the United States with the same degree of accuracy.
Probably, I was at the right time and in the right place, and I wanted to understand how I could foresee everything so accurately. At that time, I was engaged in measuring electronics and collecting data for experiments on high energy physics, not Sovietology. The summer before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I spent in Leningrad, where I grew up, and had a very good idea of what was happening in the USSR.
At that time, a crowd of professional Russian experts working in various government offices in Washington, US funds and universities had no idea what to expect.
I suspect that there is a certain algorithm: if your career depends on the continued existence of X, and if this X is about to cease to exist, then you do not really want to accurately predict this event.
Conversely, if you could accurately predict the unexpected termination of the existence of X, then you would be clever enough to change the scope of activity in advance, because you will no longer be an expert on issue X, and your opinion will be ignored. People will think that you were fired from a fine job, and now you are embittered and biased.
Now I observe the same phenomenon among Russian experts in the US: they can not imagine that the phenomena that they studied all their lives disappear, become insignificant.
Or, maybe, they represent, but realizing this, they are afraid that they will not be invited to a talk show any more.
I think that since the expert opinion is that when you know a lot about a little, that is, you know everything about anything – and this does not exist in nature – then this is its logical conclusion. Never mind. But I think that we, the non-specialists who have the experience of the collapse of the USSR, will be more prepared for this collapse, better than the Americans.
And this is not a question of education: those who accurately anticipate the development of events may not have time to get into the meat grinder, while others do not wander in the narcotic fog, and materials about mass executions and other outrageous events are still considered worthy to be published in newspapers.
This experience allows us to identify some of the prerequisites that appeared at the time and appear today. Now I want to talk about four of them:
1. The loss of allies
2. Enmity ceases
3. Ideology becomes irrelevant
4. The military situation is weakening
All these signs of the collapse of the United States are already manifesting. As in the case of the collapse of the USSR, for each of these trends there is a certain period of incubation, which can last a year or two, during which nothing much happens, but when the process ends, everything starts changing at once and in all directions.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the old friendly relations gradually deteriorated, and then grew into enmity. Before the collapse, the Iron Curtain extended between Eastern and Western Europe. Three decades later, it extends between Russia and the Baltic countries, Poland and Ukraine.
Although in the post-war period the Warsaw Treaty countries received many advantages from their connection with Russia and its industrial power, their accession to the Soviet camp was becoming an increasingly difficult road to advance, preventing their integration with the more prosperous and stable Western countries and the rest of the world.
The same thing is happening now in US-EU relations. There have already appeared signs of tension in their cooperation, as Washington tries to prevent the integration of Europe with the rest of Eurasia.
A special threat is unilateral economic sanctions in order to make a vain attempt to block the construction of Russian pipelines in Europe and force Europeans to buy expensive American liquefied natural gas.
These actions demonstrated that the relationship is no longer mutually beneficial.
And as Great Britain separates from Europe and approaches the US, a new iron curtain appears on the horizon, but this time it will separate the English-speaking world and Eurasia.
Similar events are developing in the east, affecting South Korea and Japan. The sharp difference between Trump’s statements on Twitter and the conciliatory rhetoric about North Korea demonstrated the lack of security guarantees for the United States.
Both countries now understand the need to adopt their own security measures and to confirm their military sovereignty. So far for the US such inconsistency of actions is just an intermediate point on the way to losing influence.
Throughout the Cold War, the United States was the sworn enemy of the USSR, and any attempts by Washington to advise or dictate its terms were met with loud, ideologically savvy criticism of Moscow: the imperialist aggressor returned, ignore.
This moralizing tone worked very well for a surprisingly long period of time and continued to operate as long as the Soviet Union achieved impressive successes in space, in technology, in science and medicine, in international humanitarian projects, but, with the onset of the stagnation period, this became nonsense.
After the collapse of the USSR, the country lost immunity against the American contagion.
Western “experts” and “advisers” flocked from all sides and began to propose “reforms”, such as dividing the USSR into 15 separate countries (millions of people were trapped on the wrong side of the newly invented border); shock therapy, which hit almost the entire population of Russia; privatization, because of which the main state assets passed into the hands of oligarchs, mostly Jews; and other projects aimed at destroying Russia and its population.
And it is quite possible that they would have achieved their goal if they had not been stopped in time.
Similarly, Washington regarded the USSR as its sworn enemy. After his disappearance, a little confusion arose. The Pentagon tried to talk about the “Russian mafia” as a serious threat to the whole world, but it looked ridiculous.
Then, after blowing up skyscrapers in New York, perhaps with the help of small nuclear charges in the foundation of the building (these plans were in the archive), they gladly accepted the concept of the “war on terror” and began bombing countries that did not previously have problems with terrorism , but after that they appeared.
After this clumsy plan worked, Washington resumed attacks on Russia.
But now in Washington there is a smell of failure. The slander campaign against Russia is bursting at the seams. Meanwhile, Trump continues to spread rumors that it is necessary to draw closer to Russia and that a meeting between the leaders of the two countries should take place.
Trump also borrows from Russia a few tricks: just as Russia reacted to Western sanctions by counter-sentences, Trump responds to Western duties with counter duties.
We must be prepared for the fact that after the shale gas production system collapses, the US will start to depend on Russian oil and LNG and will be forced to pay in gold. This includes two phases: the first burns money borrowed for oil and gas production, the second – oil and gas.
Other hostile moves are also becoming rarer. Trump signed a very interesting document with the leader of North Korea. The agreement, if it can be called so, is a silent act of capitulation.
It was organized by Russia and China. This confirms that North Korea and South Korea have already agreed on a possible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Just as Gorbachev agreed to the reunification of Germany and the withdrawal of Soviet troops from East Germany, Trump is ready to accept the reunification of Korea and will withdraw American troops from South Korea. Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of Soviet imperialism, the abolition of the Korean demilitarized zone would mean the end of American imperialism.
Despite the fact that in the United States there has never been anything like the rigid communist dogma of the USSR, their mixture of propaganda for democracy, laizzes-faire capitalism, free trade and military domination have had a huge influence at a time.
When the United States ceased to be the largest industrial power -losing first to Germany and Japan, and then to China, they accumulated a huge foreign debt, withdrawing and spending world reserves and protecting the dollar with threats of violence.
After a while it became clear that American soldiers will pay with their blood for the exclusive right of their state to print money.
The United States considers itself as indispensable, able to control and dictate its conditions to the entire planet, terrorizing or blockading countries depending on their needs. Today, none of these tricks work.
Pro-democratic rhetoric is still spread by the political media, but in practice the United States is no longer a democratic country. They became a paradise for lobbyists, in which they no longer engage in lobbying.
They settled in Congress and worked out a huge number of laws to serve the private interests of corporations and oligarchs. You will no longer find the American aspiration for democracy either in supporting dictatorships around the world, or in the growing tendency to declare and apply extraterritorial laws without the consent of the international community.
Laizzes-faire capitalism was replaced by nepotism, nurtured by the elites of Washington and Wall Street. Private enterprises are no longer independent, instead they belong to a handful of multinationals, while about a third of the working population in the US is employed in public sector.
There is a growing number of people who do not have a permanent employement and therefore suffer from unstable income.
Until recently, the free trade agreement was discussed, although in practice it was never implemented. Unhindered trade is an indispensable condition for all empires, including the American one. In the past, warships and the threat of occupation were used to force countries, such as Japan, to join international trade.
Until quite recently, the Obama administration has made very active attempts to coerce a variety of transoceanic partnerships, but none of them has been crowned with success. And now Trump began to destroy free trade through sanctions and duties, trying in such an erroneous way to revive the lost greatness of America.
In the course of the process, sanctions on the use of the US dollar in international trade, especially with such large energy exporting countries as Iran and Venezuela can only speed up the process of dethroning the dollar as the world reserve currency, undermining their exclusive right to world wealth.
The collapse of the USSR was to some extent predetermined by the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Before that, it was still possible to talk about the “international duty” of the Red Army (to make the world safe for the development of socialism).
After that, the concept of military domination itself ceased to exist, and invasions into other countries, like Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 became unthinkable. When Eastern Europe rebelled in 1989, the Soviet military empire simply disappeared, abandoning its military bases and equipment.
The United States is still capable of causing some damage, but it is clear that their military domination on the entire planet is now impossible. The US Armed Forces are still huge, but they are weakened. They are no longer able to deploy ground forces as they once could and are limited to bombing, training and arming of “moderate terrorists” and mercenaries, as well as useless exercises in the oceans.
None of their recent military “adventures” led to anything that would remind the world of how it was originally conceived by Americans: Afghanistan has become a hotbed of terrorism and a plant for the production of heroin; Iraq was given into the hands of Shiites, whose influence now extends from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.
The US military bases are still scattered around the world. They had to become a weapon for the spread of American power around the globe, but most of them became irrelevant due to the emergence of new high-precision weapons of great range, powerful air defense technologies and other means of warfare.
These numerous bases are useless, expensive to maintain and are in places that are difficult to defend. They can only be used to support endless military exercises, for example, in the Baltic countries, on the Russian border or in South Korea.
These exercises could be written off as provocation, but in fact, they are an example of uselessness, because an attack on Russia or North Korea would be a suicidal step. This is a confidence building exercise, and their growing intensity is indicative of a pronounced and growing deficit of that confidence.
The US will never tire of talking about its huge military budget, but they almost always avoid mentioning that the United States receives ten times less money for a unit of weapons than, say, Russia. It is a bloated and inefficient system of extorting money, forced to spend billions of dollars on nothing.
No matter how much money will be spent, US will never solve the fundamental problem of their inability to enter a war against an adequately armed enemy without exposing themselves to the risk of failure.
This analysis can be regarded as a historical study, not connected with practical and everyday reasoning. But I think that it still has applied value. If the citizens of the USSR knew in advance what would happen to them in 1990 (as in the text), they would behave quite differently, and many personal tragedies could be avoided.
Some of this information could be useful for yourself in order to avoid worse-case scenarios in times of a collapse. You can escape to a safer place or survive where you are. You can, of course, try predict the collapse yourself and do your own analysis instead of relying on mine.
But after experiencing one collapse of the empire(Talking about the other one, of course), I would not recommend doing nothing or hoping for the best.