The original Silk Road, established between the Han dynasty in China and the Roman Empire in Europe around 130 BC, had the Sogdians act as the go-betweens. Eventually the Sogdian empire collapsed, and the Sogdians were replaced by Khazarian Jews, who also eventually came to a sticky end around 965 AD at the hands of Sviatoslav, prince of Kievan Rus. Later, a technological breakthrough in ocean sailing ships obviated the need for a land-based trade route and caravans spanning the Eurasian continent came to an end.

But now the Silk Road is being resurrected as the New Silk Road, which will again connect China with Europe, with the European Union in place of the Roman Empire and with the Russian Federation in place of the Sogdians or the Khazars. It will no longer have much to do with silk, since there are now far more effective ways to deal with lice than silk underwear, a working-over with a strigil and a plunge in the caldarium. But, just as before, the purpose of the New Silk Road will be to control the infestation of a certain parasite—or, in this case, an entire country of parasites: the United States.

Some people say that the US is the world’s largest economy, but I beg to differ. Let’s do some simple math to come up with a reasonable GDP deflator for the US economy. An appendectomy (the most common operation performed) costs around $60,000 in the US. It costs around 8000 rubles, or $123 in Russia. The difference is a factor of 60,000/123 or around 500. Assuming that everything else in the US—not just medicine but also education, legal services, professional services, real estate, defense spending, election campaigns and all the other American swindles and rackets combined—is equally ridiculously overpriced, 2019 estimated US GDP is not $21 trillion but just $42 billion, many times smaller than Russia with $1,649 billion.

Some people say that the US is an important part of the world economy with many essential exports. Looking at the US-China trade China makes most of its profits from the export of computers, electrical equipment, footwear, furniture, clothing, plastics and metals, cars, optical and photographic equipment. Meanwhile, the most profitable US exports to China are: soybeans, wheat, animal feed, meat, cotton, metal ore, metal scrap, animal skins, pulp, cigarettes, gold, coal, fuel, rice, tobacco, fertilizer and glass. Vis-à-vis China, the US looks like a typical 19th-century European colonial possession. The US runs a permanent, and very large, trade deficit with China, and just as a colony would be forced to borrow the difference, so does the US. What allows it to be a parasite is that it does so in its own currency, which it can print at will, and to force other countries to invest in it at low rates of interest, all because it has been able to militarily dominate the ocean trade routes and to punish those who refuse to play this game, either financially (by destroying their currencies), politically (by overthrowing their governments and installing ones they don’t get to choose) or militarily (by blowing them up).

Meanwhile, somewhat analogously to the original Silk Road, gold has been flowing from the US to China. The US still claims to have the largest gold reserves on Earth—on paper—but those countries that have stored their gold in the US and have requested to have it returned have either been rebuffed or have been forced to wait, only to be returned gold that wasn’t theirs. It would therefore not come as a surprise to discover, when all other options are exhausted and the gold vaults have to be opened, that the gold they are supposed to hold is no longer there.

It is easy to stop at the geographical analogy between the original Silk Road and the new one: they both traverse the same geography. But why stop there, when there is an obvious deeper analogy lurking just under the surface: both of these Silk Roads were/are efforts to control a parasite. Why is the new Silk Road a “silk” road even though silk itself is a vanishingly small part of the trade? Because it just sounds nice? Or because silk controls parasites?

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