How many times in history has a regime facing internal difficulties sought military adventures to “unite people behind the flag”? This time, it’s America’s turn.
The first 6 months of the Trump presidency have been characterised by an increase in ethnic tensions as US demographic shifts towards “white minority” with a significant ”Hispanic” population. The demographic change has been hailed by the Democratic Party and corporate America which promptly adopted ”identity politics” as a core ideology, exalting the individual if he (or she) belongs to an ethnic, religious or sexual minority: in practice, however, this translates into depicting “Blacks” and “Hispanics” as “oppressed”, “whites” as “oppressors” and “Asians” as “too good”, which is why discrimination against them in academic admissions is justified.1) Inevitably the vilification of the whites paved the way for “pride” demonstrations and the return of “white nationalism” as evidenced by the recent Charlottesville clashes.
Trump’s reaction was to dump Steve Bannon and the “populist” platform (that won him the presidency) and embrace the military complex (that nobody voted for) represented by John Kelly, H.R. McMaster and John Mattis. The outcome is a noticeable schizophrenic foreign policy with threats against Venezuela,2), North Korea3) increased military operations in Afghanistan4) and finally the military occupation of Ukraine to rattle Russia.5)
The American military leadership is hitting left and right trying to secure the alignment of as many subordinate countries as possible, anticipating a confrontation with the awoken giant that the US can’t take on: China.
The Chinese economic and technological growth has so far proved to be unstoppable, with the Western elite now fearing to lose the position of supremacy acquired at the end of the Cold War.
Western leaders are particularly afraid of possibilities of Chinese demographics, 1.3 billion, dwarfing the 800 million of the US and the EU combined. The “competition against China” is a staple of economic debates and an obsession of Western economists and business leaders. As such, they have dumped the Western focus on the quality of the individual and embarked on a phallic measuring contest about the size of the population, trying to increase the numbers of Western populations by opening borders to mass immigration. Cultural and ethnic clashes resulting by this social and economic experiment are shunned by the Western elite, who convinced itself that multiculturalism is “the future” and that they could silence criticism from their own citizens by dubbing it as “racist”. As such, even the fact that deadly Islamic terrorist attacks are now a regular occurrence in Western Europe is irrelevant. As long as Western elites can live in their gentrified, ethnically homogeneous neighbourhoods, they can ignore what happens in the multicultural ghettos and look down on the unhappy Western masses. Evidence of the snob attitude of the elite can be easily found in recent events: on the day of the attacks in Barcelona by Islamic terrorists, the EU Parliament had the effrontery to tweet a video about the “untapped” benefits of migration6). A few days later, Pope Francis told his followers that “migrants’ dignity should be prioritized over national security“7).
On the other side, the size of the Chinese population is not its only strength: China is founded on a concept of order, where ethnic minorities are a necessary and protected element, but so is the 90% majority of ethnic Han. A disruption of the ethnic balance would result in a disruption of the “order” and as such it must be prevented.8) In the meanwhile the Chinese public derides the “baizuo”, the out of touch liberal elite that is destroying their own countries with mass migration and multiculturalism.9)
Back to the West: mass migration is just one of the many challenges that the Western masses are facing from globalization. During the past 25 years, the size of wealth owned by the Western lower and middle class has shrunk, while the big winners were the Asian middle class and the elites.
Trump’s military cabinet is rather oblivious to economic issues, but they certainly understand the magnitude of the growth of China and see it as a threat to American global supremacy. They also understand that a military confrontation would result in mutually assured destruction and possibly the end of human civilization. What they haven’t understood is that they have already lost.
China has all the cards in its favour: it already enjoys the quantitative supremacy in terms of population size, but also the orderly ethnic balance and social cohesion. The Chinese government does not bow down to Islamic extremists in Xinjiang. The wealth and the size of the Chinese middle class is increasing, making sure there are economic possibilities for Chinese people to raise their social status and ensuring the population happiness.
The West has bad cards: a smaller population size, intentionally disrupted ethnic order and rising tensions. It can’t stop Islamic terrorism nor does it want to cut off economic ties with its sponsors from the Gulf. The Western lower classes are being crashed by globalization. Social mobility is crippled as bailouts to the financial sector ensure a safety net so that the rich cannot fail, no matter what they does.
Demographically, socially, economically and ethnically China is a step ahead of the West. The technological gap is closing. The ideological primacy of the West is now questionable. What’s left for the US is the US Dollar status as the international currency and that US military spending is three times that of China, ensuring that at least when it comes to the military prowess, the US is still at the top of the world. And that’s where the circle closes: the military takes over the Trump administration.
The score is 4 to 2 for China and we are just at the beginning of the century. The ball now goes to Trump.