In a post-Covid-19 world, a new millennium has dawned: The Asian Millennium. With the collapse of western (US) hegemony and a new Cold War looming in the near future, it’s inevitable that “business as usual” is a distant memory. The world as we once knew it has forever changed, ushering in a power vacuum for a New World Order (NWO). In Cold War 2.0, examine all the factors contributing to the deterioration of the economy in the West, politically, socially, economically, environmentally, and technologically, and learn why we should look to the East for our future.
Today I am going to writing to you about a passage from the book, Cold War 2.0: Dawn of the Asian Millennium. Authored by Andranik Aghazarian.
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
“In his essay, ‘Perpetual Peace,’ the philosopher, Immanuel Kant, argued that perpetual peace would eventually come to the world in one of two ways, by human insight or by conflicts and catastrophes of a magnitude that left humanity no other choice. We are at such a juncture.”
Henry Kissinger, American politician, and diplomat.
With each passing day, the world around us is becoming more chaotic, making it harder to find and understand global events. To the casual observer, the news is more confusing than ever and is being shunned at rates never before seen. Fake news and media narratives have taken an emotional toll upon countless individuals. The COVID-19 crisis is one of many unusual events in a string of events plaguing us in the early 21st century.
2020 has changed numerous people’s lives, and as of the writing of this book, it is just halfway through. No matter who you are or where you live, it seems we have more questions than answers. The seemingly unrelated unfolding events around us are connected, and their outcomes have profound effects on everyone alive today. We left the world we knew behind in ushering this new year. While the hopes of many are for a return to normal, I firmly believe that it is impossible. Instead, we are creating a new normal—a normal that is unrecognizable and unwanted.
In this book, I seek to explain the background of the issues we are facing today, while showing their relationships and projecting their outcomes. How did we get here? What is happening? Where are we going?
While you may not agree with all my analyses, it is essential to be informed so we can make better decisions. I have always been a macro analyst type of person, and this ability has served me well throughout life. The times when we can still ignore global events, thinking they have no relationship to our daily lives, are finished.
Since the primary audience of this book is a Western audience, it is from a Western perspective and has a Western focus. However, I plan to follow this up with a second book from a distinct Eastern perspective. Whether we wish to admit it or not, the Western world is still the dominant force in shaping global affairs and their issues are, thus, global. Thanks to globalization and technology, we are living in a world that is tightly integrated and reliant upon one another. However, we often see these relationships strained and, in some cases, broken down completely. There are no more regional issues; there are only global issues requiring global solutions.
This story begins with the role of oil and its relationship to the world’s reserve currency, the petrodollar. Global economies have been lubricated by oil and petrodollars for decades, but we see this finally break down. Since the Great Recession of 2008, Western economies have artificially inflated their economies to delay the inevitable economic crash. While these measures were able to prolong the effects, they only made the outcome much worse.
Last time, China was able to come to the aid. But this time, China is focused on saving itself and its regional projects. The media would have you believe that since the U.S. stock market was in the longest bull rally on record, the economy would be better than ever. However, the developed world has been slowly decaying, which are led by the most significant factors: U.S. unemployment is at historic levels, and income inequality has never been worse, much to the chagrin of those entering the workforce.
Over the past decade, the U.S. auto market failed to regain its former economic state before the Great Recession of 2008. Retail store closings increased over the last 4 years to such historical levels that it was dubbed as the “retail-apocalypse.” The big-box stores which used to drive traffic to malls have closed for good, leaving the small mom and pop businesses out to the wind. Brick and mortar stores are also going extinct as the trends shift to online shopping more and more.
Similarly, the service sector is being crushed by regulations. The housing market has become overinflated as easy access to credit saturated the market. These days, owning a home or renting one is becoming a luxury. The airline industry, which was barely profitable at the best of times, is facing lackluster demand, travel restrictions, and calls for social distancing, making it economically un-viable. These effects are not only felt in the U.S. but across the economies of the globe. These are unfairly being attributed to the black swan event of COVID-19. However, these effects have to build up for years and are part of the natural cycle—something that governments should have been dealt with during the last crash, instead of making the situation more fragile.
Global financial markets have become disassociated from the health of the economy and even more so from the general populations’ economic well-being. Government bailouts and stimulus packages have managed to delay the coming wave of delinquencies and bankruptcies, but not in avoiding them. Since the Great Recession of 2008, companies that were too big to fail and had no business in the market were propped up, leading to the continued zombification of the economy we see today.
In what is a sure sign of madness, bankrupt companies are being allowed to sell shares of stocks to investors. Free market capitalism died a long time ago despite what the media and pundits would have you believe. An over-bloated government and the Federal Reserve (FED) balance sheet has created a financial system that is over-saturated with bad debt and falsely labeled credit scores. As the dollar runs the risk of either a massive deflationary or inflationary event, central banks and governments have become wise to stacking gold. Over the past decade, gold buying has risen to historical levels as confidence in fiat currencies fade away.
One by one, nation by nation, we see collapses occur as results of failed policies and greed. What will come next will be the single most significant wealth transfer in human history. Throughout the ages, we have witnessed the same course of events take place, and the hegemony of the U.S. will be no different.
As governments become desperate to try to explain their incompetence, nations are being driven closer to conflicts. Contrary to popular belief, the Cold War never really ended. The actors only shifted, with China and its allies taking the place of the Soviet-allied bloc. This time, it will become clear that in this battle, the West will lose.
For years, the U.S. has been in an asymmetric war against all those who oppose its global influence, which has taken the form of economic sanctions as acts of war, and been used for decades as a precursor to traditional warfare. Also, cyber-warfare is being used to influence global populations’ hearts and minds while seeking military advantage. Trade wars, sanctions, and cyber-warfare are all just steps along the road to traditional warfare. In the modern age, it is important not to think of warfare being conducted on the terms of the last war, but in the ways of the future. Where do we stand today? We are firmly in the midst of Cold War 2.0, the newly improved and modernized version of warfare.
While often overlooked or marginalized, it is essential to consider that as we seek new ways to kill ourselves, our planet is too. Climate change has led to conditions that contribute to water and food scarcity in areas of the world experiencing the highest population growth. These tragedies have led to radicalization and conflicts as access to resources come under threat. Water resources and viable agricultural land are becoming national and geopolitical interests. As climate change has and is expected to continue to wreak havoc on developing countries, the developed countries have been scooping up the best agricultural lands and water sources for pennies on the dollar.
With no hope for the future and facing conflicts at home, these actions have caused the most significant mass migration the world has ever experienced. As the developing world pours into the developed one, shifting demographics have caused xenophobic tensions. The issues faced by the global community require comprehensive solutions and cooperation that are unlikely to occur on the global stage due to competing interests and institutional structures.
Instead of going after the source of the numerous crises globally, nations are taking the easy route towards hostilities and protectionism. We are indeed facing the culmination of such a wide range of factors at home and abroad that it is impossible, given our current democratic political systems, and ineffective United Nations (UN), to truly address any of them in a meaningful way. Across the globe, people are angry, with symptoms arising from the crises described in this book. Social unrest is sweeping across the world and the economic and financial crises are finally beginning to be felt by the general population, but this is just the beginning. The worst is yet to come.
As a cheap and unscrupulous way to distract people away from the real causes, governments are using the media to portray themselves as innocent victims to foreign actors. Across the U.S., the streets are swarming with fury from the people, increasing the threat of a possible civil war. The developed world has come to the end of its cycle and it is time for Asia to regain its rightful place in the world’s leadership, just as history dictated.
As Western nations become fractured and seek failed socialist and protectionist measures, China has been laying the foundation of a new world order. A new community is forming from Europe to Asia and from Africa to Oceania. Nations usually allied with the U.S. are slowly siding with the economic forces emerging in Asia. U.S. hegemony has been in retreat across the globe and will only accelerate as domestic issues continue to rise. All this will lead to Asia rightfully taking its place as the central hub for global economic activities and developments. Spearheaded by China, through the Belt and Road Initiative and other policies, Asian policymakers have shown farsighted planning absent from their Western counterparts.
For the first time, the global economy is being rebuilt from the ground up in a genuinely democratizing way and giving voice to those formerly oppressed by Western domination. Technology has allowed for more connectivity, the flow of ideas, and trade. In the past, globalization was designed for the developing world to create goods for the developed world; but in the future, the roles will reverse. When the U.S. again retreats to its island fortress, we will begin not just the “Asian Century” but the “Asian Millennium.”
The mighty economic powers of the Western world were built upon a strong manufacturing base in the past. But this has already eroded away and been replaced by the fragility of financial markets. These corrupted markets have allowed a select few to extract the wealth of the world through a new form of colonization called globalization. Not unlike in the past, debt has become the new chains of bondage as class divisions arise between the haves and the have-nots. The corrosion of wealth and opportunity begins on the individual level and goes all the way up to the state level for some. How did it come to this? It all began with oil.
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