By Jim Miles
(Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return, Jim Miles. Kindle Edition. 2020)
The United States has throughout its existence demonstrated all the features of ‘empire’, from the original settlers using the Papal Doctrine of Discovery (1542) through to the current propaganda of the global war and terror, now changing to defense doctrines against Russia and China. My new work, “Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” presents the broad outlines of what this represents to the international scene from inception through to today’s ongoing empirical adventures.
The two main constants have been economic influence and military influence. The two are highly integrated and always have been even from before Independence, through the conquest of much of North America, where sometimes the soldiers led the way, and sometimes the settlers led the way, but neither being far apart from the other. Today the economy of the US empire is highly dependent on the military mindset of the US supporting its economic adventures overseas, the bottom line being support for the global reserve currency, the fiat ‘petrodollar.’
Three other ideas enter into this picture. An additional military factor is the threat of nuclear war, an event only a hair trigger action away from ultimately ending all of our problems. The current increase in propaganda rhetoric against Russia and China makes a nuclear scenario unfortunately all too realistic. Added to this, climate change is affecting our chances at long term safety and overall survival, much of it caused by our consumer oriented economy based on fossil fuels – control of the latter being of paramount importance for the US dollar and thus the US military. Add to all that the current Covid-19 pandemic, and the empire appears to be slowly losing its grip on its desired hegemony, but not without threatening much of the rest of the world.
“Days of the Future Passed – Point of No Return” argues that we have passed some tipping points for which there will be no return to normal, within economics, the environment, and the military industrial complex. Ideas for solutions are easy, their implementation is not as the inertia of empire is not easily restrained or controlled.
2020 – Tipping Points
It may not be evident yet, but in another ten or twenty years, the year 2020 may also be looked on as a pivotal year in global interactions – geopolitical, environmental, and financial – all of which are highly interrelated.
Imagine the lowly teeter-totter, a playground piece not as common as it used to be. The teeter-totter is aptly named as many a child, and many an adult has stood above the bar that makes the plank teeter and totter, trying to maintain balance but also testing how far they can go before touching down on one side or the other. Now imagine that teeter-totter is poised on the edge of a cliff, where one side can touch down and avoid the unknown drop, and the other side obviously is the drop from which there is no recovery to equilibrium.
It is a simple metaphor, but it illustrates for several sectors of our lives, we have allowed ourselves to drop into the unknown.
The unknown is simply the future. This future is to be determined by a declining global economy becoming saturated with massive US money printing to prop up the banksters and corporate CEOs. It will be determined by the disregard domestically and in foreign affairs for the supposed ‘rule of law’ but more importantly international law and true justice for all people. The changes to our environment are at the moment relatively slow but are becoming irreversible under current trends. Finally, the massive military investments on a global scale for both nuclear and conventional weaponry threatens everyone with a very delicate balance of power.
….Under the Trump presidency, combined with the economic impact of the virus and actions to contain it (for better or worse, not a point of discussion here), the US has assuredly reached a point where its huge national debt can never be repaid. Combine this with the main source of income and wealth in the US no longer being production, but financialized services simply creating money at the stroke of a keyboard and the economy is surviving precariously on the whim of people servicing the US$.
Put simply, the US survives on the Federal Reserve Bank (a consortium of private banks) pumping money into the economy. With much of the economy based on debt, and interest rates kept necessarily low in order to service the debt, the strength of the US$ as a global reserve currency – the petrodollar – is jeopardized.
….This year there have been several accounts of how the climate/environment is showing signs of tipping into conditions where there can be no reversals to ‘normal’ without serious changes to our atmospheric inputs: Greenland’s ice sheet melts more than it accumulates in snowfall each year by a significant amount; the Amazon has reached the status where it can no longer regenerate itself after a series of droughts; the forest fires in Siberia, Australia, and California demonstrate the overall pattern of global warming; each succeeding month has set record new global highs.
….The main feature here is that the combination of China and Russia have created a multi-polar world whether the US is willing to admit it or not. Russian resources, defensive military achievements, and a renewed domestic scene under the direction of the much-vilified Vladimir Putin have combined with China’s increasing defensive measures in the Western Pacific, its Belt and Road initiative throughout Asia and extending elsewhere, and the economic power that China has achieved as the largest economy in the world (on purchasing power and domestic market basis).
Above all, both China and Russia have stated they no longer support the hegemony of the US$ as the global reserve currency. They cannot replace it themselves, but they can operate outside of it, and they can support alternate global systems such as a ‘basket’ of reserve currencies, and their own digital exchange systems. That is what truly scares the US as it sees its own debt problems trap it into hyperinflation while other countries start to shift away from supporting the US$. That could mean war, hybrid for sure, but it could also go kinetic.
– Jim Miles is a Canadian educator and analyst who examines the world through a syncretic lens. His analysis of international and domestic geopolitical ideas and actions incorporates a lifetime of interest in current events, a desire to preserve and conserve our natural environment and stop the commodification of the environment. He has been active as a critical writer in opposition to the US empire and its militarization of most aspects of domestic and international affairs. Miles’ work has been published globally and has appeared on a variety of websites including Palestine Chronicle, Axis of Logic, Countercurrents, and Global Research. He has appeared on RT News and The Tyee concerning events in Palestine/Israel. This is his first book and effectively summarizes many years, indeed a lifetime, of interest in international geopolitical and environmental affairs. He contributed this article to the Palestine Chronicle.