The point of the war, you recall, is “to weaken Russia” (so said DoD Sec’y Lloyd Austin), even to bust it up into little geographic tatters to our country’s advantage — that is, to retain America’s dominance in global affairs, and especially the supremacy of the US dollar in global trade settlements.
The result of the war so far has been the opposite of that objective. US sanctions made Russia stronger by shifting its oil exports to more reliable Asian customers. Kicking Russia out of the SWIFT global payments system prompted the BRIC countries to build their own alternative trade settlement system. Cutting off Russia from trade with Western Civ has stimulated the process of import replacement (i.e., Russia making more of the stuff it used to buy from Europe). Confiscating Russia’s off-shore dollar assets has alerted the rest of the world to dump their dollar assets (especially US Treasury bonds) before they, too, get mugged. Nice going, Victoria Nuland, Tony Blinken, and the rest of the gang at the Foggy Bottom genius factory.
All of which raises the question: who is liable to bust up into tatters first, the USA or Russia? I commend to you Dmitry Orlov’s seminal work, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, Revised & Updated. For anyone out there not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own.
The Soviet / Marxist business model was eventually reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived. Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting family gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize.
Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies. These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested.
There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity showering the plunder on a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g., the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.
As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes.
As for the “which will fall first” question, with America now entirely in the inept hands of its own homegrown Marxists and their pretend “opposition,” well, the answer ought to be obvious. Russia already went through that cataclysmic teachable moment once; soon, it will be our turn.
And yes, Kunstler’s reversion to his by now Standard-Form surfeit of unfounded optimism concerning “investigations” and such tripe in the final ‘graph remains in full rose-tinted effect. Y’know, just in case any of you were wondering about that.