With one camp bent on forceful dominance and militarism, the other on cooperation, non-interference and trade
This article originally appeared at Doug Casey's International Man
In 1991, the Cold War between the US and the USSR ended, as, economically, the USSR had run its course.
Since that time, the US has had the ability to back off on armaments and to strengthen itself economically, to become even more powerful as the world’s present empire.
But, of course, that’s not what they did.
Instead, they went headlong in the direction of becoming a more highly armed, more fascist state.
Along the way, they became extremely reckless with their economy, following a Keynesian model that contributed to the greatest debt bubble the world has ever seen.
During this period, they had numerous knowledgeable advisors who recommended a Westphalian system of cooperation between nations.
But the leaders of the empire chose instead to pursue greater, more forceful dominance of the world.
Over recent decades, US leaders have become increasingly self-possessed with their assumed level of power.
So much so that, as long as they can sell the idea to the American people that the larger world is a threat to the US, they can advance as they please against other nations.
Nowhere in their thinking were they more incorrect than in their assumption that they could arrange for a takeover in Ukraine, a country long regarded as a key objective by the West in lessening Russian power.
But in the decades since 1991, Russia has rebuilt itself and has become powerful once again.
In addition, its present leader has shown himself to be able to consistently outwit US leaders. This was either not anticipated or was regarded as unimportant.
Not only have American attempts at diminishing Russian influence resulted in Russia deftly countering every US move, they have resulted in Russia’s leader gaining great popular support, just as the US president loses his.
Further, it has driven the Russians toward the other BRICS, convincing them to become closer with regard to treaties, trade, and economic development.
Along the way, the less powerful countries in the world, seeing the rise of the BRICS and realising that they might need to choose between the two, are choosing the BRICS.
The Russians and Chinese have been busy in recent years, signing treaties and agreements first with Second- and Third-World countries and now with Western allies in Southeast Asia and Europe.
At this point, the US, if it had any sense at all, would back off dramatically, but this will not happen.
Even such a stalwart US advisor as Henry Kissinger recently told Germany’s Der Spiegel that, regarding the handling of the Ukraine effort,
“If the West is honest with itself, it has to admit that there were mistakes on its side.” He further stated,
“There clearly is this danger, and we must not ignore it.”
He warned that not to do so may result in “a historic tragedy.”
Coming from Mister Kissinger, these comments, as understated as they are, speak volumes as to the folly of the present US leadership.
Only a decade or two ago, the US had visions of creating a world in which it was the undisputed leader, with the other powers acting as lesser players, beholden to the US.
But, incredibly, the US has trashed its own economy, driven productivity away (via the world’s highest corporate taxation), and created a level of debt that is far too large to ever repay. To add to this, they have invaded country after country.
What on Earth made them think that the BRICS would take this lying down?
By comparison to the US, the BRICS, in recent years, have done a sterling job of becoming increasingly productive, establishing treaties and trade agreements, and working toward a common understanding that the US and the EU are a danger to them.
- China will take over as the world’s most productive country.
- China Merchants Bank now issues the world’s #2 credit card.
- In response to US/EU sanctions, Russia and China have recently inked the largest energy-provision agreement the world has ever seen, posing a major threat to the continued position of the petrodollar.
- By mid-2015, the Angola-Brazil fibre-optic cable will enter service, providing cheaper (by 80%) communications for the BRICS, independent of the US.
- Increasingly, the world is entering into agreements to trade in the yuan and the ruble. Some EU countries now issue bonds in yuan.
In recent years, I’ve forecasted that an even more significant step would be taken by the BRICS—that they would create their own SWIFT system.
At first, this may have appeared unlikely, based on their continued statements that their objective was to gain a more equitable seat at the IMF table.
Additionally, many people have not felt that such a move would be all that significant, as SWIFT is little more than a means by which to transfer payments.
However, I regard the possibility of a second SWIFT system as a major, major development, as, without it, the BRICS are still tied to the US/EU banking system and must therefore accept their edicts.
My belief has been that the BRICS would wait until most of their ducks were in a row before making this announcement.
Russia has now made it. It’s set to be operative within the first half of 2015.
I’ve often stated that, with each year, both the magnitude and the frequency of events will increase. That theory seems to be holding true.
Only a year or so ago, the question of whether the BRICS might even form their own IMF might have seemed quite fanciful. Today, we should be looking more closely at this possibility.
With this final step, the world could literally function as two separate worlds.
Communication, trade, and inter-governmental economic dealings will undoubtedly continue, but at this historic point, the BRICS will have the ability to operate entirely independently and can no longer be held to ransom through the threats of sanctions from the West.
The world is now changing rapidly, and our future plans should be based not on what exists at present, but on what is likely to exist in the future.
Editor’s Note: There’s little any individual can practically do to change the trajectory of this trend in motion. The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation. That’s what International Man is all about—making the most of your personal freedom and financial opportunity around the world. The free IM Communiqué is a great place to start.