Unfortunately there's evil grinch, the Empire of Chaos to contend with
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Asia Times Online
Paraphrasing Bob Dylan in 'When I Paint My Masterpiece', I left Rome and landed in Beijing. Today's Marco Polos travel Air China; in 10 years, they will be zooming up in reverse, taking high-speed rail from Shanghai to Berlin.
From a room in imperial Rome to a room in a peaceful hutong - a lateral reminiscence of imperial China. In Rome, the barbarians swarm inside the gates, softly pillaging the crumbs of such a rich heritage, and that includes the local Mafia.
In Beijing, the barbarians are kept under strict surveillance; of course there's a Panopticon element to it, essential to assure internal social peace.
The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) - ever since the earth-shattering reforms by the Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping - is perfectly conscious that its Mandate of Heaven is directly conditioned by the perfect fine-tuning of nationalism and what we could term "neoliberalism with Chinese characteristics".
In a different vein of the "soft beds of the East" seducing Marcus Aurelius, the silky splendors of chic Beijing offer a glimpse of an extremely self-assured emerging power. After all, Europe is nothing but a catalogue of multiple sclerosis and Japan is under its sixth recession in 20 years.
To top it off, in 2014 President Xi Jinping has deployed unprecedented diplomatic/geostrategic frenzy - ultimately tied to the long-term project of slowly but surely keeping on erasing US supremacy in Asia and rearranging the global chessboard.
What Xi said in Shanghai in May encapsulates the project; "It's time for Asians to manage the affairs of Asia." At the APEC meeting in November, he doubled down, promoting an "Asia-Pacific dream".
Meanwhile, frenzy is the norm. Apart from the two monster, US$725 billion gas deals - Power of Siberia and Altai pipeline - and a recent New Silk Road-related offensive in Eastern Europe, virtually no one in the West remembers that in September Chinese Prime Minister Li Keiqiang signed no fewer than 38 trade deals with the Russians, including a swap deal and a fiscal deal, which imply total economic interplay.
A case can be made that the geopolitical shift towards Russia-China integration is arguably the greatest strategic maneuver of the last 100 years.
Xi's ultimate master plan is unambiguous: a Russia-China-Germany trade/commerce alliance. German business/industry wants it badly, although German politicians still haven't got the message. Xi - and Putin - are building a new economic reality on the Eurasian ground, crammed with crucial political, economic and strategic ramifications.
Of course, this will be an extremely rocky road. It has not leaked to Western corporate media yet, but independent-minded academics in Europe (yes, they do exist, almost like a secret society) are increasingly alarmed there is no alternative model to the chaotic, entropic hardcore neoliberalism/casino capitalism racket promoted by the Masters of the Universe.
Even if Eurasian integration prevails in the long run, and Wall Street becomes a sort of local stock exchange, the Chinese and the emerging multipolar world still seem to be locked into the existing neoliberal model.
And yet, as much as Lao Tzu, already an octogenarian, gave the young Confucius an intellectual slap on the face, the "West" could do with a wake-up call. Divide et impera? It's not working. And it's bound to fail miserably.
As it stands, what we do know is that 2015 will be a hair-raising year in myriad aspects.
Because from Europe to Asia, from the ruins of the Roman empire to the re-emerging Middle Kingdom, we all still remain under the sign of a fearful, dangerous, rampantly irrational Empire of Chaos.