New Zealanders should be taking the threat of a nuclear Armageddon and initiatives for nuclear disarmament far more
seriously than is currently the case. A Biden presidency is no cause for complacency.
The RCEP has just been signed. https://www.mfat.govt.nz/en/trade/free-trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements-concluded-but-not-in-force/regional-comprehensive-economic-partnership-rcep/rcep-overview
However, as an indication of the dark undercurrents of coming conflict, in an ideological act of self-harm, both the
USA and Modi’s India chose to withdraw from the negotiations. Both would be welcomed back, but on ASEAN terms, not on
those of an ideological trade war with China to which both seem committed.
In an ideal world both China and the USA would settle down to negotiate a peaceful and mutually profitable modus
vivendi, from which the whole world would benefit. However, in this less than ideal world, such cooperation is most
unlikely to come about. The competition is not purely in terms of economic and military advantage but most importantly,
it is between political systems.
China is demonstrating the success of a governmental system that picks and chooses from the best of both capitalist and
Marxist thought. As a techno-authoritarian, one-party state with control safeguards that ensure it remains devoted to
the welfare of all its citizens, China offers a developmental and social model that represents a challenge to that of
the capitalist, elites-benefit society that the US wishes to impose on the rest of the world – and the less fortunate of
its own citizens.
The traditionally communalist Asian cultures allow the ready acceptance of the Chinese model of a harmonised system
based on consensus at home and on multilateralism and international law overseas. Its ability to plan forward on the
certainty of continuity of government policy, gives the system a clearly demonstrable economic and crisis management
advantage over fractious Western democracies based on cultures of individual rights rather than responsibilities. These
advantages are well demonstrated by comparison of two recent sets of figures:
Covid deaths per million of population China (the epicentre) 3: the USA 749.
2020 growth in GDP China +4: all other OECD countries, particularly those without the USA’s advantage of controlling the
world’s reserve currency, have seen a decline. The USA has managed to keep its decline to -3.
The USA’s solution to this newly emergent competition for global acceptance of alternative ways of social/political
organisation is to play on its strengths as a highly militarised society dominated by its profit oriented
Military-Industrial-Congressional triangle (MIC.) The MIC subsumes many other interests including such as those of
intelligence and security agencies throughout the western world, Israel, NATO, the Media, big oil and Wall Street. The
USA’s ‘defence’ budget, at $732 billion, is the equivalent of the total at USD726 billion, spent by the next ten highest
spending nations including Russia (USD64 billion) and China (USD266 billon.)
After a period of some doubt following a closely contested election, it now looks as though the Democrats will occupy
the White House for the next four years. However, as with the Trump regime, real power in the highly militarised USA
will continue to be held by the MIC.
Though the Republican constituency is fundamentally isolationist and anti-science, while the Democratic Party is devoted
to international intervention, global domination and is more open to scientific realities, both have been bought by the
MIC. When it comes to defence spending and providing conflicts to justify it, both parties can be relied on to
prioritise the MIC’s financial welfare over all other considerations.
Much is being written about President Biden’s suitability for office, his past political record and his likely
appointments to key roles within his cabinet. Basically, his record of voting for every war on offer and his seemingly
compromised mental abilities hardly matter. Should the fast-aging president not last a full term, it would seem that In
Kamala Harris, despite appearances, the presidency will be filed by an ideological clone. Whichever party’s president
occupies the Oval office, it will be the MIC, which pays the election expenses and offers lucrative future employment,
that will rule. https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/biden-trump-war-military/
There are two salient observations to be made about the recent election. The first is that it was an extremely close
contest. The country is roughly equally divided. On the red side, there are the well-armed, predominantly red-neck and
rural states that occupy the, Republican south and centre of the country. On the blue side, the Democratic states,
proffer clusters of cosmopolitan sophistication on the coastal peripheries.
The other key observation to be accounted for is the division within the new ruling Democratic Party. There is the ‘old
guard’ interventionist, militarist group that successfully suppressed the ‘progressive’ Bernie Sanders in favour of both
the Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden candidacies. This ‘old guard’ is the faction now coming to power. Opposed to them, is
the progressive faction within the party that believes in taking a more socialistic approach to human rights, citizen’s
welfare and education, while expressing concern about US expenditure and moral abuses overseas.
Should this progressive faction of the Democrats come to predominate, the USA could well be saved from the potential for
dictatorship and perhaps civil unrest that would seem to be the alternative. Given the neck-and-neck poll results, were
the runaway defence expenditure, overseas conflicts and capitalism on steroids that have marked previous Democratic and
Republican administrations to continue, the progressive faction, having been disappointed for a second time by the Party
‘old guard,’ could desert the Democrats and opt out of voting all together. In which case, the next presidential
election will fall to a fresh Trump attempt on the presidency, or far worse, a more competent replacement.
Republicans would take such a return to the White House as a mandate for increased authoritarianism and further
disregard for the well-being of other nations. At that point the world could be faced with the American equivalent of a
Hitler with H-Bombs.