Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Perpetual war is capitalism's hope for surviving the 21st century

By       (Page 1 of 3 pages)   No comments
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Rainer Shea
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)

The ideology behind capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism is based around the idea that competition, rather than cooperation, is the natural state of humanity. That the species is destined to eternally be at odds with itself, both on an individual and civilizational level. This was the claim put forth by a faction of academic thinkers, along with their adjacent pundits and political leaders, during the last years of the second millennium: that human beings are incompatible with peace, and that our political decisions should stem from this assumption. This view was called the "clash of civilizations."

An endless clash

These thinkers came out with this view following the end of the Cold War, and the inception of the final spike for U.S. hegemony that some of their peers considered the final victory for capitalism. The "end of history" is what this perception was called. If these two ideas were to be accepted -as much of the liberal ruling class had done and still does-they form a vision for a future where capitalism will rule forever, despite the numerous threats to capitalism which have emerged since the USSR's collapse. This is because the "end of history" view claimed not that there would never again be any variables in history's development, but that capitalism's demise had been eliminated as one of those variables.

If the "clash of civilizations" implies an endless rivalry between the different cultural or geopolitical blocs, then the "end of history" accommodates this expectation by implying the imperialist powers will never go extinct within the eternal competition. The pro-U.S. bloc could undergo losses, as it has throughout the last half-century, but it will never cease to exist. It's apparent that the pro-U.S. bloc and its intelligentsia accept these two ideas because despite Pentagon analysts themselves acknowledging the unprecedented decline U.S. influence has undergone in the last twenty years, it's still seen as a given that the empire will go on. The Pentagon is still laying plans for wars that it implies as happening many decades from now.

If the "clash of civilizations" and the "end of history" are the dual beliefs which inform how the empire has operated for the last generation or so, the state of perpetual war which the empire has been in since 9/11 is seen as only natural. So does the prospect of the wars continuing into the end of the century, if not far longer. From the perspective of wanting to preserve the U.S. sphere of influence, unending war is part of the unavoidable order of things.

During the stage of crisis that capitalism has been in since the perpetual war era started, constant conflict is the only way to keep the system intact. It's instrumental not just for preventing a multipolar world and another wave of Global South revolutions, but for maintaining profits. As profits have declined since World War II, and especially since the 70s economic crash, the ruling class has only been able to maintain its capital by siphoning wealth upward through neoliberal policies. These policies have been reinforced by militarism-which diverts resources away from social services-while facilitating ways to make war increasingly profitable.

Ever more, the imperialist powers lean onto the war economy, and during the new cold war they've heavily incorporated Big Tech into this. As Silicon Valley expands its power by assisting the Pentagon, it sets itself up to assume the central role behind capitalism's preservation during the 21st century. Should the forces of labor not triumph over capital within any major imperialist countries, after the current long depression there may arise new growth and investment, where the capital that survives finds new ways to exploit the world. The high-tech sector's innovations make it prime to become this new era's great monopoly. Only the perpetuation of war, both for the sake of stopping revolution and for the sake of solidifying Big Tech's capital, can carry the sector through to this outcome.

When the U.S. boycotted this year's Winter Olympics by refusing to send its diplomats to the event, it further solidified this project. The protest, made against the games being held in Beijing over supposed "human rights" concerns, has divided the world by showcasing which countries are most loyal to Washington's struggle against the multipolar order. So far the U.K., Canada, and Australia have joined in the diplomatic boycott, which is unsurprising given that the "Five Eyes" imperialist intelligence alliance consists of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S.

While New Zealand is the outlier, it's militarily maneuvering against China in lockstep with the others. This month New Zealand's Defense Ministry put out a report declaring that "strategic competition" and global warming "pose a threat to New Zealand's sovereignty and other key national security interests." It said this calls for a "predominantly reactive risk management-centred approach" so that the country can shift to a more "deliberate and proactive strategy."

In this way, Washington's manipulations of the politics of the Olympics have had their full desired results. The imperialist powers are united in the mission of militarily building up against China, Russia, Iran, and the smaller powers which defy U.S. hegemony. They'll go on with this mission for as long as China remains a socialist republic, for as long as Russia is willing to challenge Washington, and for as long as former neo-colonies like Iran haven't yet been recolonized. Since these criteria will in all likelihood never be met, the empire will never stop waging war.

This intent for permanent conflict is made clear from examining the goals behind what Washington is doing in its key warfare areas, which all pertain to the great-power competition that's emerged with China. Washington is involved in Afghanistan so that it can prevent the expansion of China's Belt and Road Initiative into the country. Which will require generations-long intervention projects.

Sowing chaos

The intervention tactics alternate depending on the moment, but the overall strategy remains the same: holding back the influence of Washington's rivals by rendering the given country or region hostile towards development, investment, and diplomatic cooperation with the countries challenging U.S. hegemony. In 2021, Washington's tactic for this in Afghanistan shifted from direct military occupation to the backing of proxy forces. It could change back if Washington's sanctions on Afghanistan succeed at destabilizing the country and deposing the Taliban government, but the empire's campaign towards sowing chaos will remain consistent whatever the outcome.

The campaign will continue to encompass not just Afghanistan itself, but the region as a whole. This is the crucial part of the strategy for holding back significant BRI investments in Afghanistan. Because even if the Taliban suppresses the terrorist groups Washington has been activating in the country since the troop pullout, China will still be deterred by the attacks on their workers elsewhere. In Pakistan, Chinese nationals are frequently killed by militants while trying to complete development projects, which Washington's own think tanks (like the Council on Foreign Relations) observe to be a decisive factor behind why the BRI will keep stalling within Afghanistan. Washington's bombings and drone warfare within Pakistan and other places are as essential to sowing terrorism as the covert backing of these militant groups. Without these provocations, which overwhelmingly kill civilians, the local populations couldn't be radicalized into becoming militants.

The same tactics of terrorist backing, economic sabotage, and "counterterrorism" warfare are being used to prevent China from rebuilding Syria, which Assad desperately needs after a decade of war. Due to Syria's economic crisis caused by Washington's proxy war, and to the ever-tightening imperialist sanctions against Syria, China is being held back from committing to investment in the country. For as long as the costs of investing within these places remains so severe, China won't be assured that it would see benefits in return. So is the case in Yemen, where Washington continues to back the Saudi offensive due to its viewing Yemen as a ground for proxy warfare with Iran-and as another front in the campaign against the BRI. Washington needs to bring and perpetuate instability within these countries in order to keep a multipolar world from fully emerging.

The imperialists are especially concerned with bringing this model for sabotaging the BRI to south Asian countries like Myanmar, where the military government has been implementing Chinese development projects. Washington is sowing terrorism in Myanmar, and in other countries throughout the region, with the hope of reversing their progress. Of making them as compromised as Afghanistan, Syria, or Yemen.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Rainer Shea Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

China is Saving the Uighurs From Jihadist Indoctrination

Do Americans Know How Close They Are To Dictatorship?

The coming U.S. regime change attempt in Bolivia

Counting down to civilization's collapse

As the American Empire Collapses, It Could Launch WW 3

The fall of the U.S. empire and the coming economic crash

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend