annatar1914 wrote:You had asked me about my insistence on predicting the coming series of wars, and I'm reminded by your reply of Norman Angell, who wrote a book right before WWI saying it was impossible because evryone's economies were so interconnected that war would be a disaster....
I'm not making Angell's point though. I'm not saying war is impossible, because we are too interconnected. Generally, war would have to serve a purpose. In the case of WWI, Germany did not start the war. It did have an interest in drang nach Osten. The Triple Entente had the major empires. Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy's Triple Alliance was defensive in nature. The British had the wealthiest and largest overseas empire, with France behind them. Russia, by far, had the biggest contiguous empire. Yet, Russia was still pushing for southern ports and were interested in the Serbian/Yugoslav nationalist project to that end, and possibly blunting drang nach Osten. It was ultimately Serbia backed by Russia that led to the destabilization effort in Bosnia. Economically speaking, it was Germany and drang nach Osten that the Russian, British and French Empires feared, and that's why Germany was wrongly blamed for WWI.
annatar1914 wrote:Because of the crisis of overproduction in capitalism among other things, war is needed to devastate old markets and re-create ''new'' ones, and to seize the resources around the world of course. A little thinning out of the herd is good in the eyes of the Elites too.
Ok. I think we agree on the economic front, and the motivation. That's actually more similar to WWII than WWI. Either way, Germany responded with the Schlieffen plan, which failed in WWI, but was successful with new tactics in WWII--until Operation Barbarosa collapsed.
Europe is in a bad way, but the only over-producer in Europe is Germany. The world's largest over-producer is China. The United States is its largest market, followed by Europe. Whereas, in WWI or WWII, the European theater was characterized by Germany's Schlieffen plan, Asia was a completely different theater. China is far away from its largest markets. China can no more attack the US than the US can attack China. Sure we could have naval battles. In both WWI and WWII, the big battles were between neighboring powers.
So in an upcoming war, you'd naturally look for that to be the case too. China's best "moral" case for war is to subsume Hong Kong and invade Taiwan under the "One China" pretext. Taiwain is getting a new batch of F-16s, which is upsetting China. China is also making extensive claims in the South China Sea. So I think that's probably the most likely venue for war.
annatar1914 wrote:China is the rising power, it's that simple.
I agree, but I think there is a significant difference between the rise of Germany and the rise of China. Germany was historically weak due to its disunity until the late 19th Century. Yet, with the industrial revolution in full swing, Germany had some significant advantages much like America's Midwest--navigable water ways and ocean-going ports among the most obvious. However, Germany was a leading power, especially in chemistry. By contrast, Britain and France were milking older technologies like steam engines. Today, China is manufacturing goods for the United States and the EU, but little of the IP is developed by the Chinese. They have been given their status via trade policy. This is not unlike the rise of post-war Japan until the late 1980s.
annatar1914 wrote:The war will be fought by proxy, at first.
I think any land conflict in Asia would limit America's influence to proxy status. We're definitely not interested in a land war in Asia.
It's very possible that China's rise halts, much as Japan's did around 1989. The Nikkei closed at ~20k today. On December 29, 1989 it was at ~38k. Have a look:
For war to break out, China would be the one to start the war. Maybe their actions in Hong Kong and in the South China Sea are the start of it. However, I'd be more inclined to see it like the halt of Japan's rise in the late 1980s.
It's simply no longer in the US interest to allow China unfettered access to the US market while China blocks US goods. It's simply no longer tenable--especially given a two-year phony propaganda campaign that Russia backed Trump and that such action is "treason"--that China is attempting to interfere in the US 2020 presidential election by targeting tariffs primarily for political effect. No person who took Russiagate the remotest bit seriously can now stand by and say they are a-okay with China trying to influence US presidential politics. So I think Trump's utility is forcing the establishment to face up to the fact that European powers will not act as allies to the United States--coming late to the party as it were, which is how they felt about the US in WWI and WWII. Meanwhile, we can no longer afford a Wall Street class that sees its private wealth accumulation as somehow separate from the United States and the interests of the United States. So some people with excessive production exposure in China are going to feel some pain.
"Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately."
-- Joe Biden