Peak Empire 2.0

Tyler Durden's picture

Originally posted at Club Orlov blog,

Based on the lessons of history, all empires collapse eventually; thus, the probability that the US empire will collapse can be set at 100% with a great deal of confidence. The question is, When? (Everyone keeps asking that annoying question.)

 

Of course, all you have to do is leave the US, go some place that isn't plugged into the US economy in non-optional ways, and you won’t have to worry about this question too much. Some people have made guesses but, as far as I can tell, no one has come up with viable methodology for calculating the date. In order to provide a remedy for this serious shortcoming in collapse theory, I once tried to outline a method for figuring it out in an article titled “Peak Empire,” which was based on Joseph Tainter’s theory of diminishing returns on complexity—or diminishing returns on empire. It’s a perfect problem for differential calculus, and all those microeconomics students who are busy calculating marginal cost vs. marginal revenue, so that they can look for work in the soon-to-be-defunct shale gas industry, might take it up, to put their math talents to better use. In the meantime, here is an update, and a revised estimate.
 

US Empire of Bases

Just to review, as the brilliant analyst Chalmers Johnson explained, the US is an “empire of bases,” not an empire of colonies. It is not considered politically correct to annex other countries anymore. Witness the reaction to Russia taking back Crimea, even though its population has a right to self-determination, and voted 98% in favor of the idea. But, had things turned out differently, putting a NATO base in Crimea would have been just fine. Still, there are quite a few US “territories” (read “colonies”) listed in the Pentagon Base Structure report, including American Samoa, Guam, Johnston Atoll, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and Wake Islands. We should probably include Hawaii, since in 1993 the US Congress “apologized” to Hawaii for kidnapping the Queen and illegally annexing the territory. They are not giving it back, mind you, but they don't mind saying we’re sorry, because they stole it fair and square. The same could be said for Texas, California—the whole bloody continent for that matter. But they don’t do that sort of thing any more—not too much. Sure, the US stole Kosovo from Serbia just to set up a huge NATO base there, but in general there has been a shift to controlling other countries through economic institutions—like the IMF, the WTO, and the World Bank. There has also been plenty of political subterfuge, assassinations and coups d’états, as explained by John Perkins in Confessions of an Economics Hit Man, or in Michael Hudson’s work. William Blum writes: “Since the end of the Second World War, the United States of America has…

1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of which were democratically elected.

 

2. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.

 

3. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.

 

4. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.

 

5. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.”

Only a few of these actions—such as Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, Nicaragua in the 1980’s, Ukraine 2014, etc.—are well known in the US. Now here is the key point: all of this “democracy-building” requires the US to have plenty of foreign military bases. Much of the military is outsourced, so there is no need for consent of the governed any more—just their tax money. Marching in the streets in protest is a complete waste of time. Millions of people marched against the Iraq War in 2003. Did it make any difference? Secretary of State Alexander Haig remarked during a peace march in the 1980’s: “Let them protest all they want as long as they pay their taxes”; Kissinger explained that “Soldiers are dumb, stupid animals for the conduct of foreign policy”; and CIA director William Casey made sure the US public remains completely in the dark with his famous dictum, “We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” (This is from his first staff meeting in 1981; it’s not a secret.) The US is completely open about its desire to subjugate the entire world—if this weren't already obvious from its behavior.
 

Pentagon Base Structure Report

And so, maintaining US hegemony requires an empire of bases. How many bases? Every year the Pentagon publishes a “Base Structure Report,” which lists all the property of the military including land, buildings and other infrastructure. The latest Pentagon Base Structure report lists 4169 domestic military bases, 110 in US territories, and 576 in foreign countries, for a total of 4855. But it turns out to leave out a lot: Nick Turse of TomDispatch calculated that in 2011 the number of foreign military bases was closer to 1075.  But even though a lot is left out of the Pentagon report, it is still a good data source for us to use because, for the purpose of calculating our estimate, all we are interested in is trends, not absolute numbers. Trends require that data from year to year be reported consistently, and the Pentagon appears to be very consistent in what it reports and what it keeps secret from one year to the next. So this is a very good source by which to measure trends.

Since the US public is completely in the dark, zombified and terrified by the mass media and traumatized by psy-ops like 9/11, the empire will have to collapse on its own, without their help. I’m sorry to say this, but the American sheeple are not going to rise up and help it collapse. But when will it collapse on its own? Do we all want to know when? Ok, here goes...
 

Peak Empire

Total US Military acreage peaked in 2007 at 32,408,262 acres, and has been declining ever since, including a precipitous drop in 2014.  

This curve of military acreage follows peak oil and peak empire theory generally quite well. I haven’t done the curve-fitting exercise, but it looks a bit like a Hubbert curve from peak oil theory. The important point is, according to total acreage the US empire has already peaked and is in decline. Note that global conventional crude oil production peaked at around the same time; you may consider that a pure coincidence if you wish.
 

 

Looking at the data from 2003-2014, we see shows a bit more detail, including a sharp downturn in 2014.

The drop in total bases in 2006 and 2007 seems like a bit of an anomaly, but the trend in acreage follows the peak theory.

What is even more noteworthy is the decline in foreign military bases and acreage. The US may still have control of its domestic and territorial bases, but it has suffered huge losses of foreign military bases and acreage. Since reaching “peak foreign military bases” in 2004, the US now has just 64% of them—a loss of over a third in a decade! In the case of acreage the US retains 69% of its peak acreage in 2006, so it has lost 31% of its foreign military acreage—also close to a third. If you want to guess at what's behind these numbers, you might want to look at them as the fallout from disastrous US foreign policy, as described by Dmitry in his article, “How to start a war and lose an empire.” Perhaps the people to whom we are bringing “freedom and democracy” are getting sick of being occupied and murdered? But, whatever the explanation, the trend is unmistakable.

But we still haven’t addressed Tainter's central thesis of diminishing returns on empire.  Ok, let's do that next next.
 

I previously showed military acreage divided by military spending declining since 1991 in constant 2008 dollars.

Bringing this up to date in constant 2014 dollars, we see that return on spending leveled off in 2010, but in 2014 the trend of decreasing returns on spending has resumed.
 

At the same time, US Government debt, which fuels much of this military spending, continues to climb at a steady rate, and the military acreage/debt ratio shows negative returns on debt.

That is, the empire is getting negative returns in military acreage from increasing its debt burden. In their prime, empires are massively profitable ventures. But when the returns on government spending, debt and military spending all turn negative—that is when we enter the realm of diminishing returns on empire—that, according to Tainter's theory, sets them on a trajectory that leads directly to collapse.

The collapse does not have to be precipitous. It could be gradual, theoretically. But the US economy is fragile: it depends on international finance to continue rolling over existing debt while taking on ever more debt. This amounts to depending on the kindness of strangers—who aren't in a particularly kind mood. To wit: numerous countries, with Russia, China, India, Brazil and South Africa leading the way, are entering into bilateral currency agreements to avoid using the US dollar and, in so doing, to avoid having to pay tribute to the US. Just like Rome, the US empire is being attacked all over the world by “barbarians,” except the modern barbarians are armed with internet servers, laptops and smartphones. And just like Rome, the empire is busy spending billions on defending its fringes while allowing everything on the home front to fall apart from malign neglect.

Meanwhile, the US has been struggling to avoid a financial panic through lies and distortions. The US Federal Reserve has been printing $1 trillion a year just to keep US banks solvent, while selling naked shorts on gold in order to suppress the price of gold and to protect the value of the US dollar by (see Paul Craig Roberts for evidence). In truth, US employment has not recovered since the financial panic and crash of 2008, and wages have actually gone down since then, but the US government publishes bogus economic data to cover this up (See John Williams' Shadow Stats for details). Meanwhile, there are signs that the militarized police state is getting ready to face open rebellion.
 

Two paths down

As we have shown, return on investment in empire has turned negative: the empire has to go further and further into debt just to continue shrinking its foreign presence by a third from its peak every decade. There are two ways out of this situation: quick and painful, or slow and even more painful.

The quick one is for the US to recognize the situation, cut its losses and abandon the project of empire, like the USSR did in 1989/90. But it must be understood that the threat of military action is what keeps countries around the world in line, forcing them to soak up US debt. Without this discipline, further money-printing will trigger hyperinflation, the financial house of cards on which the spending ability of the US government now rests will promptly pancake, and the US economy will shut down, just like in the USSR in the early 1990s.

 

The other option is the more likely one, since it doesn't require making any large course adjustments, which are unlikely in any case. (You see, even in its dying days the USSR had slightly better leadership than the USSA currently does, which was actually capable of making major decisions.) This option is to simply keep smiling and waving and borrowing and spending until the empire is all gone. This will take no more than two decades at the current rate. Note that this forecast is based on a straight-line projection that doesn't take into account any of the positive feedbacks that may hurry the process along. One positive feedback is that a smaller empire means more countries around the world thumbing their noses at the US, escaping from dollar hegemony, and making it harder for the US to continue sinking into debt at an ever faster rate. These positive feedbacks are likely to be highly nonlinear, and this makes their effect difficult to estimate.

But a moment may arrive well before empire is all gone when the suspension of disbelief that is required to keep US government finances from cratering ceases to be achievable—regardless of the level of propaganda, market distortion, or US officials smiling, waving and lying in front of television cameras. Thus, we have two estimates. The first estimate is objective and based on US government's own data: two decades or less. But we also have room for an estimate that is subjective yet bracketed: anywhere between later today and two decades (or less) from now.

Based on these estimates, you can be as objective or subjective as you like, but if you are “long empire,” holding dollar-denominated assets and such, and if your horizon extends beyond 2034 (or less), then there is a reasonably high likelihood that you are just being silly. Likewise, if you think that NATO will come to your defense more than a decade from now, you should start reconsidering your security arrangements now, because NATO will cease to be functional on the same time scale as the US empire. Some time ago Pres. Obama issued what for him sounded like a pretty good order: “Don't do stupid stuff.” You should probably try to follow this order too, and I am here to try to help you do so.

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Choomwagon Roof Hits's picture

US military acreage was less than 1/3rd of today's total when the country was at its peak of economic and military power relative to other nations in the late 1950s...maybe that drop is a good thing? 

knukles's picture

Gotta account for the Free Shit Army too, ya' knows!

BKbroiler's picture

Dmitry is the man, I just finished his book.  Strongly recommend.

freewolf7's picture

"if your horizon extends beyond 2034"
lol

froze25's picture

In the end it really does boil down to greed being the underlying cause of a persons or countries downfall. 

Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

The same could be said for Texas, California

I hear this from Mexicans, hispanics whatever you call your damn selves. If you don't like the US, go south to your own country. Crickets are only heard at that point. Yes, the US has often screwed up. In the end, it is better than most other holes in the world. F&*k you libtards!

TruthInSunshine's picture

This is a really idiotic analysis given that the exponential rise in technology has rendered the use of "acreage" as an indicator of capability far less important, almost to the point of insignificance.

There's been more advancement in technological capacity in the last 10 years (many things the public isn't even aware of) than the prior 100 or maybe even 200 years.

Exponential technology growth rates leading to increased capabilities alone won't completely render an "acreage based analysis" completely arbitrary, but it certainly makes it a lot less relevant.

BorisTheBlade's picture

For air superiority, acreage is misleading indeed. Some country in ME can safely be bombed from air strips in North America. However, air superiority only allows for destruction, not control. If one does not put the boots on the ground, he invites others to fill the vacuum. Case in point: Lybia, airstrikes and a limited use of special forces allowed to remove Ghaddaffi, but ensuing vacuum allowed for radicals to take power. Despite all the military advancements, the surest way to control the territory is to control it physically and that's what the Empires are ultimately about.

MeMadMax's picture

What the author of this piss poor article intentionally or unintentionally left out is we have a rabid anti-american democratic president in office....

You can see all the graphs start dropping as soon as he assumes power...

 

 

BKbroiler's picture

We want fewer american bases and "military acreage" domestically and overseas, not more.  Obama can't raise enough public support for a war to require it, lucky for us. 

August's picture

If Paul Ryan can't save Amurica, no one can  (:

Kprime's picture

sorry, Paul can't save shit.  Blood, Death, destruction.  the only thing that can save US.

Sinnedi's picture

Is this a joke because I'm not laughing at the fact that all presidents are related by a family of rule. 

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq0IhChPuYI

Choomwagon Roof Hits's picture

Good point, I guess we're converting USA bases to FSA bases.  MIC and FSA, what a combo...two shitty tastes that taste shittier together!

Keyser's picture

Yeah, but who is going to accept the shite-dollar outside the borders? 

Seek_Truth's picture

The total collapse of the united states Empire begins next spring Daniel chapter 11 has been fulfilled Revelation chapters 12 through 16 is occurring as we speak there is no doubtt that the US Empire will, by the end of next year, 2015, this has been foretold for thousands of years it will occur just as prophesied in the Bible.

Jack Burton's picture

Many would argue that all of the above is simple self defense of an America under threat. These people will argue you into the ground to prove that all of our actions are innocent self defense moves, protecting Americans liberty.

I know for sure that countless millions of Americas believe that we are the innocents under attack by evil doers. And being exceptional also carrier the burden of rule, for the other's own good, we must rule, or bad guys will.

In a globalized world, America is spreading freedom, democracy and market capitalism. Or so we are told.

ebworthen's picture

Some would call it Imperialism; but most Americans don't know what that means.

max2205's picture

Used to be countries asked for help and mula .....

Now not so much

We should regroup and bring it all back for a few hundred years

And live in peace.

Fire 535 people to boot

Ghordius's picture

the strangest thing about Imperialism and Empire is what it really means. In it's most neutral use: "out of many Nations". so, at it's simplest, "international"

seen this way, the whole article ought to be rewritten, exchanging Empire with Military Hegemon (conversely Financial Hegemon, but there, it's less clear cut)

the Empire is not the US, the Empire consists in the US and all the nations affected by it's Imperial System, in the same way as India was once part of the British Empire or Hungary was once part of the Austrian Empire

conversely, if you talk about the Dollar Hegemony, you ought to talk about the dollarzone. which is all that part of the world that uses the USD. China is, for example, part of the dollarzone. Why? Well, look at the humungus amounts of USTreasuries it owns

Yes, the "American" Empire is in truth a global empire with one military hegemon spending half of the military expenses of the world

Russia is currently part of this empire, otherwise it would not be spending dollars to keep the Ruble from falling down too much. so it's also part of the dollarzone

Winston Churchill's picture

That old 'White Mans Burden' defence Jack ?

Reaper's picture

They want to believe that their nation has good intentions. They've been trained by endless Superman, Captain America and other other imaginary heroes and myths that some god/destiny protects them and through them, the world. To rule the world with truth and justice in the American way is America's fanciful burden.
Trust and faith is such a soothing salve.

booboo's picture

Yes, we need a strong military to keep those ever important shippinl lanes open that carry the lifeblood of our economy flowing in those tankers   to...........china....... wait just a minute, I need to rethink my neocon argument. Be back in a minute

hedgiex's picture

YES ! Gone past the stage of repairing the Empire. What is left is for the 99% to rebuild a nation. (The 1% are globe trotting predators; they do not care about wastelands and hang on where there are still starving preys to gloat upon).

Rebuilding a nation is also dependent on foreign competitors with less aggressive DNAs. (You can't bet on it). The Competitors are likely to expedite the death process given the preys' dreams of exceptionalism egged on by Politicians and Bureaucrats.

Things that go bump's picture

That used to be called the white man's burden.

ebworthen's picture

USSR (Russian Federation) seems to be the most stable over time.

nmewn's picture

Yeah I suppose so, outside of the stacks of bodies. I bet Ivan & Catherine were a real hoot to be around in the ole ballroom, just as long as you were on their "good side", leaving aside Stalin & Lenin.

For now ;-)

booboo's picture

meh, they could say the same thing about Lincoln, Wilson, FDR and Johnson Wilson, FDR and Johnson just murdered our boys overseas. Lincoln kept it at home with a cool million deaths

TVP's picture

If you like your empire, you can keep your empire...  We collapsed upon some folks.  

nmewn's picture

Obama: "On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space."

Medvedev: "Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …"

Obama: "This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility."

Medvedev: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

All...caught on audio, in a candid moment, between old Komrades ;-)

t0mmyBerg's picture

the answer is a couple of hundred years

chinoslims's picture

The decline of the USA coincides with WWII and a growing military.  Coincidence.  I think not.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

This entire analysis hinges on the relationship between military acreage and power. I would need more convincing. I also wonder about the impact of drones.

Winston Churchill's picture

Drones are are hardly new, The Germans used them in WWII.

Boots are required on the ground to maintain an empire, so Orlovs yardstick is as good as any

other.

22winmag's picture

Does the first chart show "hookers and crack" GDP or just regular GDP?

 

The definition of GDP changes like the direction of the wind.

talisman's picture

On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero....... ZH

AdvancingTime's picture

Those who look closely understand that it is not the 1% at the top stealing the icing off the cake, but the much smaller .1% or .01% that are skewing the numbers and overreaching.

I contend the biggest problem is the massive growth in crony capitalism and corruption in Washington. Much of this can be attributed to the ability of those in control "changing the rules" and positioning themselves to benefit at every corner. In our busy and complex world we have found it impossible to watch all the moving parts. More on how this leads to collapse in the article below.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2014/05/how-empires-collapse.html

 

jm's picture

Peak stupid.

All you hoes praying for the destruction of the US, it will happen so slowly you won't even notice it. Or you'll be long dead waiting for it. What kind of morbid schadenfreude is this crap?

jm's picture

Your video is over an hour long. I just don't care that much, dude.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Congratulations, jm, for demonstrating your point regarding "peak stupidity."

My view is that we going beyond "peak stupidity," because we are headed towards Peak Insanity. However, the ironic nature of that kind of problem is that no rational evidence or logical arguments makes any difference to systems based on backing up lies with violence, that therefore, we are necessarily headed towards manifesting Peak Insanities, primarily through debt insanities provoking death insanities.

My opinion is that the video I linked above is the classic work of reactionary revolutionaries, who provide some good historical analysis of the problems, which then collapses back to the bullshit of desperation to believe that there are some "solutions" which we can prepare for, such as hoarding silver to cope with the collapse of the dollar. However, my own view is that money is measurement backed by murder. Asserting that money should go back to being backed by commodities like silver on changes that to become the measurement of silver, backed by murder. The guys who produce videos like the one I linked above provide more than 90% good analysis of the nature of the problems, followed by irrational hopes for "solutions," which irrational hopes I share in my own ways ... since it is clear that guys like you, jm, are deliberately ignorant, and you greatly outnumber others in the general population, although not so preponderantly much in groups of readers of Zero Hedge.

I have carefully watched ALL the videos featured on this list collecting Excellent Videos on Money Systems. I have added the one I linked above to that list, and as well, most of the best of them have already been featured previously on Zero Hedge. However, guys like you jm, are perhaps paid trolls, or are deliberately ignorant. Which is which I am not able to currently judge, although Hanlon's Razor would recommend presuming you are deliberately ignorant, these days I tend towards presuming you are more probably a some sort of stupid troll, because it is more probable that some stupid troll would bother to comment, without any interest in becoming more educated about what they were commenting about.

Orlov has lived through experiencing the decline and fall of the USSR, and he has been applying that to attempt to predict the decline and fall of the "USSA." He basically states what many other Zero Hedge posters have quoted, namely that the decline and fall of empires follows what Ernest Heminway wrote in The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?"
Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

The decline and fall of Neolithic styles of civilization, or which the Anglo-American (Zionist) Empire was the greatest previous manifestation, will be gradual, until it happens more suddenly.

Your presumptions, jm, were that: "All you hoes praying for the destruction of the US, it will happen so slowly you won't even notice it. Or you'll be long dead waiting for it."

Since you appear to have such a pathetically short attention span, jm, here is a link to a video that is only 83 seconds long, which provides a good metaphorical image for what is going to happen to the USA, as the heart of the beast of the dominate Anglo-American (Zionist) Empire:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvcGM6maGGk

Exploding iceberg in Antarctica!

Bit by bit, the people that control the people that control the government of the USA have been hollowing the system out. They appear to want to destroy the republic, and they are clearly succeeding in doing so. I can not think of anything but implausible series of political miracles that could change the path that we are on … therefore, there MUST come some time in the future when that video above is a good metaphor for what finally has to happen. However, the difference is that the collapse of the American economic system is on an astronomically amplified scale, with consequences that are quite impossible to imagine. (I also think that there are correlations between nature going nuts, at the same time as civilization goes crazy.)

We have very rapidly built a system of global electronic fiat money fraud, backed up by atomic weapons. The collapse of a system of that ASTRONOMICAL SIZE no longer fits within any kind of common sense comprehension. Rather, we are looking at the magnification of lies, backed by violence, by trillions of times, … until the collapse into chaos of such an incomprehensible system is a psychotic breakdown somewhere around quadrillions of times more insane than we can actually imagine. The magnitude of the triumph of the frauds, backed up with violence, that built the currently established systems, seems to have become the only thing keeping them going … Nobody can imagine what happens after the American Dollar and American Military became like flying unicorns and dragons, whose sheer intelligibility was the only thing keeping them in the air. We have outdone old Orwellian ideas by several orders of magnitude. Various groups, such as the secretive ESF, Exchange Stabilization Fund, appear to be behind the five biggest banks holding hundreds of trillions of units of whatever the hell their derivatives complexes represents, and so, have systematically stabilized a pyramid scheme house of cards to be able to built, until it went around the dark side of the moon.

Every “success” of the established systems made it possible for its huge lies to make and maintain FRAUD TO BE KING OF THE WORLD. The longer that the established systems “succeed” in their efforts to stabilize themselves, and to benefit from their ENFORCED FRAUDS, then the more unimaginably spectacular must be the final psychotic breakdowns, due to the fundamental insanity of global electronic fiat money frauds, backed by nothing but mass destruction weapons.

PEAK EMPIRE COLLAPSE WILL PROVOKE PEAK SOCIAL INSANITIES!

In that context, jm, I somewhat envy political idiots like you, who are able to maintain their attitudes of deliberate ignorance enough to not be able to understand the problems, because they do not want to. I have found that the more I learned, the worse it always got. Meanwhile, from a practical point of view, people like you, who maintain their willful blindness, are just as "prepared" as I actually am for the crazy collapse into chaos of the established systems, because there are actually no ways to really be prepared!

jm's picture

your post is too long.  I don't care that much, dude.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Again, jm, you prove that you are a deliberate idiot!

jm's picture

Alright, alright.  Sorry to have some malicious fun at your expense.

Will civilization--and I measn this more in the sense of a fundamental change in contour more than anything--collapse?

Sure.  Everyone and everything dies in this way.  But even the collapse of the USSR that Orlov knows so weel didn't mean people ran into caves.  Some people made out, some didn't given the new rules of the game.

In my short stack of years, I've faced death twice, and I learmed something from it.  Every day is a gift.  Make it count.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  These posts are the opposite of this:  Focus on worry, fear, hate about things that may never happen in your lifetime.  This is really sad.  Someone with a weedhead avatar like you should know better: you need good vibes for a good experience.  Otherwise you just eat nachos and go to sleep with the bag in your hand.

Finance is fun not because if the money.  It is a history laboratory where a man-made universe reinvents itself without centralized direction every 2-3 years.  Enjoy the fascination of this. not spend your days being pissed and/or afraid. 

 

 

 

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

 

Very interesting, pal.  It was like a compilation of zh green arrow comments.

But what was all that "'Vengeance is mine,' saith the LORD.  'I shall repay'" crap at the end?  I thought you didn't go in for that?

And "a new paradigm" is coming?

Did the Lord saith that to you?

Hmm. 

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

 

I'm guessing that you believe in the 'wall', but you don't believe in the 'handwriting.'

Is that close?

jm's picture

The article just has that unmistakable "I'm angry, just hitting puberty, and listening to death metal down in the basement" feel to it, that's all.  Or perhaps Orlov is homesick for some privileged position in the old USSR and is bitterly projecting his pain on the perceived "arch-enemy".

Why should I try to intuit economic collapse when there are billions of moving parts to account for?

If anyone is so convinced of the immediacy of the United States' "death", go and be Amish. You'll be happier unplugged anyway.

Oldwood's picture

The problem is not America, its a problem of people. The greater the concentration, the greater the damage.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Why should I try to intuit economic collapse 

There's no doubt, they go to war before there's an economic collapse.  But the US has never fought a nuclear power, and in spite of their bluster, doesn't really have a stomach for it.

US propaganda is ranting that Russia wants to recreate the old USSR.  The reality is that the US wants to recreate the Cold War as it was.  Not with China, Venezuela, Brazil, Iran, India, South Africa, etc. etc. on the Russian team.

How much longer can the EU midgets fall in lockstep behind the US/UK?  From this point on it can only get worse for them.

So if war is out  --  and Putin has mentioned the other 'N' word a few times and the 'N' word in the White House has two little girls  --  and the banksters won't consider an economic disaster which would cost them their power, then an accommodation with Russia and China is the obvious outcome.  And that should hold until peak oil or when the sun becomes a red giant.

This contretemps is only 17 months old, which is when Snowden showed up in Moscow.  Disagreements like it can take a lot longer to solve.

 

jm's picture

The EU technoasses want a natgas pipeline from the middle east to Europe.  That explains the funding of ISIS and all the associate crap. Russia knows that this will destroy his cronies and dent his billions stolen.  Ergo, the and crooks don't want a natgas pipline running from the middle east to Europe.  That is your cold war in a nutshell. Of course no politician in EU or US has the guts to admit it.  

That's the whole truth and nothing but.  Nobody is pure.  The rest is bullshit for hate's sake, and fear for clicks.