The Prescient Retrospective Part Two: The Labyrinth of US Policy
The reader should look for following in the coming 12-36 months:
(a) Internal policy devoted to increasing in every way strength and prestige of State: intensive military-industrialization; maximum development of armed forces; great political pronouncements and displays to impress outsiders; continued secretiveness about internal matters, designed to conceal weaknesses and to keep opponents in the dark.
(b) Wherever it is considered timely and promising, efforts will be made to advance official limits of power. For the moment, these efforts are restricted to certain neighbouring points conceived of here as being of immediate strategic necessity, such as Northern Iran, Turkey, and China. However, other points may at any time come into question, if and as concealed political power is extended to new areas. Thus a "friendly” Iranian Government might be asked to grant Russia a port on the Persian Gulf. The Straits of Hormuz will become ultimately more and more politicized to control the flow and price of Oil.
(c) The Russians will participate officially in international organizations where they see the opportunity of extending power or of inhibiting or diluting the power of the US. Moscow sees in the UN not the mechanism for a permanent and stable world society founded on mutual interest and aims of all nations, but an arena in which aims just mentioned can be pursued. As long as the UN is considered here to serve this purpose, Russians will remain with it. But if at any time they conclude that it is helping to embarrass or frustrate their aims for power expansion and if they see better prospects for the pursuit of these objectives along with other lines, they will not hesitate to abandon UN.
*This would imply, however, that they felt themselves strong enough to split the unity of other nations by their withdrawal to render UN ineffective as a threat to their aims or security, replace it with an international weapon more efficient from their viewpoint. Thus Attitude toward UN will depend largely on the loyalty of other nations to it, and on the degree of vigour, decisiveness, and cohesion with which those countries defend in UN the peaceful and hopeful concept of international life, which that organization represents to our way of thinking. I reiterate Moscow has no abstract devotion to UN ideals. Its attitude to that organization remains dubious, pragmatic and tactical.
(d) Emerging Markets policy will be directed toward strengthening of power and influence and contacts of advanced Western nations, on the theory that in so far as this policy is successful, there will be created a vacuum which will favour Russian and or Chinese penetration. Pressure for participation in trusteeship arrangements thus represents, in my opinion, a desire to be in a position to complicate and inhibit exertion of Western influence at such points rather than to provide a major channel for exerting of power.
Latter motive is not lacking, but for this Russians prefer to rely on other avenues than suitable trusteeship arrangements. Thus we may expect to find Russians asking for admission everywhere to guardianship or similar arrangements and using levers thus acquired to weaken Western influence among such peoples.
(e) The Russians will strive energetically to develop representation in, and official ties with, countries in which they sense high possibilities of opposition to Western centres of power. This applies to such widely separated points as India/Pakistan, Africa, the Middle Eastern countries, and South America.
(f) In international economic matters, the policy will be dominated by the pursuit of autarchy for the US. That, however, will be underlying policy. As far as the official line is concerned, the position is not yet clear. The government has shown strange reticence since termination hostilities on subject foreign trade. If large scale long term credits should be forthcoming, I believe Government may eventually again do lip service, as it did in 1930's to the desirability of building up international economic exchanges in general. Otherwise, I think it possible foreign trade may be restricted mainly to countries more willing to accept a re-affirmation of US hegemony.
(g) Concerning globalism, lip service will likewise be rendered to the desirability of deepening cultural contacts between peoples, but this will not in practice be interpreted in any way which could weaken security position of the people. Actual manifestations of policy in this respect will be restricted to arid channels of closely shepherded official visits and functions, with an abundance of useless policy speeches and a dearth of actual programmatic solutions.
The Danger of Corporatism
What is the innermost, central core of Corporate interests internationally?
While many of persons who compose this category may also appear and act in unrelated public capacities, they are in reality working closely together as an underground operating directorate of world corporatism tightly coordinated and directed by the banking cabal. It is important to remember that this inner core is working on underground lines, despite the legality of parties with which it is associated.
(I) Rank and file Corporatism.
Note this distinction has become much sharper in recent years. Whereas corporations represented a curious admixture of back-door dealing with Senators and Congressmen and legitimate activity, now the conspiratorial element has been neatly concentrated in inner circle and ordered underground, while "average people"-no longer even taken into confidence about realities of movement--are thrust forward as bona fide internal partisans of certain political tendencies within their respective countries, genuinely innocent of conspiratorial connection with foreign states.
Only in certain countries where people are civically inclined do they now re
regularly appear and act as a body.
3. A wide variety of national associations or bodies have been dominated or influenced by corporatism. These include labour unions, youth leagues, women's organizations, national societies, religious societies, social organizations, cultural groups, liberal magazines, publishing houses, etc.
It may be expected that parts of this far-flung apparatus will be utilized by their individual suitability, as follows:
(a) To undermine global political and strategic potential of major western powers. Efforts will be made in such countries to disrupt national self-confidence, to hamstring measures of national defence, to increase social and industrial unrest, to stimulate all forms of disunity. All persons with grievances, whether economic or racial, will be urged to spelled redress not in mediation and compromise, but in a defiant violent struggle for the destruction of other elements of society. Here poor will be set against rich, black against white, young against old, newcomers against established residents, etc.
(b) On the private plane, particularly great efforts will be made to weaken power and influence of Western Powers of [on] colonial backward, or dependent peoples. On this level, no holds will be barred. Mistakes and weaknesses of western colonial administration will be mercilessly exposed and exploited. Liberal opinion in Western countries will be mobilized to weaken colonial policies. Resentment among dependent peoples will be stimulated. Moreover, while latter are being encouraged to seek independence of Western Powers, dominated puppet political machines will be undergoing preparation to take over domestic power in respective colonial areas when independence is achieved.
(c) Where individual governments stand in the path of purposes pressure will be brought for their removal from office. This can happen where governments directly oppose foreign policy aims (Turkey, Iraq, Iran), where they seal their territories off against consumerist penetration (Venezuela, Uruguay, and Ecuador), or where they compete too vigorously, like China and India.
(d) Unwittingly, consumerism has managed to quash all forms of personal independence, economic, political or moral. Their system can handle only individuals who have been brought into complete dependence on higher power. Thus, persons who are financially independent--such as individual businessmen, estate owners, successful farmers, artisans and all those who exercise local leadership or have local prestige, such as favourite local clergymen or political figures, are anathema. It is not by chance that it is now normal for most Americans to be constantly kept on the move from one job to another, to prevent their taking root.
(e) As the saying goes, "Where suspicions exist, they will be fanned; where not ignited. “Everything possible will be done to set major people against each other. The Anti-American talk will be plugged among Americans, anti-British talk among British. Continentals, including Germans, will be taught to abhor Southern European debtor nations. No effort will be spared to discredit and combat all efforts which threaten to lead to any unity or cohesion among other [apparent omission] from which Russia might be excluded. Thus, all forms of an international organization not amenable to consumerist penetration and control, whether it be international economic concerns or the international fraternity of royalty and aristocracy, must expect to find themselves under fire from many.
As a nation, we are experiencing a political farce committed fanatically to the belief that with the US there can be no permanent modus vivendi that it is desirable and necessary that the internal harmony of our society be disrupted, our traditional way of life be destroyed, the international authority of our state be broken, if power is to be secure.
This political farce has complete power of disposition over energies of one of the world's greatest peoples and resources of world's richest national territory and is borne along by deep and powerful currents nationalism that Trump has tapped. Also, it has an elaborate and far-flung clandestine apparatus for the exertion of its influence in other countries, an apparatus of incredible flexibility and versatility, managed by people whose experience and skill in underground methods are presumably without parallel in history. Finally, it is seemingly inaccessible to considerations of reality in its basic reactions. For it, the vast fund of objective fact about human society is not, as with us, the measure against which outlook is constantly being tested and re-formed, but a grab bag from which individual items are selected arbitrarily and tendentiously to bolster an outlook already preconceived. This is admittedly not a pleasant picture.
The problem of how to cope with this force in [is] undoubtedly greatest task our diplomacy has ever faced and probably greatest it will ever have to face. It should be the point of departure from which our political general staff work at present juncture should proceed. It should be approached with the same thoroughness and care as a solution of major strategic problem in war, and if necessary, with no smaller outlay in the planning effort. I cannot attempt to suggest all answers here. However, I would like to record my conviction that problem is within our power to solve--and that without recourse to any general military conflict. Moreover, in support of this conviction there are certain observations of a more encouraging nature I should like to make:
(1) Corporatist power, like that of Hilarite Germany, is both schematic and adventurist simultaneously. It works by machination and fixed plans and does not take unnecessary risks of succeeding power to the mob. Impervious to logic of reason, and it is highly sensitive to logic of force. For this reason, it cannot easily withdraw undertakings— (consider the US foray into the ME) and only does so when strong resistance is encountered and humiliation is inevitable. Thus, if the adversary has sufficient force and makes clear his readiness to use it, typically corporatist, statist powers will act perceptively.
At this juncture the confrontation between Russia and the US is not about prestige, it is about whom will wield real-world power.
(2) Gauged against Western World as a whole Militarily and economically, Russia and China are both by far the weaker force. Thus, their success will depend on the degree of cohesion, firmness, and vigour which the Western World cannot seem to muster. Moreover, this is a factor which it is within our power to influence.
(3) The success of the democratic system of governance, as form of internal power, is not yet completed-- in fact it appears to be in grave danger. Democracy has yet to be demonstrated that it can survive the test of successive transfer of power from the elite to the people. I think that we are convinced that ever since the civil war we have been emotionally farther removed from Oppression, financial, racial or otherwise. Moreover, yet, Trump, for all his blustering idiocy, has pointed at the highly successful apparatus of bankers, bureaucratic back-channelling, corrupt administration, and has served in the least to be a source of emotional inspiration to many disenfranchised and confused Americans.
(1) The initial step is to apprehend and recognize the nature of the decline in which we find ourselves. We must study our decline with the same courage, detachment, objectivity, and same determination we studied the Russians with. Unlike the day and age Kennan as writing in, much today depends on health and vigour of democracy. World communism is largely defeated as an economic model and exists alongside capitalism with the exception of China, Vietnam whom have all but adopted free market economics, and then there is North Korea.
In Kennan's day, domestic and foreign policies were to meet the measure of civic impact. Politicians were charged with solving internal problems in society, to improve self-confidence, discipline, morale and community spirit of our people, doing so was considered to be the foundation for a diplomatic victory over Moscow "worth a thousand diplomatic notes and joint communiqués."
(4) Though American technologists are seemingly obsessed with Innovation; we have yet to formulate a constructive solutions architecture for global growth or containment of our adversaries. We are more interested in "apps and virtual reality" then we re in solving fundamentally simple problems.
(2) If this election demonstrates anything, it is that Kennan's faith in the eventual victory of democratic values was correct, but has run out of gas. Now Americans are mostly uneducated to realities of globalized conflict in a coherent way. Like Kennan, I cannot over-emphasize the fact that most of us are completely us to lunch.
The Government, and media who are supposed “more experienced and better informed on practical problems involved" have failed. What has replaced Kennan's far "hysterical anti-Sovietise" is the seething ignorance of the majority of our people. To Kenna, there was nothing as dangerous or as terrifying as the unknown-and yet; It can be argued that to reveal more information about who controls the global economy, and for what reason would effectively throw the entire order of things into question
There is a genuine risk here. What is at stake in this country lies in what we hope rather than what we have. Some hope we will go backward--which is impossible, and this groups I am afraid will ultimately be called the "losers" in the coming years. We have a better chance of realizing some semblance of progress if the public is enlightened and if our dealings are placed entirely on the realistic and matter-of-fact basis.
Kennan's predictions that people would be less interested in intellectual freedom than in security have proven to be correct. Combined with the infantilization that tends to accompany mass consumerism. According to Kennan people seek guidance rather than responsibilities. And herein lies the dilemma that I have referred to time and time again—that people would rather be told what to do, instead of exercising their agency and volition. Just as Kennan urged Americans to have courage and self-confidence during a period of massive global power shifting, I urge the same watchfulness. While we contemplate labour replacement by robotics, the pandemic spread of yet-to-be-understood diseases and gaping inequality--the greatest danger that can befall us in coping with threats from Russia in particular, is that we shall allow ourselves to become like those with whom we are coping.