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Economies Reasserting their PowerNo, we are not being attacked by beings from other planets, we have our own aliens (politicians) sowing enough chaos, death and destruction to last us for a very long time. We don't need more.

This is the beginning of the end of an era. The whole of the Eastern European / Asian geopolitical map is being re-written. As such, it truly is The End Of The World As We Know It. To task.

Back then, when the USSR collapsed and China was a backwater full of people, nobody actually cared. Why would they? There was no economic, political or military power to speak of. This is how the world (well, at least those who count) viewed the planet:

Countries of the World

And this is how they viewed military alliances

Military Alliances in the Old World

Nothing much to worry about. NATO mostly kept to itself in EU, and North America, SADC was joke and don't even get us talking about PSC. But then, something not-so-funny happened on the way to global bliss. Politicians.

Putin begun its long and arduous climbing towards the czar's throne and Chinese oligarchs discovered that capitalism pays (to them).

Putin united Russia and re-developed it into a raw materials superpower with plenty of nukes to go around. China developed into a manufacturing powerhouse with plenty of cash to throw around. Both countries used this cash to bolster their respective military muscles. Both countries wanted to be the regional bullies.

Russia's goal is to reconstruct a USSR-light (as we explained in The USSR Strikes Again) with Putin as its supreme ruler… err… czar…err… leader… whatever. China is contempt with being able to threaten everybody around and submit them to their economic will.

Russia developed the Eurasian Economic Community (a free trade zone) with the intention of encircling and devouring former USSR "republics". This is what the EEC looks today.

Eurasian Economic Community

The only visible difference between the EEC and the USSR are a small number of tiny countries encircled by the red box.

At the same time, Russia and China began to build a larger military and economic alliance under the name of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. They have been widely successful. Take a look at the current map.

Current Millitary Alliances

In this modern picture, the SADC is still a non-event (except Brazil) and the PSC is also a no-show (except for South Africa). The predominant blocks are the NATO and the CSTO.

ANALYSIS

There are several battlegrounds in this new war of treaties. On the European East-West border, we find Russia wooing yet undecided countries into the EEC and the CSTO, while sabotaging new would-be additions to NATO.

In the North East, we also find Russia trying to absorb as many former USSR republics still not under its direct influence or command, as fast as possible.

Meanwhile, China is projecting its political and economic power through its ever-growing naval forces and its ever-increasing military technology into India, Japan and, more importantly, the oil-producing countries.

After a period of consolidation (during which the USSR-light will be rebuilt) and China will cement its local influence, the Cold War II will begin in full. Right now, we do have minor CWII skirmishes, but nothing compared with what is yet to come.

By the time everything is said and done, the world will be bipolar again. This is only possible precisely because Eastern Europe and Asia are re-writing their geopolitical boundaries.

This is thus the big picture and you have a front seat row to it.

Kipling's Great Game is about to be replayed.

You know now what the chessboard looks like and further political and economic movements won't be a surprise.

The big question is how this new bipolar world will evolve. For example take China. It is obvious that the US is its primary foe, however, how do you attack a foe that is at the same time your primary customer? And for how long can the Russia-China CSTO agreement last, considering that they both want to be regional bullies? How will the internal ethical and cultural divisions within Russia and China evolve now that people have tasted limited freedom in the form of capitalism? How much instability will they create? What will the US economic evolution look like? Will they go broke, locked in permanent cycles of boom and bust? Will they somehow defer their debt sufficiently to become prosperous again? And what will happen with currencies? Will the USD lose its preeminence?

These are going to be interesting times indeed!

CONCLUSION

As we explained before in Political Systems Lifecycle, the key driver for political change is always economic. This is precisely what is happening in this area of the world; economic powers are reasserting their dominance and people are being seduced by them. This is all part of the natural evolutionary process of political lives. In this sense and as Absolute Austro-Libertarians, we have evolved past this point and are looking at it with hindsight, but it will be nevertheless the greatest show on earth. You should not miss it.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Acknowledgments: graphics obtained from Wikipedia and adapted.

 

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