For not having much to write about regarding Syria, I guess I am coming up with more reasons to write something about Syria. However, in this case, the issue of Syria is the backdrop for what might offer a clue to the larger goings-on in the world. Larger, as in the global standing of the United States as the pre-eminent player on the world stage. Larger as in the resumed path toward global government, or the further path toward decentralization – a path, it seems to me, that has been visibly ascendant since the demise of the Soviet Union.
As a brief background, it seems to me that the proponents of global government might have reached their pinnacle at or within a few decades after the Second World War. At that point, all the major institutions necessary were put in place: United Nations, World Bank, IMF, NATO, etc. They even had their global currency – the United States dollar. What was left was to drive the legitimacy of these institutions into all countries of the world.
Since then, there has been much decentralization; the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia have come apart. While the EU has come together, it seems clear that, at minimum, that union is in trouble. New economic power centers have emerged – China, India, and Brazil.
On top of all of this, progress demands decentralization – central planning cannot deliver the goods, and too many people today enjoy the goods. Rothbard makes this point much better than I do (as he does all points):
The case for libertarian optimism can be made in a series of what might be called concentric circles, beginning with the broadest and longest-run considerations and moving to the sharpest focus on short-run trends. In the broadest and longest-run sense, libertarianism will win eventually because it and only it is compatible with the nature of man and of the world. Only liberty can achieve man’s prosperity, fulfillment, and happiness. In short, libertarianism will win because it is true, because it is the correct policy for mankind, and truth will eventually out.
The clock cannot be turned back to a preindustrial age….We are stuck with the industrial age, whether we like it or not.
But if that is true, then the cause of liberty is secured. For economic science has shown, as we have partially demonstrated in this book, that only freedom and a free market can run an industrial economy. In short…in an industrial world it is also a vital necessity. For, as Ludwig von Mises and other economists have shown, in an industrial economy statism simply does not work.
In the twentieth century, Mises demonstrated (a) that all statist intervention distorts and cripples the market and leads, if not reversed, to socialism; and (b) that socialism is a disaster because it cannot plan an industrial economy for lack of profit-and-loss incentives, and for lack of a genuine price system or property rights in capital, land, and other means of production.
We do not have to prophesy the ruinous effects of statism; they are here at every hand.
With all of that said, the issue remains: are we getting closer to the end of the long-run? Will we see a return to further centralization or a new era of decentralization? And what does this have to do with Syria? Bear with me….
I take it as a given that the United States was and is the best horse for the elite to ride on their path toward global government. The question is: are the other power centers going along for the ride? Russia and China are paramount, but additionally Brazil and India come to mind. And without the domination by the US military over the geography, would Japan and Germany continue to ride on the US-global wagon?
I think about the overtly visible signs of division seen on the world stage in recent years. Pre-eminent and overriding the rest is the impact of the global financial meltdown – centered on and driven by US government, quasi-government, and government-backed pseudo-private financial institutions (i.e. banks and the like).
Connected to this is the ever-decreasing importance of the US economy within the larger global economy (and the near-certainty of continued relative declines). As a consequence of this, there have been reports of other countries developing bi-lateral arrangements that avoid the US, the US dollar, and other global institutions.
Not to be dismissed are the ever-increasing and aggressive military actions taken by the US since the fall of the Soviet Union. Instead of ushering in peace, it seems the single-superpower model ushered in an uncontrolled bully. The entire Middle East and North Africa regions have been turned into a war zone and US involvement in these regions has been continuous and predominant.
Add to these the force used by the US in terms of bringing non-US financial institutions into line – most famously the Swiss banks, but virtually any institution that deals with US persons, US securities, and the US dollar has been taught that they must follow US laws or face bankruptcy and prison.
Further are the open revelations of global US spying on the citizens and government actors in many countries throughout the world – not that the government actors didn’t know this before, but there is a level of embarrassment that comes with this becoming public, and at least some level of local political demand to change it now that the citizens know it.
Finally the embarrassing episode of the Bolivian president’s plane brought down in Europe – an overt example of the puppets that many world leaders have become to the US puppet-master. These global actors all have big egos – they don’t mind being puppets in reality as long as they are not forced to make obvious to their constituents that reality.
If there were ever reasons for other global actors to decide it is time to rid themselves of connections to the American state, it would seem now is as good a time as any.
So again, what does this have to do with Syria?
Syria offers an opportunity to get a peek at the answer to the question: will these non-Anglo power centers fall in line, or will they stand tall? Does the Anglo-American elite have the strings of the Chinese and Russian leaders (and the rest) or are the political leaders in these countries in a position to take a different path? In other words, this affair in Syria offers the possibility of a real inflection point in the big-game of global elite control.
Helping to bring clarity to my scattered thoughts regarding these Syrian events was a short column by Paul Craig Roberts, posted today at LRC. After suggesting that the first line of defense against Obama’s desire to murder innocent civilians would be the United States Congress, he goes on to a second possibility:
In the event that Congress fails to understand the real stakes and votes to support a criminal action, the second thing that can be done to stop the attack is for most other countries in the world–China, India, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Iran, South Africa, the European and South American countries–to add their clear unequivocal statements to those of the UN General Secretary and President Putin that an American attack on Syria that is not authorized by the UN Security Council is a war crime. Expression by the governments of the world of this truthful statement would make it clear to Washington that it is isolated from the world community. For Obama to proceed in an act of aggression in the face of united opposition would destroy all influence of the US government and make it impossible for any officials of the Obama regime to travel abroad or to conduct business with other governments. What government would conduct business with a war criminal government? It is up to the governments of the world to make it clear to Washington that the US government is not above the law and will be held accountable.
How the global community reacts to this action of the US could be telling in the big picture of global elite control. I have previously suggested that many things about this entire Syrian affair seem fishy. Perhaps this is one reason why.