Lets walk it through, and see if the US and the EU has the heft and the hubris to get one started.
In terms of hubris, the US neocons and the current administration are well supplied. Several of Europe’s elected leaders, and the EU and NATO unelected administrations, elite clubs like the WEF, and global banking crime syndicates all seem to continually surprise us with their claims of power, dominance, vision, and the need for their agenda to be put in place, and fortified (with our money, and our enthusiastic submission).
I don’t doubt the faith that many of these entities have in their own ability to make history, control international and national narratives, and squeeze profit from the situations they have created. It has worked well up to now.
But there are signs of underlying weakness in the hubris factor. Many have noticed the oddity of having invited speakers to Davos being allowed to lambaste and critique the WEF practices and agendas, like Javier Milei and Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts.
Milei was outstanding, and gave a Randian message of “[C]apitalist successful business people are social benefactors who, far from appropriating the wealth of others, contribute to the general well-being. Ultimately, a successful entrepreneur is a hero.”
He concluded with a heartwarming Rothbardian theme:
Do not be intimidated by the political caste or by parasites who live off the state. Do not surrender to a political class that only wants to stay in power and retain its privileges. You are social benefactors. You are heroes. You are the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we’ve ever seen.
Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral. If you make money, it’s because you offer a better product at a better price, thereby contributing to general wellbeing.
Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution. The state is the problem…
I am not sure what the average WEF attendee learned from Milei; I hope they had a few takeaways. Roberts, spokesman for a generally pro-war, anti-trade Heritage Foundation, brings more insight into the thinking of the anti-East and anti-South hegemon. He sat on a panel “What to Expect from a Possible Republican Administration” beside speakers from the neoconservative Hudson institute, the neoconservative Manhattan Institute, the five-eyed spook-sponsored Chatham House (the speaker a former head of the CSIS in DC, a thinktank known for decades of full blown Ukraine war support, the neocon-leaning Wall Street Journal, and a 24-year Congressional veteran and namesake of the newly formed Portman Center for Policy Solutions at University of Cincinnati. Retiring Ohio Senator Portman has recently affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, another war supporting, neocon-infested think tank.
OK, so what we really had there was a panel of folks presenting their ideas on how a second Trump presidency would impact their main interests, and in the process the WEF gets chided a bit by one of the speakers. I conclude from the examples of “free thinking” at the latest Davos get-together that hubris levels are high, and world war can be made to happen – even with a Republican president in Washington. The elites who benefit from the massive debt, inflation and destruction or resources that accompanies all wars, large and small, are not exceptionally worried that they can get their wars, and the loot too.
The elite interest in elaborate doomsday bunkers is not driven by fear, but hubris. They expect to survive.
Hubris among the western elites remains high – and they sense it can remain high if populist parties like AfD, populist politicians like Milei, and people who don’t obey their appointed and selected governments can be limited or eliminated. That’s the happy little tree growing out of Davos.
The real question concerning an imminent WWIII is does the elite-ruled West – fueled by a shrinking middle class, and growing poverty classes, both of which are trending as politically unreliable – have the heft to do a big war for more than a week or two?
The Duran’s Alex Mercouris and Alexander Christoforou made a point the other day about where economic heft and survivability, and military sustainability, resides on the planet. It’s not in the US, nor it is Europe. US and EU capability to replenish weapons and ammunition, and all kinds of military systems is not robust, as Ukraine and even tiny Gaza and the Red Sea are illustrating. Taiwan gets it, even if many Americans don’t. The impact of writing off the $34 Trillion in current US federal debt, and also the forced shrinkage through inflation, restrictions, and “sudden” and “unexpected” deaths among those approaching or already utilizing western unfunded and unfundable welfare systems will also hurt any global war effort. Why? Because the energy of the state will have to be turned inward, and governments riding out these drastic shifts in resources among their increasingly alarmed and enraged populations will have to watch their six 24-7.
I don’t think the US has the heft to sustain a third world war – and I doubt much of the opposition in such an envisioned war has much interest in tolerating it for long. Spasmodic death throes of empires in the past could create a world war, but the economic prowess and spirit of the West in nurturing and sustaining the past two world wars no longer exists.
We see a microcosm of this harsh reality today in Israel’s desperate destruction and long-planned annexation of Gaza. Israel’s right and its elites created an opportunity last year, and used it. If the world was the same as in 1967, they might have succeeded. No cell phones, no internet, no millions of north African and Middle Easterners emigrated to new European and North American homelands, no Soviet threat to rally against, no weak dependencies in Sykes-Picot land to be dictated to by the West. Television was as tightly controlled by western governments in the 1960s as today – but then there were few alternative sources of information. We don’t have to wait as long for the historical revision, and that’s a good thing.
The world as it exists is preventing even a “small genocide” for land, gas and beachfront from happening according to plan. This plan, supported by fewer than 7 million Israelis who live near Gaza, is harming Israel. More shockingly, this particular genocide is endorsed and supported by the full military, financial and diplomatic power of the United States of America, and yet it is still failing. This failure– of law, trust, justice, faith and massive military power in a tiny geography – while tragic for over 2 million displaced, starving and beyond frustrated Gazans, is instructive for our topic of an imminent World War III.
It is possibly that as things accelerate, since the Great War, with its confusing and elite driven origins, to the second World War, with its impetus of and ongoing US and UK deceptions and deceit, to the many instructive Cold War disasters driven by US elite interests – seen in Korea, Vietnam, Central America, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine – we are sussing out the lies sooner, making the economic and political connections sooner, and following the money just a little bit sooner than we did the last twenty times the US and its allies have gone to war. It’s almost like the planet is learning something.
Resistance to a US-stoked or -supported world war may be inchoate, but it is as effective in its decentralized gelatinous form as it would be if there was a well-defined global opposition to US stupidity.
It’s not difficult to raise the cost of global business, as the Houthis are demonstrating. Net wealth differentials around the planet do not favor the US, in both natural and human resource form. The societal, religious, sometimes nationalist strength we see growing everywhere except in the US and Europe, all of this indicate the so-called West is not in a good place to wage war.
Elite hubris combined with economic heft is a predicting factor for a war of choice. Dying, collapsing empires often seek war – but can they really fight them, much less prevail? The soldiers dragged onto battlefields, lied into war, enslaved into service to the state – can we imagine fighting a war like that today? Ukraine’s Zelensky does, and his country is shrinking, crumbling and dying apace. Israel, while successfully slaughtering over 25,000 Palestinians so far and displacing 2 million, has already lost the moral, economic, and political battle in a way that threatens the whole Zionist experiment of the last century. For Jews to be safe going forward, they will need a new approach – ideally a non-Zionist separation of synagogue and state – which is to say more decentralization of power, and starkly limited government involvement in the economy, as Javier Milei advised the world last week.
Is WWIII imminent? For me, it’s a non-starter, and the real money is on how walking dead empires, like the United States, will handle their internal problems, and devolve.