[I wasn't going to pay money to get the article written by the filthy Jew so I found a copy in another language and used the White Man's Magic (technology) to translate it into English! So this is an automated translation of another language. I wanted to study what the filthy old Jewish bag of shit was coming up with.
div>Remember you can never take a Jew at face value. You need to look at what angles and games he is playing. The basic thrust seems to be an attempt at breathing life into globalism, and if that fails, then set the world on fire in a way that works for the Jews. That is my initial vague impression. I will study it properly today and then reassess it properly and give my viewpoint. Jan]
Dario Cristiani, fellow of the German Marshall Fund of Washington DC and of the Institute of International Affairs of Rome, offers a reading of the reflections that the former American Secretary of State has entrusted to the pages of the Wall Street Journal. Reflections on the world, future order and the United States that also touch Italy closely …
For epochal dynamics, epochal signatures are needed. This is what the Wall Street Journal must have thought, hosting a dense, deep and wide-ranging reflection by Henry Kissinger on the coronavirus crisis and the future of the world order. This reflection is not just analysis; it is also a peremptory call to one’s own country, the United States, not to lose sight of the aftermath and, above all, to realize that America cannot – and must not – abdicate the role it has played in these decades of architrave of the liberal international order.
THE SURREAL FEAR OF AN INCIPIENT AND LOGIC (RE) KNOWN DANGER
The former Secretary of State begins his reflection with a personal memory: young soldier, enrolled in the 84th Infantry Division at the time of the Ardennes offensive (The Battle of the Bulge), today’s atmosphere reminds him of the “sense of incipient danger ”that he knew at the time, whose outlines escape a clear definition being intrinsically dynamic and unknown. Sense of danger “addressed not to a particular person, but rather capable of striking at random and in a devastating way.”
The reference to the offensive of the Ardennes is suggestive, for various reasons. That was one of the conclusive acts of the thirty-year European civil war that will deliver the world to the bi-polar order and, in the societies west of the wall, to an era of material prosperity never experienced before. Of that bi-polar world, Kissinger will be both clear – discussed and in some respects controversial – protagonist, but also pickaxe, since he will begin to unhinge its foundations, with ping pong shots first and then relaxation.
Kissinger, in those years, gave life and shape to the idea expressed by Nixon of not being able to leave China forever outside the family of nations. To put today’s events in a historical perspective, the geo-economic centrality that China has assumed in recent years – and of which, in a certain sense, the Coronavirus crisis is one of the products – is the daughter of that opening. Broadening the historical horizon further, that was probably the last seal to the complete globalization of international relations: dynamic, started in 1905 and sublimated by the Cold War and the Suez crisis of 1956, and which sanctioned the end of European centrality with respect to international system.
This sense of danger, however, is declining today in a different climate: Kissinger notes, reflecting on the United States, the lack of a “definitive national purpose” and the presence of a “divided country”. In such a context, Kissinger considers the presence of an efficient and far-sighted government as a conditio sine qua non, necessary but not sufficient, to manage obstacles “unprecedented, in terms of magnitude and global reach”. In such a climate then “supporting public trust is crucial for (preserving) social solidarity, the relationship between one society and another, and international peace and stability.”
Here, Kissinger puts on the table three fundamental themes that, in one way or another and depending on how they will be declined and integrated with each other, will shape the characteristics of the new post-Covid-19 world order: the trust in nations to predict and manage disasters; the perception of the institutions’ performance that does not necessarily depend on how well they actually did; the need to avoid complaining about the past, a practice considered as an obstacle to future management work.
THE MATERIALITY OF PERCEPTIONS
Trust and future depend on these perceptions: and it is on these perceptions that the global game is being played in these moments. Perceptions of efficiency. Perceptions of timing. Solidarity perceptions. Not necessarily what is real, in numbers and dynamics, is what then in the perception of public opinion and, for a sort of transitive property whose fluidity varies according to the contexts, in those who make decisions. In Italy we have known this dynamic well: looking at the numbers, the European or American support probably remains much more solid than that of other countries that have – noisily – helped Italy. But the uncertainties in the timing; the weakness and fatigue of narratives; somehow even the idea that this support is due while that of others is not necessarily makes the perceptions of solidarity different from how this solidarity then declined in reality.
The same goes for efficiency: there are many analyzes of crisis managers in hindsight that highlight shortcomings, delays and shortcomings, in reality with a particular focus on the shortcomings of free democracies in managing this crisis. Which, undoubtedly, there have been. But these analyzes forget the political and social factors which certainly should not be seen as justifications, but which – if taken into consideration – give a more realistic picture of the type of decision-making context in which these inefficiencies occurred, at any latitude and regardless of the gradients democracy and openness of the various countries: the need for China to cover the initial epidemic for fear of economic and image repercussions; the Italian difficulty in imposing initial red zones when the threat was still not very visible or of having a coherent action in a context weakened by years of austerity and by twenty years of federalism too often à la carte; the initial American uncertainties, dictated by a presidency that, if on the one hand it was convinced of the danger coming, on the other it continued to reason in terms of the need to keep the economy alive, a true political figure of the first Trump term and a wild card for his re-election. Three examples of three very different countries in terms of political cultures and historical dynamics in the management of the res publica which, however, for different reasons, took time to forge an efficient response to this crisis. And it is on the preparation to manage such crises in the future that part of the stability of the system is at stake.
Kissinger started his reflection starting from the Ardennes offensive. Without wanting to fly fancy, this call is further stimulating when viewed also from the point of view of efficiency and preparation for the response. We do not know if there is a wanted reference in this sense, but we can not help but notice how the offensive of the Ardennes is considered as a textbook case, in the books of strategic warning, of failure of intelligence, like Pearl Harbor . Of an intelligence failure where, however, the warning signs accumulated compared to the German temptation of the surprise hit, signals that were however systematically ignored. Some analysts have openly spoken of the coronavirus crisis as one of the worst, if not the worst , failures in American intelligence history. To take up the literature, this is not necessarily a new problem: many analysts have explained in the past how strategic analysis is not always absorbed in American choices. Probably, however, this inefficiency needs to be enlarged and does not only concern the Americans, but all the countries that have confronted – and are confronting – this threat. Net of the factors outlined above that help to understand the political circumstances related to the initial hesitations in the reactions of many leaders – there has been an inability to transform the information available into effective action for both political, social and economic concerns, both because the nature of this virus is largely elusive and fiercely subtle.
This logic of perceptions is important, also and above all, to understand the extent of the coming challenge. It is in this domain of perceptions that China is trying to shape its message : of efficiency; of timing; of solidarity. Ultimately: as an actor who can supply international public goods in the void left by others. A theme that recalls the theory of hegemonic stability: passage on which we will return to the conclusions.
With a narrative supported in a more coherent way by the different levels of its political pyramid, where the initial uncertainties are diluted in the disruptive wave of effectiveness of the subsequent management model; in the know-how that their doctors built while the world wondered what would happen to Wuhan; in his readiness to offer external support. The latter element is intimately connected also in seizing this crisis as an opportunity to give prestige to the Belt and Road project, as demonstrated by the idea of the Health Silk Road or the video epic of the land aid brought to Spain. And it is an important point to resume Kissinger’s speech on the need to look to the future: Bri, from a geo-economic and logistic project, and increasingly a geo-cultural project with a clear vision of China’s political centrality with respect to in the world. Political centrality that must be stabilized and defined by 2049, the centenary year, but which has in itself an antique flavor, that is, a reference to the pre-European international system. Where China was an essential economic hub and whose centrality was, and still is, strongly represented in Chinese cartography. Not surprisingly, to say China means to say Zh?ngguó: Middle Empire.
And it is here that Kissinger’s reflection changes scale: “The effort of (crisis management), however vast and necessary, must not exclude the urgent task of starting a parallel business for the transition to the post-coronavirus order” . Kissinger is aware of how the political and economic magnitude of this crisis will be destined to release its vibrations for a long time, even longer than the impact of the virus on our health. The long wave of such an event can last for generations. Kissinger therefore openly reflects on the intrinsically global nature of this virus.
With all due respect to a certain short-breathed sovereignty that sees in the limitations of these weeks the proof of how boundaries are necessary, to be declined even as a function of communities whose range of action is reduced to match that of the domestic hearth. Kissinger acknowledges that “the leaders’ response to dealing with this has been modulated on a purely national basis.” Good, or better, bad: this approach is bound to fail. For Kissinger, “no state can face this alone”. Much less the United States. The former Secretary of State calls everyone to an act of global responsibility: “Addressing the needs of the moment must ultimately be associated with a global collaborative vision and program. If we can’t do both together, we’ll face the worst of each. ”
PRESERVE THE LIBERAL ORDER
In this sense, Kissinger offers a look at history, but not as a field to complain about the past, a risk from which he warned previously, but as an inventory from which to draw solutions for the future. Therefore, the look at history serves to take up the teachings that past successes can offer as a compass for tomorrow. Lessons from the development of the Marshall Plan or the Manhattan Project must force the United States to undertake a significant effort in at least three areas.
The first: to strengthen global resilience to infectious diseases. The medical triumphs of the past and technological progress have paradoxically lowered our hold on dealing with these problems. So we “lulled into a dangerous complacency”. Kissinger therefore draws an effort to develop new “techniques and technologies for the control of infections and vaccines commensurate with large populations”. This effort has a transcal nature: “Cities, states and regions must constantly prepare to protect their people from pandemics through storage, cooperative planning and exploration at the frontiers of science”.
Secondly, a new effort must be made to “heal the wounds for the world economy”. Of course, global leaders have learned important lessons from the 2008 financial crisis but the current economic crisis has a viral load, to remain on the subject, far more significant, complex and multifaceted, and therefore elusive. Kissinger puts in historical perspective the economic contraction triggered by the coronavirus, remarking how “in its speed and global scale, it is different from anything ever known in history.” The choices that Kissinger rightly calls “public health” “necessary” for short-term crisis management, such as social withdrawal and the closure of schools and businesses, will have lasting effects on this suffering economy. Response programs, then, must seek to mitigate “the effects of impending chaos on the world’s most vulnerable populations.”
The third point is the point where the real global challenge for the next decades condenses. Kissinger was not only one of the most important politicians of the last century, but he is still a trained political scientist, with a substantial and crucial substrate of historian, a dominant hybrid figure in political science until the theoretical turns of the 60s and 70s. Inevitably, the reference to the future takes up the roots on which the present has been substantiated over the past decades and centuries. For Kissinger, therefore, the United States must necessarily “safeguard the principles of the liberal world order”. The modern order was born and evolved with fortified political communities to defend themselves against external enemies managed by sovereigns, sometimes despotic, sometimes benevolent. This arbitrariness has been diluting in conjunction with the revolution – and the lesson – of the value of the Enlightenment, historical-ideological caesura that has allowed a reworking of this concept of defense of the community: the purpose of the legitimate state has therefore evolved in providing “Basic needs of people: security, order, economic well-being and justice” all elements that individuals, on their own, are unable to protect. Kissinger offers another broadside to the sovereign temptations that animate many circles on both sides of the Atlantic, criticizing the return of the evident anachronism of the rebirth of a “fortified city in an era in which prosperity depends on global trade and the movement of people. ”
For Kissinger, the world’s democracies are therefore called to “defend and support their Enlightenment values”. The price to pay if this does not happen is high, indeed, very high: “The disintegration of the social contract, both nationally and internationally”. In this context, Kissinger suggests a methodology of action: the centuries-old diatribe on legitimacy and power cannot be resolved as humanity tries to overcome Covid-19’s plague. Restrainment, which we could translate as thrift in this case, must be necessary for everyone, both in domestic politics and in international diplomacy.
THE DECLINE: NOT INEUTABLE, BUT THE SYMPTOMS ARE PRESENT
The Ardennes offensive that Kissinger recalls in the opening of his article was one of the last political moments of a world destined to disappear to make room for another, in which prosperity and respect for human dignity grew hand in hand. For Kissinger, the phase we are experiencing represents an “epochal period”. The challenge, for global leaders, is to “manage the crisis while building the future.” Failure is not allowed because “it could set the world on fire”.
This last note should be read in the risk inherent in the disintegration of the current international order. The crisis caused by Covid-19 is likely to be what Suez was to America for the European empires weakened by the thirty years of European civil war and which have dominated the world for centuries, as often repeated by Nathalie Tocci in recent weeks. This note is therefore linked to the reference made previously to the theory of hegemonic stability, a theoretically eclectic approach promoted by Robert Gilpin in which the United States represented the benevolent hegemon supplier of international public goods. According to Gilpin, the crisis of the 70s had sanctioned the beginning of the decline of the benevolent hegemon, a decline written in the rules of the system as the costs to be faced and the behavior of free riders in the long run erode the domination of the hegemon.
What if the Covid-19 crisis was the conclusive act of this path started in the 70s? Kissinger, when asking the United States for an effort to reshape the international system, asks for a kidney attack to combat this dynamic of a decline that is not an inevitable geopolitical fate – not yet, at least – even if some of the symptoms exist and are visible. Compared to this crisis, China has set itself up as a global supplier of global public goods, from medical equipment – which it has significant control by managing a large part of the production chains in the sector – to know-how to deal with a pandemic that they have the first to face. This dynamic clearly unfolded at various latitudes. Italy has been one of the main theaters: the uncertainties of the American leadership in the global management of this drama has given way to a highly efficient action from the point of view of the costs / benefits of China which has found important banks in Italy, but at the same time had the readiness to grasp the existence of cracks in which to creep.
Kissinger, on the last public occasions in which he had the opportunity to speak, warned of the ” catastrophic consequences ” of having a system in which the United States and China clashed openly. The Covid-19 crisis can accelerate such a dynamic: a hegemon declined against a demographic and geopolitical giant that transforms a potentially disruptive internal crisis on the occasion to bestow international public goods that communities afraid of a virus that is currently intelligible need to face the threat . This is probably the challenge Kissinger refers to: it is now up to his country, the United States, to decide how to respond.