Cynical realists recognize that politics is the surface form of power and that underneath the skin, economic needs drive change. We are not far removed from the apes who fight over territory in order to have access to food supplies, although now we fight over markets.
WW3 is coming and it will be a new kind of war. As we see in Ukraine, when all armies have sufficient anti-aircraft power, the ability to wage an air war no longer determines who wins; the WW2 model is over. Instead it will be boots on the ground.
This will be a new type of war which could be named after the dukh or Russian word for spook, ghost, shadow, or dead person: this will be a war of waves of bodies, sort of like WWI, because when all parties have similar technology, technology does not determine who wins.
As in the American Civil War, modern armies will clash over terrain riddled with trenches and the infantry charge will return. Whoever wins will only lose about a quarter of his armies, but the losers may face a much worse fate because the winners are going to try to make sure this cannot happen again.
Since genocide is officially outlawed, this means that unofficial and informal methods will rule. If you accidentally wipe out the food supply for a region and keep the fighting going so that aid cannot arrive for the civilians, it is not your fault if most of the population dies.
Similarly, there will be fewer battlefield captures, and more cases of fifty unarmed bodies found dead from a grenade blast in a closed room. The rule will be to keep shooting until nothing moves, and then find a way to lose anyone left over.
Whoever produces the most warm bodies holding assault rifles will probably win as the robots tangle it out in the sky and with drone strikes on strategic sites. In the end the fields of Europe and Asia will resemble open air graveyards once again.
We know this is coming because the BRICS alliance is essentially a Chinese project, and like Russia and the other BRICS, China has run into a hard economic wall and will need to launch a war in order to shore up its economy just like FDR did:
The bad economic news from China keeps coming. Exports fell 12.4% in June. Between 2012 and 2022 China added at least $10 trillion more to its debt load than the U.S. Youth unemployment is at record levels, even as manufacturers report severe labor shortages. The residential property developers at the heart of China’s long boom look increasingly vulnerable, and local governments who have long relied on a red-hot real estate market for revenue are turning to Beijing with their hands out.
Many factors have combined to make it harder for China to maintain the blistering growth of the last generation. Beijing’s current turn to more central control and Communist Party “leadership” undermines the private-sector dynamism that helped make the country’s economy so formidable. China’s model of central control tends to work less efficiently as the economy becomes more complex. Its workforce is getting more demanding even as its population begins to decline. China’s trading partners have become more sensitive to Chinese rule-breaking as Chinese producers threaten to dominate more global markets.
In the short term, a slowing Chinese economy could increase U.S.-China tension. Pointing to U.S. tariffs and controls over exports of sensitive technologies, Chinese leaders will deflect the economic blame onto Washington. That will increase xenophobic feeling inside China, creating political pressure for more assertive foreign-policy moves.
The Beijing system involves a typical mixed economy coupled with hardline Communist control of media and daily life. Like the old Cold War Communism, it suffers from the problems of a centrally-controlled economy and the backlash to micromanagement.
Like most Leftist states, it runs through a cycle from liberty to subsidy to censorship and finally to militarization. This happens because equality destroys social structure and turns people into self-interested agents who exploit the system to the point where only war can unite them.
This means that as China flails, it will see only one choice ahead: kick off WW3 and hope it catches the weakened West — which China has weakened further by bribing Tammany Hall idiots like Joe Biden — at a point where it is weak enough to be beaten within a few years of grinding warfare.
What most people do not know is that while for nationalists the Ukraine war reflects the need for the principle of self-determination, for Russia-China it is a gambit for becoming a new world power based on their ability to alternately bully others and use guilt as a weapon.
With the war in Ukraine, the mask is off regarding the intentions of Russia-China to take over the world:
In giving priority to relations with Russia—even after the Ukraine invasion—China has damaged its relations with the U.S., Europe and many of the world’s largest economies.
“For Xi and China, Russian internal turmoil and stumbles in the face of successful Western-backed Ukrainian military opposition and sanctions will further threaten greater isolation,” John K. Culver, a former longtime Central Intelligence Agency officer, wrote for the Atlantic Council think tank, where he is a nonresident senior fellow.
For China, “a pragmatic option would be to reduce tensions with the United States and Europe, but Xi has proven to be more ideological than his recent predecessors,” he said.
Like the last world war, this will have two fronts in Europe and Asia as well as proxy conflicts and territorial acquisitions throughout the third world, sort of like how North Africa and the Philippines were caught up in the last one.
Since both sides now have roughly mutual technology, this war will not be determined by technology, but whoever has enough boots on the ground to hold territory long enough that the economic system of the other collapses. It will be a resource war in order to grab the most precious resource: power.
All of this reflects the instability of democracy which, because people deny fears and vote for reality-denying hopes, has made itself into a zero-sum game where whoever rules the world can conceal how badly his system really is doing, which the US and EU have done for some decades.
This new war will involve less of the strategy that defined the last few wars, which was to smash industrial power in the opposition so that their economies collapsed, and will involve more of seizing what is now a worldwide industrial economy to keep it loyal to one side or the other.
On the battlefield, it will involve Asiatic-style human wave warfare like we see in Ukraine and saw in WW1 and the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Vast numbers of troops will fight while the technology of both sides tries to break a stalemate.
This will be a dukh war, using the Russian term for soul, spirit, shade, ghost, spook, and dead person. That is, many souls will be lost, and regard for human life will hit an all-time low. Success will be measured in yards and casualties in the tens of thousands written off like in WW1.
Dukhs are those who go into battle not expecting to live. They accept that they are dead and are simply waiting for the time and method of demise. They know that they are insignificant particles in a vast sea of human atoms colliding on a battlefield for a victory that will decide not much of anything.
A total fatalism — this is the term that most people want when they say “nihilism,” much like how they mean individualism when they say “narcissism” — will descend over humanity as heaps of bodies populate distant battlefields in the name of airy theories and vague symbols.
Useful Idiots on the Right see Ukraine as the globalist empire taking over the world. More accurately, it is the democracy-virus driving nations mad to the point where they must take over the world to avoid the collapse of their systems from entitlements, diversity, insanity, and low reproduction.
Instead, Ukraine may be — as Eastern Europe was in WW1 — the touchstone for a larger conflict. As the war becomes more involved, the Western militaries are less able to counter additional challenges, which means that China sees its opportunity to attack territories it wants to seize.
As usual, democracy ends in tears. We will get our “Berlin 1945 moment” for democracy no matter who wins. In the meantime, many will go into the meatgrinder, and those that return will believe in nothing and have no hope.