The United Sanctions of America
Over the past few weeks, Washington has taken upon itself the mission to impose sanctions and other restrictive measures on “anyone who is anybody” in the current international environment. The US has imposed two new packages of sanctions on Russia over the trumped-up “Skripal conspiracy”, thus unleashing what Russia’s prime minister has called a “declaration of economic war.” At the same time, Trump has declared economic war on Turkey, raising tariffs which made the Turkish Lira fall in the ballpark of 20% overnight. Ankara has thus been driven closer to Iran, on whom Trump has re-imposed severe sanctions after unilaterally abandoning the nuclear deal. The latter has instigated a trade war between the US and the European Union, thus threatening to rupture the Atlanticist project that the US has devoted itself to since at least WWII. All of this comes at the exact same time as Trump has led the charge into economic war with the US’ next biggest trading partner: China. Next door, Washington has flipped the sanction switch on and off to force Pyongyang to grant concessions. Back in the Western Hemisphere, the US has forced new sanctions on Venezuela. Sanctions and war on the Arab front of the Axis of Resistance, Syria, are still being waged, of course.
In other words, Washington is waging economic war on nearly everyone. The potential effects of these sanctions on the American economy itself are serious. Back in 1997 analysts were warning that “if the next twenty years see the same frequent application of sanctions, the cumulative loss of wage premiums could exceed $20 billion (20 years times roughly $1 billion, not taking into account the rising annual loss of exports). This is a heavy cost.” Now, 21 years later, and with more sanctions in place than was possibly imaginable in 1997, the economic, political, and humanitarian costs of the US’ sanctions on nearly everyone, including itself, are undoubtedly astronomical.
Welcome to the United Sanctions of America.
Today, an ever growing number of people understand that the US’ unipolar, Atlanticist, liberal world order is on the decline, and is being replaced by multipolarity, in which many poles will be stronger and more prosperous than America and will not play by America’s rules. At the same time, many are now beginning to intuit that the United States of America will not survive this turbulent transformation in its present form. But now it is time to start asking the question: Where is the US going with these sanctions? What is it restricting itself off from? What do the sanctions give to the US in the present and for the future?
In short, the question is: How are sanctions supposed to “Make America Great Again?”
Donald Trump was elected to “Make America Great Again”, or in other words, to reform the US Empire in a way so that the USA doesn’t collapse with it. The Trump Administration’s sanctions and political posturing are meant to propel international relations in a way so that the US can attempt the delicate restructuring it needs to survive the global transition to multipolarity. The laundry list is long: The Dollar has to be made real and saved. The US needs to develop its own infrastructure. The US needs to retreat from the whole Eurasian supercontinent. America has to address critical ethno-sociological, cultural, and socio-economic crises. In order to save face, Washington has to proudly lash out to pressure its vassals to bear the costs, e.g., such as making Europe pay for NATO. These tough assignments are what I think explain the behavior of the Trump Administration.
The US is rabidly flailing sanctions about because it knows that it has to try to slow down time, to try to restrict many of the world’s countries from overcoming it. But, as goes the eternal proverb, sometimes trying to alter fate yields only the same fate. The US Empire is only collapsing faster as it further antagonizes its enemies and forces its yesterday friends to defect to the burgeoning multipolar camp.
In the coming years, the US’ sanctions will lose any meaning they might have had, as the Eastern Hemisphere will have moved beyond the US with massive integration projects forming a new, Eurasia-centered international system, and America will be left back in its Western Hemisphere.
With its sanctions, the US is thus in a losing war with almost everyone, so what is the US fighting for? “Make America Great Again” remains an empty populist slogan as long as there is no American identity or identities to give it content. The US is engulfed in a crisis of education suffering under the weight of the Atlanticist foreign policy lobby and the ‘death agony of free speech’, with the policy-stunting that accompanies such; American society has not undergone a process of ethnogenesis and continues to face ethnic and racial discord; the federal structure of the US is being called into question; at least 30% of US voters believe a civil war is likely in the near future; and the US’ failed civilizational ambitions compel us to think in a long-term historical perspective about statehood on the North American continent.
It is in this context that any “Make America Great Again” project has to answer the tough question of what America is sanctioning not only off from, but towards. The Trump Administration’s chaotic reform attempts have opened up the space for the real ideologies and possibilities of the real America that are not represented by the failing liberal establishment or the two-party system. These ideas and movements are being banned across the social and new media that they made relevant from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube, but they are the pool of a possible American identity that transcends left and right and the imperial heritage of the US. And it is this real America, sometimes called “alternative America”, that got Trump elected to change the course of the US.