China is economically defeating U.S. imperialism, Russia is militarily defeating it

Unless Washington’s provocations upset the dangerously unsteady balance it depends on, and lead to a third world war, the future of warfare between the U.S. and its geopolitical challengers will not primarily be based in the realm of international flare-ups like the “Chinese spy balloon” upset. It will be based in a series of economic struggles that end with the imperialists losing trade dominance over Eurasia, and therefore losing their neo-colonial extractive sources. The American war machine’s ruse of treating a benign Chinese aircraft as malicious, then shooting it down for dramatic effect, has had no impact on history other than provide another reason for China to be irritated at the USA. And unless Washington oversteps in a way which it knows would lead to a crisis too big for it to handle, China and its other adversaries will never respond to Washington’s antics by escalating towards open war. These kinds of stunts by the imperialists are nothing more than ways to narratively justify its militarism, sanctions, and war-related austerity, which the imperialists hope will reverse the transition towards multipolarity.

I find these manufacturings of drama on Washington’s part relatively uninteresting, because the psyop managers aren’t going to succeed at restoring U.S. hegemony. Hyperbolic headlines about a balloon can’t undo a process of economic development and geostrategic realignment that’s been underway for decades, and that’s the natural evolution away from postwar unipolarity. Over half a century after the 1963 film 55 Days at Peking created the famous quote “Let China sleep, for when she rises, the world will tremple,” we’re finally seeing what this rise was going to look like. The anti-imperialist Pepe Escobar describes the extent of the ways the PRC is changing Eurasia’s economic orientation:

Acute supply chain decoupling, the crescendo of western hysteria over Beijing’s position on the war in Ukraine, and serious setbacks on Chinese investments in the west all play on the development of BRI 2.0. Beijing will be focusing simultaneously on several nodes of the Global South, especially neighbors in ASEAN and across Eurasia. Think, for instance, the Beijing-funded Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway, Southeast Asia’s first: a BRI project opening this year as Indonesia hosts the rotating ASEAN chairmanship. China is also building the East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia and has renewed negotiations with the Philippines for three railway projects. Then there are the superposed interconnections. The EAEU will clinch a free trade zone deal with Thailand. On the sidelines of the epic return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power in Brazil, this past Sunday, officials of Iran and Saudi Arabia met amid smiles to discuss – what else – BRICS+. Excellent choice of venue: Brazil is regarded by virtually every geopolitical player as prime neutral territory.

Even though the PRC, unlike the DPRK, has decided not to openly voice support for Russia’s anti-fascist war, Operation Z is why this project to economically undermine the empire has become so successful in the last year. The foremost aim behind Washington’s provoking Russia into intervening was to weaken Russia enough that both the Russian Federation and the PRC could get successfully defeated by imperialist schemes. The calculus behind this was that when America and Europe used the geopolitical escalation to fully decouple from Russia, and ultimately China as well, the shock would be destructive enough to bring about this scenario of a destabilized Eurasia. Which depends on the assumption that the imperial powers, after their half a millennium of extracting from the colonized and formerly colonized peoples, consequently have the capacity to crush Eurasia’s emerging superpowers. That their past successes at destroying other societies guarantee they’ll keep being successful at ut.

This hubris, and the desperate self-deception it requires, was shown when the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell declared after the sanctions had proven insufficient this fall: “The world needs Europe…Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden.” These are the words of somebody who’s just lost, and lost in a final sense. The failure of the sanctions to bring about their objective represents a vast, fruitless sacrifice on the part of the imperial power structure. The campaign to economically isolate Russia and China has destroyed the social stability of the imperialist countries, driving down living standards as shocks devastate the working classes within these places. Now our ruling class faces a greater danger than ever of uprisings, without having gained the geopolitical victories this destruction was supposed to bring.

The plan was for Americans and Europeans to economically suffer in the short term so that the empire could win on the Eurasian geopolitical chessboard, restoring neo-colonial extraction and ultimately bringing back social stability within the core countries. Instead what the imperialists have gotten is a crisis for the core which will never end, not so long as workers revolution in the core is delayed. Intensified austerity and repression is all the core’s proletariat can expect until they manage to overthrow their bourgeois dictatorship. The only logical outcome, at least if the workers movement gains enough strength, is the end to the rule of our oligarchy. Because more and more are coming to recognize this reality that their circumstances can only change if they smash the state that keeps capital in power.

This has been true since the beginning of capitalism, our socioeconomic system was always doomed to fail. With this dual war against imperialism waged by the Russians and the Chinese, the process of capitalist decline is accelerating. This is true both in the places the imperial ruling class still controls, and in Russia, which is run by a less economically powerful oligarchy. As Russia’s neoliberal system proves unable to provide for the people’s needs during wartime, the war has sidelined the fascists within Russia’s government, while giving more power to the communists; it was the communists who helped pressure Putin into taking action against Ukrainian fascism, and into therefore solidifying Russia’s role as a challenger towards imperialism. 

As present trends go, they’re gaining the leverage to carry out a Bolshevik revolution 2.0. The equivalent is true in Belarus, where the communists hold great influence over a bourgeois state that’s assisting Russia in the anti-fascist war. This successful joint attack against the empire is why China’s BRI has become as effective as it now is. Z has prompted Russia to strengthen its ties with China, and ease the PRC’s project of lifting the peripheral countries out of poverty.

Under even the least optimistic of circumstances, the acceleration of the transition to multipolarity that Operation Z represents will without a doubt bring the defeat of U.S. imperialism as a globally hegemonic force. And should the class struggle sufficiently succeed worldwide, we’ll see both a restoration of the Soviet Union and a new wave of revolutions across the peripheral countries, which are through the BRI gaining the economic strength to no longer be controlled by the empire. What could ultimately come is revolution in the core countries as well, and with it the end of capital’s ability to coerce any of the historically colonized countries into submission. The bourgeoisie will have lost almost definitively, and as long as the future socialist states maintain commitment to class struggle, the bourgeoisie will then be able to go extinct as a social class.


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