Is war inevitable?

On January 6, 2021, a violent demonstration took place in Washington, the capital of the United States. Some demonstrators rushed into the Capitol and clashed with the police. The joint meeting of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which was being held at that time, was also interrupted to verify the results of the general election. Picture/Fox

  Everyone needs to think about whether war is inevitable. Trotsky once said: “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” If we are like the historian Barbara Tachman who studied the First World War, we would say “Fool In the face of the threat of nuclear annihilation, how can one of several major powers retreat?
  The United States has suffered more casualties from the epidemic (the last count of deaths reached 752,000) and was defeated by tribal guerrillas in Afghanistan, so no one will be surprised to talk about whether the United States (and Western civilization) is in decline today. The famous American magazine “Foreign Affairs” launched three issues this year to discuss this topic, namely: “Can the United States recover?” “Decline and failure-can the United States lead again?” and “Can China continue to rise?” . When reading the endless abuses directed at American competitors, one must feel that the Cold War has returned.
  However, in the eyes of Leita Thunberg and like-minded environmentalists, the top priority of world leaders should be to work together to deal with the imminent climate disaster.
  But why are the leaders fighting each other on this terrible planet? Shouldn’t we “pause” first and think about how to work together to solve the dilemma of mankind and the planet, that is, those more urgent and survival-related issues?
  Recently, the World Economic Forum held a meeting in Dubai, and its agenda changed from a “big reset” to a “big compromise” initiative, so as to “create a more prosperous, more inclusive, and more respectful future framework for mankind”. “A “grand narrative” may sound like a media story, but the reality is that the public is unlikely to accept elite-driven dreams unless they also become part of the narrative.
  Look at the Harvard historian Samuel Huntington, and His “clash of civilizations” narrative. This theory was created in 1996 and predicts the conflicts between Western civilization and other civilizations (ie, China, Japan, Latin America, and Hinduism and Islam). He has a sharp geology. Question: “The central theme of the West is (in addition to the external challenges we face), whether we can stop and reverse the internal decay process. Can the West renew itself, or will continuous internal decay accelerate its end and/or accelerate its subordination to other economic and demographically more dynamic civilizations? ”
  Huntington basically expressed the worries of the British historian Arnold Toynby that since civilization originated from primitive society, the key to its development and prosperity is whether the elite can effectively deal with new challenges, whether from internal or external sources. Toynbee sees this more clearly than other Western historians (such as Yoshimoto who wrote “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”). The collapse of civilization is not necessarily caused by barbarian invasions, but whether the ruling elite can overcome their own greed. Desires or interests to meet new challenges.
  From a purely economic, financial, technological, and military perspective, almost no one doubts that the West maintains an advantage in almost all aspects, except for the population. According to Madison’s forecast of population and GDP, by 2030, rich countries (mainly Western Europe, plus Western countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan) will have 947 million people, and GDP will account for 36.3 of the world’s total. %, while the population of Asia (China, India and other Asian countries) will reach 4.7 billion, and GDP will account for 49.6% of the global total. This will reverse the situation in 2003, when the West (including Japan) accounted for half of the world’s GDP, while Asia accounted for only one-third. This sharp reversal is due to the fact that China, India, and other parts of Asia will mainly catch up through trade and technology to reach a higher middle income level by 2030.
  In the next few decades, wealthy Western countries with a total population of approximately 1 billion people must compete with rising China (1.4 billion people), India (1.3 billion people), and Islamic countries (over 1 billion people) The latter’s culture and ideology are completely different from those of the West. If the planet continues to heat up as expected, more poor people from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East are expected to flock to the borders of Western countries and want to immigrate to these countries. At the same time, the United States continues to demonize Russia and China, which will bring the two countries closer together. The United States has to deal with three fronts including the Middle East at the same time. The domestic political turmoil will also be difficult to deal with, and political polarization will be even more hindered. To maintain internal cohesion and policy continuity.
  This status quo is reminiscent of Islamic countries. In the writings of its great historian Ibn Kardon, Islamic countries have experienced a cycle of dynasties and empires. When social cohesion or bonds are strong enough, the legitimacy of the country will increase, and the empire will rise. When it weakened, the dynasty would collapse and the empire would disappear without a trace. After the riots in Washington, DC on January 6, 2020, many people tend to believe that fratricidal tribalism is emerging in the United States.
  Similarly, according to the records of ancient Chinese historians Sima Qian and Sima Guang, the fall of the empire was not so much due to external invasion, as it was due to internal decline. According to the standards of Yale University historian Paul Kennedy (author of “The Rise and Fall of Great Powers”), has the United States entered a state of “imperial overexpansion”? That is, has the United States’ global ambitions and responsibilities surpassed its financial and industrial production capacity? After all, World War III is not currently taking place, but the US government’s debt has reached the level at the end of World War II.
  All historians know that prosperity and decline are never destined. You cannot predict the future linearly by relying on the past. The unipolar order has weakened, but as to what the new order should look like, no “grand compromise” has been reached between the major powers. To reach a “great compromise,” the current overlord needs to admit that the strength of other partners is equal to his own, and also recognize their demands to abandon the old order and reset the rules of the game. This does not mean that someone will replace the United States soon, because after the global epidemic is over, all countries need to buy time to rectify domestic order.
  In short, before making any grand narrative, we need to have a series of dialogues with all parties (including the weakest but only the strongest): for individuals and collectives, what should be the world order after the global epidemic Look like. Unless there is sufficient dialogue between everyone, the elites will not be able to complete a grand narrative.
  When gentle people are weak, they must suffer. But when the strong feel insecure, that’s when the war begins.