Welcome to the Empire of Chaos
When globe-trotting journalist and keen geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar refers to the United States as the “Empire of Chaos,” it may seem like hyperbole. But upon looking deeper at both Escobar’s coverage and the United States’ foreign policy itself, it is perhaps the most accurate title for this political entity and its means of operation, perhaps more apt than the name “The United States” itself.
In the wake of World War II, the US and its allies set out upon the reclamation of the West’s lost colonies, many of which took advantage of Europe’s infighting to either establish independence from their long-standing colonial masters, or begin the conflicts that would inevitably lead toward independence.
Perhaps the most well-known of these conflicts was the Vietnam War. The United States would involve itself in the dissolution of French Indochina at the cost of some 4 million lives in a conflict that would embroil not only Vietnam, but much of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Covert coups and brutal insurgencies were underwritten by Washington across the planet, from the Middle East to South and Central America. And while this too seems chaotic, the goal always seemed to be the destruction of independent states, and the creation of viable client states.
These client states included the Shah’s Iran, Saudi Arabia, much, if not all of Western Europe and even to varying degrees, some of the enduring autocracies of the Middle East until for one reason or another they fell out of favor with Washington. The idea was to create an international order built upon the concept of globalization.
Globalization was meant to be a system of vast interdependencies governed by international institutions created by and for the United States and more specifically, the special interests that have long since co-opted America’s destiny.
However, the concept of globalization seems to have neglected any anticipation for rapid technological advances in both terms of information technology and manufacturing. There are very few real interdependencies left to stitch this vision of globalization together with many of them being artificially maintained at increasing costs. The idea of using sanctions to ‘starve’ a nation by isolating it from this global order has been exposed as more or less impotent by nations like Iran and North Korea who have sustained themselves for decades despite everything besides air and gravity being denied to them.
Indeed, nations understand the value of self-sufficiency in both terms of politics and the basic necessities which constitute any state’s infrastructure. Russia’s recent encounter with Western sanctions has caused it to look not only eastward, but inward, to secure its interests and to transcend sanctions wholly dependent on the concept of “globalization.”
As this “carrot and stick” method of working the world into Wall Street and Washington’s international order becomes less effective, some of the uglier and less elegant tools of the West’s geopolitical trade have taken a more prominent role on the global stage. It appears that if the West cannot rule this international order built upon the concepts of globalization, it will rule an international order built on chaos.