RE: Transnational interests & China

Wed, 9 Apr 1997 07:53:46 +0100
Richard K. Moore (

4/08/97, Andrew Wayne Austin wrote:
>Transnational interests are the major determinant of US-China policy.
>Transnationals are seeking to integrate China into the global economy.
>This is the material basis for ideological and political practices
>surrounding policy behavior towards China.
>> Is "US
>> national interest" now tacitly defined to include, let's say, G7 interests?
>Yes, most definitely. The G7 and other elite organizations that constitute
>the nascent transnational government (informal, at this point).

We seem to agree here on all points.

>> Do weapons technology developments promise Uncle Sam an alternative to
>> nuclear armageddon - an alternative that can be used more flexibly to bring
>> a future China to its knees without incinerating it?
>Wrong question. Weapons technology development has three functions.
>First, consensual domination is always only the wrapping around coercive
>domination. Renegade nation-states will need to be coerced into fulfilling
>their role in the global system. Second, surveillance and weapons
>technology is crucial for the control of the global work force and
>supernumeraries. As wealth inequality increases and material conditions
>decline, consensual domination will increasingly breakdown. Instruments
>of violence are a very important backup. And third, capitalist production
>still depends heavily on massive taxpayer subsidy, and defense spending is
>one of the least questioned mechanism through which the state props us
>private industry.

I agree fully with what you say here - the primary mission for "instruments
of violence" is indeed ongoing global management. But I believe China is a
special case - it is more than a just another renegade state, to be
"coerced into fulfilling" its role.

China now, like Japan and Germany in the thirties, is deep-down unwilling
to be coerced into someone else's defined role. This is not a matter of
culture - Japan, China, and Germany span a wide cultural range - it is a
matter of simple nationalism, and where a given nation falls on the
life-cycle curve of nationalist ambition. What WW II did to Germany and
Japan was to take the steel out of their independent nationalist spirit -
and accomplishing that required total defeat and a formal surrender. In
each country there were still at the end many thousands who would have
preferred to fight to the death.

There is now a gentleman's club of nations - essentially the G7 - which to
a first approximation runs the world. Japan and Germany - like the rest -
have accepted that collaboration amongst themselves is more beneficial than
the old competitive-imperialism games. After all, it was the non-G7
nations that were being exploited all along, so why shouldn't the bandits
organize themselves into one friendly, gentlemanly gang. Al Capone's
career is not a bad metaphor for the phenomenon.

World War II, in its essence, was a case of Japan and Germany being given
an offer they couldn't refuse: join the gang or you don't walk again.

China isn't presently desirous of joining the club - of sincerely
subordinating its national interests to the group. This is because (1)
China still has an unbroken spirit - it sees itself as a young (as a modern
power) hotshot that can show the world a thing or two, and (2) joining the
club under current circumstances would mean conceding to the US a larger
share of influence in East Asia than China thinks is appropriate.

As things stand, China is a loose cannon on G7's globally integrated turf.
If China continues to wield its economic influence as a solo player, and if
it builds a credible military force, then the situation is hardly different
than with Japan and the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. China now, like Japan
then, threatens to establish an independent sphere-of-influence whose size
and wealth could be very considerable, and whose continuing ambition would
be a constant annoyance and a destabilizing influence on the club.

This threat is flatly contrary to American strategic interests, as amended
to include G7 interests. I don't see why we shouldn't assume that Western
strategic planners are fully cognizant of the WW II precedent - look how
very succeessful the war-enabled social re-engineering of Japan and Germany
turned out to be: they both have performed miraculously and have remained
loyal club members. Why wouldn't planners seek to replay the same proven
scenario and thereby obtain uncontested global hegemony for their club, and
a new cycle of post-war growth?

Sure, engagement should and will be given every chance. And perhaps China
will humbly percieve the strategic situation and wise up. But there is
compelling evidence to suggest that Plan B should be kept on war-alert
status, unless the club wants to back off from its currently-perceived
strategic perogatives.

For full scale war with China to be feasible, the US (mainly) would need to
be able to obtain the same kind of mastery-of-theater that it obtained in
Iraq. Assuming that nuclear annihilation of China is not a desired
outcome, and given the size and population of China, Uncle Sam could
prevail only if he could suppress all air-defense measures, prevent China
from launching strategic missiles, and have the unrestricted ability to
pound China with cruise missiles and bombs.

China is a good bit bigger than Iraq, and would be much better prepared,
and so the Desert Storm technology would need to be radically upscaled and
refined. The race to re-invent C4, as reported by the Economist, seems to
be a straightforward strategic imperative for US planners.


It is noteworthy that "culture" really plays no role in this scenario. Nationalism crosses all cultures, and nations can be in "solo" mode or "club-joining" mode, independent of culturual considerations. The operative forces are nationalism, corporations acting via national power, and the gang-like behaviors of leading national powers. Culture is a red herring. Balance-of-power realpolitik is not dead - not yet.

But of course the popular-history/public-debate/media/propaganda version of history looks nothing like what we've been talking about. According to the consensus myth, WW II was due to a pair of manaical monsters - a Yellow Peril and a Nazi Demon - who were driven by disturbed psyches more than normal national ambitions, and whom the free nations of the world had to subdue, in the interests of freedom, democracy, and human rights. People don't want to fight to obtain balance-of-power adjustments, but they'll fight valiantly if you can tap into appropriate emotional-response triggers.

I think the significance of Huntington's thesis - and the establishment's embracing of same - can be summed up quite simply: Kultur-Kampf is the mythology to be foisted on the public to cover the real motivations behind the anticipated violent adjustment in great-power relationships - ie. the coercion of China into the G7 club on G7 terms, by replay of the Japan-Germany unconditional-surrender precedent.

The propagation of a Kultur-Kampf Big Lie - especially if China is likened to the already demonized Arab states - looks like a sound basis for evoking the "simian grunting of the North European warrior". With the bass-drum beat of Kultur-Kampf building a steady rythym in the popular media, the pace can be jazzed up with juicy atrocity stories whenever necessary, and the warpath-kettle can be kept just below boil. This is what war-preparadness means, as regards strategic propaganda.

Armaments and public opinion are both being systematically prepared, it seems, for the anticipated conflict. There will be no time to build a thousand bombers and no dissension will be desired - when the decisive moment for action arises. When the "innocent" US fleet is inevitably blown out of the seas, as it rushes, say, to protect Taiwan, Plan B must be ready for instant execution - there will be critical first-strike missions that cannot be allowed to fail (shades of German invasion of Poland). And once the show starts, the pace will not slacken.

It will be a one-battle war, a full-court press all the way - the modern warfare model is a blitzkrieg model, and we saw its field tests in Grenada, Panama, and Iraq. That's the pattern to look for: Total Krieg Ist Kurzeste Krieg. All weapons systems, including those of the endgame, must be in full readiness at conflict-start. I therefore expect C4 development to continue to acclerate over the coming months, and also expect at least one additional test prior to the big event, timed to suit the needs of systems evaluation more than any real emergency. Hence the demonization quotients are maintained by the media at a high level for Iran, Iraq, and Libya - so that a weapons test can be arranged quickly when needed.

If plans do go awry in the actual conflict with China, despite all the sophisticated preparations, Plan C will be full-nuclear, not a backdown. This game is too important for Plan C not to be agreed beforehand, and I can't imagine US military planners putting down "Retreat" as their answer to Contingency C. That word isn't in the AmeriKultur lexicon, not since "I haven't yet begun to fight" was entered into it.


When the conflict is over, with either Chinese survivors or a black hole occupying Asia, the reconstuction will begin (assuming survivors) as an exact replay of the Germany-Japan postwar model - parliamentary democracy, constitutional limitations on rearmament, the whole nine yards.

At that point - and not before - we will enter the era which Mr. Lloyd-Jones claims we have already entered - a post-national context in which new primary forces will arise to shape the global architecture their own way, replacing the structuring forces of nationalism and its gang alignments.

Regards, rkm