What do the new US sanctions mean for Russia?

US sanctions are the reaction of a weakening hegemon: America is retreating, although the media continues to pretend that it is playing a game
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22 4 2021

In 2006, leading analysts in the American military-intelligence community expressed confidence that any attempt by any state to catch up with the United States in the field of military power is so futile that it is not even worth trying.

It was stated that the US is on the verge of achieving absolute nuclear superiority with the ability to destroy the nuclear potential of Russia and China with the first strike. This opportunity has arisen because Russia has entered a phase of long-term decline, and China is moving too slowly in the military sphere.

At the same time, it was recognised that Russian development is unpredictable, Chinese ambitions are fraught with surprises, nuclear weapons are capable of proliferation, and a series of minor conflicts will require American intervention.

This is how American strategists saw the future in the bright 2006.

In 2021, everything turned grim: the same strategists admit that Russia is not only the only country in the world capable of destroying the US in 20 minutes, but also leads in a number of areas in the long term, especially in the field of hypersonic systems and electronic warfare systems.

With regard to China in 2021, there is a consensus among the US military expert community that if by 2024 a military conflict over Taiwan is not provoked and China is not inflicted with a local military defeat, with the help of which it will be possible to overthrow the Xi Jinping regime, then in 2030 China will reach a level of military power that will surpass the level of the US and its allies, at least in the Indo-Pacific region.

The military-political alliance between Russia and China completely negates the global military hegemony of the US, without which their trade and financial hegemony collapses. I.e., Russia and China are moving away from the vulnerability of sea trade links and are building land analogues that are inaccessible to American military power. At the same time, they put under their control such vast zones in Eurasia that neoliberal globalisation, understood as total Americanisation, suffers a defeat comparable to the defeat of Soviet socialism.

There are only 14 years between these polar estimates. Three five-year plans. This alone is enough to assess the full degree of intoxication of the expert-political community of the US from the status of the winner of the USSR in the Cold War, which has collapsed on their heads. The euphoria was so great that strategic calculations were based on utopias. The availability of resources and the will to power in the US has collided with the flaws of strategy, and the collapsed image of a state-leader - with a social model worthy of imitation.

The US retains three components of global domination: economic power, military strength and cultural attractiveness (whatever may be said about its flaws). The work ethic in the US is still the most progressive: the American worker works 350 hours more per year than in other developed countries, and 90% are willing to work even more if "it is in the best interest of the cause”. 67% dislike social changes that lead to less stressful work.

And this quality of American culture is a powerful competitive advantage. For, as noted by the prominent contemporary sociologist I. Wallerstein, "culture has always been the weapon of the strongest."

In other words, the potential for American hegemony should not be underestimated. The American economy remains the most powerful in the world. The largest American financial institutions have absorbed and control all the world's investment resources - either through direct control or through influence that cannot be ignored.

And yet, globalisation has faced insurmountable constraints. While the US enjoyed a short decade of status as the capital of the world, concentrating immense power and energy of solidarity, antagonistic forces achieved colossal growth, making the price of US hegemony prohibitive. The 21st century began unsuccessfully for the US - with all the trump cards in hand. The list that begins with the words "the US failed" is long enough.

1. The US was unable to subordinate the UN mechanism to the solution of their strategic tasks.

2. The US was unable to restore order in Somalia, Libya, Rwanda, Congo, Colombia, Afghanistan.

3. The US failed to create a pro-American coalition in defeated Iraq.

4. The US failed to overthrow the regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Syria, North Korea, Congo and Malaysia.

5. The US was unable to influence the economic policies of China, the EU and Japan.

6. The US was unable to maintain a loyal regime in Myanmar (Burma).

7. The US was unable to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

8. The US failed to subdue Iran and force the EU to comply with the oil embargo on Iranian oil.

9. The US has failed to establish NATO's role as a global police officer.

10. The US was unable to solve the assigned tasks in Ukraine.

11. The US failed to stop drug trafficking in the US.

12. The US was unable to stop the military, scientific and economic development of Russia and China, bringing pro-American forces to power there.

13. The US was unable to prevent the implementation of Russian and Chinese global infrastructure projects, including the creation of alliances such as the EAEU, the Union State between Russia and Belarus, the SCO, BRICS and the CSTO, as well as the China-EU trade agreement and an agreement with ASEAN on the establishment of an FTA.

If we add to this a complex of economic and epidemiological problems within the US, then the picture of American global domination becomes like cheese with big holes. I.e., with all the prerequisites for hegemony in the US, it has not increased in 20 years, but has weakened.

The US seeks to force the world to open up to American exports of goods, capital, and institutions of influence and control (they call this "the export of investments and ideas"). Even D. Bush Jr. said that the growth of the US requires growth outside of them. But the growth that the US wants requires opening up local markets to private American companies, which American propaganda calls "efficiency champions”. They (companies) directly demand from nation states to cede regulatory functions to them.

The elites in these states have already been recruited. They are indoctrinated with neoliberal economic orthodoxy. It is expressed in the promotion of the ideology of consumerism, which creates a sense of a new identity and replaces traditional attitudes and forms a sense of global civilisation (new nomads). The globalisation of culture (its Americanisation) is as much a weapon as aircraft carriers.

A set of global governance institutions emerges, to which states must submit. The US even agreed to open its market to other countries in exchange for the penetration of its institutions of influence into these countries. It worked everywhere - but only with China it became a strategic trap, from which the US cannot get out.

Moreover, Russia, China and the EU are increasingly beginning to determine the fate of the US itself. The new stage of globalisation is changing its Pan-American essence.

Along with the strengthening of globalisation, factors of its destruction are emerging. Weak states are weakening, the strong are forming a new identity with a return to foundations and shrines. Elites become cosmopolitan, but peoples cling to national identities and create a social base for anti-globalism, which is expressed primarily as anti-Americanism. Explosive migration of an economic nature destroys and isolates the cultural core of the global Western project.

Chaotisation is getting out of the control of globalists, who use chaos as a means of destroying the old order and creating a new one on its ruins. In this environment, new centres of power are being formed. The US can only defend itself against this through sanctions. Russia and China are consistently restoring their zones of influence - there is a direct battle for allies.

As the resource flows from the US to the EU, China, Russia and Brazil (possibly Turkey), the contour map of the geopolitical and civilisational poles will change. US sanctions are the reaction of a weakening hegemon who is hesitant to launch a nuclear war. If this pace of change continue, then in 15 years the US will turn from the first among the unequal into an equal among the first. This will mean a different history of mankind.

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