Monday, June 13, 2022


The United States are still (but to a lesser degree) the magnifying glass of the world. With globalization lying on its deathbed in Davos, world events and trends tend to dissolve. The American way is no longer the sole highway. Everywhere it becomes an uphill battle to rally others around the American leadership. In Latin America, S.E. Asia, Africa or even Europe, the spontaneous sympathy and envy for all things American are gone. 

President Biden should muster more respect and goodwill than he is receiving at present. He tiptoes, Fred Astaire-like, from issue to problem, from crisis to depression and remains, nevertheless, able to retain composure and calm. His character, personal history and political experience have given him an almost stoic demeanor. It is doubtful that this will work to his advantage at the end.

The world-wide tremors felt in the economy will soon hit the panic trespass. People will suffer, and even more perversely rogue players will try to take advantage of a playfield were all bets can avoid penalty. Democracies are especially vulnerable. The mass shooting epidemic and the hearings about the Capitol riot in Washington, DC, coming above a dysfunctional governance, only lay bare the catastrophic state of affairs in the United States. The situation in Europe is equally troublesome since many leaders are inept or unfit. Inflation and costly energy make for an upcoming perfect storm.

China and Russia are one-person states that are free to do, lie, disguise, fake, invade whenever and wherever it serves personal power and purpose. History might bore the younger generation but if it doesn't grasp what is happening now, it might wake up to a very different tune. European leaders should beware of the Munich shadow that looms already too large over their heads. Boris Johnson believes that talking about Churchill will make him the former's equal. Seldom was Downing Street the burrow for so large a fool. Unfortunately the French and German presidents seem to be losing their mojo for now.

Ukraine is the final straw in the sad Spengler saga. Here we have the clear undisputed case of a country bombed back into a graveyard. Some send calibrated weaponry which shouldn't unduly derange the aggressor. Some dream up negotiation formulae that serve mostly egos (Normandy formula), selfish interests (Turkey), or photo ops. The reality is that everybody knows how this will end and that Putin will stop at nothing but "a clear win", whatever the cost. Anyway in Russia the calculus is spooked, like everything else. Ukraine, or what will be left of it, will be the West's and mostly Europe's shame.

America is too self-obsessed with the mid-term elections in November and the presidential heure de vérité in 2024. Democracy there is no longer for granted. There is an ugly, conservative wave that has been awakened by Trump and that has staying power for the time-being. The Republicans have not so much brain as ear-wax (Shakespeare). Indeed the upcoming winter will be the season of discontent for too many.

Recommended reading : Churchill (again) on the Russians, during the Yalta conference.

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