Don’t get too excited, but I’m writing a book. This is the reason for the long delay between Part 1 and Part 2 of this post. As Ben Franklin put it, either I’m trying to write something worth reading or I’m doing something worth writing—the story of my life.
If you didn’t read Part 1 of this post, do that before proceeding. There I cover the first seven wars of the United States. I explain what happened during the Gilded Age, between the Civil War and the Spanish American War, and how it changed the course of history. I also point out how eerily similar the Russia-Ukraine-NATO war is to World War I, in reverse.
Well, Russia finally responded to U.S. sanctioning. In no uncertain terms, Putin told all “unfriendly” nations that they could buy gas with rubles, and they could buy rubles with gold, since they’re not allowed to transact in U.S. dollars. This means gold = rubles = Russian gas. It reminds me of what made the U.S. into the world’s empire: gold accumulations. After World War II, the allied powers created a new financial system in 1944 with 44 country delegates at Bretton Woods. This financial system crowned the U.S. dollar the new world reserve currency—basically, the king. Foreign currencies were pegged to the U.S. dollar, which was pegged to gold at $35 per ounce. It was expected that for every dollar printed, the U.S. would hold physical gold, exchangeable at this ratio.
Since this system was abandoned (temporarily) by Nixon in 1971, the dollar was pegged to oil, creating the petrodollar. After decades of money printing and enormous debt, what seems to have happened since 1971 is the dollar has become completely estranged from gold, backed by blind military faith and over $30 trillion in credit. In other words, the dollar is backed by: “We will beat the crap out of you or kill you if you don’t follow our rules.” Since debtors eventually run out of options, Russia just laid a similar card on the table that the U.S. played in 1944, only with a twist. Now that EROI (energy return on investment) is much lower than it was back then, commodities are extremely valuable and currencies (IOUs) are not. So it is no accident what Putin is doing, laying the groundwork for the Great Reset we’ve all been hearing about. How interesting to watch it evolve.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading history, it’s that wars are never about the ideologies that surround them in the news. War is about wealth and power. Wealth never disappears; it only changes hands and follows gold. Once you have entered into the debt trap, it doesn’t matter how big your military becomes—if you don’t pay your bills, then you lose your assets. It’s the same when you take out a mortgage—if you stop making payments on that loan, you lose your house. I suppose you could surround your bank with 800 American-made FIM-92 Stinger surface-to-air missiles, but unless you kill all the bankers and everyone who benefits from their credit, sooner or later they’re going to take your house away, because it’s not really yours.
Before World War I, Russia had the third largest gold reserve in the world. But after the war, even though they were on the winning side, their gold disappeared and the Romanov’s three-hundred year rule came to an end. I’ve been thinking about this since I wrote Part 1, how a nation wins a world war but collapses from within. For some reason, Russia felt compelled to fight in World War I to its own peril, which baffles me. Imagine your friend has a very messy broken house, and you do too. But instead of cleaning your own house, and fixing it, you take out loans and spend all your time and money cleaning up and fixing your friend’s house. Then you go bankrupt.
Russia’s involvement in the world war made little sense. Fact is, the Romanov rule effectively ended when the Bolsheviks captured the Tsar family’s gold reserve, and subsequently killed the royal family. According to legend, the gold was lost at the bottom of Lake Baikal, the world’s oldest and deepest freshwater lake. But according to the The Federal Reserve Bulletin from June, 1921, most of this gold ended up in other countries (not with Russian peasants) and indirectly landed in the U.S. I’m not saying it was orchestrated this way, but a significant international wealth transfer took place. That’s interesting to me. While it hurt the Russian peasants and working class people, it greatly helped other countries.
It appears that maybe Russia is today where the U.S. was in 1921, and maybe the U.S. is today where Russia was then, but let’s think it through. The already poor peasants and working class people of Russia were suddenly forced to fight in a world war for which they weren’t equipped or prepared. Between 1914 and 1917, millions of Russians were killed and wounded. It’s understandable why the people got angry at Czar Nicholas II. There was no logical reason for Russia’s involvement in this war or for the tsar’s personal takeover of the army, and for letting Grigori Rasputin influence the royal family. Especially when food shortages ravaged the country, the people wanted it to end.
Nicholas was a clumsy leader with an autocratic tyrannical stench that one could smell all the way back in the Middle Ages. He just couldn’t see himself as anyone other than chosen by God to be a great Tsar of Russia, and subsequently, infallible in his thinking and action. This insane hubris, and that’s what it was, caused Nicholas to reject constitutional limitations, and endanger the lives and well being of his people. Even as the situation worsened, he refused to capitulate, clinging to a certainty that his mind and his decisions were effectively God’s divine will. Everything he did seemed to hurt the Russian peasants. So why was he doing it?
In response to the maleffects of government bread rationing, there was a people’s protest in Petrograd, and the army was called in to suppress it. While many of the soldiers had refused to open fire, some did and several protestors were killed. This got people more upset, and the city council for workers and soldiers (Petrograd Soviet), started garnering power. They soon brought an end to the Tsar autocracy, and a new two-party government took over. These parties were the Petrograd Soviet and the Provisional Government. Turns out the Provisional Government was as unpopular as the Tsar autocracy, again because they wouldn’t stop fighting in World War I.
Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who were part of the Marxist Social Democratic Labour Party, came up with a slogan that resonated with people: Peace, Bread, and Land. Peace meant stopping Russia’s involvement in World War I. Bread represented the food shortages which would resolve when they stopped fighting the battles of their friends. Land would go to the peasants to grow food, raise livestock, etc. When they had garnered enough support, the Bolsheviks staged a coup d’état against the Provisional Government. They stormed the palace and arrested the Provisionals, putting themselves fully in charge as The Soviets.
Czar Nicholas and his family were awoken one night and executed. They were the first victims of the Soviet communists, if you can see them as victims. What happened next was a long bloody civil war between The Reds (revolutionaries) and The Whites (loyalists). In 1922, the Reds won and created the first socialist state called the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Lenin was instituted as the leader of this state and the Bolsheviks were renamed “The Communist Party.” In keeping with Peace, Bread, and Land, Lenin distributed land amongst the citizens, and nationalized industry.
Anyone who opposed the state’s actions was either imprisoned in concentration camps or executed. After Lenin died, just two years into the USSR, another leftist revolutionary Joseph Stalin rose to power. By imprisoning millions in labor camps called Gulags, Stalin turned the USSR into a major world power through rapid industrialization. He was a dictator, and as ludicrous as it sounds, millions more people starved to death because workers were not allowed to eat their own grain which was state property. In the 1930s, Stalin started a campaign called the Great Purge to execute anyone who threatened communism, including politicians and intellectuals.
After World War II, Stalin funded the development of communism in other lands, which led to the Cold War. In 1953, Stalin died, and things started slowly falling apart. The USSR underproduced and stagnated, spending too much money to build up their military industrial complex at the expense of the economy. Mikhail Gorbachev tried to reverse the decline by doing away with destructive practices like book banning and secret police. He tried bringing more transparency into the system by allowing multi-candidate elections also. Then he tried to move the country away from a managed state-owned economy to having privately owned businesses and free markets. However, the old system collapsed before the new one started working.
Now I wonder if you see what I see. Do you see the United States is no longer a free market economy? Do you see the rise of extreme leftism and communism in the country? Do you see us borrowing too much money? Are we spending too much on our military complex at the expense of the economy? Are people heavily dependent on the government? Hasn’t the government essentially nationalized industry by buying stocks and bonds and bailing out businesses? Why do they prop the market up at all costs? Do you find it peculiar that the Reds were the revolutionaries in Russia like the Blues are here? Or that the Whites were the loyalists in Russia while the Reds are here? How about that both the US and the Russian flags are red, white, and blue? This is how my mind works—always seeing connections and enantiodromia.
Russia and the United States have had quite the rivalry over my lifetime, at least that’s what we have been led to believe. But I’d like to take you down a different path than “The Russians” and talk about the second half of America’s wars. World War II was a direct result of Germany’s financial troubles after World War I, which stressed out all of Europe. The story we know is a dictator rose to power in an economically unstable Germany. He decided to play a divine role in creating a superior human race, while he tricked and killed people whom he considered to be inferior. The reasons for World World II were more complicated than this, but the result was another huge transfer of wealth from the world to the United States.
Since World War II, every war has been about controlling oil reserves or strategic territories in one way or another, but this is not discussed. Instead, the media engages people with ideological constructs like socialism and communism. The media is the fire that gets these constructs pumping through people’s veins, gets them emotionally riled up about how they are viewed and treated, what they have and don’t. “Who cares about oil? Oil is bad! We have more important things to worry about, like our gender and race, minimum wage, taxing the rich, getting more welfare, defunding the police, whether abortions should be legal and whether injections should be mandatory or not, and stimulus.” You get the idea…DISTRACTION. Propaganda and ignorance keeps people from realizing they are living in an interdependent world that has grown eightfold and has used up all its cheap energy. Go figure.
The Korean War was about the spread of communism vs democracy. The Vietnam war was about communism vs democracy. The Gulf War, Desert Shield/Desert Storm, was about helping the little guys. Really? With the collapse of the twin towers, war got even weirder. In the blink of an eye, it was about opposing groups and nations that didn’t go along with the agenda of the West. Isn’t that what the USSR did? Destroy people that didn’t go along with their agenda? Didn’t the U.S. indirectly fund the Taliban? To manufacture war? There was also the Cold War between Russia and the United States, again orbiting around the theme of communism vs. democracy. The result? Both sides perfected their use of propaganda to spin ideological conflicts while they built up atomic weaponry and biological-chemical warfare labs that could effectively destroy mankind.
Finally, we had the weirdest war of all, the Trade War with China followed by the War on Covid, which turned into the Cold “Civil” War in the United States. Now we’re seeing war on people like we’ve never seen before. Why is this happening? Are we now the calf, plump and ready for the slaughter? The slaves to do the hard physical labor when cheap energy goes bye bye for good? Are we the useless eaters? Or the inferior people with defective DNA? Isn’t that Nazism? Did you know that civilizations collapse because they become too complex and/or run out of resources? If our Central Intelligence Agency is as smart as they profess to be, then they would have known about the end of oil 50+ years ago, in a system dependent on oil, and they would have put a plan into place to deal with it. Is this the plan?
So war…what’s it all about? I can’t tell you anything more than it’s a secret. The war makers don’t want you to know. But the secrets themselves do want you to know, calling out for you to find them and set them free. “Secrets, silent, stony sit in the dark palaces of both our hearts: secrets weary of their tyranny: tyrants willing to be dethroned.” –James Joyce, Ulysses