Source: The International Forecaster, by James Corbett
If this ended up being the year of the first North Korean nuclear attack or the rise of a neo-Communist insurgency in the West or an all-out cyberwar between major powers or a fake alien invasion, who would even be surprised at this point? We’ve lost our sense of normal. There is only chaos.
Well, we’ve all survived inauguration weekend…so far. That’s a start, right? It’s certainly a sign of something when we take some measure of comfort in the fact that the world hasn’t quite ended yet, but you don’t need me to tell you that. Everyone can feel it deep down.
Whether it’s the fake news squawking their propaganda louder than ever, or protests and riots mixed with rumors of protests and riots, or wars of words between the newly-crowned president and…well, almost everyone, things seem to be full-on crazy and getting crazier by the minute.
Don’t you just wish for some “normality” right now? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to that bygone time of a couple of decades ago when the world didn’t seem so insane?
That’s the trick. That’s exactly what you’re supposed to be feeling right now. Allow me to explain.
You see, everyone in “conspiracyland” is familiar with that old Masonic dictum, ordo ab chao. For those who stumbled onto this article from “Fakenewsestablishmentland,” that’s Latin for “order out of chaos” and it refers to the tried-and-true method of would-be tyrants everywhere for moving society in a given direction. In short: generate chaos in order to provide the type of “order” you wanted all along.
In order to pass a PATRIOT Act, you need a 9/11. So, if you were a would-be tyrant who wanted to gain total control over the internet via an i-PATRIOT Act, what would you do? If you answered “Stage a cyber 9/11!” then give yourself a cookie; you get the idea. (Bonus points if you suggested appointing one of the key 9/11 cover up artists to the position of “cyberczar.”)
But there’s a corollary to “order out of chaos” that often gets overlooked: If you want to transition from one order to the next (an “old word order” to a “new world order,” if you will), then you need to create chaos. And the bigger the transition, the more havoc needs to be generated in order to bring it about.
It would be difficult to argue that we’re not going through such a transition right now. We are simultaneously facing:
- The breakdown of the international monetary order.
- The breakdown of the international security order (aka “Pax Americana“).
- The breakdown of the political order (in America, Britain, Italy, Korea and elsewhere).
- The breakdown of societal order (in America, Europe and elsewhere).
That’s a lot of chaos. And everyone is feeling it. There are worries about trade wars and new trade compacts that might emerge in the coming years. There are worries about actual wars that might take place if the bellicose warmongering from certain circles isn’t tamped down soon.
To understand how chaotic things are, just look at a few of the radically different but equally plausible scenarios describing how things might unfold in the Trump era:
Scenario 1: Trump pivots to the Chinese boogeyman and buddies up with Putin, driving a wedge between the blossoming Sino-Russian friendship. Raising tariffs, rocking the boat on Taiwan and taking back the South China Sea by force convinces China (rocked by a plunging yuan and a stalling economy) to retreat back into their “Middle Kingdom” shell.
Scenario 2. Trump pulls the US out of the TPP, puts up stiff tariffs on Chinese goods and tells America’s proxies in the Asia-Pacific that if they want the US military umbrella they better be willing to pay for it. China comes along offering its own free trade deal to fill the vacuum left by the retreating Americans. Other nations in the region (like the Philippines and even Australia) turn away from the US and embrace the new China-led Asia-Pacific order.
Scenario 3: Secretary of State Tillerson gets his way and the US labels Russia a danger that must be dealt with. Tougher sanctions lead to more wars of words and saber rattling. Sensing opportunity, Team Trump decides to flip the script with China, making concessions to allow Beijing more leeway in the South China Sea. In return, Washington demands (and receives) Chinese support for sanctions against Moscow, severing the emerging Beijing-Moscow axis.
And those are just the Asia-Pacific scenarios. I could go on, of course. And on and on if need be.
Scenarios in which Iran becomes the next boogeyman for Uncle Sam, kicking off an even more serious level of confrontation with Russia in the Middle East, contrast with scenarios in which Trump realizes his “only Nixon could go to China” moment in Tehran, befriending the Iranians and re-normalizing relations in a bid to recoup some of the hundreds of billions of dollars in lost business as a result of frosty relations.
Scenarios where the “wave of populism” from 2016 translates into nationalist victories at the polls in Europe, putting the final nails in the coffin of the EU, contrast with scenarios where the EU redoubles its efforts and uses the migrant crisis or the Italian banking crisis (or whatever the next crisis happens to be) as an excuse to take more power.