Gorbachev and the Cycle of Collapse

Mikhail Gorbachev, the man who oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has recently given his take on Putin's annexation of Ukraine: "Earlier Crimea was merged with Ukraine under Soviet laws, to be more exact by the [Communist] party's laws, without asking the people, and now the people have decided to correct that mistake."

When Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, the Soviet Union was six years into its war in Afghanistan. It would take Gorbachev four years to finally withdraw all Soviet forces from Afghanistan. Two years after withdrawing from Afghanistan, Gorbachev also oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Though Putin would describe Gorbachev's inability to maintain the USSR's continuity as a "geopolitical catastrophe," in the West we tend to generally see Gorbachev as a strong, powerful leader willing to make difficult-but-right choices for his people. 

Moscow's main international media voice, RT, currently has Gorbachev's approval of Putin's annexation of Crimea as one of its top stories. Though Gorbachev and Putin had a bit of a falling out after Putin decided to give himself the power to appoint governors -- taking away power from the electorate -- it seems that Gorbachev's back in the game.

Though Gorbachev is a geopolitical legend, it's easy to see that the United States is today in a position similar to the one the USSR found itself in during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. American infrastructure is outdated and crumbling, the country is in debt to the neck and still the President and his national security establishment refuse to confirm surrender exit.

The United States today is more divided than it was during the period preceding the Civil War. There is no competing economic model appealing enough to challenge international capitalism, and the Federal government has for years been working on giving itself police powers -- exponentially expanding the power of the Department of Homeland Security over the past decade -- so there is unlikely to be any secession or dissolution of the States. What will follow is stagflation until inward implosion. 

After inward implosion, America's vast network of international military bases will no longer be tenable, and its aircraft carriers will be obsolete in the face of Russian and Chinese missiles and satellites; inward implosion is more directly tied to China's rise because of China's accumulation of American debt.

Gorbachev couldn't predict that Boris Yeltsin -- Russia's first president following Soviet dissolution -- would subject the country to economic shock that would create oligarchs and have-nots, so it is impossible for anyone to predict what America's next president has in store for her. Many describe international capitalism as a cutthroat system that exploits the weakest citizens of the weakest nations.

International corporations, however, exploit Americans just as much as they exploit the citizens of other countries. Inward implosion may be followed by American detachment from the international economic system. What Americans of the 20th century would have called isolationism, the 21st century liberal intelligentsia will call "divestment from international exploitation." Many people do not even realize that the United States is collapsing, they will simply wake up one day and notice that America is closed.