There is No Second Cold War

The growing conflict between the United States and the People’s Republic of China is dangerous but it is not a Second Cold War.

Interestingly, American leftists’ false ideas about the First Cold War and the Soviet Union inspire the misunderstanding that there is a Cold War between America and China. To explain, Leftists to accept the true nature of the Soviet Union leads to a misunderstanding of the American-Chinese Conflict.

The Soviet Union sparked the First Cold War with its efforts to impose a brutal totalitarian system, Communism, on other countries. For example, the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe and imposed Communist puppet regimes on it.

American Myths about the USSR explain the Second Cold War Fantasy

Hence, the Warsaw Pact was a colonial empire not an alliance such as NATO (the North American Treaty Organization).

 Warsaw Pact members had no choice about joining the Alliance or fighting the Kremlin’s wars for it. Hence, 1950s or 1960s Poland had no choice of joining the Warsaw Pact, just as 1920s India had no choice about participating in the British Empire.

In contrast, America allowed France to leave NATO during the 1950s and welcomed former enemies, such as Spanish dictator Francisco Franco into NATO. The United States did not interfere in Spain, or force Franco to hold democratic elections. The Soviets forced Communist governments on Eastern Europe even though nobody there wanted Communism.

In addition, the Soviets openly allied with aggressive dictators such as Fidel Castro in Cuba. Furthermore, the Soviets financed and armed Communist guerrilla movements.

Finally, the Soviets made no secret of their plans to overthrow all other governments and replace them with Communist puppet regimes. In fact, the Soviets financed an American puppet organization the Communist Party USA with that goal.

Incredibly, many American leftists refused to accept the Soviet Union’s true nature as a totalitarian dictatorship or acknowledge the USSR’s brutal imperialism. Instead, those people kept the fantasy that the Soviet Union was a Swedish style social democracy until its collapse.

No China is not the New Soviet Union

Today, those leftists and their children or grandchildren cannot distinguish between the dead Soviet Union and the modern People’s Republic of China.

Yes, the People’s Republic of China is a dictatorship ruled by a Communist Party. However, the only similarities between the modern People’s Republic and the Soviet Union are a Leninist political structure and a red flag.

The differences between the Soviet Union and modern China are vast. First, unlike the USSR, China is a staunchly capitalist country with a successful economy. The Chinese have adopted both capitalist economics and modern consumer culture to an extent the Soviets never did. China’s economy works in a way the Soviet economy never did.

Secondly, the People of Republic is not expansionist. The People’s Republic has not invaded and occupied neighboring nations such as Vietnam even when those countries were historic Chinese territories. The Chinese efforts at expansion are aimed at former provinces of the Chinese empire such as Taiwan and Tibet not other countries.

China vs the Soviet Union

Thirdly, the People’s Republic of China has no policy of military expansion or subversion beyond its borders as the Soviet Union had. For example, the Chinese government has not financed guerrilla movements or organized coups against regimes it dislikes.

Nor have the Chinese actively opposed or interfered with American military operations in the way the Soviets did. For instance, the Chinese have not tried to arm anti-American rebels in Iraq or Afghanistan. In comparison, the Soviets supplied the North Vietnamese with vast amounts of weapons and ammunition during the Vietnam War.

Importantly, the Chinese have made no effort to finance or organize anti-American or Communist political parties anywhere. Instead, the Chinese government tries to portray itself as the champion of sovereignty, international law, and global stability.

Finally, the Chinese government is not engaging in the kind of in your face militarism the Soviets loved. For example, the Chinese have not supplied direct military aid to anti-American leaders such as Venezuela’s Nicholas Maduro. Instead, all the Chinese have done is bought oil at low prices from the bankrupt Maduro.

In addition, the Chinese alliances with anti-American regimes such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Iran have been limited. Notably, no Chinese troops joined Putin’s questionable military operations in Syria. Instead, China’s military cooperation consists of joint maneuvers.

Therefore, the current Chinese government is not a military threat to the United States or any nation, except possibly Taiwan. Interestingly, the Chinese have not tried to invade Taiwan, only to keep that nation from exercising its own foreign policy.

America’s Role

Strangely, there is a great power behaving as the Soviet Union did during the Cold War. Disgustingly, that power is the United States.

To explain, Soviet leaders thought their Communist ideology gave them a moral obligation to interfere in the affairs of other nations, engage in wars of conquest, and attempt to destroy rivals. Disturbingly, many American leaders are now behaving in the same way. The difference is modern American leaders think capitalism and democracy give them a right to force their ideas on the world.

Former President George W. Bush (R-Texas) for example thought he had a moral duty to invade Iraq in the name of democracy. Likewise, former President Barack Obama (D-Illinois) thought he had the moral right to overthrow Libyan dictator Mohamar Qaddafi and bomb Syria in the name of democracy.

The America China conflict could develop because the United States is hell bent on forcing its values on other countries at gunpoint as the Soviets did. Remember, after World War II the United States demobilized its military and went home. Meanwhile, the Soviets stayed in Eastern Europe and imposed puppet states. That led to Cold War after the United States began supporting anti-Communist regimes to contain Soviet imperialism.

The America China conflict could develop because the United States is hell bent on forcing its values on other countries at gunpoint as the Soviets did. Remember, after World War II the United States demobilized its military and went home. Meanwhile, the Soviets stayed in Eastern Europe and imposed puppet states. That led to Cold War after the United States began supporting anti-Communist regimes to contain Soviet imperialism.

America as the New Soviet Union

One consequence of America’s imperialistic behavior is that the Chinese are engaging in a massive military build up. Similarly, the United States built a massive military industrial complex to defend itself and allies against Communist aggression during the Cold War.

Furthermore, American leaders such as Donald J. Trump (R-Florida) feel they can flaunt conventions and ignore international laws. For example, Trump uses the United States as a grandstand for campaign speeches. Similarly,the  baffoonish Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the table at the United Nations to demonstrate Communist power.

Hence, America’s leaders learned nothing from the Cold War and seem dedicated to repeating the mistakes of a defunct enemy. Ultimately, the Soviet Union collapsed because its leaders ignored the country’s problems while wasting resources on needless weapons. Ordinary Russians lacked access to basic consumer goods while their government built the world’s advanced missiles and tanks.

Today, America maintains the world’s largest military machine but ordinary citizens sleep in their cars because of a lack of housing. The Coronavirus Pandemic exposes America’s problems and its similarity to the Soviet Union in the starkest way possible.

 Americans with no health insurance and no paycheck can look up into the skies and see flashy fighter jets buzzing overhead. Meanwhile, the Americans watching the jets are standing in line at the food bank, just as 1970s Russians stood in line to buy bread.  

Today’s American leaders are too blinded by their ideology and arrogance to see the nation’s problems. Just as 20th Century Soviet leaders were too blinded by their ideology to see the shoddy reality of 1970s and 1980s Russia.

A Great Power Conflict not a Cold War

The dispute between the United States and China is a great power conflict not a Cold War.

To clarify, a Great Power Conflict is a series of disputes over traditional issues such as territory, trade, security, and resources not an ideological battle. However, Great Power Conflicts can be deadly. Notably, a Great Power Conflict between Germany and Britain led to World War I.

Great Power Conflicts are dangerous because they seem harmless on the surface. There is none of the urgency of a Cold War. The lack of ideological disputes blinds many people to the conflict or its dangers.

In addition, a Great Power Conflict can develop into a Thucydides Trap; in which an established power becomes obsessed with containing or destroying a perceived rival at all costs. Frighteningly, some American intellectuals; including some of President Trump’s advisers, are now obsessed with the need to contain Chinese power.

A Dangerous Conflict

Like other Great Power Conflicts, the US-China dispute involves national pride, jingoism, and historical racial and cultural conflicts. Racism seems to shape the Trump administration’s attitude towards China, for example.

Trump has been more sympathetic to the white Christian Russians than the Asian and Confucian Chinese, for instance. Even though the Russians have been far more hostile to the United States and aggressive in their anti-Americanism than the Chinese.

Americans need to realize there is no Second Cold War. Instead, a small cadre of arrogant American intellectuals and corrupt politicians are more interested in playing empire than dealing with the nation’s problems.

Therefore, the conflict with China will be easy to settle if both sides abandon their racism, delusions of imperial grandeur, and ideological blinders. Furthermore, America needs to learn to fix its own problems before dictating values to other countries.

In the final analysis, it is obvious that America’s leadership class learned nothing from the First Cold War. America’s leaders are hell bent to repeat the mistakes of the Soviet Union and destroy their country’s power and prestige for a fantasy ideology.