Will the United States cease to exist in the foreseeable future? Will they repeat the fate of the Soviet Union? In principle, any great power, if it is not capable of timely and cleverly changing in a torrent of merciless time, is doomed to a historic collapse. Therefore, such a question about the future of the US is quite appropriate, but, given their military-political strength and economic power, it may seem, at first glance, untimely.
However, even in 1990 no one thought that by the end of next year the great Soviet Union would suddenly disappear forever.
If Trump and those sociopolitical forces that support him will win a decisive autumn internal political battle or at least reduce it in a draw, the process of the collapse of the United States is likely to significantly accelerate. After all this process is already started - and not by Trump himself, and not yesterday!
The final stages of the self-destruction of the great empires have many surprisingly similar features. In this case, we will speak only about nine similar processes (although there are, of course, much more of them) that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and, quite possibly, will lead the United States to the same fatal outcome.
Progressive personal degradation of the highest leaders in the period of the necessary systemic transformation of the empire.
The last truly great leader of the Soviet Union was Leonid Brezhnev. After his death, the rank of general secretary was alternately occupied by the seriously ill, and therefore short-lived rulers, Yuri Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko. Coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev, although physically healthy, but neither for intellectual, nor for moral and moral qualities, was fit to be the leader of a great power that badly needed smart, thoughtful, systemic transformations.
And it is natural that an alternative anti-system leader appeared on this background - Boris Yeltsin.
The last really big, strategically-minded leader of the United States was George W. Bush, a senior, by the way, one of the leaders of the US military reconnaissance complex. The "civilians" Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who came after him, turned out to be in every sense a head below him. Barack Obama, who took the place of the US president primarily due to the unconditional support of the US military-industrial complex, stands apart from this number.
But also in the United States suddenly there is an anti-system leader - Donald Trump. Its peculiarity is that, for example, unlike Boris Yeltsin, he was never included in the highest political elite!
The growing inability of the establishment of a great power to strategically respond to fundamentally new systemic challenges and threats.
Yuri Andropov belongs to the famous saying, which is very vividly characterized by the entire then-Soviet ruling class: "We have not studied to the proper extent the society in which we live and work."
And if only for this reason Gorbachev's so-called policy of perestroika and glasnost (in the accelerated progress of which the decisive role was played by Andropov) was objectively doomed. For an effective systemic transformation, the Soviet state needed an adjusted long-term strategy, a carefully worked out theoretical model for the development of society, a new personnel system and a new ideological "picture of the world" consolidating in new conditions. None of this, neither Gorbachev nor his closest associates (formal and informal) were simply unable to offer.
The USSR collided in the sixties and seventies of the twentieth century with fundamentally new threats and challenges that arose as a result of a sharp complication of all systemic factors both inside the country and on the world stage. But neither the Soviet political upper class, who knew the changing society any more (the gap between the "tops" and "lower classes" soon reached a critical level), or the Soviet scientific elite were not ready to respond adequately to them.
Why did the "tops" of the West so effectively participate in the dismantling of the Soviet Union? Because in many areas, Western strategic centers were much better informed about the system of contradictions and problems that accumulated in the USSR. And they not only knew better, but also could use knowledge for their own purposes.
The United States, which today is in the vanguard of a new technological revolution, faces such complex economic, social, and cultural challenges that have never been in the history of this country. The effect of the so-called McNamara revolutions is largely in the past, and suddenly it turned out that neither the US's top establishment nor the American society knows what to do, nor are they ready to take radical, albeit painful, systemic transformations to cope with these unprecedented threats and risks.
Trump is remarkably similar to Gorbachev and Yeltsin. The policy of the current US president is a very strange mixture of his personal vanity, his overt hatred of Obama (which is very similar to Yeltsin's hatred of Gorbachev), reflecting the growing discontent of his social base with his deteriorating position, the ambitions of part of the offended elite. But neither Trump, nor the environment, nor the supporting forces, do not know how to make America great again! There is a desire, there are slogans, but there is no thoughtful action.
Returning to the words of Yuri Andropov, it should be noted that the current Russian society is several orders of magnitude more complicated than the Soviet one - 80-ies. However, the verifiable, reflective model of the developing Russian society is still absent in the Kremlin and Lubyanka.
The movement of the empire to a historical "abyss" is always accompanied by a dramatic split in the ruling class, an extraordinary growth of sharp contradictions in the upper echelons of power.
Actually, the entire six-year period of Gorbachev's stay in power was a deeper and growing process of the split of the Soviet ruling class along political, economic, territorial, ethnic, cultural lines and coordinates. All the weak, clumsy attempts to stop this fatal process came to an end with almost nothing. The most decisive and tragic was the split in the top leadership of the Soviet army and the Soviet special services.
In the United States, the intra-elite split manifested itself on the political surface as far back as the second half of the 90-ies and sharply escalated during the election campaign of 2000 Bush-Jr. and Al Gore. However, surprisingly timely 11 September made it possible to temporarily suspend such confrontation. After 2012, the confrontation began to gain strength again (especially after the "case of General Petraeus"), dramatically affecting the entire US military intelligence complex.
However, here there is also its own peculiarity: in the last six months, the greater part of the American supreme political establishment has been consolidated against Trump. And the July meeting between the US President and the Russian president only accelerated this process.
On the approaching "suicide" of a major power signals a sharp aggravation of the main systemic contradictions in society.
In 80-ies, especially during the Gorbachev period, there was a fairly rapid social, economic, territorial, ideological, cultural, ethnoreligious fragmentation of Soviet society. The distrust of the republics, regions and krais to Moscow's policy as a federal center has grown sharply, and contradictions and suspicions of entire regions and social groups have appeared and rapidly spread to each other. The migration processes within the USSR have become more active; in particular, the departure of the Russian and Russian-speaking population from Central Asia and the Caucasus increased. Armed clashes began on ethnosocial and political-economic grounds.
In the United States, the unexpected election of Trump was the clearest illustration of the escalation of internal contradictions and problems, including the "blurring" of the traditional middle class, the socio-political split in relation to migrants, the growth of internal migration (in particular, the outflow of white people from California and New Mexico to Northeast), etc. Hatred of the Washington bureaucracy is now particularly strong in the States.
Blurring of traditional ideological principles and norms, inability to develop a new ideological "picture of the world".
The historic collapse of the Soviet Union was prompted by a sharp devaluation of the former state communist ideology, and on the other hand by the inability of the Soviet political elite to develop a new model of an effective state ideology for survival and development in the looming new civilizational conditions.
By ideology I mean the really functioning mechanism of self-awareness and self-identification of a given society or its greater part on the basis of common agreed values, attitudes, norms and goals. That is, when there exists and reproduces such a feeling as "we are a people", "we are a nation". Such an ideology exists in any country, especially such a large and diverse, including in the US.
Traditionally, the American imperial ideological system included such common values as the exclusivity of America's role and place in the world, the total propaganda of precisely American democracy as the best form of government, the freedom of the individual regardless of racial, ethnic, social conditioning, the ideal of personal success in a free entrepreneurship, the inviolability of free trade, ensuring military domination in the world as a guarantee of "freedom of the American way of life" The supreme American political establishment believed and positioned itself capable of controlling and dictating political and ideological attitudes after 1991 to the entire international system.
Today many of these templates no longer work or work extremely inefficiently.
An open offensive with the aim of breaking the traditional American ideological picture of the world began precisely at Trump. Only one, but a remarkable example. As you know, unimpeded trade is an indispensable condition for all empires, including the American one. Moreover, historically such free trade is a more effective guarantee of the preservation of the empire than even a military force.
More recently, the Obama administration has made very active attempts to force many tens of countries around the world to develop various transoceanic partnerships. But Trump purposely aims to destroy the imperial principle of free trade through sanctions, duties and trade wars, trying in such a way "to revive the lost greatness of America."
The crisis of the traditional ideological system is primarily manifested in the destruction of the classic image of the enemy.
For each empire, it is extremely important to have a visible clear clear, constantly verified image of the "most important enemy". The collapse of a great power is usually preceded by turbidity, degradation of the image of a strategic enemy.
For the communist ideology of the Soviet Union, it was the US as the leader of world imperialism that was such a system-forming enemy. The graphic, everyday reproduced image of the enemy became the ideological, cultural and psychological factors of effective strengthening of self-awareness of the Soviet society - but only against the background of impressive Soviet successes in space, technology, science and medicine, in social guarantees for the majority of the population of the country.
However, as the social and economic crisis of the 80-ies worsened, and especially during the Gorbachev period, the image of the enemy in the form of "spiteful, ruthless American imperialism" ceased to play any convincingly positive role. And in return - nothing else more and more splitting communist elite could not offer.
Similarly, the US for half a century considered the USSR its strategic, geopolitical enemy. After his disappearance, a "black hole" arose in the minds of the American elite. In an effort to fill it, they began to talk about the "Russian mafia" as a serious threat to the whole world. Then, after blowing up skyscrapers in New York, Washington adopted the doctrine of "war on Islamic terrorism" and started a war with countries that had no problems with terrorism before. But then it quickly turned out that "global terrorism", for various reasons, could not become the main enemy capable of consolidating the American society.
After that, another turn took place in Washington, and most of the American elite considered that the return to the ideological image of the classic enemy "USSR / Russia" is more effective than the emphasis on the "Islamic threat" or "the Chinese challenge."
The collapse of the empire is preceded by the disappearance of traditional alliances and a break with long-standing allies.
In the period of the collapse of the USSR, the partnership and friendly relations between the Warsaw Pact countries deteriorated steadily, and then gradually developed into enmity. At present the most hostile opponents of Russia are either our ex-partners in the "socialist camp" (like Poland, Romania, etc.), or, in general, the former parts of the Soviet Union (Ukraine, the Baltic countries, Georgia, Moldova).
Today, the foreign policy coalition potential of Russia is such that in case of a hypothetical big "hot" war it will be necessary to rely only on one's own forces, since there are really true strategic or ideological allies.
At Tram began total deterioration of US relations with its traditional, long-standing allies. The realization of the sonorous slogan "America is above all!" Leads to the fact that Washington begins trade wars not only with China and Russia, but also with the EU, Canada, Mexico.
Donald Tusk, chairman of the European Council, commenting on Trump's actions with regard to the agreement with Iran, on trade sanctions, etc. said: "With such friends and enemies are not needed."
Similar developments are also developing in the East, affecting South Korea and Japan, which are beginning to increasingly feel the erosion of allied relations with Washington.
The dramatic decline of the great powers is currently taking place against the background of a fundamental weakening of the geostrategic importance of military power.
The tragedy of the late USSR was that the maintenance and development of the Soviet military system became an ever greater burden for the country's economy, while the military-power potential gradually ceased to be decisive for securing strategic and geopolitical interests. The most illustrative example is Afghanistan, where Moscow was not skillfully drawn in by its own will.
The growing economic costs of the USSR on the arms race proved completely useless in the conditions of the accelerated, invisible deployment of a completely new model of the global hybrid war. The Soviet Union was, after all, destroyed by this hybrid war - despite the fact that its powerful army with numerous rockets, tanks and airplanes could do nothing for the survival of a great power.
The United States is a powerful military power, but they are no longer able to secure their military and political domination in the world. None of the US military operations in recent years has solved the initially set tasks: Afghanistan has become a global corporation for the production of heroin; Iraq fell into the sphere of influence of Iran (Islamic Republic of Iran), whose influence extends now from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, etc.
Over the world are scattered over 600 US military bases. But for the most part they are no longer able to project the global power of Washington, being virtually neutralized by the appearance of new high-precision weapons of a large range, powerful air defense technologies and means of conducting electronic warfare. They can only be used to simulate military operations, for endless military exercises, for example, in the Baltic countries, on the borders with Russia or in South Korea. It is about exercises to build trust between the "allies". But their growing intensity testifies to the growing deficit of this very trust.
A noteworthy mise en scene of the modern political tragicomedy: the United States still hates the world, but less and less of them are afraid!
Great empires break up long: with large or very large blood, with merciless phantom pains, with severe surgical operations. The Soviet Union seems to have disintegrated in 1991, but in fact the process of historical disintegration continues to this day. And this geopolitical process will continue until, firstly, today's Russia does not acquire its own ideological and strategic identity, that is, when the Russian society and the main elite groups of the country will know and act coherently within the framework of the overall view that should be Russia by the middle and the end of the XXI century - and in the conditions of the inevitable cardinal change of the civilizational paradigm.
If Trump, like Gorbachev-Yeltsin "in one bottle," still gives a start to the beginning of the practical collapse of the empire "United States of America", it further destabilizes the entire existing world system. Therefore, we should not particularly enjoy our kvass patriots the possible collapse of the United States. If the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century, then the collapse of the US is likely to turn into the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 21st century.
Therefore, the only advice for the future: be ready to be surprised further ... If, of course, there is nothing else left!