WW3, the progressive stack, “Nazi” punching and the war on free speech. Individual issues following their own paths to a mutually assured conclusion. It can all be explained through the medium of, of all things, Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems.
Nature has a habit of finding an equilibrium. We see this in evolutionary development or the adaptability of eco-systems to the life they contain. Natural development follows a path of necessity. It’s a slow process spanning millennia, and perhaps this is part of the design. When walking a tightrope, the slightest misstep can lead to a catastrophic loss of balance. A slow steady pace begets a cautious approach. Supposedly the key is to never look down.
After the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the world was witness to a horror the like of which had previously been unimaginable. The instantaneous extinguishing of life on a scale the human mind is simply not built to cope with. The creators of the bombs were horrified with what they’d unleashed upon the world. We were faced with the limitless potential of man’s capacity to destroy and the world collectively recoiled. The greatest problem this presented though, was in tipping the global balance of power in America’s favour. A weapon that could not be countered by any conventional force will in turn force opponents to acquire a similar weapon to facilitate an effective counterpunch. On august 29th 1949 the Russians entered the atomic age. Balance was restored, for a time. The two largest global powers deadlocked by the threat of “Massive Retaliation” which, through the development of second strike capabilities, gave way to “Mutually Assured Destruction”.
When you think about it this is a true work of genius. The knowledge to create such weapons could not simply be erased. Once it was proven it could be done the experiments could be replicated, as the Russians proved. So the goal became ensuring that their use would come with such a heavy price that the simple threat was enough to discourage war on a global scale, in all but the most extreme circumstances. This weapon of mass destruction led to an age of relative peace. The persistent threat was enough to protect the world from the horrors of another world war as long as the balance was maintained.
Here’s the thing, the nuclear deterrent is a concentrated physical manifestation of a nations power. As long as nuclear strikes remain a credible threat you can develop the tech as much as you want. The threat never really changes, you’re only increasing the efficiency of the delivery mechanism. Whether you drop one giant bomb or ten smaller bombs the result will still be the same, as will the retaliation, utter devastation leading to the crippling of a nation. You can build as big a bomb as you like, you’re never going to use it if doing so would guarantee an equal amount of damage to your own nation. Hence why the Nuclear Triad was the key to making the whole system work. The guarantee of return fire.
There was always a bug in the system though. The development of weapons capable of neutralising the nuclear deterrent of one side, once again tipping the balance and bringing the whole system crashing down. It would inevitably lead to the return of an escalating arms race. If your enemy has the capability to neutralise 100 ballistic missiles the obvious answer is to build 200. As the escalation continues so too does the potential fallout. The ultimate logical conclusion is a weapon capable of wiping out the entire planet.
To avoid this problem the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was drawn up in 1972. The Russians and Americans were limited to two installations each, one to protect their respective capitals and one guarding an ICBM launch site. This ensured the ability to respond to an attack and presented a relative compromise in light of the inevitability of such systems being developed. For 29 years it maintained the stalemate.
On December 13th 2001 America looked down, and in doing so, shook the balance of the whole world.
Out of fear of the possibility of a rogue state (Iran) developing nuclear capabilities and using them to blackmail the US, George W Bush gave notice of America’s withdrawal from the agreement. The ramifications of that mistake are still being felt today. Faced with the problem of multiple smaller states gaining the technology America decided to pursue a course of neutralization, but in doing so re-ignited the global nuclear arms race. Man, in his infinite wisdom, saw a working equilibrium and decided he could improve upon it, as he so often does.
The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself
– Saul Alisnky
The nuclear deterrent worked in much the same way that the societal contract does. Civility, politeness and the rule of law are all facilitated by the subconscious realisation that violence is always an implied threat in the background of our daily interactions. It has been maintained over time by concepts such as free speech & equal protection under the law. It’s a delicate balance that requires effort to maintain. But then came Obama, and whether through ill intent or naïve idealism America collectively looked down again. We saw the birth of the progressive stack, the stratification of a person’s ability to express themselves due to arbitrary racial/gender/sexuality orientated classification. We saw the suspension of habeas corpus and the othering of those who speak forbidden truths. Suddenly only one side of the debate had a credible threat they deploy. The media, the judiciary and government felt they were within grasping distance of winning the culture war forever. Media outlets spoke of the “permanent democrat majority” with glee and stepped up attacks hoping to finish the fight. The right’s ability to fight back had been neutered by the cult of social justice, and fear of being condemned to the life of a pariah. Suddenly everyone who disagreed with the narrative was a “racist, or a bigot” and valid target for life ruination.
Supported at every turn by the media, Obama disrupted the balance of MAD present in the civilised societies. The balance was tipped unnaturally setting the stage for the culture war to build towards an innevitable civil war if left unchecked. The threat of reprisal has been removed for one side only and, with their ability to retaliate through debate removed, the right escalated. The Trump movement was born. How fitting that a movement denied it’s voice would embrace a purely visual medium like memetics. They could not publicly state these harsh truths without fear of reprisal, but through humour and anonymity we managed to spread a message where our voices could not travel. A social media account can be blocked, shaddowbanned or shut down altogether, but a truly exceptional meme could break containment and spread. By sharing them you could show support without personally speaking the message. The scales were beginning to tip back.
Faced with their massive defeat in 2016 progressives chose not to accept forces trying to correct this equilibrium. Social pressure was stepped up, racists or bigots became “NAZIS” and then the real bomb was dropped. A punch heard round the world was thrown.
Suddenly we saw a media offensive declaring support for the punching of those deemed “Nazis”. We saw the stretching and redefining of the term beyond all recognition, in order to expand the roster of acceptable targets. Further neutralizing the right’s ability to fight back through conventional means. An implied threat became a very real statement of intent. Police have been ordered to stand down repeatedly, the media and even politicians on the right have come out in support of those pushing the imbalance further towards an eventual collapse. But as we know, imbalance will always be met with escalation. If you want a portent of what that escalation may look like, google “satan 2”.
World war 3 began on the 7th of October 2001. It has been raging across the middle east ever since. Like all wars it begins on a single battlefield, and grows with bloody borders. The nuclear imbalance has seen it fought through proxies like Syria or North Korea, but make no mistake we are at war, and short of a miracle it’s going to keep escalating. George W Bush saw to that 16 years ago.
Nobody should pin their hopes on a miracle
– Vladimir Putin
Pave Darker is a political activist and contributor to New Media Central. You can follow him on Twitter @boethiusknew