April 19th 2020
Shapes are important. That is why the whole apparent Western counter-rejoinder focuses on clarifying the origin of COVID-19. Was it intentional or fortuitous, natural or artificial? The traditional way to start a war is to find or fabricate a casus belli. Traditional acts of war have three fundamental characteristics: national sovereignty (territory and citizens) is attacked, intentionally and treacherously. These features are all present in a hypothetical start of the epidemic caused directly by the Chinese government. But it is not the start of the battle of Wuhan that is the fundamental casus belli to which we must pay attention, but something much more serious: a new Pearl Harbor.
China’s act of war is the propagation of the pandemic, with the collaboration of the WHO and a conglomerate of media and business/ideological corporations driven by different interests that converge in the same result: to achieve the global expansion of COVID-19, taking by surprise the most inoperative societies of the free world, the weakest links in the chain, which have turned out to be, surprise? Italy and Spain. Therein lies the casus belli. China is, in any case, responsible for launching a naval and airborne virus fleet with the aim of severely damaging the economy of the allies. The truce is over. The time has come to fight back or suffer the catastrophic effects of this massive, unexpected and treacherous attack with resignation.
No. The casus belli does not lie in the authorship of the epidemic, but in turning it premeditatedly into a pandemic that is ravaging the world. An attack equivalent to the one on Pearl Harbor with the only difference that, now, the enemy treacherously destroys nothing less than the economic fleet of the allies, one of their fundamental pillars for survival as free societies.
Seeking a traditional casus belli implies that you have entered into a traditional strategy. And that is a tremendous mistake. It is necessary to follow the laws of the dynamics that mark the atypical development of this new 100-year war which we have called at each moment with a different name but which we should call, in order not to deceive ourselves and give an advantage to the enemy, as «World War II».
Situational intelligence tells us that each event is governed by the internal context, that is, by the unique characteristics of its own happening. Events construct laws that, because they are not abstract, we do not identify them as rules of the game to which we should pay full attention. All military laws and rules are completely useless as soon as we find ourselves in a scenario that is too different from the «conventional» one for which those rules were made. This is as true for war as it is for any other personal or collective situation in life. We rely too rigidly on «what is to be expected» in most situations, on what we have learned that varies little in each of them, on regularities. But the key to every event, to success and failure, is often as tiny as that small difference, that particularity, that side note in the manual of how to act in this life in order to succeed. Events impose their own personalized rules of the game. Those who ignore them usually fail. But we cannot forget the context of upcoming events. Because, in that case, we would become entangled in the details transformed by the urgency of the moment into keys on which to make decisions.
Distinguish anecdote from idiosyncrasy.
When, in the course of the so-called «Cold War», the Allied countries defeated the Soviet Union, they did so using their best weapon, which was at the same time the enemy’s main weakness: the overwhelming superiority of the market economy, free initiative and competition based on private property and collective and personal freedom. China took note of this weakness and, as soon as he came to power, Deng Xiaoping began the construction of a great economic fleet that would lead his country to become the second economic, military and technological power on the planet. A resounding success that, as we shall see, entailed a serious danger.
In the face of the US tariff attack, China, more damaged than has been revealed, probably directly initiated the epidemic and, more importantly, most certainly spread the pandemic by taking advantage of the climate of trust that had been cemented in unison with the economic interests of many nations and large accidental corporations. Even if the Chinese communist government is not the creator of the epidemic, which is hard to believe, it is the creator of the pandemic. And it is that pandemic, as we have said, that is the real act of war, the casus belli to which we must respond or, failing that, accept the defeat of the conflict initiated in September 1939 by the combined forces of National and International Socialism, Germany and Russia.
What may be the appropriate response in an atypical war situation?
From the enemy’s advice. What has China done? Attack the economy of the allied countries. What should we do? Attack their economy. How?
Of course, world public opinion is increasingly hostile to China. An adverse environment that will undoubtedly be fueled both by allied propaganda and by the Beijing regime’s own defensive actions. The rejection of «made in China» will become generalized among the population, accompanied by a growing perception on the part of economic agents that the Asian giant is no longer a safe country to produce and guarantee commercial supplies, which will generate, much sooner than imagined, a flight of production that had been transferred to China and the search for new suppliers in emerging nations that offer greater reliability and in developed countries that achieve a sufficiently profitable reduction in production costs.
All this will happen to a greater or lesser degree depending on the effectiveness of Allied propaganda. But there are other tremendously effective actions to precipitate events and neutralize the Chinese attack. One of them consists of generating an escalation of military tension that will put pressure on the Chinese economic or territorial living environment or both: the South China Sea, the Senkaku Islands… Not to mention Venezuela, Iran or North Korea. The other, dismantle pro-communist political regimes or those with strong links to China in areas vital to its energy and food supply and to its commercial expansion. Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
The increase in military tension (with special attention to the South China Sea and Iran) will create a general state of risk that will make it difficult for China and even Russia to protect their friendly regimes and secure the energy resources on which China is vitally dependent. But there is one aspect in which this increased military tension will have a decisive payoff: self-financing.
The reaction of the representative liberal democracies has amplified the damage of the pandemic. The reaction of the Chinese dictatorship will amplify the damage of the military tension because, as is traditional in its history, it will turn in on itself. China is still a communist dictatorship that needs to isolate itself from the outside world to protect itself from the danger associated with the dazzling success of Deng Xiaoping’s model: capitalist Communism.
China is still a dictatorship that will react, like all dictatorships, by isolating itself to prevent outside manipulation of public opinion, by repressing the people and exercising total control over the economy. This is how dictatorships such as North Korea, Cuba or Zimbabwe have survived. However, China has a weakness directly derived from the success of the capitalist communist model. Chinese society is too westernized. That was the price to be paid to achieve an efficient productive apparatus on which to consolidate the survival of the international socialist regime that had succumbed in the USSR due to the ineffectiveness of the communist economic model. A tutelary capitalism that implied an increase in the standard of living of the population dangerously above the poverty line that allowed the application of a solid collectivist dictatorship without internal opposition capable of generating social conflicts that could endanger the regime.
This precarious equilibrium based on supervised capitalism, or capitalist communism, is based on something unprecedented in communist regimes: the economic progress which allows the creation of the conditions of a bourgeois middle class. And this is extremely dangerous insofar as freedom of competition and initiative and private property accustom the population to a level of criticism that does not exist in communist regimes based on economic collectivism.
A vicious circle will be unleashed with the escalation of military tension coupled with the collapse of foreign trade causing the slowdown of economic growth or even recession to be aggravated by isolation from abroad and internal repression, creating an environment extremely favorable to social unrest which, in turn, will lead to lower economic growth, with more political tension on the regime that will react by increasing repression and isolation.
The great Chinese invention of communist capitalism has created its greatest enemy within its own borders: an educated, advanced people, with a good standard of living and which only postpones its demands for freedom as long as its hopes of prosperity are not frustrated. The Chinese Communist Party has created a capitalist monster, its own people, which now, by ceasing to feed it, will be very difficult for them to control unless they kill it, that is, by returning to the state of need in which the international socialist ideological virus thrives comfortably. But this journey back to total dictatorship has an added danger: the global world, interdependence and the enormous capacity of the allies to exploit the weakness of the moment of transit to the worst on the part of a nation sustained by the opium of free competition and economic progress after forty-two years of uninterrupted improvement in the standard of living.
Isolating itself to protect the regime from social conflicts is tantamount to sinking its own fleet. China’s power is based on foreign trade, and what has been a formidable weapon up to now may become a boomerang that will bring down the tightrope walker balancing on the edge of the sword. Capitalist Communism can go in an instant from enjoying the advantages of both systems to suffering the disadvantages of both. And that is what seems to be about to happen.
Why, if they knew the enormous risks of this attack, did they carry it out? Simply because they could do nothing else. The Chinese model is based on a delicate balance that the slightest setback can break. That is why they have kept a very low profile at the international level despite their enormous economic prominence. But the change in the US presidency, with the arrival of an atypical president, upset this discreet Chinese balance by initiating the tariff war. This simple attack was enough for the damage to China’s economy to cause its leaders to overreact, as they are much more sensitive to the danger of social conflicts than we imagine. And that panicked reaction has led them to commit with exquisite perfection the biggest mistake of the last 40 years.
China’s defensive self-financing will, let us not deceive ourselves, have a depressing effect on world trade that will affect all countries, especially those most dependent on such trade, such as Germany. We will have very difficult days while we get production moved to our countries, and also afterwards because of the increase in production costs. But aren’t we already in a difficult time? Is there any other way out of the severe economic crisis that China has plunged us into with COVID-19 faster and stronger than relocating jobs? Indeed, there is no better time to achieve industrial relocation than now when the world’s great factory has become an unreliable place. But, in addition to that golden opportunity with which we can transform the devastating attack into a recovery of jobs lost years ago, the pandemic-induced recession will serve to facilitate the return of production back home if we are able to find the opportunity that lies in every crisis no matter how difficult it may seem.
The economic recession will lower the cost of labor by significantly reducing salaries, without the collapse in employment that would occur if the relocation of production were not carried out. The standard of living will not fall as much in society as a whole, which will soften the decline in the quality of life by maintaining good expectations for the future. Relocation will encourage technological development to make up for the gap in competitiveness caused by higher labor costs in relation to China, although lower in relation to the nonrecessionary situation in which we have lived until recently and which, together with the low profile of its foreign policy, has safeguarded its economic growth.
Developed countries are now the world’s largest consumer market. They can create a «common internal» consumption space conditionally open to developing and third world countries that align themselves with the positions of the free world. This would make the trade slump less damaging for the allied countries most dependent on their foreign sector, such as Germany, which is particularly vulnerable to the Chinese economic crisis.
The key is simple: Increased military tension, external isolation and Chinese defensive self-confinement, relocation of production, creation of a common commercial space conditionally open to third countries, technological development to increase competitiveness, as well as online systems to expand people’s communication and freedom and not to facilitate the acceptance of their confinement.
I have no doubt that military tension will begin immediately. I have more doubts that the free world will be able to respond to the challenge launched by the Chinese communist regime in an intelligently situational manner, that is, designed to turn difficulties into opportunities. I do not know how well Chinese society will be able to defend itself against the worsening repressive policies and bring about political changes that will enable this great people to join the free world. I think it is quite possible that the situation could reach a «missile crisis» moment prior to a disaster that gets out of hand or to an armistice forced by a forceful demonstration of US military force, for example, with a devastating attack on North Korea with the use of nuclear weapons that would convince China that the first power on Earth is ready to use all its power. But what I have absolutely no doubt about is that there will be no real peace until freedom conquers every inch of China.
And if, finally, it is discovered that China originated the epidemic intentionally and that it had prepared the most appropriate health strategies for its rapid control or that it even had a vaccine and/or antivirals that now, given the turn of events, it has not dared to offer as salvation for the world, then we will have a conventional casus belli, in addition to the infamy of a new Pearl Harbor.