Donald Trump has a fevered brain. But, James Laxer writes, there is a method to his madness. Under the tutelage of Steve Bannon, he seeks to establish a new world order -- something quite different than the system which was established after World War II:
Since 1945, America’s political leadership has developed an international, liberal global order with the United States at its centre. The system privileged the American dollar and American corporations, bolstering the “free world” with the might of the U.S. military. The goal was to keep America at the core and to push the Soviet Union to the periphery.In the post Soviet era, the American response to Russia has continued to be to keep its own alliance system intact and to sustain the liberal international order.
Bannon has always seen Trump as an empty vessel -- the perfect instrument to remake the world in his image: That image seems disjointed. But Laxer argues that the pieces fit together:
An entente with Russia would permit the world’s two leading nuclear powers to seek naked dominance in their respective spheres. Russia would be allowed a freer hand in its “near abroad” with dire potential consequences for Ukraine and other eastern European countries bordering on Russia.In its own much larger sphere, the United States would be free to pursue its economic, political and military goals without much regard for the interests of so-called allied powers. The guise of defending the “free world” against Russia would be set aside along with the rules based trading system of the WTO and regional trading blocs. Trump has already ditched the Trans Pacific Partnership.Trump and Bannon prefer a more openly brutal system of bilateral relations between the U.S. and other countries. Canadians take note. Within NAFTA, Mexico is the chief target now. Canada could be later. Bilateralism would allow the U.S. to exert maximum pressure on trading partners, one by one.
Add China to the mix and you get three empires. What Bannon wants to establish is a newer version of what existed before World War I:
Such a global arrangement would not be the first time in history that major powers have made common cause in pursuit of their own interests. In the late 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck fostered, for a time, an entente among Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia.
Like most modern conservatives, Trump and Bannon want to turn back the clock -- while the present goes to hell.
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