I am a realist and as such, there is very little that makes sense to me at present in the world. I am wary of anyone that claims to be able to explain events at an operational level. At a strategic level, from the meta-view, many of us have some idea of what is really going on. However, understanding where history might be going, even accounting for disagreement in terms of scale, it is nearly impossible to look at the barrage of very bizarre news each day and make sense of it from a realist’s point of view at an operational level.
In 2019 when I wrote two books concerning what many saw as turbulence and turmoil in the decades of the 2020’s I was working from trends that were pronounced and that followed predictable rules. There were examples in history as well as economic laws and other inputs that made those conclusions relatively simple and straightforward to arrive at.
In 2020 models of analysis began to fail as so many of us began to look for a center of gravity in an increasingly chaotic environment. Spain 1936 seemed an applicable comparison at one point that year but time and events proved that was perhaps only a distraction. If I believe that I know anything about 2020 as a fact, I still stand by my claim that all of it was interrelated and orchestrated toward an objective. I may never be able to definitively prove or disprove that in my lifetime, but to this day I hold it as an unproven fact.
I assumed that the economy would have gotten worse faster. But I am not an economist. The economy is still not nearly as bad as seemed almost assured a couple of years ago. How can the engine of the world be shut off and the money supply increase so without a massive adjustment? Without all of the drastic actions beginning in 2020 some economists had for years predicted we were destined for the second adjustment from the 2008 crash. It may seem callous to say, right now as we all see our grocery bills so high, but I am frankly shocked that things have not deteriorated more. I do not understand it and I do not know why, and in 2022, I am not ashamed to say that.
The conflict in Ukraine, frankly and honestly makes no sense. I am wise enough at least to realize, I am no longer in the Army, I have the same access to information as any other regular Joe. There are, as a warmonger I disliked often said, unknown unknowns and some known unkowns. I am inclined to stand by what I have said on the matter previously, but I know that I was wrong either in the timeline or perhaps in capability assessment. I am humble enough to say, I just cannot make a lot of sense as to why this has escalated in the West to this dangerous degree. And yes, I am well aware of the old notion of land bridges to Eurasia and that being the key to global hegemony, and yet here in the 21st century, my mind has a hard time accepting we are still that banal.
I know back in January and February when all of social media was abuzz with “ My gosh WWIII” I pew-pewed the entire notion. I am perhaps not humble enough to give those screaming that then any credit. There is no sane reason why the West played this all this way, I did not expect, what perhaps I should have.
I suffer from a bias of expecting state-level actors to act rationally, even those ruled by irrational people. Your run-of-the-mill dictator acts rationally on the world stage most of the time, that is what allows them to stay in power. I at least expect the same from major powers. So I do not know.I do believe, Russia cannot lose in Ukraine, as in she could not survive a loss and therefore will not submit to one. What that means only time will tell.
I also know that some people that spend a lot more time looking at all this than I do now seem to be very concerned about a few possibilities. These are not the folks that screamed like chicken-little last January so take that into consideration. Perhaps not about the fear of a thermonuclear exchange, I mean honestly what is there to fear in that? They fear economic turmoil related to energy and food and then all the things that naturally follow that – they fear for Europe and then by extension the rest of the world.
I do not know. More fearmongering, more intentional confusion? I do know major governments are not acting rationally. I guess I would say the same thing I always say; Pray up, stock up. But be reasonable about it. These people selling you one year’s worth of dried-up food – what is that? Do you want to live in a world where you eat dehydrated beenie-weenies for a year? (I am not being a nihilist in that question, just think through all the implications) Do the practical things, things that people might have wanted to do in 1929 if they only knew. Things that make life easier in harder times. Most importantly, find Jesus and do not be afraid. We will be alright, or not, but it will be alright.