Déjà Vu — The 1930s are coming back.

As with the previous rare occasions where a full article was posted due to its importance, this will remain no exception. Please see the source website for more similar articles.

 

What happens after a globe-shaking financial crisis? We are stumbling through one right now, and we all want to know what we are in for next. Fortunately—and unfortunately—this situation is precedented.

Early last century, the globe’s First World War extinguished lives, torched economies and left Europe smoldering with grievances. Afterward, the world was rocked by the most violent financial earthquake in modern times—the Great Depression.

The nations were churning: brutal dictators were rising, anti-Semitism was becoming mainstream, civil war erupted in Spain, Japan invaded Manchuria, Italy invaded Ethiopia. But instead of facing the challenges, Britain and America turned increasingly inward, focusing on their own wounded economies, slashing their militaries and pointedly ignoring the world outside.

Decades after World War III, will historians be writing something similar? The nations were churning. Radical dictators were rising, anti-Semitism was becoming mainstream, Germany conquered the Balkans, Russia invaded Georgia, civil wars erupted in the Middle East, China built a military powerhouse, a new strongman arose in Russia, a crafty emperor arose in Europe. But instead of facing the challenges, Britain and America turned increasingly inward, focusing on their wounded economies, slashing their militaries and pointedly ignoring the world outside.

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American and Chinese geo-economic interest in a New Great Game in Central Asia

Captain Arthur Conolly, a British officer of the Sixth Bengal Native Light Cavalry, coined the concept of the ‘Great Game’ in the 1830s. Later, the English writer Rudyard Kipling immortalized the concept in his 1901 novel Kim. In basic terms, the Great Game was simply a struggle for power, territorial control, and political dominance between the Russian and British Empires in Central Asia in the nineteenth century. This competition of manoeuvring and intrigue between the two empires came to an end in 1907, when both nations were forced to focus their resources on more serious threats. The British had to gear up and contain the rise of an assertive Germany in Europe, and the Russians were locked in a fierce struggle with the Japanese in Manchuria. Continue reading

Hawks Ascend to Power in Asia

Japan and South Korea underwent leadership changes this week, which means all four of North Asia’s major powers now have different leaders in office since this time last year. As these nations undergo leadership transitions, they’re also jockeying for position in a shifting world order, which places China in a dominant role.

Japan’s new premier is the grandson of a World War II minister who helped run Japanese-occupied Manchuria, and who later tried to abolish the pacifist clause in Japan’s constitution. China is now ruled by the son of a Communist Chinese revolutionary hero—who was a close comrade of Chairman Mao. And both Koreas are now in the hands of descendants of Cold War dictators. Continue reading