17 Points: How to make the world safe for all people

First published in early autumn 2022.

In the view that all people depend on peace for their survival and wellbeing, and in the knowledge that peace is at grave risk of breakdown, there are several points that may be well understood by those wise enough to choose peace over war. To that end, the seventeen points of peace, or how to make the world safe for all people, are given as follows.

Lycurgus of Sparta by Jacques-Louis David.

1. Peace is best secured by republics, not tyrannies.

2. Today’s Anarchy of Principalities tends towards war.

3. An Empire of Republics would foster peace.

4. The principal challengers to peace are Germany, in Europe, China, in the World, Saudi Arabia, in the middle East, and capitalism, across the globe. Capitalism distributes power unevenly among states and classes, which function as parties to trade, buying or selling commodities on the market. Among countries, trade imbalances theoretically favour the importing countries, but practically favour exporting countries with chokeholds on particular commodities of raw and manufactured materials. The trade surpluses of China and Germany function as disrupting forces on global commerce, while Saudi Arabia’s chokehold on oil exports gives it an exorbitant privilege in the geopolitics of the Middle East and around the world through its American alliance, although this chokehold is now ending as new reserves of oil are exploited in America, on the one hand, and potentially in the South China Sea, on the other.

5. The remedies to these challenges include (a) containment, (b) deterrence, and (c) dismantlement of actual and potential powers to overturn international peace.

6. Si vis pacem, para bellum (if you want peace, prepare for war) — and sanctions, economic warfare, are our best preparation short of actual warfare, which is to be avoided wherever possible. War is a tragedy that must not be willingly entertained; to play with fire is itself a fan on fire. To downplay the probability of war is to escalate its probability through disgraceful complacency, which is to be avoided at all costs short of warfare itself, which is too high a cost.

7. Conditions for lifting sanctions include (a) withdrawal of all existing military and economic offensives, (b) demilitarisation, (c) denuclearisation, and (d) territorial dismemberment, dividing a state into protectorates to be guarded over by the ruling republics under the nuclear umbrella of the United States of America.

8. Appeal to the people, not their princes.

9. Value people, not profits.

10. Do not be afraid to wield power to achieve just goals, but disempower all roads to injustice.

11. China is the pivot of power, the Archimedean point around which the fate of the world will turn.

12. China is the new Germany, and therefore the most dangerous disturber of international peace. The acceptance of China into the WTO in 2001 is akin to the unification of Germany in 1871, a prelude to world war as this rising power undermined the existing geopolitical order governed by British naval power, the Bank of England’s monetary hegemony, and a balance of power in Europe. American naval power, a balance of power in east Asia, and the monetary hegemony of the Federal Reserve are all under threat by the rise of China.

13. Germany is the new Soviet Union, and therefore the principle disturber of European stability. Its exorbitant privilege in Europe is coming to an end as its energy supply is increasingly constrained. Its influence in the European Union wanes, even as France mimics its ordoliberal policies.

14. Russia is the new Austria-Hungary, and therefore the potential catalyst for a larger conflict, even a global conflagration. It is wrongly confused with rising powers when its economy has not seen sustained growth in years, unlike Germany, whose economy is stable, and much unlike China, whose economy is ballooning. Russia’s economy, the basis for its power, is not only waining, but undergoing periodic tailspins as it lashes out against real and perceived threats from NATO expansion and western geo-economic hegemony.

15. Russia is therefore to be made an ally. Its troops are to withdraw from Ukraine, which is to be made a neutral state, as Poland was in the interwar years. If such a buffer zone does not exist between Russia and the West, there is much danger and considerable hazard in maintaining peace in Europe. What is more, if Russia is not made an ally, then the following and preceding points will become considerably harder, though not impossible, to satisfy.

16. Germany is to be contained. Its economic hegemony and political privileges have come at the expense of the welfare of southern European countries, from Greece to Spain. The time for economic exploitation and political domination is over. The time for economic unity and political parity has come.

17. China, and capitalism, are to be gradually dismantled structurally, dismembered territorially, recalibrated institutionally, collapsed politically, and replaced societally by republican states, with collective and social economies, all under the American nuclear umbrella. To avoid such drastic action is to entertain the possibility of war, which has become too probable to ignore. We must act now, or face the consequences of our ignorance and inertia. A failing of wisdom or a failing of courage — but both are failings, in the end. We must have the discipline to dismantle institutions that have failed, before the failure spreads, and the whole world comes tumbling down. But it is not this day. This day we fight to preserve what peace is left in this good world. Even if the medicine is bitter, a spoonful of sugar may help it go down.

This American alliance is to serve as present prelude to the future fugue: A world made safe for all people, regardless of their old princes, participating in an empire of republics. In this way, the war of the worlds is to be avoided, and the peace of the whole is to be secured. Peace, for all time.

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