The Worst Dark Age in History is Staring Us Right in the Face

Two powerful forces of a new Cold War could force the issue

Charles Stephen
May 7 · 12 min read
The Worst Dark Age in History is Staring Us Right in the Face
Image by Public Domain

Remember the last Cold War?

The one that sprang up at the close of World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union?

For over forty years, the world stood by and watched as these two powerful rivals took potshots at one another in many arenas. This open but restricted rivalry took many forms as it unfolded on economic, scientific, political, and even propagandist battlefields.

The original Cold War

Friction between the US and the Soviets began with their uneasy alliance during the Second War. Perhaps the one lone value they shared as nations at that time was a common hatred for Adolph Hitler and his Third Reich. Once Germany came undone, the alliance evolved into rivalry¹.

The first, and likely the deepest, divide between these two foes was their ideology — America’s democracy pitted against the communism of the Soviet Union. This ideological division was so pronounced that even Berlin and the entire nation of Germany were split in half.

The Soviets quickly installed left-wing governments in the nations of Eastern Europe, while Western European countries supported American democracy. Both halves of Europe were used as buffers to prevent either of these two powers from controlling the continent.

From this point, there were countless encounters as both parties struggled to get the upper hand. The first major struggle was the nuclear arms race. This was followed by a race into space. Before long, we began seeing proxy wars break out throughout the world, with the US and Soviets controlling the puppet strings of the warring nations.

Then one day in 1989, the Berlin wall tumbled down, and the Cold War appeared to be over — at least for the moment.

A new Cold War (Cold War II?)

Image by Pixabay

Now, some thirty years after the original Cold War, we see the beginning of a new Cold War. This time, it’s the United States against China.

While on paper, it appears to be the same ideologies opposing each other once again, in reality, things are much different than last time. And it’s these differing factors shaping up for the new Cold War that should draw the most concern.

A scenario is forming that could spell doom and possibly materialize into a crippling dark age on a global scale. It’s not just one of these two countries who could pull the trigger; either of them could be driven to take the regrettable actions required.

We will get into more detail of this scenario shortly, but for now, let’s gain more perspective by comparing America’s two Cold War opponents. How does modern-day China differ from the Soviet Union of 1945 through 1991?

Cold War Soviet Union vs. Present Day China

Without delaying the point any further, there are two significant things that today’s China has in common with the Soviet Union of the Cold War. The first commonality they share is communism, and the second is opposing the United States. Other than that, they differ significantly. Here are a few examples:

Economy

The Soviet Communist Party claimed it had the knowledge to create a society that could surpass any Western market economy. Officials managed all critical information necessary for central control of all production and distribution. Therefore, they were mainly reclusive when it came to the world’s economy.

The Communist People’s Party of China is still a one-party state. But its form of communism is much different than the Soviet version. Through government reforms, it operates under a hybrid mix of communism and socialism that contains a capitalistic element. It’s basically a state-run government that is very active in the free market.

While the Soviet economy was strong at its peak, it pales in comparison to the Chinese economy. Since joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), China has experienced the most extensive economic growth in all of human history³. This was driven primarily by their massive population of young males that fulfilled a global need for cheap labor.

Industry

When China decided to participate in the world markets, many world leaders chose to embrace them — rather than keep them at arm’s length — and the United States was among them.

Not only did China get access to the industries of the world, but many nations also invested in ensuring China’s success. The United States alone has invested billions of US dollars in various Chinese enterprises.

While all this was done with the best intentions, no such allowances were ever accorded for the Soviet Union. Quite honestly, the Soviets probably had no interest in such a relationship, but this is precisely one reason it makes China a different opponent in the Cold War. They have far more access to the world than the Soviets.

Military

The Soviet Union had a powerful military presence. The Soviet Navy was arguably the world’s strongest at that time. The only way that the United States could match them was through experience, organization, and know-how.

For instance, US sailors were better trained at fighting fires and keeping a damaged ship afloat because of their past experiences with sea casualties — such as the fatal ship fire aboard the USS Forrestal. Incidents like these revolutionized US shipboard repair lockers and methods.

China’s advantage is a huge one — their power is in their numbers. Quite frankly, their military potential is off the charts as they have by far the world’s largest population. When you have massive numbers on any battlefield, you don’t have to be a skilled tactician. Unless you are facing a master strategist like Hannibal or Alexander the Great, you only have to be average.

Today, China’s population is around ten times larger than Russia’s population (1.4 billion and 144 million, respectively). In 1950, China’s population was around 540 million, and the Soviet Union had only about 111 million (less than a third of China’s population).

In theory, China could lose soldiers at a rate of ten soldiers to one — and do it every day until their opponent runs out of them. And they could do this against any nation on Earth, whereas the Soviets could’ve never done such a thing.

Seapower was never a priority for the Chinese military complex because they don’t have as much coastline to defend — relatively speaking. But this outlook is changing as the Chinese are increasing their naval presence in the world.

The primary motive for bolstering their Navy is to counter the powerful American Navy. It’s not a coincidence that much of their latest military developments have specifically targeted American aircraft carriers⁴.

China’s actions against America

China’s present foreign policy stance on dealing with the United States is one of the world’s most incredible ironies. The Chinese have chosen to give America a taste of her own medicine.

Familiar song and dance

According to experts, China uses many of the same tactics that America once used on the Soviet Union⁵. Back in the day, the US fully respected the power of their Cold War opponent, so they played the long game.

This in itself makes China a more formidable opponent than the Soviets were.

The Chinese have chosen to offset US military might through supreme economic strength and advances in technology. A recent study conducted by former Department of Defense leadership concluded that Beijing is more than capable of achieving this objective. They also concluded that America desperately needs to change its objective just to stay competitive.

In their report, which the Center for New American Security published, it was stated, “The Soviets were never able to match, much less overcome, America’s technological superiority. The same may not be true for China.”

Economic muscle

Not many are aware that it’s been a very long time since the United States faced an opponent who has a gross domestic product (GDP) greater than 40% of its own GDP. It’s been over a century — to be exact — a time before America was considered a major world power.

Currently, the Chinese GDP is around 63% of the US. Estimates see China as easily having the largest global economy within the next decade. The economic trends supporting this are more frightening than anything else.

In the past, the United States would often spend its way out of a serious challenge by the Soviet Union. Experts warn that this is not an option with China whenever they challenge the US technologically. The only remedy is to out-smart and out-innovate the Chinese; the question is, does America have the will to meet this challenge?

It doesn’t appear they do.

China’s naïve and gullible partners

Years ago, the United States and its allies were so desperate to bring China into the global market that they showered the Chinese with incentives. As a result, the Chinese economy has enjoyed a massive trade advantage.

As America’s trade deficit to the Chinese inched its way to reaching $1 trillion annually, a few American leaders began waking up. It suddenly dawned on them that America alone had come close to financing China’s entire infrastructure and military complex within a few decades⁶.

And if this wasn’t enough, the United States has invested billions more into China business enterprises. There are countless examples of this as more and more American businesses are beholden to Chinese interests.

China’s military might against the US

Many non-Americans in the world speak of “American arrogance.” This is not a good sign because when we get arrogant, karma sees to it that we get promptly flattened by a big dump truck.

Patriotic arrogance rears its ugly head every time comparisons of America’s military might are made against other nations. But this is precisely the time when honesty and humility are sorely needed.

Perhaps it is time for professional warfare simulators to provide a few sobering facts and comments. These folks spend lots of time analyzing various wartime scenarios based on nations’ current military firepower.

Here’s a disturbing yet blunt comment recently made by a RAND analyst in regards to current wartime simulations involving the United States⁷:

“In our games, when we fight Russia and China, (America) gets its ass handed to it.”

But the carnage doesn’t stop there. Here’s another comment from the same warfare simulation group:

The Chinese would “attack the American battle network at all levels, relentlessly, and they practice it all the time,” said the analysts. “On our side, whenever we have an exercise when the red force really destroys our command and control, we stop the exercise and say, ‘let’s restart.’”

The group stresses that America’s warships would have to operate some 1000 miles off China’s coast to avoid their anti-ship missiles. Also, during these simulations, US radar and communication systems are suppressed, if not completely shut down. And many US aircraft get destroyed on the runway.

To sum up what was gleaned from these simulations:

“These are the things that the war games show over and over and over, so we need a new American way of war without question.”

Unfortunately, in today’s United States political climate, this issue is likely near the bottom of their urgency list.

America’s response to China — the biggest determinant of a future Dark Age

If the political crisis that has gripped the United States over the last decade is not apparent, then you are not paying attention. America’s stance has been seesawed so often on issues that allies and enemies alike don’t know what to expect next from its government.

For the alleged leader of the free world, this posture is downright dangerous. It’s like your faithful dog licking you today but then sinking its teeth into your leg tomorrow. It’s disconcerting, and you’d worry whether it is time to take your loyal four-legged friend ‘to the farm.’

An unexpected presence

Earlier, we stated that the differing factors between today’s new Cold War opponents and the original version should concern us the most.

Would you have guessed that it’s the United States that is most different?

The United States is by far the most volatile and unpredictable of these two parties. Everyone knows China’s position on various issues, but the same can’t be said for the US any longer.

This begs the question, why would US allies ever trust them again? Look back at the times recently when America failed to deliver on promises to allies⁸.

I could easily list examples, but then this would become a tit for tat political discussion — which only exacerbates the problem.

An outrageous but plausible outcome

With the progressive left stance taking hold in US politics, think about what would happen if such a movement gained complete control. This event is more than plausible.

Consider what we see in the daily fabric of America today. To jog your memory, here are very recent examples of what’s happening in the corporate world⁹. If you didn’t know better, you’d think that they were state-run activities.

  • Meetings are conducted to support political causes.
  • Executives are calling for employees to support specific social justice issues.
  • Simple dissent from employees is becoming grounds for termination.
  • Censorship is applied daily in many various forms.

When you consider these tactics at the workplace, along with the power of the Internet, social media, and control measures taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are witnessing a growing demand for conformity. Actually having a real choice is becoming less and less of an option.

It’s become harder to consider America as a democracy anymore¹⁰.

Based on its recent actions, consider what a progressive left US government might demand from the rest of the world. It’s not hard to imagine that issues like affirmative action and cancel culture would be demanded globally. Consider these examples:

  • The US extends trade agreements only to nations with racially diverse governments.
  • US would insist that NATO accept new nations solely for the sake of reflecting the world population.
  • Nations would be forced to accept unlimited refugees despite their inability to absorb them.

Consider these extreme actions along with notions that America sees itself as the world’s leading authority.

While these actions may sound fair and just to some of us, not everybody shares the same beliefs. Otherwise, none of these issues would exist.

The last time I checked, we’re still waiting for an authoritative deity to inform us which belief is supreme to all others. It can’t come from the United States any longer, because their views have proven to be both erratic and unreliable.

The thing staring us in the face

Here’s the concern.

Based on current trends and activities, suppose America keeps drifting left. What happens if it becomes the same as China?

In order words, if both China and America were to have left totalitarian ideologies.

This would be a nightmare for America.

Because in such a scenario, how would an ally benefit from aligning itself with the United States?

What does the US offer them that China does not?

In the end, many nations would see China as the lesser of two evils. The Chinese have not indicated any measures toward the old imperialism that the world so intensely fears. Its actions show a desire to recreate the old empire, where Chinese superiority is acknowledged while their vassals independently run their own states.

Yet, the goal of American progressives is to force their ideologies down the throats of the rest of the world. They give the world as a whole only two choices: “join us or become outcasts.”

Such a choice is not really that hard for a small or medium-sized country that just wants to exist peacefully.

Final thoughts

If communist China and a progressive US were to simultaneously dominate the world’s political arena, a new global Dark Age is almost unavoidable¹¹.

Unless a bevy of influential liberal democracies checks them, these two systems would likely extinguish every spark of liberty and private enterprise in their path.

Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that liberty and private enterprise are the very ideas that allowed China and the United States to become powerful in the first place.

Surely, another nation would dethrone them in the future.

Sources

[1]: Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Cold War — international politics. https://www.britannica.com/event/Cold-War.

[2]: Matthew Johnstone. (October 3, 2020). Why the USSR Collapsed Economically. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/021716/why-ussr-collapsed-economically.asp.

[3]: John Mauldin. (November 12, 2019). China’s Grand Plan To Take Over The World. https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2019/11/12/chinas-grand-plan-to-take-over-the-world/?sh=7b2c0e055ab5.

[4]: H.I. Sutton. (November 2, 2020). China’s New Aircraft Carrier Killer Is World’s Largest Air-Launched Missile. https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/11/chinas-new-aircraft-carrier-killer-is-worlds-largest-air-launched-missile/.

[5]: Ryan Pickrell. (June 11, 2019). China could be a far more formidable US rival than the Soviet Union ever was. https://www.businessinsider.com/china-could-be-tougher-challenge-for-us-than-soviet-union-2019-6.

[6]: Kimberly Amadeo. (April 30, 2021). U.S. Trade Deficit With China and Why It’s So High. https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-china-trade-deficit-causes-effects-and-solutions-3306277.

[7]: Ryan Pickrell. (March 8, 2019). The US has been getting ‘its ass handed to it’ in war games simulating fights against Russia and China. https://www.businessinsider.com/the-us-apparently-gets-its-ass-handed-to-it-in-war-games-2019-3.

[8]: Doug Bandow. (June 2, 2019). Understanding the Failure of U.S. Foreign Policy: The Albright Doctrine. https://www.cato.org/commentary/understanding-failure-us-foreign-policy-albright-doctrine.

[9]: Sam Jacobs. Woke Capitalism: How Huge Corporations Demonstrate Status by Endorsing Political Radicalism. https://ammo.com/articles/woke-capitalism-how-huge-corporations-demonstrate-status-by-endorsing-political-radicalism.

[10]: Naresh Koirala. (February 10, 2021). America is no longer a beacon for democracy. https://www.thestatesman.com/opinion/america-no-longer-beacon-democracy-1502951254.html.

[11]: Lev Stesin. (September 8, 2020). Are We on the Brink of a New Dark Ages? https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/new-dark-age/.

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