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Why the BRICS must stop the Anglosphere

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Cecil Rhodes, the 19th century British businessman and the architect of Apartheid, once said that to be born an Englishman was to have “won first prize in the lottery of life”. On another occasion he said: “I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race.”

Due to the efforts of arch racists and colonialists such as Rhodes – who complained he could not “annex the planets” and colonise the stars because they were too far – the English race has spread around the world, forming a virtual Anglosphere.

The US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – or the E-5 – are the five countries of the Anglosphere. Post World War II they became are so closely allied and their intelligence networks so well integrated that you could say the Anglosphere is a single country spread across five separate territories.

It is well known that their militaries are well synced but few are aware that all three US Army Corps have Canadian deputy commanders. Moreover, citizens of the Anglo nations serve as important exchange or liaison officers with top US commands.

The E-5 has jointly fought in almost all modern wars – Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Their ability to stick together during conflicts is a key reason why group leader US is able to rush forces into conflict zones.

Because the US is assured of the near total acquiescence of its English speaking siblings, it provides a critical mass of support to actions undertaken by the Americans. It bears pressure on other leading western nations such as Germany and France to fall in line.

The UK, for instance, plays the role of trying to keep the Europeans in line with American policies. In a draft paper dated August 1968, the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office noted that one of its key objectives with regard to Anglo-US relations is “to ensure that the longer-term relationship between Europe (including the UK) and the United States remains as close as possible”.

In this regard, the FCO noted: “The Americans are gifted at representing American national interests as noble ideals which all should follow. Nevertheless it is very much in our and Europe’s interests to prevent the United States becoming a rogue elephant. We have to persuade all the Western Europeans, including in the long run France, that a close relationship with the United States is the only way of preventing this.”

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed the nature and extent of teamwork among the Anglosphere members. The Snowden papers show that most spying projects are carried about to assist the US and allies gather political and economic intelligence country-by-country around the world. The Five Eyes spying network – which scoops up phone, fax and email data on a global scale – has undoubtedly led to commercial, diplomatic and political benefits for all five Anglosphere members.

First among equals

Although the E-5 works closely with the wider western world – as shown in the invasions of Iraq and Libya – there are limits and boundaries within the West. Allies such as Germany, France and Italy are relegated to the status of outsiders who can’t be completely trusted and must be constantly spied on. The E-5 forms the inner circle; they are cousins; they do not spy on each other.

While taking part in a panel at the New America Foundation in March 2015, Gen Michael Hayden, a former NSA and CIA director, said only members of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance have the privileged status of America’s most intimate friends. In his opinion, other nations are shut out of that club indefinitely.

In this backdrop, it’s easy to see why non-Anglo Europeans are a target of Five Eyes spying. One of the reasons cited for continued spying against Germany is that former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder “had opposed American policy in Iraq, and who seemed to have a strange and mutually productive relationship with Vladimir Putin”.

Crumbling fortress

However, the Anglosphere isn’t what it used to be. After the triumphant post-Cold War phase, in recent years there has been a palpable sense of economic and military decline in all the five English speaking countries. The rapidly growing clout of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) group has also unnerved them.

With their old dominance gone, they can no longer write the rules of global governance any more. Whether at the United Nations, G-20 or APEC, the E-5 are finding it next to impossible to push through policies that favour the Anglosphere. While Russia and China are the heavyweights manning the frontlines, they are getting key support from other emerging powers such as India, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Argentina.

In the book America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It, Canadian author Mark Steyn sees the US and England “facing nothing so amiable and genteel as continental-style ‘decline’ but something more like sliding off a cliff”.

American arch-conservative politician and one-time presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan is horrified at the prospect of a diminished global status for the Anglosphere even as much of what was once the ‘Third World’ is roaring up the growth charts.

Buchanan’s book Suicide of a Superpower, about America’s decline, has been called racist and homophobic by critics, but it nevertheless has some grounding in reality. “America is disintegrating,” he screams. “The centrifugal forces pulling us apart are growing inexorably. What unites us is dissolving. And this is true of western civilization…. Meanwhile, the state is failing in its most fundamental duties. It is no longer able to defend our borders, balance our budgets, or win our wars.”

On the other side of the world, The Australian newspaper laments that Canberra has become Asia’s coalmine, dependent on supplying commodity exports to emerging economies such as China: “We are to be attendants to an emerging empire: providers of food, energy, resources, commodities and suppliers of services such as education, tourism, gambling/gaming, health (perhaps), and lifestyle property.”

Perhaps the tipping point – when the Anglosphere’s fear turned into panic – was Russia’s aggressive diplomacy that blocked the US from bombing Syria. This is hardly a small matter. The English speaking world was baying for President Bashar al-Assad’s blood. “Hit him hard” The Economist, the British mouthpiece, headlined.

But the Russian block – with BRICS backing – stymied those plans. The Anglosphere realised the world had changed considerably since 2003, when Saddam Hussein was overthrown, with few countries daring to protest the illegal act.

Crimea and Ukraine are two other instances where the Anglosphere finds itself isolated.

With their dominant status now a thing of the past, the Anglosphere countries are staring at the prospect of international isolation and irrelevance. This is making them close ranks. In this backdrop, the five countries of British origin have been making a number of moves towards integration.

August 19, 2014. Following days of bitter racial riots in the American city of Ferguson, Missouri, the state’s Lt. Governor Peter Kinder lashed out at the rioters for seeking justice in the streets, and bizarrely demanded “Anglo American” justice. “One of the great advances of Anglo-American civilisation is we do not have politicised trials,” he declared.

May 20, 2014. The UK government announced that the US, UK, Australia and Canada are establishing combined space operations among their armed forces. “Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States have furthered their defence cooperation by establishing a partnership on combined space operations,” it said.

January 14, 2014. Canada’s defence department announced the formal signing of a long-term partnership with the US Department of Defence. Among other things “this partnership permits the Canadian Space Operations Centre to coordinate and share unclassified information and data in support of government agencies”.

November 21, 2013. The US Air Force Space Command announced it would relocate a tracking radar from Antigua to Australia. It would also deploy a new DARPA-developed optical telescope there. The telescope is especially useful for monitoring geosynchronous orbit where major spy satellites are located.

September 24, 2012. Britain and Canada announced they will establish joint diplomatic missions and share embassy offices abroad. The proposals involve ‘co-locating’ embassies and sharing consular services in countries where one of the nations does not have an embassy. Australia and New Zealand already have such an arrangement in place.

These developments are part of a growing trend where the Anglosphere is closing ranks to form a more cohesive unit to increase their weight in global affairs. Considering the US is still a very large economy and its military power projection capability is unmatched, there is a good chance the group could bounce back.

Checkmating the E-5 revival

The great rival of the war-obsessed Anglosphere was the Russian-led Soviet Union, which is now history. That leaves the BRICS as the only group with the ability to take on the Anglosphere. For, as surely as day follows night, the Anglos will come swinging back.

So it is imperative that somebody be in a position to stop the E-5 from trampling on small countries and destabilising larger ones. The good news is Russia and China are strongly committed to the BRICS becoming a more political group. Brazil – ever since Snowden revealed the US was spying on Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff – is also bitterly opposed to the US.

The problem country seems to be India. Earlier this year, it signed a $2.5 billion helicopter deal with the US, which had in December 2013 publicly arrested an Indian woman diplomat and then conducted a shameful – and unnecessary – cavity search on her.

Despite its involvement in the BRICS, India sometimes acts like a fence sitter. One explanation for India’s behaviour is two centuries of brainwashing and Anglicising. Only a brainwashed person could have said what India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in 2005: “If there is one phenomenon on which the sun cannot set, it is the world of the English-speaking peoples, in which the people of Indian origin are the single largest component.”

Like Singh, there are plenty of Indians suffering from delusions of Anglosphere goodness, and are prone to make such shameful and factually wrong statements. The good news is they are growing old and will disappear soon. The bad news is the Anglosphere can dangle carrots – such as university education, jobs, green cards etc – before the young generation.

The best defence against the Anglosphere’s re-emergence is for the BRICS to stick together. As they have shown in recent crises such as Crimea, Ukraine and Syria, this rainbow coalition can stop the Anglosphere elites. To be more effective, the BRICS must coalesc e into a political union and join their military forces to form a rapid reaction force. The Anglosphere can only beat small nations to pulp so a militarised BRICS isn’t a bad idea at all.

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Americas

The Silicon Valley’s ‘Code Peasants’ and ‘Code Overlords’

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The most numerous tech workers in Silicon Valley would be programmers. Their stereotypical image was keeping their heads down, busy in their coding and programming, and even spending their whole life doing so. At times they were touted as “code peasants”. Yet this is not necessarily static and unchangeable. Some of these “code peasants” took advantage of the loose corporate culture of Silicon Valley companies, and evolved to become “code overlords”, i.e., those who prioritize their side jobs over their main jobs. This has eventually become a culture that these “code overlords” hold tight to, and refuse to let go.

About half a year ago, someone went to Cancún in Mexico, during the time that was not the peak tourist season, yet he found out the hotels there were almost fully booked. A local friend of this person who was “working remotely” told him that such was already a case since a year ago. Most of the people staying in the hotels were employees of American tech companies, and they were there for the so-called “remote working”.

Although the American government announced that the country is now fully open and that companies require employees to return to the offices, for these “code peasants” in the past and “code overlords” now, they are reluctant to get back to work. Hence, hotels at the seaside of Cancún are still overcrowded. Why are they willing to spend their time there, even if that means they could possibly lose their job? This requires looking at the problem from a new perspective.

In Cancún, an invisible supply chain of American tech companies has actually been formed. To put it simply, it is because “remote working” is not efficient at all, as it is based entirely on personal ethics. Even if things can be maintained, no major work can be done through such means. The result of this is that many businesses of American tech companies have to adopt outsourcing. Thus, everyone in Cancún becomes each other’s outsourcer. While receiving the company’s salary and benefits, those who work remotely here are helping other companies in outsourcing business. At the same time, they can also enjoy Mexico’s tax relief policy. Their daily consumption is only one-third of that of the United States. Surely these people have a good life there.

For these people, forcing them to return to their companies and stick to a 9 to 5 job, that would mean zeroing-out their side income, and this is tantamount to a crime against humanity.

For such a loose corporate culture failing to deliver proper work, is it an accidental phenomenon, or has it become a common practice?

While we cannot say that everyone in the so-called Silicon Valley culture is like what is described above, there is no doubt that many of them are. Some say that the high-tech “code peasants” working in Silicon Valley companies are not much better. One such worker revealed that he joined an underground work group in the company, which was actually a discreet carpenter organization. When the riots in Portland were the most intense, they went around making wooden fences for shops. They covered each other, divided the workload, and always ensured that two people could work outside every day. This persisted for more than a year, and the company’s administration had no clue about it.

Maybe we can also cite an even more impressive case. There is one employee who appeared to go to the office daily to work, yet he spent a year writing a long science fiction novel in the company’s café. Many scenes in the novel are completely based on his company, even with some names of the characters unchanged. It is only after this is known that his “side job” was discovered.

There is another tech company in Silicon Valley that specializes in intelligent manipulators, and it too adhered to the so-called “Silicon Valley culture”. It is said that because long-distance driving became popular during the pandemic, as a result, 30% of the electrification of RVs in California at that time was completed by employees of this company in their “spare time”, and all these businesses had nothing to do with the actual company.

When personal spare time is mixed with working time, the efficiency certainly will not be high. Hence, all working time may become spare time, not the other way around. Elon Musk, who wants to do something now, made a drastic reorganization of Twitter, with the intention of dismantling the Silicon Valley culture. Those who are not willing to work under him would have to move on, to be replaced by others. It is definitely not that Musk does not understand Silicon Valley companies and their culture. On the contrary, it is precisely because he understands too well of the flexible work and the so-called Silicon Valley culture that is so hyped up by schools of business and management.

Now Musk is fighting this war against the work culture of Silicon Valley, against these “code overlords” alone. As a technology capitalist, he is the Don Quixote in this circle.

Final analysis conclusion:

The legendary “Silicon Valley culture” has mutated. For those who advocate flexible and remote work, “working time” has become “spare time”, and the “code peasants” have evolved to become “code overlords”. Elon Musk’s current massive layoff of the Twitter team is actually a challenge against such “code overlords”.

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U.S. has a vital interest in avoiding going to war for a lie

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Photo: Bundesregierung/Denzel

Last time, it was a U.S. president, George W. Bush, who dishonestly took America into a conflict, but that at least was against a weak Third World nation. The consequences were still disastrous: thousands dead and tens of thousands of wounded Americans and hundreds of thousands dead Iraqi civilians, trillions of dollars wasted, and a Middle East in flames.

But what Zelensky would do is much more serious, writes “The American Conservative”. He called the Poland strike “a really significant escalation” requiring a response, even though the issue would have nothing to do with Ukraine had the missile been launched by Russia.

In this case, entry into the war could trigger a major conventional conflict highlighted by use of tactical nuclear weapons, or even the use of strategic nuclear strikes around the globe, from Russia to Europe to the U.S. That would be a catastrophic result for all concerned, including Ukraine.

But the missile was not from Russia, and the U.S. has a vital interest in avoiding going to war for a lie. Upbraiding Zelensky, as Biden apparently did, isn’t enough.

This isn’t the first unsettling surprise by Ukraine for Washington. While the attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge was legitimate, it could escalate the conflict in dangerous ways for the U.S. So too could strikes in border Russian regions near Belgorod, and the assassination of Daria Dugina, a Russian propagandist, not combatant.

If Ukraine were operating entirely on its own, such actions would be its business. However, it has succeeded beyond any expectation only because of allied, and especially U.S., support for the Ukrainian military.

Washington also should further open diplomatic channels with Moscow, as appears to be happening, at least to some degree, given reports of CIA Director Bill Burns meeting with his Russian counterpart last week. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have also engaged with Russia, but such conversations need to be broadened to discuss possible political accommodations.

The U.S. also needs to address the Europeans, especially its most fervent hawks, who tend to be among the most lightly armed.

For instance, the Baltic states — small nations with minimal armed forces and niggardly defense efforts for governments claiming to be under imminent threat of conquest — are regarded as the most likely to engage in “freelancing,” as when Lithuania sought to block traffic between Kaliningrad and the rest of Russia. Everyone knew who would be ultimately stuck fighting the war that might result if Moscow’s forces had decided to shoot their way through, and it wasn’t Vilnius.

It is easy to sacrifice someone else’s lives and money, which is essentially what most U.S. “allies” believe is their role in both bilateral and multilateral security partnerships. Washington submissively agrees to defend them, as is its duty; they generously agree to be defended, as is their right. That relationship is no longer sustainable.

America’s foreign aid should be tailored to American interests, and Washington should rethink what has become an increasingly dangerous almost “all-in” proxy war against Russia.

The U.S. should scale back military aid to Kiev, and especially Europe.

Operating as Europe’s patsy is a serious problem, even in peace.

The time for the Europeans to take their defense seriously is long overdue. But that will happen only when Washington stops doing everything for them. America’s military remain busy around the world. The Europeans should secure their own continent, relieving the U.S. of at least one needless military responsibility.

Zelensky’s misleading missile gambit reinforces the necessity of a change in course for Washington.

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Thanksgiving, The World Cup and Sports Celebrities

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Forty-six million turkeys surrender their lives so Americans can celebrate Thanksgiving.  It is an occasion where traditionally families gather together for a scrumptious meal of turkey and trimmings, numerous side dishes and pumpkin pie, followed by … college football on TV — that is American football, a game somewhat similar to rugby. 

The holiday is meant to commemorate the first Thanksgiving when the pilgrims who ventured to America gave thanks for a good harvest.  It was a time when a poor harvest could have meant famine in winter.  Never now in our sophisticated world where we import grapes from the southern hemisphere (Chile) for consumption in winter and many fruits are available year round.

This year there is the added entertainment of the soccer World Cup in Qatar, being played out in eight  purpose-built stadiums, seven new and one refurbished.  Most will be converted for other uses after the event, a change from the past.  

The US now has a team that held England, where the game was invented, to a draw.  The favorites remain  the Latin American powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina but the Europeans can on occasion pull off a surprise.

Why certain games are popular in one country and not another is difficult to explain.  India and China, the world’s most populous countries, are absent at the World Cup.  On the other hand, India is a powerhouse in another British game: cricket.  And China remains a top performer at the Olympics.

The crowd turning out for cricket matches, particularly between arch rivals India and Pakistan remain unmatched by other sports played there, even field hockey where the two countries have also been fairly successful. 

Leveraging sports celebrity into a political career is also possible but success on the cricket pitch may not always be transferred to administrative competence.  Imran Khan’s innings as prime minister led to members of his own party defecting, and ended when he lost his parliamentary majority.

Still attracting large crowds of supporters who are entertained at his rallies before he himself appears, he is asking his supporters to march to the capital — echoes of another leader this time in the US, Donald Trump, who has just announced a bid for re-election.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan has been secretly recorded planning illegal tactics and barred from holding political office by the courts in Pakistan.  Exactly how he plans to rule if his party or coalition were to win is not clear — by proxy perhaps.

If all this is not enough, he has become notorious for doing U-turns on policy leaving his party members and supporters scrambling in his wake — a reminder if ever there was of the old Chinese curse:  “May you live in interesting times.”

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