USA – the New Carthage or an Alternative Continent?

10.07.2017
Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

Popular among Western civilizational historians analogy between USA and the Roman Empire (especially in its late stage) is inadequate because, in fact, the geopolitical and socio-political evolution of America (especially in the last 100 years) is rather an alternative version of history in which not Rome, but Carthage won the Punic Wars.

From todays perspective, the United States seems to be a classic Talassocracy, what means a system in which we (generally) recognize: the advantage of maritime (global) interests over land (internal) ones; dominance of economic interests over politics; and as far as the economy considered we find production as a function of trading and capital turnover. The United States has features typical for communities commonly referred as the "Ocean", e.g.. historically Carthage and Great Britain. To distinguish, just in opposite, states in kind of "Continent" (or indeed the "Continents") – determined by occupying territories with land advantage, stand out by political superiority over the commercial factor, what much more closely matches the historical description of the Roman Empire, the German Holy Empire with the vision of the Europa Universalis, but also the State of Genghis Khan or the Soviet Union.

Heartland or the Great Plains

Even from this schematic overview, it can be clearly seen that since it's birth for almost whole 19th Century the young American state was one of perhaps not the main but certainly annoying opponent of the oceanic World Empire, the Great Britain, and staying as "Continental" as possible. Eurasian-centric geopolitics often overlook that early history of the United States seems to be an attempt of creating an "Alternative Continent", free from the Old World's problems as the struggle for the Heartland or competition between the UK finding its oceanic identity and the rest of Europe trying to rebuilt its unity and find any new conception for the old values.

But formulating its own geopolitical programme - the United States somehow followed the Eurasian way although adapting it to its own needs and geographical circumstances. In this role USA secured its continental interests and opposed, tried to eliminate any European powers influence in America, significant especially in the decolonization processes, and series of „independence” movements in the Latin America which for the truth were kind of petrification of local social-economical systems and making them similar to the British pattern of the quasi-conservative oligarchic republics, of course compradors to the imperial headquarters.

In this context we can also see the Civil War, in which paradoxically (apart of the sympathy of todays traditionalists) the South objectively served geopolitical interests of the British, as well as Mexican escapade of Napoleon III has no independent geopolitical character (French emperor was permanently incapable to liberate from the domination of London, even knowing unfavourable nature of this dependence for France). It is no accident, that almost only one power which support the North - was Russia which also (in the realities of the Great Game) didn't yet make its own clear geostrategic decision.

On the other hand, it should be added that although geopolitically the Confederate States of America represented more or less conscious influence of the United Kingdom, South's preferred socio-economical system, as well as their aspiration to renewal of the Union based on original, strict federal values if succeed it could provide some protection against the temptation for the USA to assume the global position occupied by the British at the time. Unfortunately us we know finally the temptation turned out to be stronger..

From Big Stick by "Lusitania" and Pearl Harbor to Suez

So when did the breakthrough happen?

Even before the caesura of the Great War, it is worth to point out the modification of American politics which had already taken place during the Spanish–American War. That only apparently seems to be a logical consequence of the orthodoxly understood Monroe doctrine and the elimination of external influences from the American continent. In fact, that was an example of the first imperial war by the emerging Ocean power, thus identifying its opponents according to the same key as the British. Also the further American activity in the Pacific, Hawaii, Japan - has proven the finding of a new role, going beyond the schema and limit of the "Alternative Continent" and straight to take the role of the "New Ocean".

As Carthage took a place of Phoenicia, the Americans were preparing themselves to replace the British in global Ocean governance. It is important to see the fluency, the non-confrontationality of the whole process what is characteristic for fusions, merging and takeovers of the companies in the financial markets rather than the shocks typical for political changes, fallings and rises of the empires. In the Talassocracy, the ruling oligarchy performs only risk analysis, compiling possible scenarios for profit optimization and cost reduction - without sentiment transferring capital (literally, as figuratively) to a better-looking business. That's why we know some analysts advising just to wait until there will be another change and the global Ocean centre move e.g. to China – also with rather Continental tradition, as America in its roots.

Paradoxically, the United Kingdom triggered and theoretically won two World Wars and it seemed to be final triumph of the "Ocean" over the threat of redefining the "Continent". But Britons won it not for themselves, but for a new centre of the global Talassocracy. The old, continental organism could not be fully controlled or disorganized, first functioning within the Eastern Bloc and now with a chance in form of the Eurasian Union but it only accelerated America's transition to global and Oceanic positions, and as a result, on the one hand, it pursues its interests throughout the planet, but it the same time is not able to fully control even its own hemisphere, with growing up centres trying to become independent from domination of the USA.

So, does the fate of America prove that geopolitics, in spite of all, does not determine politics or otherwise - that it is possible to change ones geographically determined destiny?

On the one hand, the answer can be positive, suggesting that is only the question of a potential in connection with chosen development direction. . At the same time, however, it should be remembered that the United States is unique because when we think about both Americas as an "Alternative Continent" - USA was in a situation as no one in the Old World, apart from the very short Mongolian episode. With its own Heartland (giving huge potential Middle West and California), with pacified “à la Europe” (New England and Dixie) and captured periphery - the United States has faced a natural challenge for each empire to fight for world leadership. The only one question was how should it be done – in the way of the Delian or Peloponnesian League. American oligarchy choose natural for some kind of interests option with “hard hegemony” what led to certain consequences also in internal organisation of the state and society. But we are to see, that for example, the Soviet Union, competing with the United States on the global stage - had not lost anything of its Continental features, so it is not the struggle for world leadership that forced the Americans to abandon the vision of the “Alternative Continent" and choose the role of the New Carthage.

Cato, Scipio, Numidians and the cry of the Carthaginian priest

Well, say the reader, so what? Author insists to use these bizarre Haushofer's terms and proved that America is Carthage, although it was not in the past. And...?

First of all we should recognize that if we are dealing with the Talassocracy – it should also appear the Tellulocracy because the geopolitics does not know and does not tolerate the vacuum. Of course, the historical analogy does not mean the full repetition of history and we are not to wait idle for any new Scipio (although we have always even to many candidates for the role of Cato...). On the other hand it would be rather important not to miss him when he come and for modern nations as Poles and other Europeans - to take up the position of his Numidian allies. But would it be possible an alternative scenario? Any kind of reformatting of the American geopolitical position and their return to the role of the "Alternative Continent" in a multipolar environment (what is a postulate of American Paleo-conservatives and other identity circles for years), rejecting the Oceanic direction of evolution as a way to a future catastrophe - historically Carthage did not have such a chance. The present United States is still theoretically retaining the potential to return to its own geopolitics, rather than pursuing the "neo-Carthaginian" goals.

However, one can doubt if without the shock from the outside the Americans are able to liberate themselves. That is why in their own interest "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam".