Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Do You Speak Chinglish?

The U.S. will disintegrate into six nations by mid-2010.
That is, according to Russian academic Igor Panarin. As Andrew Osborn writes in the WSJ, Panarin "predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest [and] a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in ."

"California will form the nucleus of what [Panarin] calls 'The Californian Republic,' and will be part of China or under Chinese influence." (See WSJ article for the fate of other States.)

Panarin has become the new darling of Russian state media and so-called experts, "In what sounds to be very obviously an act of wishful projection," wites BLDGBLOG, adding, "I don't mean to imply that I think the end of the U.S. is somehow politically unimaginable, but that, in a still-bipolar, post-Cold War international imagination, surely either side could convincingly outline the other's demise?"

The real question is, where is the data to back up Panarin's claim? Why has he generated such a buzz in the international media and blogosphere? The demise of the "American Empire" may be a subject of choice -- and anxious thrill -- in these days of doom and gloom, and there is no denying that the reshuffling of global power-chips will weaken U.S. dominance, but Panarin's prediction comes across as nothing more than neo-Nostradamus pop with a catchy map.
illustration via WSJ