The Dated and the Timeless

Before we go further, let’s note: anything written about current events is, by its nature, likely to become dated.

It is possible, even likely, that the US Establishment sheds its skin once again, downplaying wokeness and emphasizing loyalty to the state, just as they transitioned overnight from the “Global War on Terror” to the domestic war on your tweets.115

It is possible, although less likely, that George Soros, Peter Zeihan, Gordon Chang, and Roger Garside eventually prove right, that Xi Jinping is displaced from his position atop the Communist Party of China in the 2022 Party Congress, and/or that the CCP switches back to “Hide your strength and bide your time.”

And it is possible, although less likely still, that there is some fatal flaw, mathematical breakthrough, or quantum computer that leads to the irreparable failure of the Bitcoin protocol.

So why devote a chapter to the NYT/CCP/BTC model at all, if events can overtake it? Three reasons.

First, we need some model of where the world is, even if imperfect, to steer it where we want to go. Even if it’s wrong, or wrong in some particulars, it may be usefully wrong in that the update shows us where we were wrong. We spend the energy to describe a specific tripolar model of the world because many still think it’s unipolar or bipolar, as illustrated by this amusing interaction between a journalist and Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar.

Second, even if major changes do occur, the decline of American empire, the rise of China, and the ascent of cryptocurrency remain underlying trends involving hundreds of millions of people that would require tremendous force to stop. We’d notice. And we consider a few candidates for such tremendous forces later.

Third, there are aspects of the current moment that are not dated at all, but recurrent. That is, a similar tripolar configuration has occurred before. But first let’s establish how it came about today.