The Decline of the West: A Trumpian Space Odyssey

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A “space force” has been commissioned by the President of the United States of America. This is an interesting gesture, as it is launched at a fragile and insecure time for the West. Could this actually be a bold strategic move? If so, it comes at a time when liberal hegemony has been shaken on a global scale, and could serve to support the tottering pillars of this decaying ideological superstructure of American dominance.

The question which must be posed is this; What is the actual significance of the launching of a space force under our current conditions? What are the economic and cultural conditions that led to this phenomena? And how will it affect the coming geopolitical situation?

But before we address these essential questions, it behooves the soldiers of anti-liberalism to recognize the Faustian nature of the West. The trajectory of the modern West is characterized by a strong feeling for the infinite and a tragic striving for the unattainable. The West is considered “Faustian” because of the the wager of its soul with the devil for the attainment of the infinite. The lust for power inherent in liberal capitalism is testament to this.

Modern western civilization strives for perpetual domination, at the behest of Mephistopheles, and, the Trump administration’s decision to launch a space force is yet another initiative of the West to conquer boundless space; an act of daring in the midst of a dying empire. 

The geopolitical conditions of the West are that of a vast thalassocratic entity; an Atlanticist power built on the finance capital of Great Britain and the United States of America. Primarily reliant on trade and the power of the navy, the supremacy and dominance of the West meant the proliferation of liberalism throughout the world in the 19th century. This was made into a material reality through imperialism and colonialism.   

The modern neoliberal establishment represents the latest stage in the development of imperialism. Ever since the end of the war against the fascist powers, the tentacles have rearranged themselves; we have marched into a “West” vs. “East” paradigm. A veil had been painted over vast swathes of the United States, America as the vanguard of “freedom” and “democracy” against the “totalitarian East.” This chorus resounds throughout the West, heralding the wardens of neoliberalism as bringers of light and civilization vs the underdeveloped, primitive, despotic “East.”

The inculcation of these ideals of “progress” has created a quest to fill a boundless space. But, the cost of constant technological progress is the nullification of social progress under the march of machines. Now we have before us an “exceptional circumstance”: the West is in decline. In the midst of its decline, a space force is being constructed to help facilitate a tragically populist ideal, to “make America great again.”

But why a space force? The shift in the global balance of power has shaken the throne of Western hegemony. The rise of Russia and China is facilitating the growth of a multipolar world. The creation of a multipolar world as resulting from the rise of such states is a central idea to geopolitical scholars of all stripes. As such, the rise of these parts of the world is significantly stifling the unipolar objectives of the West, including in the industrial sphere. Russia has already had a space force since the 1990’s, albeit one that has gone through a few cycles of activation and deactivation.

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The uncertain and questionable circumstances of modern Western civilization is fertilizing the soil which gives root to “Bonapartist” or executive measures. Conventional conceptions of law and order in reality are only tenable when comfortable and lazy material and cultural conditions allow them to be so. There are times when a people’s existential conditions are put to trial. Like the merging of ionic bonds, the convergence of the the material, cultural, and spiritual aspects of a people spontaneously merge as an organic whole, electrified by a passionate will to power. Such is the stuff that is relegated to the concept of “exceptional circumstance;” in which normal lawful processes become nullified.

Carl Schmitt’s concept of “exceptional circumstance” is derived from a grounding in a mode of thought detached from conventional, liberal-derived norms. Schmitt posited that notions of universalism and the “rights of man” are mere constructs of the West, and as such, will die with the West. Legal norms only govern the temporal aspects of a state’s executive power. The absolutization of law attempts to “close history” and deprive it of its creative, passionate pattern, its political content, and the historical role of peoples. Such is the nature of rationalist derived ideologies: the reduction of all existential phenomena to a purely quantitative basis.  A much deeper and more essential form of jurisprudence lies at the center of all organic statehood; as there are exceptional circumstances in history which awaken and weld together all the cultural, economic/material, national, and spiritual factors of a people into one vital form, standing as a force against time. Such is the content of historical developments that produce Caesars on the eves of a dying republics.

Trump’s proclamation of a space force is meant to ideologically bolster the US’ declining supremacy and collapsing ideology. Trump’s space force is an attempted “visionary” compensation for the declining hegemony of its capital. It is a geopolitical strategy formulated out of an innate Faustian drive to conquer boundless space to imitate the glory days of the liberal project that is crashing before our very eyes.

The tottering liberal empire has made its mark on the world; you can hear the howls of execration so loud; from the toiling working classes of our own country, all the way to the oppressed nations of the world; the victims of colonialism/imperialism. The West faces an exceptional circumstance, an existential crisis. Can a convergence of cultural, material, and spiritual forces occur through the facilitation of direct decisionism happen here?

The West is in its death throes. It has come to pass that the expansion of Western liberalism throughout the world is untenable. The actualization of polarities that form contrary to the dominance of the West are testament to this, and continue to play a key part in the balance of global power. The inherent drive for technological progress, offset by the extinguishment of organic conceptions of social and material life, has resulted in the current tragicomedy of our times. The Devil is laughing, with thunder in his voice.

Trump’s ascendency to commander and chief of the center of the thalassocratic empire marks a symbolic reaching for a better future. But, like Tantalus eternally reaching for the grapes, the attempt to reclaim a golden age shall forever elude our grasp.

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