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The Thucydides Trap

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Is The United States Approaching

the Thucydides Trap?

Junious Ricardo Stanton


“The phrase ‘Thucydides’s Trap’ was coined by an American political scientist and Harvard professor, Graham T. Allison, to describe the phenomena of a rising power and an established dominant power almost always breaking into conflict. He took the term from the writings of Thucydides who was writing on the state of Greek affairs in The History of the Peloponnesian War which describes a series of wars between Athens and Sparta that changed the balance of power in Greece.”’s-Trap


The politicians and the corporate mind control apparatus program us to believe the United States is the good guys, the exceptional and indispensible nation, the sole repository of morality and goodness in the world. This is propaganda to brainwash the masses into acquiescing to the American global empire and its plunder rape and degradation of the people and the planet. The US currently has over eight hundred military bases in seventy countries around the world and this doesn’t count drone bases and covert operations run by the CIA and paid mercenaries.

The fact is for most of the world, the US is the major threat to world peace and stability, the major purveyor of volatility and violence on the planet. A recent Pew Research Center survey of thirty countries indicated people around the world hold a very different opinion of the US than the mass mind control apparatus tells us. “Nevertheless, the proportion of the public that views American power as a major threat to their country grew in 21 of the 30 nations between 2013 and 2017. The largest increases occurred in Spain (42 percentage points), Chile (34 points), and Turkey and Ghana (28 points each).

Just in the past year, perceptions of the U.S. as a major threat have increased by at least 8 percentage points among several long-standing American allies, including Australia (13 points) and the UK (11 points). Concern about U.S. power is up 10 points in Canada, Germany and Sweden, and 8 points in France and the Netherlands.” This survey saw an increased perception of the US as a threat to world peace compared to the survey taken in 2013!

People should be concerned. The American Empire is in decline and fears losing its top perch to a competing nation like China. The US is increasing bellicose, belligerent and threatening to not only China but Russia and Iran. Currently the US is engaged in a full fledged trade war with China, is imposing sanctions (which are a form of economic intimidation and warfare) on Russia, Iran and threatening anyone who does not go along with their program of sanctions and tariffs.

What we are witnessing is what has been called the Thucydides Trap. What is that you ask? Here is the historical background, “The Thucydides Trap is a political metaphor, so in order to understand it we need to look at its namesake. Thucydides was a 5th-century BCE Greek historian and politician who wrote the most famous account of the Peloponnesian War. Here’s what he observed in the outbreak of the nearly 30-year conflict that rocked the Greek city-states. Sparta was the hegemony, or dominant power, of the Aegean. Athens, however, was growing so quickly that Sparta got spooked. They worried that Athens would soon become a real threat to their power, so they attacked preemptively. And that’s the trap. Athens’ ambition and Sparta’s fear of losing power drew the two into conflict, even when no one expected it. When Sparta attacked Athens, it forced the other Greek city-states to pick a side, and a massive Greek war ensued that lasted for decades. Thucydides would later write that the entire Peloponnesian War was due to ‘’the growth in power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta.’’

In 2015, Harvard political scientist and Professor Graham Allison identified a scenario he calls the Thucydides Trap. Basically, the Thucydides Trap says that as a rising power challenges the dominance of an established power, that dominant power is likely to respond with violence. It’s a model for predicting when warfare is likely between two nations, but also a way to propose alternative solutions meant to prevent warfare. After all, the whole point of identifying a trap is to avoid it.”

We are seeing this scenario played out between the US and China and to a lesser degree between the US and Russia. But China is the US’s main economic rival. China is the one on a fast pace to supplant the US as the world’s largest economy. The US is having conniptions and it is trying to assert itself to rebuff China. This is really what Trump’s tariffs and trade war are all about. Based upon the Thucydides Trap trade wars eventually become shooting wars. So given the American Empire’s history of imperialist war and carnage including against China (the second Opium War 1857-1859), prospects for peaceful coexistence do not look good.

The Chinese have never forgotten their humiliation by the West. What’s worse, the US knows it is in a precarious position but is selling wolf tickets anyway. Read this report to see for yourself.

I learned a long time ago never let your mouth write a check your behind can’t cash.




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