No, the Chinese Won’t Invade America If Secessionists Succeed
When political secession starts to become more of a realistic policy goal—and less of a theoretical ideal for the future—that is precisely when we can expect opposition to become the most dismayed and panicky. For now, critics are careful to make it appear that they regard the idea with mere dismissive contempt. The angry threats and predictions of doom from critics of secession will come later.
In that case, opponents will present many different reasons why secession must never be contemplated. Advocates of separation will be called traitors and unpatriotic. They’ll be told that secession will bring poverty. Indeed, we heard some of this in the controversy over Scottish secession in recent years.
But much of the debate will also focus on foreign policy. In Scotland, for instance, some foreign policy hawks sternly warned that Scottish independence would lead to nuclear disarmament of the UK. The implication, of course, is that the UK would then be unable to defend itself from foreign enemies.
We’d hear much the same thing in the US in the face of a growing secession movement. We’d hear repeatedly about how any weakening of the American regime through secession would be, as Andrew Longman put it at the conservative magazine American Thinker: “a gift to the [Chinese] communists” and would soon lead to the conquest of North America by China. Longman’s article is borderline hysterical, but he’s really just ahead of the curve. We’ll hear something very similar from the regime and its allies on a regular basis as secession becomes more mainstream.
But how plausible is this?
To address the issue, we can look at it in two ways. First, we can examine the likely defensive capabilities of the new American states were the current USA to fracture along blue-red lines. Moreover, given that any successor states to the US will share a common language and similar foreign policy needs, we’ll need to look at how nations of similar backgrounds interact with each other.
As we shall see, the claim that decentralization of the US regime through secession would leave it a sitting duck for foreign power is not very convincing.
What If the Red States and Blue States Split Up?
China certainly isn’t the only country that matters as far as American international relations are concerned. But it is likely to be held up as the great bogeyman and the reason for why secessionists must never be allowed to succeed.
So let’s compare China with the status quo USA.
As a single unit, the US economy can support an enormous military machine. All combined (according to the World Bank), the USA produces a national gross domestic product of approximately $21.4 trillion. This is compared to China’s $23.4 trillion GDP. In both cases, that’s an enormous amount of production. But perhaps more telling is the GDP per capita in each country. China’s per capita GDP is only $16,800, while the United States’s is nearly quadruple that: $63,000.1 But here’s the rub for China: The US produces its gargantuan GDP with only 328 million people. China, meanwhile, requires more than 1.3 billion people to produce a similar output.
This means, on a per person basis, the American economy is far more productive than China’s.
As shown by political scientist Michael Beckley, this wealth advantage gives the United States an enormous advantage in terms of available military resources. Yes, a billion people can produce a very large GDP, but those billion people have to be fed and housed using a sizable portion of that GDP. In the United States, on the other hand, most of the population lives so far above subsistence, and produces so much more than is necessary to meet basic needs, that military defensive capability far outstrips that of much larger countries. This reality is partly reflected in per capita GDP.
It is important to not ignore the military benefits of surplus wealth, as opposed to sheer aggregate size. Political scientists and historians have developed a number of ways to measure “military effectiveness.” But many of these methods tend to overestimate the military prowess of large—yet relatively poor—states. These methods that favor size often cannot explain why smaller states like Britain have so often defeated larger states
Article from LewRockwell