There is a new cold war coming, and this time it is all about tech supremacy, a tech war.
A tech war does not have soldiers or guns, but new weapons of mass destruction and the consequences are far more significant.
GadgetGuy asked our geopolitically experienced US correspondent Sam Bocetta to brief readers on the coming tech war. While his view reflects the US position (and a moderate one at that), there is no doubt that Australia and its five-eyes alliance with the US will feel the effects. Sam writes:
The Next Cold War is a Tech War – USA and China
The imminent threat of a cold war is just that. If one side steps out of line, the other beats it into submission. In the cold war, the threat was about nukes. In the tech war, it is tariffs.
We never really fought a Cold War – it was all about posturing
I don’t know if many GadgetGuy readers are old enough to have lived through the last cold war. I have.
Geopolitical tension, spy versus spy – between the Soviet Union with its satellite states (the Eastern Bloc), and the United States with its allies (the NATO Western Bloc) after World War II that lasted until 1991. Not a shot fired!
Historians call it the dominant influence on American society (and equally the Soviet Union) for much of the second half of the 20th century. It was also fought purely on ideological grounds than by physical incursions.
Posturing – well both sides had unsteady fingers (some may say ill-qualified and maniacal) on the nuclear missile buttons 24×7. Just in case!
Now its China’s President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump (just a replay).
Yes, for us it was ‘Reds under the beds’ fuelling doubt and suspicion that your next-door neighbour could be a commie spy – or a sleeper as they were often euphemistically called.
Yes, championing the innovation and affluence that capitalism brought while relating communism to oppression. In contrast, the Soviets preached social equality and portrayed the West as being greedy, selfish and weak.
It fuelled major spending on physical defence (war is good for an economy), atomic research, drove the space race and reinforced patriotism as devotion to the American way.
As a consequence, Americans felt compelled to ‘shop local’ – buy its cars and consumer goods to help the economy grow. In turn, the U.S. became the world’s dominant economic power and continues to be so today.
By the way, I am beginning to hear some US media referring to China as the Yellow Peril. Even your Sydney Morning Herald et al., are beginning to use the term in Australia. Cultural conditioning is the tip of the iceberg.
Well, we are on the brink of a new cold war – a tech war – that could have far-reaching consequences.
The virtual fallout is already beginning. Its doctrines parallel the last cold war, almost playbook for playbook. On one side, it is good old American capitalism – a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way made famous by Superman in the 50s and beyond.
Our enemy is portrayed as spies, crooks, oppressors, communists, human rights violators, child labour exploiters, and ruining the world’s climate balance by devotion to cheap coal.