Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse (2021) — a book review

© 2021 Peter Free


06 May 2021





Andrei Martyanov's Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse (Clarity Press, 2021) predicts that multinational corporatism — combined with ignorant, incompetent and massively self-indulgent US elites — have destined the United States for History's trash heap.



Martyanov's five themes


The following five topics interweave through Distintegration — but arguably without rigorous organization and precise focus:



incompetent US elites


increasingly vacuous American economy


overrated military


tottering national cohesiveness and weakened spirit


multinational corporatism's avaricious disregard for nations and humanity



Let's address those elements in order. The following may make the book appear to be more coherently organized and delivered than it is.



Incompetent national elites


Martyanov has no use for pretend knowledge.


Political science, law, journalism and celebrity status are not sufficient backgrounds for competent policymaking in the real world — where experience with facts, math, engineering, manufacturing, materials, physical conflict (and so on) are necessary:



America’s collapse has been in the progress for some time now . . . America’s so-called elites . . . have exhibited a level of malfeasance, incompetence, cowardice and betrayal of their own people on such a scale that it beggars belief.


Where is the precedent for . . . a country, having no external factors pressing it . . . self-obliterates with such a speed and ferocity that even the collapse of the Soviet Union begins to fail in comparison.


If the United States has any future . . . it must start a . . . serious nationwide discussion on the competence or rather lack thereof . . . and . . . the malice, of the Washington lobbies and corrupt politicians, many of whom . . . should be serving serious prison terms . . . .


Will such a discussion be sustainable . . . in the Orwellian world of the U.S. mass media?


Today, it becomes increasingly evident that the so-called “swamp” will stop at nothing to preserve its own power. (pages 7-8)


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021) (pages 7-8)



Economy — increasingly vacuum-filled


Martyanov begins his economic discussion by addressing US food insecurity.


He notes that 40.9 percent of COVID Era mothers (of age 12 and under) children experienced a lack of food for their families. And he adds that, when more than 30 percent of Colorado's wealthier than average population struggles to get things to eat, what does that say about "American capitalism"? (pages 13-15)


Americans, Martyanov asserts, seem to think that 'US exceptionalism' makes us "impervious to the ruthless laws of the real economy and national power." (page 48)


However, when we examine economic data, the loss of American manufacturing competence parallels our increasing food insecurity.


For instance, American car manufacturers have abandoned foreign auto markets because they cannot (or will not) compete in the highest volume passenger car categories.


Similarly, when shipbuilding left the United States it put China, South Korea, Japan and Russia way ahead. This self-divestiture of building skills fled with equally important capacities to produce the technical and material ingredients that go into constructing ocean-going vessels. (page 54)


And in the air, Boeing — once a stalwart source of high-flying American pride — is struggling with flawed products, coverups and a now declining reputation.


Steel production has followed the same declining trend. China produces eleven times more steel than the United States. Japan also tops the United States. And even Russia, with less than half the population, produces 81 percent as much steel as we do. (page 55)


In the fossil energy sector — which comprises about 80 percent of US energy production and consumption — the US is also beginning to fall behind. That slide, Martyanov maintains, is largely due to our economically unsustainable dependence upon credit-sustained, overly costly oil-from-shale production. (page 66)


All told, he continues:



How the United States, which by 2015 was 90% dependent on China for its needs in laptops and videogames . . . could claim the status of a number one economy in the world remains a complete mystery.


[B]y 2019 China still dominated America’s key imports ranging from cellphones and computers to toys.


[T]he size of the manufacturing sector in the United States in January of 2020 was approximately $2.158 trillion . . . .  For the same period, the “value” of U.S. GDP [gross domestic product] provided in services reached an astonishing $13.1 trillion. That is six times more than the manufacturing sector.


Even when the value of the agricultural sector . . . is added to this calculation, it still cannot change this dramatic third-world economic ratio. (page 96)


Not only is the United States increasingly uncompetitive in the real economy sector globally, especially in such a seemingly mundane field as consumer goods, but it has lost both its competitive edge and its competences in some crucial fields such as building complex machines, commercial aerospace, and shipbuilding. (page 160)


Somehow the message—that even simple things such as socks let alone more complex ones such as locomotives or cars require a constant flow of both engineering and manufacturing labor cadres in order to retain manufacturing expertise—has been lost in the contemporary United States . . . . even as an oppressive political correctness indoctrination is being established as a main course in school and in many colleges and universities’ studies.


America’s massive deindustrialization . . . fostered its massive educational infantilization, and its political and cultural undoing followed. (pages 90-92)


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021)



That last observation (about educational and cultural infantilization) is insightful. We will return to it.



Military — expensive and overrated


Martyanov credits the Russian Federation (and China) with missile and naval armaments that the United States, currently, cannot touch.


As Martyanov's previous book, The (Real) Revolution in Military Affairs (Clarity Press, 2019) concludes — and Disintegration reaffirms — Russia and China have embraced the real Revolution in Military Affairs. The United States, in contrast, largely faked it.


Martyanov notes that (a) Americans produce too frequently expensive and qualitatively inferior armaments for sale — often requiring significant arm-twisting to offload — while (b) Russia designs and manufacturers generally competent, comparatively more affordable weapons in actual furtherance of the Federation's existential survival.


Survival is a theme that predominates in Martyanov's three books to date. Russians know about fending off invaders. Americans, isolated between two oceans and surrounded by comparatively feeble neighbors, have never experienced anything remotely similar to Russia's repeated existential tests.


This difference in History-prompted military focus, Martyanov consistently points out, is a crucial one. Where the United States can get away with making seemingly perpetually costly mistakes in weapons development, strategic foresight and deployment — Russia cannot.


Of the United States' situation, Martyanov writes that:



America . . . has turned its largely exaggerated military might into a machine for the murder . . . of millions of innocent children, making mockery of the Pentagon’s official title of Department of Defense, which has never fought in defense of its country, let alone against a real enemy.


This state of the affairs in America’s military . . . is a result of failed policies . . . and . . . corruption.


It is the result of a culture in which war has become a business, or a racket . . . and profiteering and greed remove any considerations of actual national interest and realistic defense requirements.


Professionalism and competence in such an environment thus become secondary to politics and greed . . . .


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021) (pp. 173-174)



Tottering US cohesiveness — and a weakened national spirit


This is the area where Martyanov will likely receive the most pushback, even though I think that these are his most strategically important points.


His basic premise is that:



Moral and cultural decay is a self-reproducing calamity.


Multicultural societies, no matter what ideology or political creed they follow, are always threatened by impulses towards separatism and dissolution.


Because of [the United States'] willful failure to recognize obvious causes and effects, it has rejected a fundamental principle which defined Western Civilization—reason and rational thought. 


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021) (page 9)



Martyanov expands upon the Abandoned Rationality idea in two critically important paragraphs. Those appear on pages 136-137. Their convoluted passages come to a handful of conclusions — here articulated (by me) in a clearer way:



First, America's two political parties are partisan wings of the same oligarchy. Their partisanship is intended to conceal a shared parasitism. This neoliberally based blood-sucking produces nothing of value.


Second, America's "post-modernist" world is one of "sheer emoting".


Right, wrong and truth are all irrelevant. Everything can be true — or not true — all at the same time. We live in a world of Orwellian doublespeak.


This doublespeak — and its combined attack against Rationality and Objectivity — is intentional.


By "choosing the meaning of words" — the Establishment — comprised of the Democratic 'left' and the Republican 'right' — gets to determine "what is real".


Determining what is "real" quite naturally guides 'We the Preyed upon Sheep' around by our noses.


Fact-avoidance, fakery and unremitting propaganda rule the United States.



This Anti-Enlightenment condition of ours:



meaning (i) our inability to accurately observe and detect


combined with


(ii) our inability to properly categorize right and wrong —


much less


(iii) intelligently pick one over the other —



. . . implies a corruption of national soul.



Multinational corporatism's avaricious disregard for nations and humanity


To the (above-discussed) — 'corruption of national soul' — quasi-spiritual perspective, Martyanov adds that:



Today . . . the United States acts not as a nation but as a corporation and financial Ponzi scheme and money laundering organization. (pages 197-198)


The main objective of [US military] “doctrine” is not winning wars—it is starting them. The longer those wars continue, the better it is for the bottom line of defense contractors and subcontractors. (page 198)


The combined West wants to maintain an imperialist posture, while simultaneously homogenizing its own population into the gray mass of consumers . . . . (pages 199-200)


[W]hite Americans are beginning to learn . . . that for many corporations, their bottom line is . . . far more important than maintaining a coherent American culture . . . . (page 200)


As a wave of racially and politically charged violence rolled over U.S. cities in 2020, it seems likely that there never will be “one people” in America in [the] future.


[E]ven the whites seem to be bifurcating on ideological lines, as those supportive of America’s globalist elites line up against its disparaged white “deplorable” majority.


Under such circumstances one is forced to question whether the United States is even capable of formulating any national interest . . . . (page 201)


[The United States] is being slaughtered as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of globalism and multiculturalism whose only beneficiaries are transnational corporations which care not about right or wrong [or] about ethics or morality [—] as long as the mechanism of military and economic aggression provides for their bottom line.


Under such circumstances any talk about the national anything, least of all interest, of the United States is an exercise in futility.


The American interest today . . . is the interest of corporations, foreign and internal ethnic and religious lobbies, and other special interests, none of which really cares of American nation, whether it exists or perishes with the latter being the most likely outcome. (pages 202-203)


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021)



Perhaps most important . . .


. . . from Martyanov's perspective is his observation that:



Nations which rewrite their history to accommodate a political trend end up losing all sense of who they are . . . .


© 2021 Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration (Clarity Press, 2021) (page 237)



That last observation about History — and Snowflake and Cancel Culture's shared rejection of it — ties back into Martyanov's earlier statement about infantilization.


'All bad, all good' is a child's perspective. Perfection in Life does not exist and is not attainable.


Admittedly, that's a 'conservative' (Burkean) viewpoint. But it is also one that I do not think can be rationally disputed, where any of Homo sapiens' traipsings are concerned.


If this Imperfectability Hypothesis is true, it means that accepting any culture's foundational roots, necessarily also requires tolerating their (past times) imprinted stink(s).


If we toss out our own culture's roots because of their (comparatively recently) detectible stench, what are we left with?



No anchors and self-descriptions at all.



Forced deracination leaves the figurative Ship of State to drift in accord with the whims of generally hostile seas.


It is this latter, admittedly morally compromised — but nevertheless disintegration-evading — survival necessity that a child's impulsively self-righteous hostility attacks the most destructively.


In completely rejecting its origins — and substituting imagined perfection(s) — the baby kills its parents.


It is unlikely that Wisdom (or simple evolution) would choose such a self-destructive course.



The moral? — None of this will sit well with America's Snowflake and Cancel Culture elites


Nevertheless, I suspect that Martyanov is correct.


Coherent America, if it ever existed, is just about gone.


A nation that lacks a distinguishable, comprehensible intellectual and moral core — cannot continue to exist in any meaningful fashion. And certainly not, after being captured by parasitic interests that drain its life essence(s) away.


Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse (Clarity Press, 2021) is a book of genuine substance.


How rare, these air-headed days.