by Matthew Ehret
August 2021
from Strategic-Culture Website

© Photo: REUTERS

Tingshu Wang

Many of the breakthroughs in

rocketry, space science and the atom

which so profoundly altered the world

during the 20th century

happened within the unfortunate momentum

generated by wars both hot and cold...




Part 1

August 07, 2021



In these days of profound uncertainty, it is comforting knowing that certain fundamental truths still exist and serve as guiding lights through the dark waters.

Among the highest of those fundamental truths are those enunciated in 1967 by Reverend Martin Luther King (MLK) who ruminated over the dangers of imperialism and nuclear war by stating,

"we still have a choice today: nonviolent co-existence or violent co-annihilation".

When leaping ahead over five decades past the April 4, 1968 assassination of King to our present time, that truth stands as valid today as ever.

While asymmetric never-ending wars following the 'Vietnam model' have continued across the Middle East and while the world faces no shortage of modern Dr. Strangeloves giddy over the visceral power offered by the red button, humanity's obligation to recognize the scientific truthfulness of King's words have existential importance.

In the face of today's lunge towards extinction, the Greater Eurasian Partnership and broader Belt and Road Initiative spreading across the face of the globe has pulled more people out of poverty and despair at rates unseen in all history.


Yet an under-appreciated aspect of this dynamic has taken the form of the ever-expanding "space silk road" which is what I'd like to discuss in this first of a two-part essay.

The Trans Geopolitical Roots of Space Exploration

Since the days of Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865), the dream of a new space-exploration driven age of mankind was something that animated the scientific imagination of the greatest minds of the 20th century.


A generation of German rocket scientists inspired by Fritz Lang's 1929 Frau Im Mond (Woman in the Moon) innovated new aerodynamic and chemical designs that began making the impossible possible.


With every new breakthrough, the realm of ideas that Jules Verne could only dream of became ever more a part of the field of potential shaping humanity's available pathways.



Imperial geopoliticians seeking to keep humankind locked within a closed system of diminishing returns and monopolized resources on the face of the earth were certainly nervous at the new age that was unfolding.

Like so many technological innovations in human history, many of the breakthroughs in rocketry, space science and the atom which so profoundly altered the world during the 20th century happened within the unfortunate momentum generated by wars both hot and cold.


Today, many cynics who have drank heavily from the chalice of misanthropy, are quick to pounce on this unfortunate irony as proof that humanity only creates when we are busy killing each other.


However, by changing our point of view a bit, we could just as easily conclude that this irony is proof that despite our frequent falls into barbarism (shaped more often than not by oligarchical interests manipulating nations into self-destruction), humanity has the power to create higher goodness even amidst strife.


MLK put this in his own words when he said that,

"the arc of history is long but it bends towards justice".


Is there a Scientific Case to be made for King's Optimism?

While it is nice to hear such statements as those uttered by MLK,

can we find evidence that this optimistic view of human nature stands on firmer ground than mere rhetoric?

I think there is...

For one thing, were the forces of evil truly more powerful than forces of good, than it stands to reason that the last 100,000+ years would have resulted in mankind either never having made it out of caves, or self-exterminating long ago, leaving the world a much better place in a state of "technology-free" balance.

And yet, here we are.


Nearly nine billion members of our fragile species conglomerated on the face of our fragile planet spinning around a sun within a small neighborhood of a small galaxy amidst a cluster of galaxies which we have barely even begun to understand.



It was, after all, not long ago that humanity still believed that all observable spiral galaxies were contained within the confines of the Milky Way.


It took the discoveries of Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) in the early 20th century to prove that this was not true and that ours was but one of a multitude of galactic islands in the universe. 1


It was at this time that breakthroughs in aviation were allowing humanity to finally construct primitive airplanes and breakthroughs in electromagnetism and radiation were expanding our understanding of the structure of space time far beyond the visible zone of light waves, many octaves into the domain of radio waves below infrared and above ultraviolet into shortwave x rays and gamma radiation.


With each cognitive leap into the unknown, boundary conditions of our collective knowledge were increased in tandem with our potential carrying capacity as new technologies beneficial to sustaining more people at higher standards of living were made available.

Of course, giving the cynic his/her due, it must be admitted that with each conceptual advance of mind's grasp of the forces of matter, our freedom to create was increased along with our freedom to destroy.



In 1926, the brilliant Russian biogeochemist Vladimir V.I. Vernadsky (1863-1945) recognized that the thing dubbed the biosphere was not a closed system of Darwinian objects competing in a universe of diminishing returns, but was itself a singular system whose identity was more than the sum of parts, driven by,

  1. photosynthesis (the power of living matter to transform solar energy into work)

  2. a tendency towards increasing the flow of atomic migration of elements

  3. a principle of ubiquity of all life which tended to expand to its fullest and generate new "technologies" to constantly overcome nature's limits to growth

  4. the intersection of a multitude of octaves of cosmic radiation from intergalactic space with the lithosphere mediated by nested magnetic fields...

The conception outlined in Vernadsky's Biosphere was that living matter and ecosystems were not localized to the earth, but were rather cosmic processes tied to the entire environment of the solar system and beyond.


This concept was not only new but irrefutable and revolutionary. 2

In 1957, a new milestone was reached as Russia's Sputnik I satellite broke into orbit and mankind officially became the first space-bound species on record.


As humanity extended its sphere of activity beyond the limits of the biosphere, yet more incredible new discoveries were made, such as the existence of nested positively and negatively charged magnetic fields dubbed the Van Allen Belts that were a part of a structure of Birkland currents shaping pathways within electromagnetic fields that allowed fluxes of coronal mass ejections emerging from the sun, and even other stars, to flow into the earth's biosphere, driving the flow of evolutionary activity over long periods of time.

Scientists across the world soon found themselves looking to these invisible nested arrays of magnetic fields within our galaxy and the dense ocean of cosmic radiation and plasma in order to seek the causes of,

weather, ice ages, viruses, volcanism, extinction cycles and more...

Frank Capra's 1959 The Strange Case of Cosmic Rays (below video) sponsored by Bell Labs provides a glimpse into the trajectory of scientific thinking at this time.






John F. Kennedy Takes the Helm

After Sputnik's breakthrough, it didn't take long for humans to follow suite with Yuri Gagarin's orbital voyage on April 12, 1961.


Amidst the fog of assassinations, coups, asymmetric wars and psy ops of the Cold War, space flight continued to offer humanity a pathway out of hell.


Seeking desperately for a creative exit from the Game Theory-driven rules of Mutually Assured Destruction, President John F. Kennedy embraced the strategic value of space not merely as a geopolitical tool to beat the commies, as is so often portrayed in history books, but as a driving force that could transform the world and the rigged rules of the Cold War.

Kennedy's September 20, 1963 United Nations speech championing the establishment of a joint U.S.-Russian space program is a testament of this strategic outlook which has been too easily forgotten over the years.


Additionally, Kennedy made it clear that space exploration generated long term goals and intentions that would,

"serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills".

The stochastic idea of economics defined as,

"hedonistic beasts with money seeking to maximize their pleasure and reduce their pain while buying low and selling dear",

...which free marketeers and libertarians advocated could never stand up to this higher conception of capitalism as outlined by Kennedy and the best American System traditions.


Nuclear technology that also emerged in the fires of war similarly found itself forged into tools of creation as well as destruction.


As nuclear bombs were built at record speeds on both sides of the Iron Curtain, civilian nuclear reactors began producing abundant, high quality cheap energy at such rates that for the first time, billions of people could be alleviated from poverty forever.


While Russia was less fortunate with her efforts on the Moon, she landed 10 probes on the surface of Venus during the 1961-1984 Venera program and began applying nuclear reactor technology to space craft eventually sending out 30 nuclear reactor units in 30 yeas.


In the USA, Kennedy unveiled a program for nuclear rockets under the NERVA program, and Project Rover which promised to offer humanity a means of flying not only to the moon and mars but to the furthest reaches of the solar system and beyond.


As the NERVA and Phoebus rockets passed all tests with flying colors, 3 programs were outlined to begin Mars colonization with plans to land on the red planet by August 1982.


Even in China, Premier Zhou Enlai had ensured that space pioneer Qian Xuesen had received state support to create a Chinese space program which began in earnest with the 1958 Project 581 which aimed to put a satellite into orbit.


Although suffering many setbacks throughout the 1960s-1980s, the Chinese resiliently pushed forward, eventually becoming the third nation to send astronauts into space through their own efforts.


Despite the intrigue and evil that dominated geopolitics these precarious years, the call of a new age of cooperation continued to resonate with milestone achievements as the,

  • 1967 Space Treaty

  • 1969 Moon landing

  • Apollo Soyuz 1975,

...cooperation between U.S. and Russian space agencies.





So What Went Wrong?



Why did the Apollo Program, which had generated revolutionary technologies in every branch of economics and medicine find itself dissolved by 1973 and advanced Saturn rockets retired into museums?


Why were Kennedy's offers to the Soviet Union dropped upon his death despite the fact that Khrushchev wrote of his desires that they happen?


Why did NASA's budget peak in 1964 maxing at 4% of GDP and find its funding drained into the war in Vietnam, never to rise again?


Why were the nuclear rocket programs dismantled in 1972 despite having beaten all expectations?


Why did the Apollo-Soyuz program fail to serve as the foundation for a new era of space diplomacy?




As I outlined in a previous article on The Dynamics of Nuclear Diplomacy, the answer to this strange set of anomalies is found in the rise of a new breed of misanthropic statecraft called "neo-Malthusianism" which took the levers of western foreign and internal economic policies over the dead bodies of pro-development leaders like,

  • Kennedy

  • Enrico Mattei

  • Dag Hammarskjold

  • Daniel Johnson Sr.

  • Bobby Kennedy

  • Martin Luther King Jr...

As the neo-Malthusian revolution was effected across western governments during this period, studies such as Limits to Growth began to promote a new wisdom of degrowth and conservation of ecosystems as a replacement for the "old wisdom" that cherished big infrastructure projects and scientific discovery as the driving ethic of humanity.


"Ecosystems" under this new age of digital computer modeling were increasingly defined as closed, thermodynamic processes bounded by mathematical homeostasis, and humanity was expected to adapt to those supposed limits like any other beast within nature.


One of the founders of the Canadian branch of the Club of Rome was Maurice Lamontagne (former President of the Privy Council Office) who called out the problem of creativity itself in his 1968-1972 Science Policy Senate Reports:

"Nature imposes definite constraints on technology itself and if man persists in ignoring them the net effect of his action in the long run can be to reduce rather than to increase nature's potential as a provider of resources and habitable space...


But then, an obvious question arises: 

How can we stop man's creativeness...?"

Calling for a redirection of funding from science and discovery which had the troubling effect of increasing humanity's power over nature and thus disrupting the mathematical equilibrium which Malthusian computer models demanded govern all reality, Lamontagne stated:

"The new wisdom prescribes that the additional R&D effort be devoted to the life sciences and social sciences rather than the physical sciences... to economic and social objectives rather than curiosity and discovery."

The 1970s-1990s saw the largest onslaught on all domains of science policy that involved discoveries into the universe of the immeasurably large (space science) and immeasurably small (atomic science) which threatened to disrupt the formulas for population limits that the new breed of neo-Malthusian craved in their quest for total power under a New World Order.

In the below installment, we will review China's re-activation of space exploration as a creative flanking maneuver to break humanity out of the rigged fixed rules of the Great Game while also reviving the dream of attaching our destiny to the infinite.




(1) Leavitt observed a correlation between the brightness and periodicity of pulsating stars which generated a system of triangulation of parallax that was used to determine relative distances of stars both within our own Milky Way and also other galaxies beyond.

(2) In his 1926 book 'The Biosphere', Vernadsky wrote:

"The biosphere may be regarded as a region of transformers that convert cosmic radiations into active energy in electrical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, and other forms.


Radiations from all stars enter the biosphere, but we catch and perceive only an insignificant part of the total. The existence of radiation originating in the most distant regions of the cosmos cannot be doubted.


Stars and nebulae are constantly emitting specific radiations, and everything suggests that the penetrating radiation discovered in the upper regions of the atmosphere by Hess originates beyond the limits of the solar system, perhaps in the Milky Way, in nebulae, or in stars…


The importance of this will not be clear for some time, but this penetrating cosmic radiation determines the character and mechanism of the biosphere."

(3) Wernher von Braun stated at a 1966 NY Academy of Science conference:

"The technology now available will enable us to accomplish the manned lunar landing in Project Apollo...


For really serious manned exploration of the planets, however, to include manned landings, nuclear or electric propulsion will be required.


And I would personally prefer a nuclear stage for a manned fly-by mission to Venus and Mars. And a manned Mars mission, which could be achieved by the mid-eighties, would very definitely require nuclear propulsion...


The highly successful test firing program of the NERVA I engine lends confidence to the belief that a nuclear rocket stage can be designed."









Part 2

Anglo-American Unipolarists Extend the Geopolitical Cage to Space
August 14, 2021



© Photo: Public domain


Despite the reality,

smaller minds obviously see space

as merely a extension of the fixed rules

of imperial geopolitics that have been used

for millenia to keep human beings

locked like rats in a cage

managed by oligarchs,

Matt Ehret writes.


75 years ago, Winston Churchill delivered a speech in Fulton Missouri announcing a new Iron Curtain that had descended upon the world with the free capitalist nations united under an Anglo-American alliance on the one side and authoritarian states organized under the control of the Kremlin.

In the speech which put the nail into the coffin of FDR's vision of a US-Russian-Chinese alliance of win-win cooperation, Churchill announced that:

"Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organization will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English speaking peoples.


This means a special relationship between the British Commonwealth and Empire and the United States."

In the wake of this announcement, new mechanisms and operational procedures were brought online from the creation of the CIA after a purge of military intelligence which began with the dissolution of the OSS, to the establishment of a new security doctrine under NSC-75:

'A Report to the NSC by the Executive Secretary on British Military Commitments' which tied America's destiny to the preservation of British territorial possessions to keep independent-minded nations from falling under Soviet influence.

The rules of game theory were thus elevated from perverse thoughts floating around the paranoid minds of statisticians like Oscar Morganstern, John Nash and John von Neumann, to governing levers defining international military policy in an age of intrigue, coups, espionage and assassinations.


This system of controls would guarantee a peace shaped not by cooperation or the pursuit of large scale goals as FDR announced in his Four Freedoms speech of 1941, but rather by the terror of mutually assured annihilation.


This geopolitical perversion of "peace" necessitated isolated arrays of small wars, hot and economic alike in the pursuit of an overall balance.


This is a game that would only function to the degree that all players acted like selfish short sighted opportunists incapable of thinking outside the terms of the game itself.


As I outlined in my above previous article, despite the darkness and bipolarity of the Cold War, efforts were made to break humanity free of the rigged game by connecting our economic sphere of influence to the infinite expanses of space.


Sadly every time new revolutionary advances were made by saner forces among all sides of the Iron Curtain, those advances were soon sabotaged as humanity was pulled back into the closed-system geopolitical cage like the lab rats which certain influential Malthusians and technocrats wished to believe we were.





The Anglo-American Special Relationship in Space


Today, Churchill's ghost has come to haunt the world once more as the vicious terms of the Cold War rules of conduct are again being forcefully revived under the priests of the "rules based international order" that have obsessively made it clear that they will not tolerate the existence of a multilateral system of governance challenging their perceived right to total hegemony.


The first sign of Churchill's re-emergence was seen in June 10, 2021 as Biden and Boris Johnson signed the 'New Atlantic Charter' in London which re-committed both nations to their Cold Warrior identities in defense of,

  • NATO

  • the Rules Based Order

  • Open Society

  • 'democracy'...

The New Charter said that both nations,

"affirm our shared responsibility for maintaining our collective security and international stability and resilience against the full spectrum of modern threats, including cyber threats."

On July 29, another joint US-UK alliance was solidified in the form of a statement published on The Telegraph by General James H. Dickenson (head of US Space Force) and Vice Marshall Paul Godfrey (the head of the UK's new Space Command that went into operation the same day).


The title of the statement read:

'We Need a Special Relationship for Space' and opened with a tribute to Churchill's Iron Curtain speech where the duo stated:

"Today, Churchill's words are more resonant and relevant than ever as we look to adversaries threatening us not just from Earth but from space."

Citing Russia explicitly and China implicitly as new threats to world peace which must be combated in the new domain of space, the duo outlines the danger of space based warfare which threatens to takedown the entire western infrastructure system saying:

"Satellite constellations in low-earth orbit link almost every aspect of our daily lives whether it's our transport networks, banking systems, mobile phones, the internet or television.


Almost anything, or anyone, who is on the move benefits from the positioning, navigation and timing capabilities of our Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS).


Militarily, space-based assets are critical for communication, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and navigation."

Describing the apocalyptic effects of the takedown of the GNSS, which neither China or Russia are reliant upon having built their own alternative systems of GPS, the space duo said:

"It would be a day of market volatility, of local blackouts, of delayed journeys and of malfunctioning emergency services. It would be a day of chaos...


Make no mistake, our potential adversaries are working hard to make this nightmare a reality."

There is undoubtedly an element of truth in these statements, since both China and Russia have been forced in recent years to respond to military encirclement of their nations by the expansion of new defensive military capabilities which involve space-based warfare including potentially,

However, it is important to recall that neither China nor Russia are the instigators of this new military agenda, nor are they acting on an offensive program.


In fact, in recent years, both nations have only offered olive branches of cooperation in the face of aggressive policies which speak sweetly of freedom publicly while making every effort to destabilize target nations through asymmetric warfare, terror financing, economic warfare and outright military encirclement.


Additionally, these remarks could also be seen as a form of predictive programming as they echo earlier statements made by General Mark Milley who warned of a "new Pearl Harbor in space" when he said on December 3, 2020 that,

"there's an argument to be made and many have made it in various unclassified writings that a country might try to seek a first move or advantage, for example to blind the United States... the Next Pearl Harbor could happen in space".

Milley pointed out that space warfare could takedown,

"the internet and electricity grids".

Hold in mind that the World Economic Forum's Cyber Polygon cyberwar game scenario exercises unfolded on July 9, 2021 with a specific focus on,

the takedown of western electricity grids, internet, medical and telecommunications support systems and banking systems...

The WEF's Klaus Schwab had referred to the,

"frightening scenario of a comprehensive cyberattack [that] could bring  a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole... the COVID-19 crisis would be seen in this respect as a small disturbance in comparison to a major cyber attack".

Anyone who paid attention to Event 201 should not be surprised to feel goosebumps emerge at this point.


The New York Times lost no time before amplifying the fear fest writing such evidence-free articles as "Russians who Pose Electrion Threat have Hacked Nuclear Plants and Power Grids".


Meanwhile on July 29, 2021, Biden revived the petard that China and Russia were responsible for cyberattacks on American companies and infrastructure warning of a shooting war, saying:

"I think it's more than likely we're going to end up, if we end up in a war - a real shooting war with a major power - it's going to be as a consequence of a cyber-breach of great consequence."

The new US-UK space-based special relationship professes to expand upon the Five Eyes dominated Combined Space Operations which involve,

  • the USA

  • Canada

  • UK

  • Australia

  • New Zealand well as France and Germany, and also the Olympic Defender exercises which featured US-UK collaboration on space-based warfare scenarios in 2020.


The US and UK are joined by Japan which announced its own Space Operations Squadron in May 2020 and by working directly with the Anglo-American alliance, has managed to circumvent the post WW2 ban on acquiring a military program.


Space remains a trans geopolitical domain of new undiscovered principles that shape our weather systems, ice ages, the activation/de-activation of viruses and even the forces of evolution of living systems.


Returning to a paradigm driven by creative discoveries in space would not only animate the best of humanity's powers of creative reason, but also increase our standards of excellence in all fields to solve real problems and achieve real goals that not only serves to accomplish concrete tasks, but which offers the densest array of technological breakthroughs that we know will feed back into our earth-based economy in unimaginable ways.


It is a fact that there is hardly a single branch of human activity from,

medicine, mining, chemistry, industrial production, telecommunications, or even entertainment,

...that wasn't revolutionized from the original space program put into motion by President Kennedy nearly 60 years ago.


Chinese and Russian policy makers have emphasized their desires to use this domain as the foundation for mutual cooperation between all nations in the defense of earth against asteroid threats, the development of new resources on the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.


At different times, sane forces within Europe, and NASA have echoed this call for a new era of cooperation as outlined in the original spirit of the Artemis Accords and western opposition to the absurd block on US-Chinese space cooperation put into law with the 2011 Wolf Act.


However, despite this reality, smaller minds obviously see space as merely a extension of the fixed rules of imperial geopolitics that have been used for millennia to,

keep human beings locked like rats in a cage managed by oligarchs...

Where the maritime choke points of yesterday took the form of the straights of Malacca, the Bosporous, or Panama Canal, today's heirs to this Hobbesian worldview that animated Churchill's life, are only capable of seeing space as yet another choke point in the Great Game...