The author and writer John Michael Greer has written a superb novel called Twilight’s Last Gleaming which is set in the near future. In this fictional but frighteningly realistic future reports come in of a huge oil discovery of the coast of Tanzania. What happens next is a chain reaction of events, grippingly written by Greer, as the Americans step in to remove the pro-Chinese Tanzanian government and get their hands on the prized oil reserves.
Unfortunately for the Americans it doesn’t go to plan. The Chinese take advantage of the Achilles heel of the American military, its dependence on its vulnerable aircraft carrier fleet, to devastating effect which leads to the defeat of the American military.
Without giving too much of the story away, what follows next is a political and economic crisis within the American heartland which shatters any lingering respect for the governing class in Washington among the general public.
Events considered unthinkable rapidly become very real as the future existence of the United States itself becomes a matter of debate. The parallels with the current US presidential election are striking, as the governing elite have repeatedly dismissed the political chances of Donald Trump, who has succeeded against all the odds to become the Republican candidate. The unthinkable seems to be happening with greater regularity in our politics these days.
Greer has written a masterpiece of fictional writing which explores the massive challenges facing the United States and the possibility of a military clash with a rising Chinese power at some point next decade. The prospects of a Chinese victory in such a clash are far higher than the military planners in Washington would want to admit.
If you find the themes outlined in my post “Winter is coming” fascinating, then I would strongly recommend that you buy Greer’s novel, as it is a great introduction to the looming world of Scarcity Industrialism we are entering into.
One thought on “Book review of John Michael Greer’s Twilight’s Last Gleaming”
[…] Greer considers that the most likely trigger for the end of American military and economic hegemony will be a military defeat, at some point, within the next decade. The US military is a formidable military machine but it is extremely dependent on hi-tech systems (GPS, satellites etc) that, if knocked out, would deal a devastating blow to its operational capabilities. The biggest weakness of the American military, its aircraft carrier fleet, is the means by which a military opponent can use asymmetrical warfare to cripple the American military. In Greer’s fictional novel “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”, these ideas are explored in a fast pa…. […]