Reluctant to draw lesson from Soviet Union, how much further can US go?
Published: Dec 26, 2021 07:29 PM
Photo taken on March 25, 2020 shows the US Capitol in Washington D.C., the US. Photo: Xinhua

Photo taken on March 25, 2020 shows the US Capitol in Washington D.C., the US. Photo: Xinhua

Thirty years ago, the Soviet Union disintegrated. But the US has never been the "winner" - its failure is only 30 years late. The US today is very similar to the Soviet Union (USSR) back then. Following in the Soviet Union's steps, the US is becoming "Soviet Union 2.0" in the 21st century.
First, just like the Soviet Union, the US is over-expanding itself across the world. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union's blind expansion ambitions were beyond its own capabilities. It ignored the basic needs of the people and focused purely on the global expansion. The final result was the Soviet Union's disintegration. 
Although the US today is still far from disintegration, it is getting closer to the tipping point of a civil war.
The US now regards expanding all over the world as its priority, instead of properly handling its internal affairs. This will inevitably lead to a loss of US credibility worldwide and a decline in the entire US society and politics. The US is now in the same situation as was the Soviet Union back then. The Soviet Union eventually disintegrated, and if the US continues its current domestic and foreign policies, its own collapse will be imminent.
However, the whole of US society seriously lacks the necessary reflection on the Soviet Union's disintegration. This can be seen from the US media's recent reports on the incident 30 years ago. The mainstream US media's attention on the Soviet Union's disintegration is obviously not as much as that of the Chinese media. Their reports mainly focused on what China has learned from the disintegration, how Russia "exploits nostalgia for the old regime," and "the Soviet regime collapsed, the Russian one can as well." 
This shows clearly that the US still regards itself the "winner" of history and has not learned any lessons from the Soviet Union's disintegration 30 years ago.
If the US does not conduct profound self-reflection and effect major changes in its own behavior, then the fate of the Soviet Union will eventually befall the US one day. Three retired US army generals recently warned of an insurrection or even civil war if the results of the 2024 presidential election were not accepted by some in the military. The US is facing unprecedented crises in its own history.
In addition, the Soviet Union's leadership was extremely arrogant back then, and so are today's US political elites who ascribe the problems amid international relations to other countries instead of themselves. Such arrogance will make the US face more frustrations in the future. 
In 1992, Francis Fukuyama published his book The End of History and the Last Man, claiming that the free-market capitalism of the US-led West may become the final form of human history. 
This view, which reveals the arrogant judgment of the US political elites, obscures the fact that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was mainly due to its internal problems, rather than its competition with the US. The US' wrong attitude of considering itself a winner of the Cold War results in the complete absurdity of US policy toward Russia over the 30 years after the Soviet Union's disintegration.
Fukuyama's failed prediction of the "end of history" is quite representative of an arrogant gambler's mentality of the US, believing in a landslide victory of its own side. This is the reason why US political elites have lost their rationality, humility, and judgment in dealing with external affairs after the end of the Cold War, believing that all countries should aspire to so-called American-style democracy. 
As a result, the US tried to spread its "freedom and democracy" worldwide, which was nothing but a disaster to other countries and led to more domestic chaos in the US itself.
Nevertheless, the US is still not willing to learn from the Soviet Union's disintegration, which is a warning for the US to be more humble and responsible with its policies toward China and Russia, rather than expanding itself everywhere in the world for the sake of hegemony. 
The US has never been a winner in the Cold War, as history shows. The Soviet Union has collapsed. For how much longer can the US go on like this?
The author is professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn