The Rise of the European Far-Right

Our June MedShare Donation Match of $50,000

I’m pleased to announce our donation matching drive for the month of June. We will be matching up to $50,000 in donations this month to our chosen charity partner, MedShare International.

Please click the link below to donate, and all of us at Zeihan on Geopolitics, thank you for your generosity.

I know there’s plenty of issues with the American political system, but let’s take a break from all that and talk about European politics for the day. Given the ongoing European Parliament elections, let’s look at the far-right’s footholds in Europe.

The Europeans designed their electoral system following World War II to provide inclusivity, but that opened the door for multiple parties (not just 2 big ones) to gain power. Combine that with aging populations and not enough young people to balance power in the political sphere, and the far-right has been able to gain influence throughout Europe.

When older generations rule, conservative and reactionary politics follow. Much of Europe is seeing this unfold and will have to work through these ever-increasing challenges brought on by demographic shifts.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey everybody. Peter Zeihan here. Coming to you from Italy on the Via della Costa. Excuse me. The old Roman road that went all the way to Spain. since I’m leaving the country tomorrow. Today we’re going to talk about European politics. you guys may have noticed that we have far right parties which, based on which country or you know what your politics are either anywhere from conservative to moderate to Nazi, you know, taking power or at least doing very well in any number of electoral competitions in the European Space. 

in some cases seizing outright power. here, among others, in Italy. there are a couple of reasons for this. The first one is almost boring and statistical. It’s because there’s a different electoral system, a different approach in Europe. when the United States recovered from the Civil War and when the US was created in the first place, there is this idea that how you force modernity or how you force moderation is by forcing political groups to appeal to the largest number of individuals possible. 

So the United States has something called a first past the post electoral system with single member districts, which is a fancy way of saying that you vote for a specific person who’s going to represent a specific group of people. that’s not how it works in Europe. In Europe, most of the electoral systems were designed in the aftermath of the World wars, in the aftermath of a series of revolutions and conflicts that killed millions of people. 

And so it was perceived as far more important to, instead of catering to the, the vast majority, to have a society that was more inclusive of everybody. So instead of voting for a person, you vote for a party. And if that party gets 20% of the votes, they get 20% of the seats in parliament. And whoever has the most seats in Parliament then goes on to form the government. 

and in doing this, you allow groups that are maybe not in the center, but can still get a lot of votes to be part of the governing system. And so most countries in Europe don’t have two parties. They’ve got four or 5 or 6 or 8 or 12 or whatever. It happens to be. And so you get a lot more diversity in the decision making system. 

A lot more diversity in the politics of the parties that make up the system. And that means you need people from the extremes as well, anywhere from socialists and communists on the left to reactionaries and maybe even few neo Nazis on the right. That’s by design. It’s not by accident. And so you’re always going to have this element of the election system, of the electoral system, of the voters who are willing to support candidates that other people might find a little distasteful. 

And sometimes they form a government because they’ve got enough support. Now, have the this one piece two shocker is more demographic. when you industrialize and urbanize, you start moving from the farm and into the city, and then the farm kids are free labor in the city. Kids are an expense. And so as time goes on, you have fewer of them. 

Well, a good portion of Europe didn’t get serious about the business of urbanization and industrialization until after World War two. So whereas the Germans and the Brits kind of led the way in that process, and the birth rate has been dropping fairly slowly for a long period of time in places like Spain and Italy. The process really didn’t start into the latter half of last century, and has proceeded and a much, much, much, much faster rate. 

Well, if you’ve got a birth rate that is less than two children per women for a decade or two, it’s not a big deal. But if you do that for, say, 7 or 8 decades, all of a sudden you’ve got a problem. And the issue we have in a lot of Europe is that they drop below replacement as far back as the 50s and the 60s, and they drop past 1.5 children per woman as far back as the 70s, in the 80s. 

And you play that for another 50 years. And it’s not so much that, population reconstitution is impossible. It’s been impossible for decades. But now, at the point that the last people who were born in normal times are now turning 60 and 70. And nowhere is that more advanced than here in Italy. So it’s not that demographics, when they turn, generate a more conservative population. 

It’s that when people retire, they get a little crotchety. And we’re now seeing people across Europe in vast numbers age past that point, and they didn’t have enough children to generate a more economically pragmatic population. And since those people don’t exist, there was not another generation born below to be more liberal. So if you remove the liberality of the youth and the moderation of the middle age folks and all, you’re left with crotchety crunchiness, you get more reactionary politics, electoral systems and ultimately governments. 

It’s furthest along here in Italy. Coming up a close second is Germany, and I’m sure there’s no one worried about that. And after that, you’ve got places like Portugal, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland which are adding to this and a similar rate, but from a slightly younger base. So we are going to see more and more conservative politics, more and more socially conservative politics, more and more populist politics. 

Moving on. Because if you are, turning 70 this year, you’re really not concerned of how things like social rights or economic development, you want your train ticket to be a half a euro and no more. Oh, yeah, that reminds me. Having something like the common currency requires a more balanced economic system. And if you look back demographically at the period we’ve been in the post-Cold War period, we’ve gone through a couple interesting phases because from roughly 1990 until roughly 2015, we saw these people aging, but no one had really hit retirement yet, which meant they hadn’t become interested in no change yet. 

In fact, if you’ve got people who are age 50 to 65 and who don’t have kids, their income is huge. You’re saving loads of money for retirement, the tax base is massive, and the financial wiggle room in that sort of system is absolutely huge. And that’s the same era when the Europeans decided that, hey, let’s do the common currency. 

And if you think back at how insane that sounded at the time, you have industrialized Germany, you’ve got technocratic Luxembourg, you’ve got post industrial Portugal. It’s based entirely on tourism. Who would ever think in a normal system that all of those systems could be under the same currency union? But when there is a huge amount of, financial are just floating around because of all these middle age, not yet retired people, you could try a lot of things. 

And they did. One outcome was the common currency. But now a lot of the people who were generating all that capital to give them wiggle room have moved into mass retirement. And with them, the hopes for the currency go as well. and for those of you who are finance nerds out there, you think the Germans were obsessed with inflation before most of their working age population retired? 

 Just wait till they’re all retirees, because that is something that happens within the next ten years. When that goes down, there isn’t much hope for the euro. So, you know, this is why you can make the most of it. And I’ll see you on the other side of the pond. Take care. 

Announcing Our June MedShare Donation Match of $50,000

I’m pleased to announce our donation matching drive for the month of June. We will be matching up to $50,000 in donations this month to our chosen charity partner, MedShare International.

From the ongoing medical crisis in Ukraine, to life-saving maternal and child health programs in developing countries and support for vital safety-net health facilities in vulnerable communities in the U.S. and around the world, our donations serve as a force multiplier for MedShare.

Please click the link below to donate, and all of us at Zeihan on Geopolitics, thank you for your generosity.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Is Mexico’s New President Just a Puppet for AMLO?

THE WEBINAR IS TODAY!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Join Peter Zeihan for a webinar TODAY at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

The most recent Mexican elections have resulted in the victory of Mexico’s first female -and- Jewish leader, Claudia Sheinbaum. She will be succeeding current populist President AMLO, but how much change will this actually bring?

President López Obrador has a bit of a Robin Hood complex, spreading wealth to the poor and neglecting security concerns. These financial transfers gained him favor with the people, but he did this with no regard for sustainability. In addition, while he was spending all his time people pleasing, the cartels were able to seize control of large parts of Mexico.

But won’t all this change when Claudia Sheinbaum steps into office? Well, AMLO and Sheinbaum are close allies, and it would appear that AMLO will be sitting behind the scenes playing puppet-master. So, her ability to address these concerns will all depend on how much string AMLO gives her…

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey, everyone. Peter Zeihan here. Coming to you from Vegas, where I had to get up early because it’s going to be 180 billion degrees today. Anyway, we’re going to talk about the Mexican elections. We’ve had a sweep by, the ruling Morena party. Claudia Sheinbaum, who is a woman and who is Jewish, will be the first woman of the first Jew to rule Mexico. 

There’s a long lame duck period. So it’s gonna be a few months before she’s officially in charge. But I think it’s best for us to get ahead of this. You have an idea of what is coming? she’s taken over from a guy by the name of Amlo who is a populist. He likes to call himself a leftist. 

He’s really not. He’s really just kind of, Well, a really arrogant thug. Think of him as kind of combining the worst attributes of Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump. there are two sides to animal, one of which which is broadly positive but is broadly negative. First, the positive, the way that Mexico has developed, a lot of people have been left behind has a very high rate of poverty. 

It’s one of the most unequal economically countries in the world. And he wrote, the poor people to electoral victory with his election machine, and he’s ruled with them in mind. It’s basically that huge amounts of financial transfers from the state to the poor, purchasing loyalty. Certainly. but he hasn’t done it in a way that makes it self-sustainable. 

He’s been spending more and more and more money and has not really built out the development possibilities for the places of the country that are poor. So if the money were to stop for any reason, we basically go back to where we were pre Amlo so, you know, maybe an A for effort or at least an A for intentions, but it hasn’t really worked out very well. 

the other part, which is negative, it has been a disaster. That’s been his complete ignoring of any sort of security issues as being security issues, just denying that they exist. And this has allowed the cartels to seize huge swaths of Mexican system. in essence, there’s four Mexicos in the north. The northern states have integrated with Texas, primarily in the United States, were less agree as part of NAFTA, and have done very well economically and have solved a lot of the societal issues that have plagued the rest of Mexico for the entirety of the history of the Republic. 

Then in the center, you’ve got the area around Mexico City, which is about half the population, which is this kind of sprawling megalopolis, which has all the pros and all of the cons of such a region. down in the South, you’ve got the poorer areas that are not linked into either the industrial heartland of the South or the American like section of the North. 

and then you’ve got the countryside, which is not like me. You would think of the countryside in the United States. Mexico in the south is jungle, Mexico in the north is, desert. All of it is pretty mountainous. So you don’t have a really dense population in the hinterlands, just a speckling of small communities. Well, aimless choice to ignore the cartels. 

And indoor. The security situation has allowed the cartels to largely take over in the South, where the state was weakest. And in the countryside, where the state was already nonexistent. So you’re talking upwards of a quarter of the territory of Mexico is now not ruled by Mexico. It’s ruled by the cartels. they levy taxes in the form of extortion payments. 

They provide protection rackets. They’ve branched out of the drug industry and gotten into agriculture and tourism and property, taking over local government. in this most recent batch of elections. And dozens of political candidates were shot while they were running for office because the cartel thought that they couldn’t control them. they basically have set up a parallel governing system that the Mexican government has not challenged. 

And in the best of circumstances. And these are not those rooting up that sort of alternate system is going to be very difficult, very violent, very time consuming, and very expensive. Which brings us to the new leader, Sheinbaum. she has a better record than Amlo with admitting that security issues are security issues, and she’s actually been reasonably competent in running Mexico City, where she was mayor, in terms of beefing up security. 

the problem is, she’s not just part of the band. She’s a cult leader. when it comes to Amlo, she she really is a believer in his cause. And Amlo has made it very clear that he has no intention of stepping back from power. He intends to rule indirectly through her, something that she seems to be broadly okay with. 

So continuing the transfers of funds to the poor and makes a certain amount of sense, especially if you can bring her more scientific acumen into the process in order to actually build out long term potential for these people to earn money for themselves. but on the security issue, it’s a question of how forceful will Amlo be in making what he wants to happen happen? 

Will he be a quiet ruler behind the scenes? Or he’s going to just treat her like a puppet? We’re not going to know that for the better part of a year. but the danger is very, very clear. Amlo is one of those leaders who has definitely left the country in a worse position than when he took it over, and he is now seeking to use unofficial means to continue his rule. 

That’s not great. 

Danger in the Red Sea: Who Shall the Houthis Let Pass?

THE WEBINAR IS TOMORROW!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

It’s time for an update on the situation in the Red Sea and what the Houthis have been up to as of late. Spoiler alert: most of the ships are taking the longer route around Africa, but there’s a handful still navigating this region.

When people start attacking ships and demanding extortion money, the smart thing to do is avoid that area. However, there are a few exceptions. Oil tankers – mostly originating from Arab countries – have been largely left alone by the Houthis to avoid global backlash. Russian cargo ships coming from the Black Sea have also been given the green light by the Houthis thanks to relations with end destination countries like Iran.

Finally, we have the Chinese container ships. The Chinese have opted to pay the protection money (after being targeted the first few times) and are granted passage as part of a protection racket. So, if you don’t fall into one of these boats, you’ll likely be heading around Africa for the foreseeable future.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey everybody. Peter Zeihan here, coming to you from just outside of Cassis, France. I am going to do a quick update on what’s going on in the Red sea with the Houthis right now. as you guys all remember, the Houthis were the group in Yemen who decided to show solidarity with the Palestinians. They decided to, start shooting everyone who happened to sail by and demanding extortion money, because that that’s what it means to be supportive, I guess. 

Anyway, it’s kind of fallen off the radar in the last month. I want to give you an update of what’s going on. it’s still in play. The ships are still being attacked. The reason that you’re not hearing as much about it is most ships are simply avoiding the area now and doing the very, very long sail around Africa. 

Now, of the vessels that are getting through, they fall into three general categories. Number one, oil tankers, for the most part, are not being affected. Why? Well, most of the oil tankers are sailing from Arab countries, and the Houthis ultimately have to get their support from somewhere. And yes, yes, yes, Iran is their primary backer, but they know that if they start going after oil shipments, the whole world brings a bag of hammers down on them. 

And so they’re just avoiding that overall completely. the second category are cream ships and Bofors in general coming from the Black Sea. Now the vast majority of those are going to be Russian ships and the vast majority of those are going to either Iran or India. So the Houthis, who take many of their marching orders from the Iranians, are not going after the, cargo of their patrons. 

And then the third category is container ships that are specifically Chinese flagged. all other container ships, which are the more valuable ships on the seas are avoiding the area completely. And if you think back, the world’s container ships are typically either operated, by the United Arab Emirates, by the Danes, or by the Chinese. Well, the Danes and the United Arab Emirates have basically pulled their ships out of the area. 

That leaves the Chinese. And of several weeks ago, with the Houthis very specifically target a series of Chinese vessels all in one day. And the Chinese agreed to pay them protection money. So this is definitely evolved away from anything strategic or anything political into a pure protection racket. And that is where we stand right now. All right, everyone, take care. 

Ukraine Opens Up on Belgorod

ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

From the beginning of the Ukraine War, the Western nations have placed restrictions on how their weapons donations to Ukraine can be used. Specifically, Western nations have been concerned that if Ukraine targets Russian forces within Russia, escalation may be unavoidable. But recent events have forced a change of calculus in the West.

Less than 48 hours after NATO gave Ukraine the right to use those donated weapons against Russian targets within Russia, Ukrainians opened up on Russian military assets in and around the Russian city of Belgorod.

It’s too soon to assess damage, but the lack of Russian counterattack suggests Ukraine will soon be able to attack Russian forces wherever they can be reached. Regardless of the weapon systems Ukrainians are using.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Can Former President Trump ‘Make Felonies Great Again’?

WE’RE LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY FROM THE WEBINAR!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

Well, we’ve all heard the news at this point. Trump is a FELON, after being convicted on 34 counts of financial fraud related to hiding his affair. So, can Trump spin this “publicity” in a positive light or will it bite him in the ass come November?

The case was fairly straightforward, given the clear evidence and testimonials, but we’ll have to wait until July 11 for Trump’s sentencing. I wouldn’t expect him to see any jail time; however, the potential for probation and a (likely) dragged out appeals process could have significant impacts on his campaign schedule.

The real question is how does this effect Trumps shot at the presidency? It was already going to be a long shot for Trump, so this conviction and the fallout it carries might be the kiss of death. All Biden has to do now is just keep breathing.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey everyone Peter Zeihan here. I am, on my way to Milan to fly home, and you guys just couldn’t wait for me to get home and get sucked me back into politics. Okay, so when I woke up this morning about the. Donald Trump has been convicted in New York for eight of 34 counts of laundry and financial fraud. 

for hiding a, a theater, attempting to hide an affair that he had with the porn star Stormy Daniels. the way it works is …., 34 felonies, felony. Because if you engage in fraud and attempt to hide a crime, it automatically elevated class and felony. so let’s do a quick Q&A. what are the state things here? 

And then talk about where this leads. does this mean that Donald Trump no longer run for president? no, it does not. there’s nothing in the Constitution that says but, there are who can run for president. although, funny thing, you can’t vote. but you can still run for president. number two, what’s next? 

on July 11th, we get our sentencing hearing, and it is unlikely that Trump will go to jail. This was a nonviolent crime, and he’s a first time felon. Feels weird to say that. so we’re looking at probably some form of probation. Now, probation comes with restrictions. And as we’ve seen in the trial, with all of the charges of contempt of court and, gag order, is the chances of Trump following those restrictions are going to be interesting, especially in terms of campaign setting. 

number three, what about appeals? Appeals will happen. Absolutely. But it’s unlikely that we will see the appeals process completed. But before we have the presidential election, the big difference this time we’re worried about his scheduling, because when he hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, the court was believed to create in the degree of deference when it came to scheduling, now that he’s been convicted of 34 felonies. 

So there’s going to be very different. So, you know, things like the debates, things like rallies, those could actually be impacted pretty severely by whatever the appeals schedule is. A Trump will, of course, have a vested interest in dragging that to other possible. But even if he didn’t do that, certainly, I could be resolved before we get to the first week of November and have the general election. 

And then finally, there’s the question of whether or not this is a fair ruling or not. okay, so I’m in Italy right now, and a lot of these conversations have come up. And, you know, the Italians have some experience with politicians who dabble in corruption, politicians who dabble in ideals, and politicians who combine the two. And the general ditch here, which was really funny, is like, if you’re going to do things like this, you have to have an accountant to hide everything well and a fixer to make sure that the news doesn’t get out.   

In the case of Donald Trump, those two things were the same person. So like, oh, that’s not very smart. And then second, they’re like, and you get to keep these two people as close to you as possible because they’re the ones who know where the bodies are. They’re the people who have the receipts. And the reason why this court case was sewed up so quickly, and why did the jury only need a couple of days to debate? 

34 different counts, and why they came back with a unanimous verdict so quickly? Is that the fixer in the accountant and all of their documentation flipped and were testifying for the prosecution. So the only other outstanding bit of information to make this an easy case was the court star herself, who also could show for the play. Yeah, the that’s into her bank account matched with the debits from Trump’s account. 

So it really was from the accounting point of view, a very open and shut case, of the hospital you can think about for this matter. It’s big impact will have on the election. And, this is just amusing from my point of view, because as soon as the verdict came in in Trump campaign headquarters, cheers erupted. I feel like we can totally fundraise off of this. 

And then Biden election headquarters cheers erupted. Totally fund both of us. everyone seems to have forgotten the abuse of the 10% of the electorate, were independents, were just kind of nauseated by the whole thing. And the independents have decided every presidential election since the early 1960s. And they are not going to vote for somebody who now has 34 felonies under his belt. 

So as far as I’m concerned, this verdict has decided the election or other reasons to think that Trump was already in trouble. But this is really makes it impossible for him to win. 

assuming, of course, that Biden doesn’t die, I’d have never. 

Will the West Greenlight Strikes Inside Russia for Trigger Happy Ukraine?

WE’RE LESS THAN A WEEK AWAY FROM THE WEBINAR!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

The Western world is beginning to entertain the conversation over the use of Western weapons targeting Russian systems within Russia. There are a handful of countries that have issued their support, but will it be enough?

Countries like Sweden, Poland and France are leading the charge, Germany has recently jumped on the train, and momentum is building. The initial rationale behind preventing Ukraine from using these weapons to strike within Russia was to prevent (or try to avoid) escalation. However, the mounting support in Europe has put the pressure on the Americans to make a decision, and soon.

Given the incompetence that has filtered its way into Putin’s inner circle, this could be a strategic window for the Western world to act – and the Ukrainians are getting a little trigger happy.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hello, everybody. Peter Zeihan here, coming to you in Genoa. Piazza Villa Vittoria. the news today is that the Europeans, and to a lesser extent, the Americans, are debating how involved they want to give in the Ukraine war in terms of weapons and targeting. the idea what the Ukrainians have been asking for for some time and what the Scandinavians and the Central Europeans have picked up on, is as long as Russia is on the attack in places like Kharkiv and Luhansk and the nuts, that they should have the ability to use whatever weapons systems they can get their hands on to target Russian weapons systems and launchers within Russia if they’re part of an active conflict. The idea being that if you see that there is an air base just on the other side of the border where fighter bombers are taking off day in, day out and bombing civilian locations in Ukraine, then it’s silly to not use things like mid-range missiles to go after that air base to this point in order to contain the escalation threat. 

the West has pretty much put a blanket ban on that sort of weapon strikes from the Ukrainians, basically saying that if it comes from the United States or Germany or natural in general, then you can’t use it to strike targets within Russia proper that is now weakening. we got three things in play here. First, the countries in question number two, the personalities within Russia, and then three next steps. 

So first let’s talk about the countries, Sweden, Poland and the rest of the countries in northeastern and Central Europe have been advocating for this for some time. And so the countries that are most likely to bear some of the blowback being on board, you know, that it’s going to happen sooner or later. The question is how and when. 

the in the last couple of weeks, the country that has really stepped in started to argue from the Polish and the Swedish point of view is France. And, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, is saying that this is obviously a silly restriction and we need to release it. that just left the more conservative members of the coalition who are really, really concerned about what the blowback will be. 

But in the last week, all of Schultz, the chancellor of Germany, who has been consistently the most conservative voice in the alliance on pretty much everything regarding this war and said that, yeah, this is something that has to happen and that really puts pressure on the United States to act as well. Right now, the largest country that is saying flat out maybe no, no, but whoa, whoa whoa, let’s let’s think about this slowly. 

Is, the government here? Maloney of Italy has basically said it’s kind of funny. She basically called out the French for being French, for having seen some big things but not actually do anything, which is, you know, kind of cute. from my point of view, anyone who it takes the French just like that. But, the point is that this conversation is happening. 

It’s already happened at the EU level, and there’s not necessarily been a green light, but the conversation is building steam. And the real question, of course, is the United States is going to go along, since that’s where most weapons come from. But, but, but the fact that the Germans are on board, I mean, it’s probably only a matter of time now how this normally goes down is that one country will say, this weapon system can be used for this purpose, and they will be used and they will test the Russian red line. 

And if nothing happens, then everyone piles on. That’s what happened with the same artillery that’s happened with the Storm Sherman missiles. And that’s probably going to now happen for targeting things within Russia proper. That just leaves the personalities. How serious is what’s going on in Russia in terms of the counter threats? Is this a red line that starts a nuclear war? 

Well, you look at the people involved. The person who has been making most of the threats is Dmitry Medvedev, who is the former president of the country. Which makes you think that maybe he’s kind of important, but he’s not. He’s incompetent. He’s basically an intern. And Vladimir Putin only keeps him around because he looks Putin’s ass. Just so, and so when you see him making the threat, you know, it’s not all that serious. 

It would be serious if it was coming from someone, say, Nikola Patrushev, who is the guy who used to run the entire intelligence system. But in the last month, he’s basically been fired from his position and downgraded. So what Putin has discovered is the people that he has surrounded himself are really good at talking a good game, but not necessarily good at prosecuting a war. 

So he sacked his defense minister and brought him into a less dangerous position, put an economist and a bean counter in charge of the Defense Ministry, which in time, if it works, will make for a more competent defense industry, not because people will know how to fight, but because it won’t all be stolen. But then at the National Security Council, he basically just put his crony in there and fired the guy who can actually find Canada on a map. 

That’s Patrushev. So we’re in this flux when it comes to Russian foreign policy making, an especially strategic decision making, which I think the Europeans have picked up on and why they’re having this conversation now. Because right now, Putin’s inner circle is anything but competent. At a minimum, it needs more time to find its feet. After this most recent of a shakeup. 

And that’s a great time to up the ante in a way that the Russians are going to find very, very, very uncomfortable. 

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List Webinar & Ukrainian Drone Attacks on Russian Container Radars

WE’RE ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY FROM THE WEBINAR!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Do you struggle with sleepless nights spent pondering the political challenges in the US? Or wake up in a puddle of sweat because you had a nightmare about material shortages? Or maybe you find yourself staring at walls thinking about social media impacts on national security?

Well, I might not be able to help with all that, but if you join me on Wednesday, June 5 for the ‘Risk List’ Webinar, at least you’ll be in good company…and I assure you, we’ll have plenty to discuss.

Click the button below to learn more or register for the webinar!

Now onto today’s video. We’re looking at the Ukraine War and the increase of drone assaults on Russia. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the attacks on container radars used for aircraft and ballistic missile detection.

Ukraine is expecting shipments of some Western F-16s, so taking out these container radars could alter the strategic perceptions in Moscow and Washington. When we’re talking about ballistic missile response times, even seconds could alter the outcome…so if these radars go down, who knows what might happen.

All of the new technologies entering the battlefield are necessitating a reevaluation of strategic calculations across all fronts. From shifting away from the mutually assured destruction paradigm, to destabilizing the delicate balance of power, we’re heading towards a new reality.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey, everybody. Peter Zeihan here. Coming to you from Genoa. today we’re talking about something that I’m a little concerned about from the strategic point of view. but first, I want to tell you about a webinar we’ve got coming up next week on the 5th of June, where the issues that I really worry about are going to be in front and center, issues relating to how cocaine can damage the American economic experience, how American politics are at the moment in a position makes it difficult to solve American problems, shortages and electricity and critical material processing, and why social media has unexpectedly and problematically become a national security issue.

All that and more on the webinar. But for today, it’s a double duty of something I worry about. Plus an update on the Ukraine war. Over the past few weeks, the Ukrainians have been launching more and more drone assaults into Russia, and they have now struck something called a container radar in Russia, at least three times two different facilities.

container radars are something that allows the Russians to be aware of aircraft within about a 3000 kilometer range. And since the Ukrainians are about to get American and Western F-16s, the Ukrainians would like to take out those radars as much as they can before the new aircraft come into play. But that is not the primary purpose for those radars.

The primary purpose is for ballistic missile detection. And when it comes to dealing with nuclear weapons, timing is everything. Seconds matter because the flight times are so short. So if the Ukrainians manage to deliberately, of course, take some of these radars off line, it alters the strategic perceptions on both sides of the Atlantic. Whether you’re in Moscow or Washington about what is possible and how much time you have to prepare for something going horribly, horribly wrong.

Now, this sort of readjustment of strategic perceptions this was always going to happen is the technologies involved change, as we’ve seen with the Ukraine war, as we’ve seen in Saudi Arabia, with Iran, the introduction of drones is changing the strategic calculus in a great many ways. And so we were always going to evolve beyond the mutually assured destruction compact that has kept us safe these last 70 years.

The idea is that if both sides have a weapons, and if both sides have the ability to take the weapons in flight, then there is this parallelization. if any desire to launch the weapons, because we all go down together, well, if you damage the detection methods, then that parallelization, that deliberate parallelization might be weakened and all of a sudden we’re in a bit of a looser strategic situation when it comes to the big boy weapons.

We’re now in a position where the war has evolved to the point that major strategic questions in both Russia and the United States have to be evaluated through a different lens. And it’s not clear that we’re ready for that on either side. Of course, we’re never ready for that on either side. You introduce a new weapon system. Everything changes around it, and we’re now seeing the opening stages of a complete readjustment and how we perceive the wider world.

The Biden Admin Liquidates Northeast Gas Reserves

WE’RE ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY FROM THE WEBINAR!

Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

If you’re planning a coast-to-coast road trip through the US, you might want to wait until the Biden administration can liquidate the northeast gasoline reserves, here’s why…

Congress has mandated that these gas reserves be liquidated for a handful of reasons – being expensive and dangerous make that list – but there’s a few more important things at play. The 2nd phase of the shale revolution has helped bolster US refining capacity, meaning these stockpiles just aren’t needed.

So, if this liquidation can help take the sting out of energy prices for the average American, especially at a time when usage is at its highest, that’s probably not the worst thing in the world.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey everybody. Peter Zeihan here coming to you from a train in France, which I thought would be a great backdrop to talk about Gas Reserves. what tend to harm at the moment is the Biden administration is in the process of liquidating the Northeast Gasoline reserve. Now, this is something that was built up a little over a decade ago to make sure. 

And it’s seasonal demand surges, especially in the summer, don’t cause market problems. Were God permitted app shortages, toll tolls from boring. We’ll be back paying for back. anyway, that was the end. This is now, Congress has recently passed a law basically mandating implementation of the reserve because storing fuel was expensive and dangerous. Certainly more expensive a dangerous the story crude oil. 

And the United States now has the world’s largest refining capacity. So over the course of the last ten years, that could have gone through the second phase of the shale revolution, where it’s not so much about oil or little gas now was starting to process all the stuff that we’re producing. So the United States in the last 25 years has not been the world’s largest consumer of oil or an oil, largest imported, refined products, now the largest exporter of all of those very sort of in addition to electricity, in addition to natural gas sitting at a propane input, in addition to pretty much every energy and processed energy product on the planet. 

And so this reserve just isn’t necessary anymore. It’s an unnecessary expense. so, you know, totes operate, there’s also, of course, a little football. And, you know, remember, this is a mandated thing that the Biden administration is doing. But the Biden administration, of course, as the executive, has the ability to micromanage how it is done. So the reserve, which is about a million barrels of gasoline or about 40 million gallons of gasoline, anyway, so the Biden administration and decide how and when and where it is released. 

Well, it’s the northeast reserves all fuels in the northeast. So that’s kind of spoken for. as for the win, the release will be between the 1st of July and Memorial Day. So. Right in the heart of, the driving season, if I had statesman demand happens to be at the highest. the United States is having an issue with inflation right now. 

It’s something the Biden administration is worried about for its own survival. And so taking some of the sting out of energy prices at a time, honoring the energy prices and gasoline prices are highest makes a lot of, sense. So and that that is what is going on. And, I’m going to go out of my way. 

The (Much Extended) Agony of Israel and Gaza

WEBINAR – Peter Zeihan’s Risk List: What Keeps a Geopolitical Strategist Up at Night

Please join Peter Zeihan for a webinar on June 5th at 12:00 PM EST on a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of the Zeihan on Geopolitics team: geopolitical risk. This webinar will feature Peter’s reasonable-fear list, focused on issues that in his opinion have the most potential to impact market outcomes.

I’ve avoided talking about the Israel and Gaza conflict as much a possible (given that there’s no favorable outcomes for anyone involved), but some recent changes have forced my hand.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is reaching critical levels due to massive destruction and severe shortages of resources. The real kicker is Israel’s renewed offensive in northern Gaza; the presence of Hamas fighters and bodies of hostages in previously “cleared” areas has revealed some MASSIVE shortcomings in Israeli intelligence.

Hamas will continue to recruit new fighters, and do so rather effectively given the harsh conditions in Gaza. Israel will attempt to sort out its intelligence issues and military struggles. And all of this is an unfortunate indication that this conflict has no resolution in sight.

Here at Zeihan On Geopolitics we select a single charity to sponsor. We have two criteria:

First, we look across the world and use our skill sets to identify where the needs are most acute. Second, we look for an institution with preexisting networks for both materials gathering and aid distribution. That way we know every cent of our donation is not simply going directly to where help is needed most, but our donations serve as a force multiplier for a system already in existence. Then we give what we can.

Today, our chosen charity is a group called Medshare, which provides emergency medical services to communities in need, with a very heavy emphasis on locations facing acute crises. Medshare operates right in the thick of it. Until future notice, every cent we earn from every book we sell in every format through every retailer is going to Medshare’s Ukraine fund.

And then there’s you.

Our newsletters and videologues are not only free, they will always be free. We also will never share your contact information with anyone. All we ask is that if you find one of our releases in any way useful, that you make a donation to Medshare. Over one third of Ukraine’s pre-war population has either been forced from their homes, kidnapped and shipped to Russia, or is trying to survive in occupied lands. This is our way to help who we can. Please, join us.

Transcript

Hey, everybody. Peter Zeihan here. Coming to you from the via della Costa, which is the old Roman road that was used to transport everything, through the Ligurian coast of Italy back in the day. today is the 27th of May. You’ll clearly get this tomorrow. Anyway, today we’re going to talk about something that I, as a rule, have been avoiding. 

And that’s the Gaza conflict. this is one of those intractable conflicts where there’s really no version of it that goes well for anyone. And when I first addressed this issue back in November, shortly after the October attacks by Hamas into Israel, if for those of you don’t remember the specifics, basically we had several hundred to a few thousand, two low hanging, Hamas fighters cross into Israel, kill over a thousand people, engage in a pillage of raping and destruction, and ultimately kidnaped, a fair number of hostages and then back to Gaza. 

Israel shortly thereafter launched an invasion of the Gaza Strip, where Hamas is based, launching what has now been a six month conflict that has generated no end of bad press and horrors for everyone involved. there’s no version of this that ends with a settlement. Israel has been deeply wounded and isn’t going to stop. And Hamas has absolutely no problem sheltering behind the civilian population in Gaza. 

And Israel has no problem targeting the civilian populations as part of an effort to get to Hamas. So there’s no there’s no friendly outcome here. and so I’ve been avoiding talking about it because when you have an intractable conflict like this, all you have is the horror. And both sides, based on your point of view, are doing horrible things. 

So, I’ve been avoiding any work because we’ve had a an unfortunate development that makes this situation worse. over the last 2 to 3 months, Israel has been pushing steadily south, basically purging the territories of Hamas fighters as they go. And, the last reasonable estimate that I have seen suggests that somewhere upwards of two thirds of Hamas fighters have been killed. 

So from a certain point of view, you know, if you get that number up to 100%, then the war’s over. Then we can get on to the next stage of reconstruction and figuring out what a post Hamas Gaza looks like. And that is absolutely the Israeli goal. what has most people occupied at the moment is that, the people in Gaza, the civilians who have has little to do with Hamas as they can pull off, have been compressed into an ever smaller territory as the Israelis have gone section by section through the Gaza Strip to cleanse it of the fighters. 

as of about two weeks ago, we were anticipating something called the Rafah offensive. Rafah is the southernmost major city in, the Gaza Strip. And the hope, hope, hope was that we would be approaching the end game of this conflict. The idea is that all of Hamas has now been boxed into that section, and all Israel has to do is go in there and shoot them out. 

Now, the humanitarian side of this, of course, is atrocious because as you’re basically taking the most densely populated chunk of territory in the world and bit by bit, removing the areas that civilians can go to. a humanitarian, crisis has erupted. about 60, 65% of the housing stock in Gaza has been destroyed already. So what’s left of people who were already living in what was basically a prison camp are now living in a compressed zone, raising less than a quarter of the land area. 

So just, you know, a humanitarian tragedy. We are already seeing famine, at least on the scale of what went down in Venezuela two years ago and probably approaching what happened in Ethiopia in the 1980s. keep in mind that Gaza has nothing. they don’t generate their own power. They can’t grow their own food. there’s no value added manufacturing whatsoever. 

They basically subsist on aid. So that’s where we were. And then about ten days ago, Israel announced that they were renewing an eye offensive in the northern part of Gaza, an area that supposedly they cleared months ago. Kabbalah, the refugee camp. I don’t know why they call it a refugee camp. The whole place is a refugee camp. 

was the specific spot. It’s a place that used to be a Hamas stronghold, before the war began. And they have the Israelis have since completed that assault. And so here’s the problem. If this is an area that has already been cleansed, there shouldn’t be any Hamas fighters there at all. But what we’re learning is that Israeli intelligence is not nearly as good under the current government as it should be. 

I mean, if there is any issue that Israel should be obsessed with, it’s what’s going on in the Palestinian territories because they’re hard up against them. And it was a failure of intelligence of the current government, that allowed the attacks of last October to occur. And now there’s been a follow up failure. And that even in areas that have been cleansed, Hamas is operating, suggesting that for the last six months of routine, what was the Israeli effort hasn’t been nearly as effective as they thought. 

And in the last couple of days, we’ve gotten the results of this new Kabbalah offensive, and they found the bodies of some of the hostages. So it’s not just that the Israelis missed these people as they were going through the first time. They missed what was one of the primary worrying was just getting their people back, which means we’re entering into a new phase of the conflict where there is no end game. 

Israel under the current government seems to be incapable of fighting this war to what the Israelis would consider a reasonable conclusion, and instead they’re getting dragged into a Afghan style semi urban campaign of just guerrilla suppression in an area that’s roughly one eighth, one ninth the size of Rhode Island and has a population of about 3 million. 

This doesn’t end without something very seriously cracking and breaking, and it is not clear to me at the moment what that might be. on the Palestinian side, Hamas has now the perfect recruitment system. They are in a land war of occupation on their home turf. There are 3 million people living in poverty and starvation. That is the perfect recruiting tool. 

And Hamas has been using it very aggressively and very successfully, would take a degree of PR incompetence to not be able to recruit in that environment. And on the Israeli side, the only way that this goes well for them is if they can break through this intelligence logjam and actually destroy Hamas faster than I can recruit. I don’t think that’s possible anymore unless you just kill everyone. 

and so that’s very unfortunately the situation at the moment. And I don’t see it improving any time soon. I would love, love to end this one on a little bit of a positive note, but what little hope that I had that this conflict was about to wrap up is now gone, and we’re looking at something far more intractable. 

Sorry.