17 October 2019
Many Mexicans who cross the border to the United States end up as illegal immigrants. Photo: Bloomberg
Many Mexicans who cross the border to the United States end up as illegal immigrants. Photo: Bloomberg

Russian scholar’s doomsday prediction about the US

This column has mentioned the United States’ plan to divide Russia into three parts: Europe, Siberia and Far East.

Conversely, Russian political scientist Igor Panarin proposed a theory about the disintegration of the United States into six parts.

Panarin is a very famous Russian scholar and analyst.

He joined the Soviet Union’s Committee for State Security (KGB) in 1976 and continued to work for Russia’s Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information (FAPSI) after 1991.

His research area is Russian-United States relations, and he is never shy about expressing his thoughts.

In 1998, at a conference called Information War, he put forward his famous hypothesis that the United States would break up.

Because of a huge influx of immigrants and sustained economic decline, the US would face a series of political and social crises in 2010, Panarin predicted.

Some rich states would try to leave the federal republic, and the US would be invaded by foreign powers, he said.

Panarin theorised that the United States would be spilt into six regions, each absorbed by other countries.

(1) Alaska, sold by Russia to the US in 1867, would return to Russia.

(2) The Californian Republic would be taken by China.

(3) Hawaii would be controlled by China or Japan.

(4) The Texas Republic would be under Mexican influence.

(5) The Central North-America Republic would be controlled by Canada.

(6) Atlantic America might join the European Union.

When Panarin first released the hypothesis, Yugoslavia was breaking up into different countries, but few bought his theory, which was soon forgotten.

In 2010, when the US was suffering from major economic woes, some recalled Panarin’s prediction.

When the country did not break up in 2010, Panarin tried to update his hypothesis, saying the US would still face the danger of breaking up in 2011, citing factors such as the sevenfold growth of its foreign debt from 1998 to 2011 and the collapse of many banks because of the global financial crisis.

Also, he said, the number of people using food stamps rose 74 percent in three years, and the Occupy Wall Street movement led to social unrest.

Three years has now passed, and the US is still alive and kicking.

The country has indeed faced the risk of disintegration many times in history, but it is still able to maintain the core values shared by its people and manage the problem of immigrants.

For example, there were 11 million illegal immigrants in the US last year, half of them Mexican.

President Barack Obama issued an executive order in November to allow five million of the illegal immigrants to stay in the country legally.

While the move was criticized by the Republicans, it still released some of the pressure building up over racial issues.

The financial crisis didn’t lead to the disintegration of the US as Panarin predicted, but ironically Russia is now suffering from a more serious financial crisis.

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Associate professor and director of Global Studies Programme, Faculty of Social Science, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; Lead Writer (Global) at the Hong Kong Economic Journal