Thoughts on the myth of the two great “superpowers” – myths and illusions of the modern world

I got into an interesting conversation the other day.  Basically, it amounted to this:

Think about it! 

During the cold war we were told about the two great “superpowers”:  The U.S. and the U.S.S.R.  We were told about their great arsenal and weaponry.   Both militaries were worth billions of dollars and had some of the latest and greatest of weapons. These are weapons that took research and development to develop, that are practical ‘marvels’ in themselves:  bombs that could destroy a city, nuclear submarines, missiles that could hit a dime a thousand miles away, satellites that had such clear images that you could practically read the newspaper resting on a table, and so on. 

But, yet, both “superpowers” could not defeat the Afghans.  Not only that, both “superpowers” were bankrupted by their war with Afghanistan.

Think about it!

They were fighting tribal people in the desert . . . armed with AK-47’s and rocket launchers.  They still couldn’t defeat them!  With all their billion dollar arsenal, their fancy weaponry, their ‘hi-tech’ military they bragged so much about.  Neither could defeat small armed tribal people in the desert. 


The U.S.S.R., so I was told, was bankrupted by their war with Afghanistan it the 1980’s.  From my understanding, it played a big factor in the fall of the U.S.S.R. 

The U.S. is now fighting a 10 billion a month war in Afghanistan that has been going on for years.  It, also, has bankrupted the U.S. which now has to get loans from other countries, such as China, to do anything.  The last I heard is that the U.S. is trying to negotiate with the Afghans to bring the conflict to an end, as they can’t defeat them.

All this fancy weaponry . . . all this money . . . all this supposed “superpower” . . . and neither could defeat a small group of tribal desert people.

Not only that, both conflicts have created horrible battle trauma to the soldiers of both “superpowers”.  I will never forget hearing a Russian talking about the soldiers returning back from the Afghan war in the 1980’s.  He said that they all looked like they had aged and there was a look of terror and horror on them.  Apparently, there was a lot of battle trauma with the Russian soldiers.

And look at all the battle trauma that has happened to the American soldiers.  Many are coming back horribly traumatized.  The suicide rate is high and many are not readjusting to life that well.  Some are even bringing violence here.

These are soldiers from an “advanced” hi-tech billion dollar military!

Think about it!

What it shows, I think, is that all this talk about the great “superpowers” is really a myth.  They weren’t as “super” as they claimed, nor were they the “power” they seemed to be.  In fact, this whole thing shows, I think, one of the many myths that has been created by the modern world.  We have all been too busy ‘oohing and aahing’ all that’s been created by the modern world these past some odd decades that we have not  seen anything else.  But, yet, a lot of it was nothing but an illusion.  It seems, to me, that a great deal of the modern world is an illusion.  I have always felt that only when the ‘era of the modern world’ fades will we truly see the illusion of it all.

But this particular situation reveals a number of myths that have been created by the modern world:

  • The idea of a great “superpower” country.
  • That there were great illusions and myths created during the cold war. 
  • That there is great illusion and myth about ‘military weopanry’.
  • That there are great illusions and myths relating to technology.
  • That there are great illusions and myths relating to money. 

These are illusions and myths many of us were taking as ‘fact’ these past 60 years, without even so much as questioning it.  It shows that things were not quite what it seems. 

It’s a warning we should take heed to, that things are not always what they seem, that the modern world pulls many illusions and creates many myths.

This entry was posted in Current affairs and events, Government and politics, Historical stuff, The effects of WWII, the Nazi's, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the Vietnam War era protests, The military and war, The U.S. and American society and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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