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Downed Drone is Tip of Iceberg

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Howard Bloom

Early in the morning of Tuesday, March 14th, two Russian Su-27 jets harassed a $32 million American MQ-9 Reaper surveillance drone that was gathering information on the nearby Ukraine War from the air above the international waters of the Black Sea 75 miles from Russian-held Crimea. 

The two Russian jets reportedly toyed with the drone for up to 40 minutes, dumped jet fuel on it, then broke its propeller.  On the ground far away, the pilots of the American drone,  it is said, decided to ditch the aircraft in the waters of the Black Sea, waters that are sometimes over a mile deep and would make it hard for the Russians to raise the drone and retro-engineer its technology.  Something the Russians are now trying to do.  

But before the American pilots deep-sixed the drone, they are said to have downloaded the Reaper’s data and programs, then to have wiped the Reaper’s computer.  They even downloaded a video of the SU-27 confrontation taken by the Reaper, a video they released to the press Thursday March 16th. 

Meanwhile, the big worry was that this incident would trigger a nuclear war between America and Russia.  But, fortunately, neither side wanted that.   Instead, they registered their complaints using diplomacy.  

However there’s a deeper story beneath this encounter.  Wednesday March 14th, The Trilateral Commission, meeting in New Delhi, India, declared that 2023 is year one of a new global order.   Why? We are balanced on the knife edge of a total rearrangement of global power.  But to understand the deep game at work here, you have to understand a principle from evolutionary biology—the dominance hierarchy.  

In 1905, when he was six years old, a Norwegian named Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe began to tend the chickens in the barnyard of his wealthy parents’ summer home.  And those chickens became a lifelong obsession.  At the age of ten, when Ebbe started a notebook on the clucking birds, his figures and diagrams documented something odd. 

All the chickens looked equal most of the time.  But when feeding time came, that changed.  The flock allowed just one chicken to be the first at the feeding trough. 

After chicken number one came chicken number two.  Then chicken number three.  And so on down to the last bird in the flock.  

Then Ebbe noticed something else.  When it came to violence,  chicken number one was free to peck any other chicken in the group.  But none were allowed to peck her back.  

Chicken number two was allowed to peck every chicken in the flock with one exception.  She couldn’t peck chicken number one.  Chicken number three was allowed to peck any chicken in the flock with the exception of, guess who?  Chicken number one and chicken number two.  

And so on, down to the bottom chicken, who could be pecked by every other chicken in the flock but was not allowed to peck anyone back.  

When he was 19, Schjelderup-Ebbe gave a meticulous rendering of the poultry social system he’d been observing for thirteen years when he wrote his graduate thesis, a  thesis that would be turned down by the University of Oslo, but that would become basic to the evolutionary sciences for the next hundred years.  Ebbe gave the chicken phenomenon two names: a dominance hierarchy and a pecking order.  And he called the top chicken a “despot.”   

In my book The Lucifer Principle: a Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History, I show you how dominance hierarchies also work between tribes, clans, subcultures and, most important, nations and civilizations.  

Right now America is on top of the international pecking order.  But China wants to take over the number one slot.  What does the downing of a drone by a Russian fighter jet have to do with China?  

Everything. China and Russia are joined at the hip in an alliance that no one talks about but everyone should, the Axis of Evil—China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba.   

A win for Russia is a win for the Axis of Evil. And a win for the Axis of Evil is a win for China. 

But there’s more. When a nation rises in economic power, it fights to reshuffle the pecking order of nations to reflect its new strength. That’s the basic force behind world wars.  And it’s what’s happening right now with China. 

Since 1980, China has risen to the 2nd biggest economy in the world.  And it’s convinced that the western order led by America is over and out.  That the USA is old and tired.  China wants to become what the United States is now, the top chicken, the despot, the ruler of a new world order. 

On Friday, March 10th, China did something shocking.  It showed its strength by making peace between two nations that have been at war for forty years—Iran and Saudi Arabia.

This was more than China merely shoving America aside and taking the top slot.  It was also the Axis of Evil flexing its muscles.  And when Russia downs a $32 million US drone, that, too, is the Axis of Evil showing its strength.  

And it’s something more. It’s also Russia draining the western alliance, the Free World, of tanks, guns, and ammunition.  Draining America so China can wait for our weakness to grow and can execute its supreme mission, swallowing Taiwan.  

And becoming the number one chicken in the barnyard, the new despot, the new number one civilization in a new world order.




Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe, Hønsenes stemme. Bidrag til hønsenes psykologi, in: Naturen: populærvitenskapeling tidsskrift 37, 1913, 262–276,  [in English: The voice of the hens. Contribution to the psychology of chickens, in: Naturen: popular science journal 37, 1913, 262–276]




Howard Bloom has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV.  One of his seven books–Global Brain—was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT.  His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American.  He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM.  For more, see http://howardbloom.institute.

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