Consider the world’s economy to be two ocean liners. The Western world inhabits one ship with various countries of Europe taking lower berths and the U.S. on the upper deck. The Eastern world contains the various countries of Asia throughout its floors with China inhabiting its upper deck. The wealth of each civilization is contained within each ship and relative wealth is measured by its height above the water line. The two ships are travelling through the arctic pass at night, let’s say in 1912, when the Western ship strikes an iceberg ripping a large gash in its side.
As the water begins to pour into the bowels of the Western ship, all is quiet except for the pure terror that has erupted in the ships bridge, for the captain and his mates know that grievous errors have been committed, perhaps even criminal acts, and as a result the Western ship will surely sink. Little by little the ship begins to creak and shift signaling to the passengers below sea level that something is amiss. Rumors begin to fly as some wealthy, first class passengers scurry to lifeboats ahead of the crowd knowing that not enough seats are available for all to survive a sinking. Others transfer their life savings and gold into the safe located at the very tip of the bow in the ship, hoping to somehow retrieve it when all danger has passed.
As the Western ship begins to list, panic sets in and passengers wildly run to what they think is the relative safety of the U.S. deck above. The crew that was hired to govern the ship on behalf of the people instead struggle to eke out their own survival, leaving passengers to fend for themselves.
Knowing that the two ships have travelled in tandem down this commercial corridor, the Western ship’s captain now desperately signals May Day to the Eastern ship hoping that it will come to the rescue of all aboard. Taking on all the passengers of the fallen vessel might prove too much so the captain of the Eastern ship chooses cautiously to keep distance knowing that bringing on passengers from a sinking ship of the West would only cause his forward progress to stall.
From a far off distance, the Western ship seems to be travelling peacefully at full steam ahead. Yet a closer look reveals that the countries of Europe have scampered from the lower berths grasping their wealth to reach the upper deck of America to put as much separation as possible between Europe’s fate with the icy arctic waters and theirs. If one were to peer onto the open decks from above that night, they would not show much signs of the impending doom for the decks would be full of people clinging to the rails of the United States as berths below gasped their last breaths of air.
But the same fate of rushing waters that flooded Europe below now began to reach the upper berths. Many of the first class passengers had taken their personal belongings with them and were lowered in lifeboats to the relative safety of the quiet, dark, glassy northern seas in hopes of rescue. Yet behind them were heard the shrieks of those left behind as the ship’s stern creaked lower into the sea.
For the longest time, America’s deck was full for it seemed the safest haven relative to the sea but as the back of the ship plunged lower, the deck became a torrent of falling debris. Interestingly to voyeurs of the macabre, the gold that was stashed in the bow now began to rise quickly out to the sea, making it appear briefly as a harbor of value and the safest place on the ship. But alas, as the ship stood upright and drifted deep into the waters below, even the safe that had kept the precious metals secure in the bow now was consumed into the icy blackness.
Certainly, the Ship from the East with a change of heart now came for the few elites that had made their way with gold in hand to life rafts, skimming them into the relative comfort and safety of lower berths of the Eastern ship. For it was but a momentary delay in their dominance of the sea lanes to secure the added pittance of gold from Western elites that were lifted from what surely would have otherwise been their tragic meeting with the ocean floor.