Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Meditations (Politics): Meeting the Curve

Meditations (Politics) - From Martin LeFevre in California

Meeting the Curve

The cornerstone of the short-lived and quickly crumbling post-Cold War order is the myth of ''the sole remaining superpower.'' It is an exceedingly false and dangerous premise that began with the fall of the Soviet Union.

In January of 1990, I traveled to the Soviet Union to work with a man touted as a leading example of a new type of businessman under Gorbachev’s perestroika. It was after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but before the collapse of the Soviet Union, which appeared to me, and a group of friends and associates, like a foregone conclusion.

Why is this relevant now? Because the Bush Administration has begun priming the American people for another war, with Iran in the cross hairs this time. It behooves us to understand how things came to this pass.

North Korea reacted the day after implied threats from Rice in Paris (a deliberately dark irony) and Bush in Washington, by declaring that it had “nukes,” and that it would not participate in the next round of six-party disarmament talks. The pronouncement sent shock waves through the international community, while triggering ponderous pronouncements of bewilderment by the American media.

One of my earliest formative pre-adolescent memories was of studying maps with concentric circles of missile ranges during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At the outer edge of the nuclear strike zone from Cuba was Detroit, not far from where I grew up.

After the closest brush ever with nuclear war, I was taught, at home and in school, that if Russians ever threw off the chains of communism, Americans would help them build a market economy and new society. So, in 1989 I naively started a joint-venture company “to promote ethically and ecologically sound trade between former superpower enemies.”

The basic premise was that both superpowers were collapsing, and there would be no winner of the Cold War. The Soviet Union was crumpling economically and politically, while the United States was crumbling morally and socially.

Needless to say, the opportunity, if it existed, for a genuine partnership between America and Russia (and with it a rational world order) was lost. The triumphalism of “the sole remaining superpower” quickly became ascendant and accepted at home and abroad. The United States was universally perceived to have won the Cold War, and that misperception, more than any other factor, set in motion events leading to Gulf Wars I and II, the Bosnian, Rwandan, and now Darfur genocides, “the global war on terror,” and the real threat of war with Iran and/or North Korea.

The US lost the Cold War as certainly as the USSR, just in a different way. The internal erosion in this country went unchecked until the death of America’s soul, which occurred with first Gulf War. The people, as a whole, became inwardly dead, and until a sufficient minority of Americans acknowledges that fact, nothing can or will change here. Therefore, those who place their stock in the return of American common sense are going to lose their shirts.

Washington, and to a lesser degree the European Union, are two world orders behind the curve. The post-Cold War assumptions, much less the post-World War II assumptions, no longer pertain. A dangerous vacuum of leadership has opened up in the world, which the autocratic Bush Administration is only too eager to exploit.

The next major blow to the international order will not be caused by a marginalized group of mass murderers safely ensconced in the failed (if sovereign and enabled) state of Afghanistan. The next shock will be a direct result of the destabilizing policies of “the sole remaining superpower.”

Here in the United States, the same propaganda and tactics that were successfully employed to invade Iraq are being used to prepare a supine citizenry for war against Iran. Rational people have presumed that the Bush Administration would have learned a lesson from its “war of choice” against Iraq, but they still believe they were right, and the scoundrels have begun priming the public for another war.

That is what happens when the European Community and others agree to “put our differences behind us,” without insisting on even a tacit admission of error by the Bush Administration. Meanwhile, the only possible institution of global governance in this unprecedented era of global society, the United Nations, is being savaged from within (by rampant sexual crimes by its staff in the Congo), and from without (by the oil-for-food scandal, for which the participating member states, including the United States, were responsible).

The stable post-World War II order, as well as the fleeting post-Cold War order, are history. Authoritarianism, even stealth authoritarianism, is not an option in a global society. A true order is being prepared and will rise, in Africa, from the ashes of the old.

************

- Martin LeFevre is a contemplative, and non-academic religious and political philosopher. He has been publishing in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Europe (and now New Zealand) for 20 years. Email: martinlefevre@sbcglobal.net. The author welcomes comments.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news