Keith Hart on Mon, 5 Jun 2017 14:07:56 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> merkel, macron: europe on its own

Welcome back to your thread, Alex and thanks for putting it up.

I don't know where you got this: "like gideon rachman, you argue merkel
was to rash in saying the hell with the anglos". The US establishment
is regrouping against Trump who in turn represents the country even
less than before. Whatever the result of the UK election, politics
there have been changed irrevocably by this campaign.

Where we really part company is on your teleological reduction of mass
movements to their immediate consequences . 1968 was Chicago as well as
Paris and Prague. The Vietnam war and popular response to it, not only
in the US, was the turning point in post-war history, not least as the
matrix for the birth of the new financial order. CND was strongly
linked to the women's movement in Britain, the only serious political
fallout of the 60's. Elsewhere, the main result of 1968, as Brian has
long argued brilliantly, was that capital absorbed its cultural side
(hence bobos ultimately), while its political side became a dead end.

Did 2 million people demonstrate in London against the Iraq war for
nothing? One small consequence is that Blair is still at risk. Was
Tahrir Square pointless because it ended up as Sisi? People are
transformed by the collective experience of large crowds and who knows
where that might lead in time?

I really have no idea if and how nuclear weapons would play a part in
any future war.�The trigger is always contingent and the strategic
focus is never the same as the last one. The Pentagon runs virtual war
scenarios in half a dozen places all the time. A multitude of
unpredictable factors come into play. At present the drum is beating to
do something about North Korea, perhaps with some support from China.

Again nukes would be the end game, if at all, not the beginning. Anyone
can�produce a number of scenarios: mine include a nationalist Japanese
fisherman taking a rocket launcher to a Chinese battleship in the
disputed islands. Brian fears for a new American civil war. I rehash
China's history of breaking up under stress. But my main bet is that
Europe could fall into another 30 years war between two brands of
market fundamentalism, neoliberal and nationalist. In any case most of
the serious wars and revolutions of the last few decades have occurred
on its borders and are now coming home to roost.

This is not about some minor rearrangement of international trade.
Nothing disrupts trade, transport and communications more effectively
than world war. This list lends itself to extremist speculation on the
one hand and minor ironic asides based on the daily news. The people
who are contemplating global strategy in DC, Beijing, Moscow, Berlin,
Paris, Delhi, Tokyo and perhaps London (if they can escape from the
miasma generated by the tabloid press) do not deal in glib reductions
of history nor do they publish their thoughts in media like this one.

Ever since 2008, the question is often posed whether we are reverting
to the 1930s or perhaps the 1890s. A better analogy would be 1914.
Russia was the China of its day with average annual growth rates of
10%, 1890-1913. Look what happened next. My only real point is that we
should be aware that the world runs a risk of a major war now, of a
sort that none of us can imagine, but the secret manipulators do - all
the time. What would it take for some of this to filter into
"progressive" discussion of what to do next, how and with what
historical antecedents in mind?


On Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 9:36 AM, Alex Foti <> wrote:

Dear Keith, Dear Brian and All

i was part of the 80s antinuclear/ peace movement (my first political
experience) - we even thought it was us that brought the wall down. in
retrospect it achieved little (ok nuclear energy was phased out after
chernobyl), since reagan's missiles bankrupted the soviet union, or am
i wrong, keith. the risk of nuclear war seemed greater than, but maybe
it's greater now as you rightly point out.

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