Alex Foti on Mon, 5 Jun 2017 14:15:50 +0200 (CEST)

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

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.

anyway you seem to underplay the elements of strong novelty. like
gideon rachman, you argue merkel was to rash in saying the hell with
the anglos; the only thing about them is they are not as bad as the
russians. i conversely argue that a prudent (and let's not forget an
atlanticist before she became europeanist) politician to have made such
a strong statement reflect an irreversible shift. you say the US won't
stand idle as germany and china reorient international trade - but this
to me sounds far-fetched - also because it just takes one nuke to deter
potential aggression. i mean if north korea gets away with it, i don't
see how china could be scared into submitting to the american imperial
order. the euro-chinese entente is building steadily and has futuristic
economic aspects that Brian projected with uncanny imagination; also,
an old europe has been a land of reinvention much more than america in
political terms over the last century.
remaining on the narrow issue of nuclear rivalry, germany doesn't have
nukes, but france does (because degaulle wanted to be able to convert
his champagne dollar surplus into gold, something other europeans
wouldn't dare) and part of the new merkel-macron accord is france
providing nuclear cover while germany pools debt and governance. also
christian-democratic strategists are considering doing a german bomb,
and that could happen sooner than later, particularly if putin stays

but of course Keith's most important point is: let's just not comment
the game, let's be a team who plays to alter its outcome. in my view,
not discussing and acknowledging the new geopolitical reality is
leading to faulty ideological responses (american imperialism, russian
autocracy, chinese party dictatorship, german economic hegemony etc).

we need a movement that is also a geopolitical force (something 1968
was although with limited results, and the anti.nuclear and
anti.globalization movements also were) yes but of what kind?
anticapitalism? eurosinology? global democracy? dunno, but the common
thread of the 2011 revolutions has been radical democracy for the
people and by the people. we shoud build on this against global
reaction. when it comes to democracy the commonalities between
movements in paris and hong kong, istanbul and san francisco, berlin
and brasilia are stronger than their differences.

on a more speculative level, if global war really looms, then
ideological, revolutionary armies like in rojava (or valmy;) will have
to be constituted for hope to survive on the planet.


On Sat, Jun 3, 2017 at 10:08 PM, Keith Hart <> wrote:

Hi Brian,
There were two threads on this topic and I meant my comment to speak
to both of them. The main one launched by Alex and added to lately
by you and Felix was basically about geopolitics seen in the context
of recent developments. Morlock and Patrice brought up the narrower
issue of nukes. My piece was shorter and more coherent than usual.
Talk of nukes reminded me that the anti-war/nuclear movement was the
most impressive mobilization in my lifetime, but does not feature in
our conversations much today. Rather than speculate about global power
shifts in peacetime, a major war will change the dynamic radically and
is quite likely. I wondered, rather than sleepwalk into another world
war, how we might focus on stopping it. We should also ask who might
benefit most from starting one.

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