We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cold War 2.0 Not a Likely Win for the U.S.

Click here to access article by Robert Freeman from Common Dreams.

Freeman appears to be a typical liberal writer whose inclination is to support capitalism, but at the same time, is able to reach many important insights about the capitalist world. However, notice that he doesn't even use the word. For him, and many liberals in the capitalist world, capitalism is a fixed background of reality in which competing powers play out their power games. For such people, there is no question of capitalism simply because, in their view, there is no alternative. While keeping this in mind, I recommend many of his insights about the new cold war taking shape in today's world.

I think that what Freeman misses in his world view is that US capitalists and their many allies are so addicted to the power of wealth accumulation that they cannot see the forest of world domination for the trees of next quarter's profits. Thus, he is right about the implications of this current contest: US and associated capitalists are going to lose this war. However, I don't have any expectation that Chinese or Russian capitalists will eventually behave any differently as they experience the addiction of power. Then, of course, all capitalists are forced to ignore the dangerous threat posed by catastrophic climate destabilization. Still, Pepe Escobar hints that Chinese and/or Russian regimes might turn out differently in this paragraph from a recent post:
Russia and China may not be proposing an alternative system – yet. Still, as the dogs of war, of hate, of inequality - bark, the China-Russia caravan passes. The caravan is selling Eurasia economic integration – not bombs. Real Asia-Pacific integration may still be a long dream away. Yet what APEC has shown – graphically – once again is the spectacular implosion, in slow motion, of the former indispensable nation’s geopolitical dominance. [my emphasis]