Sunday, May 06, 2007

A New History?

Global Guerrillas: "In this essay, [Fukuyama's End of History] he made a convincing case that we are in a post-historical epoch that is devoid of ideological struggle. Liberal capitalist democracy has won and it is only a matter of time before we all live under its roof. That claim has proven generally true since that writing."

I guess this is one of the areas where we have to part company with John Robb. Apart from the silliness of 'open source warfare' (if we dont believe in 'open source', perhaps there could be 'free software warfare'?), there is nothing more ludicrous than Fukuyama's 'end of history' thesis since Hegel protested the Prussian Kingdom comprised something similar.

Robb's analysis is sometimes interesting but the weakness it seems to me is that there is a nearly complete lack of class analysis or the material basis of history. In other words there is almost no political analysis at all.


Anonymous said...

Bernard, have you read the book?

Bernard said...

Which book?

Anonymous said...

Robb's Brave New War

Bernard said...

no, only the site. The book doesn't appear to be online, unfortunately, apart from excerpts. If I have a criticism of the thesis, it would be the apparent idea that technology rather than politics drive the development of terrorism. Surely it is the other way around - clever things like roadside bombs or Zawahiri's use of the Internet and video cameras are just an add-on.

Terrorists seem to be characterised as 'faceless and agile' as if they sprang from nowhere. Johnson's thesis of 'blowback' seems far more sensible to me. Robb seems to argue that terrorism is a given which we just have to fight, ie a military and technological response rather than a political one. This is just the same doctrinally compulsory mistake everybody in the US Empire is making.

What you need to do is close all your overseas military bases and slash military spending by 90%+. That will end the problem of 'terrorism'. If you dont do this you will go the same way as the Soviet Union - political and financial bankruptcy combined with humiliating military defeat.

I agree that the US military faces defeat, and that the age of state v state warfare is over. It ended with the nuking of Japan. (I suppose this might be considered an advance). In fact the US military, often described as the greatest military force ever seen, on which more money is spent than the rest of the world combined, might be seen as an astonishing failure. As Kolko argues, it hasnt been able to win a war since WW11. All it can do is random, pointless massacres. Caesar and a bunch of Roman legions might do better than this mob.

As a believer in devolution and decentralisation, I also tend to interpret the failure or 'hollowing out' of certain states as an inevitable process. It is political and strategic circumstances that make Scottish independence more amiable than Kurdish.