For the Theses on the World State of States: Historical Election of the USA

(Edited from “Syria and the Neo-Imperial Interest“): We seem to have found that the system that works best or at all, in other words practically, is the one in which the nation-state geographically least suited to occupation and for related reasons best suited to power projection – the United States of America – fulfills the role of global hegemon or neo-hegemon, or neo-imperial power, under an equilibrium of nation-state and global-state imperatives. The latter, as “responsibilities,” are partially and unevenly shared with weak, possibly nascent, possibly hollow formal as well as ad hoc international institutions that also provide venues for less well-suited candidates for world chieftain to join forces and adequately (collectively-survivably), if not completely peaceably, establish rough accountability and restraint. The resultant overall world-picture, frozen at any of its moments, will be bloody, complicated, uneven, contradictory, difficult, and, we might even say, absolutely impossible, since it is or would be the equivalent of the administration of all of human history, including future history, as represented in real time, but the only alternative to the system that we, as in Homo sapiens sapiens, have known is an international (or pre-national) state of nature or war of all against all, already often very remarkably savage and destructive even under pre-modern technological and economic conditions, reasonably judged intolerably dangerous under modern ones.

13 comments on “For the Theses on the World State of States: Historical Election of the USA

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  1. There is somewhat of a precedent with the British retreat from Mesopotamia, which empowered the Ilkwan to move up into Southern Iraq, there is some of that, but the field has mostly moved to Syria, with the ISIS and elements of the Nusra front.

  2. Well. he’s never heard of the Marshall Plan, a single statement, can often be the catalyst, John Noble Wilford, in his tale of the Arabist class, Eddy, Penrose Roosevelt, Copeland et al, points out this process,
    Mossadegh had angered the Mullahs and the Merchant class, this is why AJAX ultimately worked, Amin’s
    land reform, triggered a reaction by Ismail Khan, the warlord of Herat, and that trickled down to the Spetznaz strike that capped the invasion of Afghanistan, Cawthorne’s legacy, the ISI helped those events along, as had the propagation of Mawdudi’s Salafism among the officer corp, typified by Zia, but present in the minds of Gul, and Shah, to cite two examples,

    • Have pity on the poor souls who may not understand what you’re replying to or trying to reply to or what I think you’re trying to reply to, though, then again, I’m not sure what you’re getting at even though I think I do know what you’re referring to.

  3. Well Root’s ahistorical magical thinking, re Middle East Policy, you will find most of the other European powers followed a similar pattern, for good or ill, the UK along with the US, used the Kingdom as a bulwark against Nasserism, which was in part made possible by Copeland and Eigelberger, who tried the same hat trick with Iraq,

    • To me what’s “magical” in this discussion is the opinion, that you and maybe even the Commander seem to share along with Nichols and Schindler, that any recitation of historical events or any speculation regarding the rise, fall, back, and forth of foreign powers will make a politically meaningful impression on anyone at all. It seems rather obvious that there is hardly any constituency at all for (excuse the expression) a forward-leaning militarized foreign policy, but rather strong and determinative reluctance that preceded and goes well beyond the Obama Administration. It’s not that I think if Nichols and Schindler and the Commander and you could somehow explain how Russian or Iranian success in the ME would impact the average citizen’s life, it would change anything very substantially in the short term. But you might at least set down some markers or conceivably even have some greater effect on the margins. Or as root_e puts it:

      When we read that “we must oppose Y’s influence in X” the question to ask is: why? What do we get out of it? What danger are we averting by, e.g. hastening the collapse of Russia’s ally in Syria and its replacement by Quatari funded fanatics? In some cases, the US definitely has an interest in stepping in – I don’t deny that. Neither do I suppose that Putin has good intentions or that lambs will lie down with lions and not get eaten. But if our experts on foreign policy are going to command some of the respect they think they deserve, they need to make a case that goes beyond reflexive great power gamesmanship.

      That’s what I agree with in his post. Until that case has been made, all the rest is just one damn thing after another except when it’s not even that.

      • Say in one of those scenarios that Scott used to spin, for Fox, Wallace instead of Truman had been elected, and Lawrence Duggan or Alger Hiss would have been Secretary of State, they might have pushed to support the Tudeh, probably would not have been powerful enough to topple the Sauds,

  4. Well I’ve become more skeptical of most of these interventions, over time, in part because of what I found out about what happened in Afghanistan, the first time around, but it is magical thinking to ignore why things happen,

  5. Merry Christmas, CK, are the Chinese really going to invade, who will be their proxy. Brecher did leave out the attack in 2003 and 2004, some of whom operated from Iranian auspices, and AQAP.

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  1. […] exceptionalism, the relatively passive or seemingly unconscious or unconscientious acceptance of historical election to global-political office – on which I have also written many […]

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