International Relations

On the Neo-Imperial Interest

“It is not possible to be rid of it either.”

Posted in History, International Relations, Philosophy, Politics, The Exception Tagged with: , , , , ,

note on anti-Americanist conservatism in re Obama in Israel

Dismissing uncomprehended perspectives intuitively understood by others as “ridiculous” is ridiculous, and the habit of a vulgar ideologue.

Posted in International Relations, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , ,

Larison’s Feaver

Larison himself is among those frequently and pointedly making the argument that Larison says no one ever makes.

Posted in International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, War Tagged with: , ,

Theses on Contradictions within Liberal Democracy, in Relation to Islamism

1. The conflict between liberalism and Islamism is a creedal as well as cultural, social, political, and economic conflict.

2. As an ideological articulation of an Islamic concept in relation to and within an expansionary global political-economic system dominated by liberal-democratic regime forms, Islamism will absorb and re-express contradictions internal to the liberal democratic concept.

3. The “Great Separation” of religion from politics is a paradoxical mythic-fictive foundation of liberal democracy whose necessary concealment cannot be continuously maintained in the encounter with unitary political alternatives as under typical forms of Islamism.

4. The generally occluded, intermittently exposed theological (Christian-soteriological) origin of the Great Separation and therefore of liberal democracy conforms to the instruction of the Qur’an on the political realization of revealed truth.

5. The radical coercive potential of the modern nation-state will be turned irresistibly against those who would accept and implement this instruction, except under adaptive integration of an effectively liberal-democratic concept.

Posted in Featured, History, International Relations, Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, Neo-Imperialism, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Philosophy, Politics, Yoga Tagged with: , , , , ,

Three Notes on Liberalism vs Islamism

In Egypt, what Hussein Ibish calls “accommodation” would for Islamists, as well as for the felool, equate with capitulation, under the longer term prospect of extinction. This prospect is deemed intolerable, just as the proposed or traditional “accommodations” of liberal or other minority aspirations under Islamist or nationalist-authoritarian regimes may be perceived as intolerable to those “accommodated.”

Posted in International Relations, Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , ,

Chas is why the neocons is why Chuck

Because liberal democracy must fail the Few Good Men test, and is committed to fail it forever and ever, we require of our leaders not merely that they lie, but that they do not even admit to the possibility of their and our shared commitment to falsehoods and blindness.

Posted in International Relations, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: ,

Operation Syrian Disaster

If there really is a coherent argument for U.S. intervention in Syria, however, it is one in which humanitarian concerns as well as Islamophobic nightmares play an at best secondary role. It may therefore come across as amoral or worse, making it ill-suited for public diplomacy and patriotic myth-making. That the desirable level of intervention squares with the semi-covert policy that the U.S. actually put into effect suggests that the Obama Administration, intentionally or not, is following just such an approach.

Posted in International Relations, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , ,

Chairman Mao and the Cosmopirates

If I could stand above the heavens,
I would draw my sword
And cut you in three parts:
One piece for Europe,
One piece for America,
One piece left for China.
Then peace would rule the world.

Posted in Books, Featured, History, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Philosophy, War Tagged with: , ,

Bloody Hypocrites

Human beings have bloody borders and bloody innards. And are a bunch of bloody hypocrites.

Posted in International Relations, notes, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , ,

foreign policy is theology by proxy

Foreign policy is theology by proxy, not merely because all important modern theories of the state are secularized theological concepts, nor merely because the relationship of the citizen to the modern nation-state is a sacrificial commitment, but because a stance implicitly on the fate of all humankind, on the world state of states and its possible purposes, and on the right relationship of each and all of us to each and all of us, is divined before it can be analyzed or expressed.

Posted in Featured, History, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, notes, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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