Neo-Imperialism

Sharon Weinberger: How nuclear fears helped inspire creation of the internet – Aeon Essays

‘How much money do you need to get off the ground?’ Herzfeld asked. ‘A million dollars or so, just to get it organised,’ Taylor replied. ‘You’ve got it,’ Herzfeld replied. And that was it. The conversation to approve the money

Posted in Internet, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Technology, War

Josh Marshall: The American Experiment in Exile – TPM

Our partners in the international order we created – some of whom we conquered to make it possible – are now seeking to defend it from us. Let’s say that again, Defend it from us. How do we now as

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness

Klaus Brinkbäumer: Europe Must Defend Itself Against A Dangerous President – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Germany must stand up in opposition to the 45th president of the United States and his government. That’s difficult enough already for two reasons: Because it is from the Americans that we obtained our liberal democracy in the first place;

Posted in International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness Tagged with:

Robert Kagan: Backing Into World War III – Foreign Policy

In the 1930s, economic crisis and rising nationalism led many to doubt whether either democracy or capitalism was preferable to alternatives such as fascism and communism. And it is no coincidence that the crisis of confidence in liberalism accompanied a

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, Operation American Greatness

Walter Russell Mead: The Jacksonian Revolt – Foreign Affairs

To paraphrase what the neoconservative intellectual Irving Kristol wrote about Senator Joseph McCarthy in 1952, there is one thing that Jacksonians know about Trump—that he is unequivocally on their side. About their country’s elites, they feel they know no such

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted Tagged with:

Charlie Jane Anders: The Essential Difference Between Star Wars and Star Trek – io9

The later Star Trek series are frequently concerned with the wisdom of command—Picard, in particular, obsesses about choosing the wise path and being a responsible leader. Deep Space Nine and Voyager try to take away some of Starfleet’s awesome power

Posted in Movies, Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, TV Tagged with: , ,

Molly K McKew: Putin’s Real Long Game – POLITICO Magazine

We have to accept we’re in a war and that we have a lot to lose. We need to look at this war differently, both geographically and strategically. For example, it’s hard to understand Ukraine and Syria as two fronts

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, The Russian Angle

Robert Kaplan: Why Trump Can’t Disengage America From the World – The New York Times

The frontier was about being frugal with our assets. It was about pushing out over the perimeter, but only while tending to our own. It was about maintaining supply lines, however much that slowed us up. Above all it was

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted

Si Vis Bellum, Part 3: Always Again

If members of the present younger generation in particular seem unable to articulate or comprehend the basis of a still operative policy consensus, they can hardly be faulted if their elders, even those running for the highest office in the land, can no longer do so either. We seem to be preparing and in effect demanding – perhaps cannot help but to require – a repetition, or at least a reinforcement, of the very old lesson.

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Operation American Greatness

Leon Wieseltier: Aleppo’s fall is Obama’s failure – The Washington Post

If Obama wants credit for not getting us into another war, the credit is his. If he wants credit for not being guilty of “overreach,” the credit is his. If he wants credit for conceiving of every obstacle and impediment

Posted in Neo-Imperialism, Noted & Quoted, War 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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