Friday, September 06, 2019

World Politics, then and now

This week's post appears here.

3 comments:

Energyflow said...

Basically I had expected this article last week. Given the significance in terms of the generational theory of the 80th anniversar of the start of the war a Time review seems appropriate. As an historian you of course are focused on the past, not reading all too much into it. Sci fi is not your thing. 'The next saeculum', a historical novel of our future with varying outcomes, as subtitle. Perhaps I should start typing!? Anyway. Economic and wargaming the situation with various outcome scenarios as I remember my old German bosses replaying WWII battles would be interesting. We have been seeing in real time the prewar tensions of the 1930s militarily, diplomatically and conomically play out before our eyes perhaps since 9/11, more intense since the 2008/9 recession and in a hotter phase starting with Ukraine/Syrian crises/Arab spring. As you noted a couple weeks ago, the Bush administration left us in a terrible mess. Obama with Secretary Clinton did not do anything but make it worse(except the Iran accord) and Trump is definitely ratcheting up the stupidity levels of the new prophet generation(aka 'boomers'). We have previously dscussed how they are not akin to Missionary(Roosevelt) or Washington's generation, true intelligent statesmen, but rather more like the angry men who gave us a civil war. But of course Lincoln/Douglas debates were intelligent hours long affairs which common men followed eagerly. Nowadays word snippets trigger everyone and Mr. Average can't find Afghanistan on a map. So we have idiocracy(dreadful but instructive satire on our future) combined with viscerally everywhere directed hatred. Add in the complexity of modernity like microprocessors, genetic engineering, GMO crops and financial engineering, massive prescription and illegal drug usage and Murphy's Law looks to be the most applicable of fundamental principles to our current predicament. Basically human behaviour runs on autopilot, like my comments or your blogging. Regime change, rent seeking, bread and circus for the masses and expectations of privilege without noticing lemmings cliff, Titanic sinking, etc is normal. In China one speaks of withdrawing 'The Mandate of Heaven', and in Daniel the writing on the wall(mene, mene, tekel, upharsin) is symbolic. Jesus told the pharisees that they could look at the sky and predict the weather but did not notice the signs of the times. Can we?

Bozon said...

Professor
Very nice article.
I agree with most.
Here are just a couple of comments, here and there:

'Clinton, W., and Trump—abandoned the political and economic world order their parents’ generation created.' DK

I do not believe the LIEO was abandoned, except perhaps only now, by Trump, and now also by yourself, here. With this assessment, I agree.

"...Our new world is more economically secure than the world of the 1930s, but its political leadership is weaker...." DK

I do not believe that the LIEO new world order, which you admit here, is at an end, is more secure economically than the world of the 1930s, but do agree that leadership is weaker.

As an aside, intellectual acumen and insight, except in the attacker developmental world, is weaker now than in the 1930s.

All the best

Bozon said...

Professor

Re 'the political power of states,.. great,.. terrible', or shall we say also often pathetic:

Why not just come out and frankly acknowledge that our politics, or anyone's politics, cannot function, and never really could have functioned, without them?

Why not get out ahead of the curve?

All the best