43

In Defence of Realism

Frank Lee

Ratification of the Treaty of Westphalia 1648

One of the unstated and extant features of the post-modern age has been the demise of the Westphalian Treaty. This arrangement had in times past regulated the relationship and clashes of interest among the great powers.

We should remind ourselves that the key precepts of the system were preceded by the carnage of the 30 years’ war of 1618-1648, and eventually agreed upon at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 – an arrangement which brought an end to the wars of the Reformation, agreed upon and binding on all parties. These precepts were:

  1. A recognition of the existence of sovereign states within their own clearly defined borders and sphere of influence.
  2. Each states sovereignty being recognised by others.
  3. Principles of non-interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states.
  4. Toleration of religions between states (catholic and protestant).
  5. States might be monarchies or republics.
  6. Permanent state interests or raison d’etat was the organizing principle between different nations.
  7. War was not completely eliminated but it was mitigated by diplomacy and balance-of-power politics.
  8. The object of this balance-of-power was to prevent one state becoming so powerful that it could conquer others and destroy the world order.

This system had collapsed throughout WW2 for obvious reasons.

However, in general terms, this Realist geopolitical fait accompli became evident during the first Cold War being ushered in by Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech at Fulton Missouri in 1946. This de facto resuscitation during Cold War 1 gave rise to the standoff between the US/NATO and the USSR/Warsaw Pact.

This post-WW2 arrangement included elements of the Westphalian system, e.g., statehood, sovereignty and diplomacy. But this should always be understood as an occidental pact, China at this time being largely excluded.

Furthermore, this was a pact whereby the unstated rules of engagement between the rival blocs were – with perhaps the exception of the Cuban missile crisis – understood and adhered to.

However, the global south was up for grabs; and in this arena the proxy struggle between the northern powers and the global south continued unabated.

In this latter context, the US and its vassal empire had the wherewithal in terms of money, influence, military power and a global reach to pursue an imperial strategy involving dominance and control of the major global landmasses of Latin America, Africa, the Middle-East and South-West Asia which the Soviet bloc lacked. The period in question was really more about annexation by the western alliance against the southern hemisphere, a West-South confrontation.

Cold War I lasted until the break-up of the USSR in 1991. This was manna from heaven for the imperial juggernaut who saw a game-changing opportunity to push ahead with its global hegemonic agenda whilst Russia was entering the Yeltsin disaster years. This was made perfectly clear in a groundbreaking directive issued by then US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy at that time (neo-conservative) Paul Wolfowitz.

This was to become known as The Wolfowitz doctrine – Not intended for initial public release, it was leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992. It read:

Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat of the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defence strategy and requires that we endeavour to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”[1]

In short: Me Tarzan, you Jane.

The US and its satellites were top of the pile and would remain so. Other potentially hostile states will be surrounded, threatened and intimidated into accepting their subaltern status. This was described by Senator Edward Kennedy as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other nation can or should accept.”[2]

And just to rub salt into the wound the US and its vassal states expanded NATO to include former Soviet republics and ex Warsaw pact states and pushed right up to Russia’s western borders.

Suffice it to say this geopolitical arrangement involved a complete rejection of Westphalian principles and has imposed global liberal practise of hegemony and interventionism under the command of the principal global hegemon, the United States.

This pursuit of global hegemony represents the implementation of the belief in America’s so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ – a divine providence to spread the liberal-democratic global order to the rest of the planet and usher in a global Shangri-La of peace, prosperity … and so on and so forth.

Of course, this puts the world on a permanent war footing.

This has been instanced by wars waged by the empire against Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia and Syria with more in the pipeline as well as a cyber-attack on Iran – the Stuxnet attack – and a number of colour revolutions paid for and organized by the US, Georgia and Ukraine being the most obvious and well-known. But the big prize is and always has been the Eurasian bloc.

This, of course, may well involve a nuclear exchange, but hey, America’s intentions are noble and worth fighting for are they not? It should be understood that the United States is the indispensable, exceptional nation, the shining city on the hill. Blah, blah, blah.

What is particularly disturbing is that this absurd and dangerous doctrine has become akin to a religious orthodoxy. Comparable perhaps to the fanaticism of Wahhabist cults in parts of the Muslim world.

It is suggestive of an infantile mindset which views international relations as a Manichean struggle between good and evil. Whether the non-adult proponents actually believe in this doctrine is a moot point.

But the pervasiveness of this cult is all but total; this is a 21st-century inquisition complete with heresy hunts and a fanatical priesthood of the media and their security handlers in the deep state, in their attempts to close down any other or any independent counter-narrative.

However, once the ideological stranglehold on policy has built up momentum it becomes very difficult to change course. In the language and ideology of neo-con exceptionalism, diplomacy is akin to appeasement, the West is threatened, Russia-Putin is on the rampage, proof (sic) of this was his “invasion” of Ukraine.

China also is becoming a threat to the western way of life; Carthage must be destroyed. Of course, every one of these assertions is extremely contentious and could/should be countered, but of course, they are not; the dominant narrative shall not be profaned or challenged.

As the US and its vassals, therefore, prepare for war, its populations must be conditioned to believe and accept such an inevitable outcome. The propaganda machine has been stepped up to unprecedented levels. The message is simple. Our side = good, Their side = bad. Our side does good things, their side does bad things. Thus, the media – now an asset of the deep state – pays an essential role of propagating this political construction among the populations of the Anglo-Zionist heartlands.

All of which is very reminiscent of Orwell’s short novel Animal Farm. After the Animal Revolution and the eviction of Jones the Farmer, the sheep were instructed by the ruling group – the pigs – into reciting the goodness of the animals and the badness of humans. The short bleat of the sheep went as follows: “Four legs good, two legs bad,” repeated endlessly.

That is about the level of western foreign policy. Good guys, bad guys, white hats, black hats, no compromise, no surrender. Result war.

The question we must now ask is has this menacing process gone too far to go into reverse?

This, of course, remains an open question. But the thrust of neo-conservative foreign policy would suggest this war would be a logical outcome. Either that or the whole thing is a bluff.

Up to this point the US performance in attacking recalcitrant weak states has not been a roaring success. The same goes for Israel. Bombing countries with no air defence or shooting Palestinian kids with sniper rifles is easy-peasy. Taking on Iran is a different matter entirely. The irresistible force seems to be meeting its immovable object.

From a realist as opposed to a neo-conservative foreign policy the idea of an American world empire is frankly deranged. Pursuit of this pipedream can only result in mutually assured destruction; yes, M.A.D. still applies.

The United States and its minions might not like it, but it will have to learn to live with other great powers. Russia, China have legitimate spheres of influence and this should be respected. This will involve an end to the gross provocations in the South China Sea and in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics, not to mention the series of colour revolutions.

This is true in spades with regard to Israel – a country of a mere 8 million souls with an ambition to create a greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile.

This objective, involving a ruthless ethnic cleansing has been unremittingly pursued since the British left Palestine. According to one David Ben-Gurion about how to deal with Palestinians in their midst:

There is a need for strong and brutal reaction [to Palestinian opposition]…We need to be accurate about timing, place and those we hit. If we accuse a family, we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included, otherwise this is not an effective reaction … there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.”[3]

This of course has been par for the course since the late 1940s. But Israel, like its American sponsor, must learn to live within its own sphere of influence and not tempt fate by embarking on a Zionist crusade against its near neighbours. It would do well to remember that the Crusades were in their neck of the woods for nearly 200 years, but the invaders were finally driven out in 1291.

The liberal-imperialist Anglo-Zionist regime change ideology is supplemented by the appeal to ‘human rights’ and Responsibility to Protect – R2P. Human Rights apparently override national sovereignty. According to one Francis Fukuyama:

‘’Dictators and Human Rights abusers like Serbia’s Milosevic could not hide behind the principle of sovereignty to protect themselves as they committed crimes against humanity particularly in multi-ethnic states like Yugoslavia where the borders of the sovereign state in question were themselves contested. Under these circumstances outside powers, acting in the name of human rights and democratic legitimacy, had not just the right, but the obligation to intervene.”[4]

There you have it. The ‘intervention’ a 78-day bombing offensive by NATO resulted in the deaths of in excess of 5000 civilians in Serbia and elsewhere. But of course, this was not a crime against humanity.

Doublethink!? Of course, the glaring anomaly in the regime change R2P ideology lies in its inconsistency.

But this is to be expected. It should always be borne in mind that the mission of the AZ-Empire is world domination, not coexistence or democracy. This, however, must never be openly admitted. The veneer of a crusade to make the world a Garden of Eden, is simply a cover for imperial aggrandisement.

Liberal democracies have little difficulty in conducting diplomacy with illiberal states when they are acting according to realist dictates, which is most of the time. In those circumstances, liberal democracies do whatever is necessary to maximize their survival prospects, and that includes negotiating with authoritarian leaders.

They sometimes even support or form alliances with murderous dictators as the US did in WW2 when it worked with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi Germany, or when it cooperated with Mao Zedong after 1972 to contain the Soviet Union.

Occasionally they even overthrow democratic regimes [all over Latin America – FL] which they perceive as being hostile. Liberal democracies go to great lengths to disguise such behaviour with liberal rhetoric, but in fact they are acting contrary to their own – professed – principles.”[5]

However, this unstable combination of outward authoritarianism and domestic democracy has inbuilt destabilising forces. Long ago it was pointed out by the Greek historian Thucydides that Empire and Democracy cannot co-exist in the long-term. Moreover, the methods of empire would be brought home to deal with the destabilising effects of empire on the state.

Nowhere is this more an ever-present fact than in the great hegemon, the United States itself.

It would appear that the United States polity has, at every level, descended into a variety of collective insanity. Witness Rachel Maddow, I know it’s difficult, but bear with me, asserting with complete conviction and sang-froid, night after night, that Donald Trump is a Russian agent! What made this worse was that no-one challenged this idiocy!

Ms Maddow’s rant can be compared to the ‘two minutes hate’ in 1984 (only, unfortunately, it lasted for more than 2 minutes) and of the level of a latent pathology in the media in particular and the body politic more generally.

Speaking of Orwell, his essay Notes on Nationalism nailed this particular political phenomenon. He firstly made it clear that what he meant by nationalism was a more general description of particular religious, or political outlooks.

By ‘nationalism’ I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – But secondly – and this is much more important – I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognising no other duty than that of advancing its interests.

Thus Neo-Conservatism, Pacifism, Political Catholicism, Zionism, and curiously enough, Anti-Semitism, are all types of nationalism, broadly understood.

Of course, the unprepossessing Ms Maddow is a virulent specimen of this type of mental aberration. The nationalist has to perform the most intricate forms of mental gymnastics in order to believe that their particular beliefs are true and will not tolerate profanation. As Orwell writes:

The nationalist does not only disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has the remarkable capacity of not even hearing about them …All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Conservative will defend self-determination in Europe but oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency.

Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ’our’ side … Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest, which have no connexion with the physical world…”

Not far from clinical schizophrenia! I would say well ahead.

And there’s the rub. Realist foreign policy was often cruel and callous but rational, cold and calculating and unlike neo-conservatism it was at least generally non-ideological, which is to say, sane.

Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, were ideological projects and Western Imperialism, particularly of the white settler variety, the US, UK Israel, Australia, NZ, were openly racist and murderous in both practise and theory.

In the present geopolitical configuration, it is difficult to assess the outcome of the Anglo-Zionist crusade against the Eurasian bloc. Russia and China are reading from a Westphalian text, the US is reading from a neo-conservative playbook, with its European allies being reluctantly dragged along.

In this situation, it is difficult to know how this titanic struggle will pan out and to whose benefit.

One of the problems which besets any appraisal lies in the fact that the Westphalian system depended upon dialogue with rational actors. These have become a rare if not extinct species in the western centres of power.

The US and its reluctant allies will seemingly not give up on its strategic objective of world domination and Russia and China are going to defend themselves. Something has to give, but what?

[1]Defence Planning Guidance for the 1994–99 Fiscal Years (dated February 18, 1992)

[2] Orlando Caputo Leiva and Marlene Medrano- Latin American Perspectives – Vol. 34, No. 1, The Crisis of U.S. Hegemony in the Twenty-First Century (January 2007), pp. 9-15

[3]Quoted in Pappe, – Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine – p.69. For background on Ben-Gurion’s comment, see Ibid, 61-72. Quoted in – The Israel Lobby – John J Mearsheimer and Stephen M Walt p.99, fn.95

[4] Francis Fukuyama – State Building, Governance and World Order in the 21st Century – p.131.

Other US Realist Diplomats saw things somewhat differently. Commenting on the expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe In 1996, the 92-year-old veteran US geopolitical realist, George Kennan, warned that NATO’s expansion into former Soviet territory was a “strategic blunder of potentially epic proportions.”

“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war … I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. NATO expansion was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.”

[5] John J Mearsheimer – The Great Delusion, Liberal Dreams and International Realities – p.157.

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vexarb
vexarb
Oct 16, 2019 6:42 AM

Cut&Paste. A tribute to one of the 3 masters of reality on the world stage of political illusions:

Prospeller BTL SyrPer News #303327

This will cheer you up: Putin has an incredible ability to crush and destroy lies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCFs0PtzeVE&t=13s,

and this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWoIE1CWYbQ

Every time I feel depressed I start to listen Putin. And he cures my depression. You see, we all are suffering mostly because of this completely false reality we are forced to live.

Gary Weglarz
Gary Weglarz
Oct 15, 2019 4:28 PM

When one considers for a moment the unimaginably immense amount of money, material resources and intellectual creativity and talent that the U.S. (and the West), decade after decade, has put into weapons, weapons systems development, military bases, troop indoctrination and training, and endless wars and endless mayhem – all of which could instead have gone into creating a more equitable, more just, more humane and more sustainable world – one could be forgiven for vacillating between extremes of both rage and despair.

(“It would appear that the United States polity has, at every level, descended into a variety of collective insanity.”) – the author

It is indeed a fine madness that characterizes the American mind today, and the West in general I dare say. An excellent analysis. Thank you for posting this.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata
Oct 15, 2019 2:29 AM

“…Russia-Putin is on the rampage, proof (sic) of this was his “invasion” of Ukraine.–Frank Lee” Could the Crimea and Ukraine stories provide a wedge sufficient to pry open the cock-and-bull cover-stories?! There have already been several exceedingly well-written articles on events in both places.Of course these stories were stonewalled by the establishment,but if that (former) quality of work was presented now (five years later),it might find a more receptive audience! I feel that Crimea and Ukraine may be foibles in the U.S’s official lie,and setting these two stories straight in the public’s mind,might be good!

Ken Kenn
Ken Kenn
Oct 13, 2019 9:25 PM

They all imagine themselves to be like Greek Gods playing chess with their human beings.

The trouble is there are many ‘ Heavens’ and Trump alongside many others thinks his Heaven is the best.

For Bannon and others he thinks his chariot will be the only chariot going to his Heaven in a blaze of glory.

All these national gods and their followers believe very much in an act of faith like all religions.

Of course we can only know whether ‘ Heaven ‘ exists or not after we die.

As an atheist I can guarantee I won’t be able to tell anyone.

I’m dead.

Plus no-one has ever come back to me to tell me otherwise.

They never will.

Similarly Empires and Nations come and go and if we don’t tackle Climate Change there will be no Heaven on Earth.

We won’t be here to claim that one side was right or wrong.

One side will be right – but they won’t be around to jeer at the wrong side saying I told you you were wrong and I was right.

Unless they are right of course then we can all go down the pub and laughingly discuss just how foolish we were in those days.

No harm done.

RobG
RobG
Oct 14, 2019 12:37 AM
Reply to  Ken Kenn

We are ruled by complete psychopaths. Fullstop.

Richard Ong
Richard Ong
Oct 16, 2019 10:44 PM
Reply to  Ken Kenn

Ah. Climate change. Of course. An excess of phlogiston. Makes all the difference.

crispy
crispy
Oct 13, 2019 9:58 AM

This article should be called;

In defence of censorship, as it appears my comment has gone down the memory hole!

Must be someone on the moderation team who doesn’t like me,especially on Sundays!

Admin: your comment was in the pending queue. It’s approved now. You’re right, it’s Sunday, and the four of us work a 7-day week here – in addition to necessary outside paid work – to try and keep this site running. Sometimes, as a consequence, comments are left in the queue a little longer than usual.

crispy
crispy
Oct 13, 2019 3:29 PM
Reply to  crispy

I appreciate your reply, thank you

falcemartello
falcemartello
Oct 13, 2019 6:18 AM

Qui tacet consentir videtur

falcemartello
falcemartello
Oct 13, 2019 6:16 AM

The new phraseology created and brought to you by our anglo-zionist idealogues
Russ-Sino-Persia delendo est .Todays Cato(Renzi,Merkle,Macron,Clinton,Graham,Kristol,Cameron,May,Johnston,and all the rest of our plutocratic class. Sad but true.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31
Oct 13, 2019 6:12 AM

Did they not call it “Full Spectrum Dominance”? Those who have experienced their evil meddling hand through sponsoring the collusion between the German Kohl-Regime and quisling Mitterrand have no more time for that kind of hegemon.

“Israel, like its American sponsor, must learn to live within its own sphere of influence and not tempt fate by embarking on a Zionist crusade against its near neighbours.” Well, they better. And they better pay to neighbour Egypt, or …..

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 13, 2019 5:21 AM

The treaty of Westphalia is to International Politics as Kant’s Principle is to Personal Morality: Treat each country as a person; and each person as an end in itself, not a means for your own ends.

Tom
Tom
Oct 13, 2019 3:29 AM

Very good read. One thing I question. “Russia and China are reading from a Westphalian text, the US is reading from a neo-conservative playbook, with its European allies being reluctantly dragged along.”

I would say European allies don’t need any dragging, considering their exuberance at destroying Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Afghanistan and their total backing of the criminals occupying Palestine at the moment.

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 13, 2019 5:26 AM
Reply to  Tom

Tom, not surprising: both EU & U$ work for the same boss — Rothschild and their mob of Anglo Zio Capitalist profiteers.

“I never saw a war my sons did not like”. — Big Mama Rothschild
“The best time to make money is when blood flows in the streets”. — Rothschild agent Rockefeller.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 13, 2019 1:19 AM

What is particularly disturbing is that this absurd and dangerous doctrine has become akin to a religious orthodoxy. Comparable perhaps to the fanaticism of Wahhabist cults in parts of the Muslim world.

It is a religious orthodoxy. The same kind that was prominent in Germany from 1933-1945.

If we accuse a family, we need to harm them without mercy, women and children included, otherwise this is not an effective reaction … there is no need to distinguish between guilty and not guilty.

This sounds more like a quote from ‘Mein Kampf’. Well, it certainly springs from the same mindset.

However, this unstable combination of outward authoritarianism and domestic democracy…

There is rabid outward authoritarianism – but no whatsoever domestic democracy, if not for the kind that is described on the backside of a Kellogg’s cornflakes package. Or wiki’pedia’. Since ‘wiki’ is Hawai’ian, they should sue for this propagandapedia to cease and desists its use.

Some nationalists are not far from clinical schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest

Here, I really digress and agree with Jiddu Krishnamurti, who stated that Nationalism – even the one without wet dreams about power and conquest is indeed clinical schizophrenia. Not ‘far from’, but exactly that. The notion of nationalism – living on an organism called Earth – speaks for the inability to comprehend that it is all but one.

nottheonly1
nottheonly1
Oct 13, 2019 1:25 AM
Reply to  nottheonly1

Since we have heavy thinderstorms with lightning and such, I was unable to finish as I like to do – complimenting on a well written situation report.

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 13, 2019 2:47 AM
Reply to  nottheonly1

it is all but one that will only work if all have much higher consciousness. As long as ego rules that global mass will make things only worse.
Mao wanted to abolish families too – apart from nations. We were all to be a swarm of nameless humbots following The Great Helmsman & co – the Big Egos. Now most know that families and nations are necessary in betweens till consciousness grows considerably.

Thanks for pointing out that even Orwell went for this same fallacy: probably Hitler’s smearing of the word Nationalism while being a total imperial globalist pushed him over the edge.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
Oct 13, 2019 12:49 AM

You might have thought civilised countries would have expressed revulsion once it became apparent Allen Dulles, and other US political figures were willing to form cordial relations with those who inflicted the holocaust – but no, the spectre of communism not only rationalised the incineration of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians but also resulted in the US establishment welcoming former Nazis into the fold as though they were long lost friends.
https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-devils-chessboard-allen-dulles-the-cia-and-the-rise-of-americas-secret-government/5484565

C. Wright Mills understood this better than most when he said, “The more we understand what is happening in the world, the more frustrated we often become, for our knowledge leads to feelings of powerlessness.We feel that we are living in a world in which the citizen has become a mere spectator or a forced actor, and that our personal experience is politically useless and our political will a minor illusion. Very often, the fear of total permanent war paralyzes the kind of morally oriented politics, which might engage our interests and our passions. We sense the cultural mediocrity around us-and in us-and we know that ours is a time when, within and between all the nations of the world, the levels of public sensibilities have sunk below sight; atrocity on a mass scale has become impersonal and official; moral indignation as a public fact has become extinct or made trivial.”

Many thought the bottom of the barrel had been reached when the Gipper became prez, but then came Dubya, and now Trump – where will it all end?

Richard Ong
Richard Ong
Oct 16, 2019 10:53 PM
Reply to  Harry Stotle

You left out Clinton and Obongo. The Satyr and The Man with No Past.

Robbobbobin
Robbobbobin
Oct 13, 2019 12:42 AM

“…Israel – a country of a mere 8 million souls with an ambition to create a greater Israel from the Euphrates to the Nile.”

I have the impression, from listening to the terminally rabid amongst them, that modern mission creep has, for some of those, expanded the scope of that ambition from the Euphrates to the Tigris. A bit more runway space and range for overflights to their then-to-be near-East.

“This objective, involving a ruthless ethnic cleansing has been unremittingly pursued since the British left Palestine. [And] according to one David Ben-Gurion about how to deal [politico-eugenically] with Palestinians in their midst:”

https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-the-darker-side-of-ben-gurion-1.5354147

Stephen Morrell
Stephen Morrell
Oct 13, 2019 12:40 AM

The ‘system’ evoked by the “Peace Treaty between the Holy Roman Emperor and the King of France and their respective Allies” (with its 128 articles and the signatures of dozens of parasitic European aristocrats, princes, dukes, ‘electors of the empire’, and other minor potentates and hangers on), was always intended and used as an ‘agreement’ (and exploited in disagreements) between rival colonial and imperial powers exclusively.

With the advent of imperialism proper (in the Marxian, economic sense) since the beginning of the 20th century, it should be clear to anyone with eyes that this ‘system’ has never applied to colonialism’s and imperialism’s intended victims. WWI showed its collapse between imperialist rivals, repeated with WWII. It’s ‘principles’ are invoked in high dudgeon when inter-imperialist rivalries are to the fore, in ‘defence’ of the ‘liberties’ of an imperialist rival’s colonies and spheres of influence. Never mentioned in defence of each empire’s own victims.

One fragment, from Article II, appears pertinent:

…that no body, under any pretext whatsoever, shall practice any Acts of Hostility, entertain any Enmity, or cause any Trouble to each other; neither as to Persons, Effects and Securitys, neither of themselves or by others, neither privately nor openly, neither directly nor indirectly, neither under the colour of Right, nor by the way of Deed, either within or without the extent of the Empire, notwithstanding all Covenants made before to the contrary: That they shall not act, or permit to be acted, any wrong or injury to any whatsoever;

Invariably, ‘under the colour of Right’ [emphasis added above] has been the modus operandi of modern imperialism’s depredations.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Oct 12, 2019 11:57 PM

Excellent piece, Frank! Keep ’em coming.

Just a few minor points:

This pursuit of global hegemony represents the implementation of the belief in America’s so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ – a divine providence to spread the liberal-democratic global order to the rest of the planet and usher in a global Shangri-La of peace, prosperity … and so on and so forth.

Manifest Destiny really just referred to the expansion of the US to the Pacific Coast–i.e., California. It was a concept that came and went with the 19th Century. The concept that the neocons are now pushing is closer the old mission civilisatrice of the French; or maybe it’s just an extension of Franklin Roosevelt’s idea of America being an “arsenal of democracy”.

As far as Maddow (Mad Cow?) is concerned, she’s really a globalist rather than a nationalist. For the globalists in this country, ‘patriotism’ only exists for war, for foreign policy. When it comes to domestic policy, they actually hate America and all that it stands for. A true nationalist would be more concerned with defending our own borders, and a lot less interested in rearranging the borders of foreign countries. For all his flaws, Trump is far closer to being a nationalist than the likes of Maddow.

John Deehan
John Deehan
Oct 12, 2019 11:38 PM

The notion that a multipolar world can exist, at the moment, is a futile dream. Eventually, perhaps, a singularity will exist because the course of human nature thus far has not changed drastically in known recorded history. However, there is hope because there is always hope on the third rock next to an insignificant sun!

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 13, 2019 5:31 AM
Reply to  John Deehan

Let us hope that ‘there is always hope’ on Earth.

“Faith, Hope and Charity; and the greatest of these is Charity”.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata
Oct 15, 2019 2:01 AM
Reply to  vexarb

“The lessons of the Great Depression? Don’t blame yourself.Turn to others….The big boys are not that bright.Hope dies last….”Interview with Studs Terkel

BigB
BigB
Oct 12, 2019 11:30 PM

I’m not sure that there is much in the way of realism there is to defend any more? Other than Capitalist Realism. There is only one global hegemony over humanism: and that is capital. That it has different poles and centres – what I would term differing neoliberal ‘Patriarchates’ – is undeniable. How differing they are is a paradox of perspective. I take the side of humanity and survivability: to which all capitalist colonisation has only one end …extermination. Capitalism alienates humanity from humanity – distorting the very consciousness of the Cartesian automatic subject – toward Stockholm Syndrome and the love of their alienation. Or at least acceptance of it …in return for extinction.

If this seems too far fetched: it maybe that the nature of capital accumulation is still misunderstood – 150 years on from Marx’s ‘Laws of Motion’. Which include:

the exponential compulsion to accumulate;
the compulsion to technological recolonisation (the ‘techno-fix’ – to improve (think GMO) previous redundant forms of accumulation);
the unquenchable thirst for surplus-value extraction;
the inescapable polarisation, monopolisation, and centralisation of capital;
the exponential increase in social polarisation, social objectification, and alienation of humanity;
the inevitability of crises of increasing severity.

All of which was supposed to make socialism inevitable. Oh well; you can’t be right about everything. What is clear from the dynamics of privatised capital accumulation is an exponential trend toward monopolised wealth polarisation and centralisation: which is inverse proportional to exponential human and environmental alienation. The contradictions of which lead to increasingly existential crisis and a background extinction rate 1,000 the statistical norm …the 6th Mass Capitalist Extermination event underway.

The end of the Westphalian Peace was not just ideological: the nation state gets in the way of privatised accumulation. Within a nation state: opportunities for surplus-capital quickly stagnated. Funding real economies leads to social equality, welfare states, equal opportunities, social mobility …and a whole raft of totally unacceptable utopian egalitarian ideals. Surplus capital seeks new inequitable surplus-value extraction globally. To which national boundaries present eventual unnatural hurdles. Surplus capital colonises by war or trade – the spatial-fix. And when it is done: it does it again – the spatio-temporal and techno-fix [Harvey: after Luxemburg].

Once you start the Laws of Motion – they are like a perpetual motion engine – they cannot be stopped by their own momentum. But the world is neither infinite or negentropic: something will have to give …which may or may not entail the metabolic rift; social alienation and fragmentation (crisis capitalism = fascism) war; nuclear war. The entailments of privatised capitalist accumulation are all contradictory to humanism. Most carry a very high risk of compromising our ability to survive. Some, obviously, end in the complete and final failure of extinction. None are good.

The next economic crisis is in motion. Jay Powell said “the crisis in the repo markets does not indicate QE4”. There you have it officially announced: QE4 has begun. It is never true until it is officially denied.

What realism will be left to defend will be seen presently. Do not be too surprised if it is not much. Privatised capital accumulation is a genetically modified monster – on steroids. Rumours of a cuddly Eastern variant are vastly over-exaggerated: and totally contra-factual to the Laws of Motion. To the point of fallacy. Not least: because they all serve the same anti-humanist DNA.

Absent some massive shift in consciousness – which is still worth an outside bet (at least you get to collect!) – the Capitalist Realism choice is whether we do it the long drawn out way …or the humane way. The ‘bang’ or the ‘whimper’? That’s Capitalist Realism. Other forms of realism only become available when the majoritarian endocolonised Cartesian subjects realise just how narrow their options are. Which need to be bloody soon!

crispy
crispy
Oct 13, 2019 9:03 AM
Reply to  BigB

we’re moving towards the technologies of the singularity,realism will exist only within the cybercosm in the near future, this whole article smacks of a nostalgic form of legacy thinking its almost the same types of arguments put forward by Tory brexit people

All this stuff about sovereignty never really existed it certainly didn’t stop Napoleon!

As for China and Russia they don’t offer much do they? state capitalism plus
authoritarianism, mass brainwashing in China, totalitarian Social Credit resulting in the mass exodus of businesses to other countries, Russia not much better than in the old days of the Soviet Union, it just hides now behind an open form of capital accumulation instead of the old so called ” socialist ” system

Sorry Frank but capitalism is still the only game in town and the international liberal order created after the war knows no borders,and the future will reduce those barriers still further

mark
mark
Oct 12, 2019 9:30 PM

The planet is far too large and complex to be dominated by any one power.
Belief in world domination is a form of mental illness best left to James Bond villains and the Washington Beltway.
Even the Romans, Alexander The Great and The Mongols eventually realised there were limits to expansion.

BigB
BigB
Oct 12, 2019 11:55 PM
Reply to  mark

The world has been dominated by one power for centuries. Since the ‘long 16th century’ – as Wallerstein dubbed it. In that time: serving the needs of privatised capital accumulation has totally re-ordered societies – from agrarian to urban; etc. And totally restructured the global economy – from eurocentric core to externalised, dehumanised dependent peripheries. And completely restructured the cognition of automatic subjects so they cannot see that we are dominated by the dominion overpower of privatised capital accumulation.

It can be a form of mental illness: one that afflicts all of us. And there are limits to expansion: but capitalism does not recognise them. Which is a form of mental illness. Some call it ‘Wetiko’: the compulsion to cannibalise ones very beingness. Which has limits too. A mentally ill pseudo-being intent on boundary-blind exponential expansion is not a good thing to be dominated by, you might say? Especially when the host does not recognise that it has even been colonised.

Antonym
Antonym
Oct 13, 2019 3:01 AM
Reply to  BigB

Yes, Anglo -capitalism. Then why blame Zionism for all its ills?

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 13, 2019 5:36 AM
Reply to  mark

Mark, regarding one of your megalomaniac trio, I believe that Alexander wept when he came to the little inland Caspian Sea because he thought they had come to the end of the world, and there were no new worlds to conquer. Ignorance and Megalomania are twins.

wardropper
wardropper
Oct 14, 2019 4:05 PM
Reply to  mark

I think the aim of Zio-Washington is to make the planet much less complex, so that it can, indeed, be dominated by one power.
In Alexander’s day, the world was clearly an endlessly large place, but today, the fallout from Fukushima alone can easily dominate us all.
With our greed and stupidity, we have already made the planet much smaller.

Rhys Jaggar
Rhys Jaggar
Oct 12, 2019 9:19 PM

I think what will give is the willingness of European people to fight for the USA and Israel.

The trouble may be if the US then turns on Europe as weak opponents who must be outright colonized.

At that point, NATO will break up, US embassies may be forcibly shut down in various European countries and then European nations must then decide how they fit into a changing world.

If UK wastrels told men like me to fight Russia in a hot war, I would not be a conscientious objector, I would be an extremely profane one. I would call whoever the UK PM were to be at the time a ‘f***ing genocidal, moral-free subservient wastrel to a nation who needs World War Three fought on its own mainland, if fought it ever must be, when a minimum of fifty million US people need to die to teach the deluded people of that dangerous nation that their psychotic and absolutely tyrannical Deep State is the apotheosis of human evil.’

And I would add that I expect the children of Tony Blair, Olly Robbins, Andrew Parker, Andrew Roberts, Alistair Campbell, Gavin Williamson, Guy Verhofstadt, Donald Tusk, Michel Barnier, Rupert Murdoch and Bibi Netanyahu to all be on the front line of whatever sacrificial battalion had to enact the 21st century equivalent of the Charge of the Light Brigade before I would even spend ten seconds considering whether to serve in an Ambulance Corps or the like…

RobG
RobG
Oct 12, 2019 10:03 PM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

“The trouble may be if the US then turns on Europe as weak opponents who must be outright colonized.”

I would venture that western Europe is totally colonised.

It’s part of what Brexit is all about (and Frexit, although the presstitutes never report on what’s really going on in France).

vexarb
vexarb
Oct 13, 2019 5:39 AM
Reply to  RobG

@RobG: “I would venture that western Europe is totally colonised.”

The U$A is likewise totally colonized; and by the same parasite.

mark
mark
Oct 13, 2019 12:10 AM
Reply to  Rhys Jaggar

It may be difficult to believe now, but in the aftermath of WW1 and all the lies that were told to make it possible, there arose a widespread revulsion in the US towards the powerful vested interests who had instigated the war and profited from it.

Far reaching anti war and neutrality legislation was proposed, and quite a lot of it was enacted. If this had been retained, most of the conflicts of the past decades would simply never have occurred, for the simple reason that it took the profit out of war.

All arms manufacturing and trading were to be state monopolies to remove private profit from war.
No war loans were to be made to belligerent powers. This had been a major factor in the US entry into the war. Wall Street bankers had lent billions to Britain which were unlikely to be repaid in the event of a German victory.
US citizens were to be prohibited from travelling to war zones, to avoid Lusitania type incidents being exploited for propaganda purposes.
In the event of war, prices and wages would be strictly controlled. Taxes would be raised steeply to finance the war.
Incomes would be limited to $10,000. Everything above that would be taxed at 100%.
Dividends and permitted returns on capital would be strictly controlled, and heavily taxed.
Rationing and controls of all kinds would be introduced.
The economy would be subject to complete state control.
The stock market and all financial markets would be closed for the duration of the war.
A conscription board would be established to ensure that the rich and privileged did not escape service. First in line to be recruited would be the unemployed stockbrokers and bankers, or if they were too old, their children.

A similar approach today would make war obsolete overnight.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Oct 16, 2019 2:24 PM
Reply to  mark

Important points Mark. Do you happen to have a reference which covers this?

mark
mark
Oct 16, 2019 5:13 PM
Reply to  George Cornell

No one source. it’s something that was going on for years with Congressional hearings and a lot of the contemporary Left involved. But it’s all covered in the history of US Neutrality Legislation.

Not all of it was enacted, but Roosevelt had to go through mental and legal gymnastics and intrigues to get round it and get the US into the war.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Oct 16, 2019 6:55 PM
Reply to  mark

Thx

George Cornell
George Cornell
Oct 16, 2019 7:17 PM
Reply to  mark

I see Bernard Baruch of “cash and carry” fame was Roosevelt’s adviser during the dismantling of neutrality.

lundiel
lundiel
Oct 12, 2019 7:18 PM

We can only hope that it’s the economy that gives first. Sense will never prevail.

RobG
RobG
Oct 12, 2019 6:50 PM

They are all like five-year-olds on LSD; but the real victims of abuse are us, the general public.

George Cornell
George Cornell
Oct 12, 2019 5:46 PM

Bravi! Exceptionally well-written and indeed reality based. It is the ethos of Saturday morning cartoons come to pass. One wonders if the Wolfowitzes have any pangs of remorse, as prime movers of the most disgraceful self-deluded chapter in human history. Nothing before has been remotely so global in nature. Probably not but what a legacy.