( more on Ukraine issue) For/against Ukraine war: https://redfortyeight.com/2023/01/31/for-against-ukraine-war/
another update below….
update: If Hedges is the radical leftist he thinks he is let’s hear him on the JKF assassination, the US (Mossad?) 9/11 false flag operation. The suppression of any discussion of these issues has put the entire left under suspicion. What going on here? The problem is clear: you can’t get anything in print given the dictatorships of cancel culture that would immediately exclude the Hedges types (and anyone else) who discusses these issues openly looking at the facts, research and probings of the American covert agency ‘deep state’ (an ambiguous and often misused term). And no the charge of ‘conspiracy theory’ is not valid here, still more bum steer leftist distraction.
Let me also note that the issue of Darwinism and the bogus theory of natural selection, under suspicion as ideological pseudo-science propganda as social Darwinist culture programming is also subject to leftist cancel culture in the legacy of Marx’s great blunder on the subject
Let’s hear it Chris, some answers please…!
Hedges has turned into a tiresome windbag and here muddles the Ukraine confusion still further with his usual diatribes (with some useful notes and links) against the ‘US empire in decline’. I am a leftist, revolutionary socialist far to the left of Hedges so it is not some kind of social conformity that suggests to me that something is wrong in this analysis. First, however we describe the US it is NOT analogous to the Roman Empire in decline. As a student of history I have tried to point to this perennial fallacy of ‘foaming at the mouth’ pseudo-radicals. The term ‘imperialist’ might well apply but that is a predicate for liberal systems corrupted by capitalist globalization. The Roman Empire arose in the wake and downfall of the Roman republic, long in decline as a republic where the US might be drifting into the loss of its republic but comparison with Rome that might take centuries, with an intermediate state of affairs such as we see: a hidden oligarchy. To call the US an empire in decline suggests it is somewhere in the 4th century AD by analogue. The US is thus not an empire in the sense of invasions, plunder, and enslavement.
The point is to figure out and describe the objective reality of the US and not distract radicals with lofty and quite bloodthirsty rhetoric.
The point here is to diagnose the system as is. Here Marx is more useful despite his own confusions: the liberal state coopted by capitalist domination. Its imperialism is not the same as Empire and is a far more elusive category,a point obvious to Marx.
The question of what is to be done in Ukraine is downright obscure but the rhetoric of anti-war movements growling at Yankeed Doodle has backfired with UKraine. I was present in the anti-war protests against the Vietnam war in the sixties but then watched how often the next generation fumbled the ball using this rhetoric in new contexts. So here as to Ukraine. This reversal has become acute with Ukraine, but then par for the course. The issue of Ukraine is a tough one but it would seem that it is not rational to deny Ukrainians their chance at independence from Putin’s malevolent insanity. To be sermonized by such as Hedges is off the mark and will lead to violence on the left. This issue of nuclear arms lurks most ominously but that can’t be grounds for allowing the massacre of Ukrainians. The Pentagonists with their game theory are at work here no doubt and have apparently devised a (nearly) rational path past the nuclear options. I hope they are right, and it seems that the choice must be faced without hysteria: that passive retreat before Putin is not the right option. A peck of US generals have pointed to the fact that Ukraine can actually win this conflict. Again, I must waver, yet suspect this is possibly correct. To retreat from that option and allow a Russian neo-colonialist venture a free way would make nuclear options worse in the long run one suspects.
It is not easy to see through this murky situation to the end but ranting and raving pacifist anti-war rhetoric has been clipped in this novel and unexpected situation.
It is no doubt the case that the US and Nato have landed a windfall in the sheer stupidity of Putin’s grotesque invasion and it could be that Russia, perhaps even China, are to see their hopes dashed as fantasies of global hegemony (which is not the same as empire) whatever the resulting outcome for the US. Hopefully, the planet may be liberated from all three.
update: below a passage from The Last Revolution: Postcapitalist Futures on the Roman Empire fallacy….
We have critiqued cyclical theories but then produced one of our own, in an hypothesis about world history in the sense of evolution. A very strange thought, but with an elegant simplicity that brings coherence to the whole subject. Decline and Fall speculations are rife in many historians but our model shows the subject done right. Our period is not analogous to the era of Roman decline. In fact, one can recommend a good history of the fifth to fourth century in Greece/Athens: From Democrats to Kings, M. Scott: the struggle of Athens after 400 BCE to preserve its democracy through the fourth century is less known than the era of its first downfall in the Pelopnesian wars. Athens struggled on and revived itself several times until the coming of the era of Alexander. Our modern period is formally analogous to this and we see in both cases the emergence of democracy near a divide, 600 BCE and 1800 AD. In Athens we see the two centuries after the divide show democratic continuation after the slow start after Solon and now in our own time, two centuries after the divide we find American democracy in a challenge. We cannot absolutely say that is not coincidence, but it is very spooky. Let us interject that this is not a deterministic (only the transitions are relatively so) and we can always study our past and create a new future.
NATO support for the war in Ukraine, designed to degrade the Russian military and drive Vladimir Putin from power, is not going according to plan. The new sophisticated military hardware won’t help.
Source: Chris Hedges: Ukraine: The War That Went Wrong – scheerpost.com