Het wachten is op de ondergang van het Amerikaans imperium

Paul Delvaux: La Fin du voyage (1968)


 
Zijn we als mensheid verdoemt tot het ondergaan van de machtswillekeur van imperiale staten? De zegeningen die ze brachten waren uitsluitend bestemd voor het centrum, of dat nu Rome of Londen heette. Kan een imperium ook vrede, rust en veiligheid brengen, niet alleen voor haar onderdanen? Had een mogelijk Frans imperium onder Napoleon dat kunnen bewerkstelligen? De gevolgen van zijn nederlaag werken tot heden door, zeker nu er alles in het werk wordt gesteld een nieuw IJzeren Gordijn in Europa te laten herrijzen, geheel in de imperiale geest van Churchill, ook een oorlogsmisdadiger die nooit berecht is. Bekijk onderstaande toegift maar over Iannis Xenakis.
 
Zijn we als mensheid levensmoe geworden, of geldt dat gevoel slechts in het Westen, gelet op de oorlogszuchtig taal die overal en praktisch door iedereen geslaakt wordt? Zijn we aan het einde van een reis aangekomen, die ons mooie dingen geschonken heeft, maar nog veel meer ellende heeft veroorzaakt, die niet meer te corrigeren valt?
 
 

THE WAR IN UKRAINE HIGHLIGHTS TWO EMPIRES IN DECLINE

 

Bumper sticker graphic by John Walker. Public Domain.
Bumper sticker graphic by John Walker. Public Domain.

 
Nearly three months into the war Ukraine, events up-ended quite a few assumptions by quite a few people. I count myself in that crowd.

I didn’t expect Vladimir Putin to order the invasion.

When he did, I expected it to go the way of the 2008 Russo-Georgian War — a quick rout of Ukrainian forces, a stern “don’t ever do that again” warning from Putin (as with Ukraine, the Georgia dust-up had to do with attempts to re-conquer seceded, pro-Russian areas), and a quick return to International Relations Business as Usual.

When it didn’t go that way, I at least expected Russian forces to wrap up the obvious objectives — securing the seceded Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republicans and a land corridor along the Azov coast connecting them to Crimea — in time for Putin to give a “mission accomplished” speech on World War Two Victory Day (May 9), wag a “don’t do that again” finger at Kyiv, and stand down.

Instead, Putin seems to have made a poor decision and bought himself a quagmire. Some blame his inability to get the job done on a US/NATO “proxy war,” and they’re not wrong, but it’s not like there’s anything new or novel in the idea. The US and Russia have been playing the “proxy war” game since the beginning of the Cold War, each assisting the other’s opponents in an attempt to expand their own empire and limit the expansion of the other.

In the 1990s, John Walker’s “bumper sticker” graphic popped up on the Internet: A Soviet flag with an “X” through it, next to an American flag without the “X.” The slogan:

“Evil Empires — One Down, One to Go …”

Both empires are, indeed, going, and the US “proxy” war in Ukraine, even if it brings about a Russian defeat, will likely hasten the US empire’s decline as onlooking regimes realign — not necessarily “with Russia,” but toward a studied neutrality.

Some take Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine as evidence that he aspires to reconstitute the Soviet empire. But while he’s described that empire’s disintegration as a “geopolitical catastrophe,” his record suggests he’s less interested in reconstituting it than in preserving some semblance of its remnant state’s “sphere of influence.”

If either “proxy war” party is guilty of “reconstitution” (even “expansion”) hubris, it’s the United States. Instead of taking “yes” for an answer, reaping a peace dividend, and moving to a peace economy when the Soviet empire collapsed, the US reveled in its role as self-perceived “only remaining superpower” and went right back to fighting — and losing — wars of aggression and conquest. Only when it brought prospective NATO expansion to Russia’s border with Ukraine did Putin rouse himself to real belligerence.

While the timelines are very different, both the Soviet and US imperial bankruptcies resemble the process of Mike’s in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: “Gradually and then suddenly.”

For the US, “suddenly” now knocks at the door. The alternative being nuclear holocaust, might I suggest that we consider beating our swords into plowshares?
 
May 12, 2022
 
Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.
 
Bron: The Garrison Center



XENAKIS REVOLUTION

Architect en componist Iannis Xenakis (1922-2001)

Xenakis brak met de heersende orkestregels en ontwikkelde met de ‘polytope’ een structurele, visuele en klankvolle kunstvorm. De grenzen tussen kunst en wetenschap werden hierdoor diffuus.




Uitgelicht: bron

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