Caution: Captain America's Arms-Based 'Recovery' May Be Hazardous (Publico, Portugal)
"Fifty years after decolonization, the elites that rule the roost in
the West have learned nothing from history, and continue to look at the world through neo-colonial glassesas thick as the bottoms of coke
bottles! … This is especially true when the world is seen as a backdrop for the adventures of a superhero (the U.S.), followed by his colleagues, often cowardly, a struggling organization (NATO) which, unlike the
U.N., seeks nothing but the world's security, as shown (just over the last 13
years) in Afghanistan, Iraq, West Africa, Libya, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine …"
When the Cold War ended, two Americans told us how the future would be.
Fukuyama said we had reached the end of history and a time of peace: with
the implosion of the Soviet Union, considered the defeat of communism (45 years
after Hitler's defeat), the Anglo-Saxon model of liberal democracy still stood,
and would spread across the world. This nonsense quickly evaporated, because it
suggested a future without war, which displeased those who didn't want to see
the defense industries
losing access to the public funds it spends with impunity.
by Samuel Huntington, was much more successful because it solved that
problem: was it felt that the triumph of capitalism meant the end of
conflict? Not at all! The world remained divided between good and evil, no longer
in conflict over ideology, but instead, over "culture": we had entered the era
of the clash of civilizations. It was an appealing thesis because it resolved
the self-esteem problems experienced by Westerners in the post-decolonization
era. In essence, it restored the old idea of the White man's burden that
Kipling spoke about: it was duty of the West to civilize the rest of the world.
Stoking the Western ego, the insinuation was that that the problem was a mixture
of envy and hate felt toward the Western way of life by the rest of the
world. The enemies of the West weren't people who thought differently – they were
different, period! Reminiscent of the racist language of 19th
century high school text books, the world was divided into eight civilizations (Huntington
wasn't sure if Africans would have one), three of which had joined forces
against the West: "Islamic", "Confucian" and "Slavic-Orthodox"
(in good Germanic tradition, de-Europeanizing the Slavs).
almost everywhere (for some reason he taught at Harvard, and was an advisor to
government, the military and the CIA), Huntington gave the air of great science
to old conspiracy theories unworthy of even coffee table chit chat. The world was against the West. Although there is no Soviet Union, the West shouldn't even think of disarming
because there continued to be those wicked Muslims (even if during the 90s, in
Bosnia and Kosovo, bin Laden was a mujahedeen recruiter for the Americans shortly
before turning against them); Russians and Serbs may no longer be communist
but they were still Orthodox Christians (therefore, less Christian); and the
Chinese still seemed somewhat communist. Was the predatory capitalism of the
West responsible for the conflicts that had risen up against it - and for the
world and colonial wars that had been unleashed? Huntington reassured Westerners:
in the same way as Europeans thought the wars against their colonial
domination were the result of plots hatched by Moscow and Beijing against
settlers who just wanted the best for Africans and Asians, now the West had to arm
itself against a world of civilization's enemies, whether they be Saddam,
Milosevic, al-Qaeda, Ahmadinejad, Chávez, Putin, the Islamic State, or all of China
(we'll get there …).
Fifty years after decolonization,
the elites that rule the roost in the West have learned nothing from history,
and continue to look at the world through neo-colonial glassesas thick as the bottoms of coke
bottles! The clash of civilizations, even if
inconsistent with everything disclosed by the social sciences in decades of
research, remains the bible of a great many people. This is especially true when
the world is seen as a backdrop for the adventures of a superhero (the U.S.),
followed by his colleagues, often cowardly, a haed-working organization (NATO)
which, unlike the U.N., seeks nothing but the world's security, as shown (just over
the last 13 years) in Afghanistan, Iraq, West Africa, Libya, Syria, Gaza,
This is how they
want to baptize the 21st century: the second American century, born on
September 11th, 2001. However, compared to the 20th century, with a difference -
one huge difference: the United States, hyper-specialist in war, will increasingly
be the shock troops of the planet, since they are soon-to-be-no-longer a decisive
economic power in the face of Asia's rise, and second, due to Latin America's
rise, which is gaining ever-more autonomy. As for Europe, it is increasingly trailing
behind, and the more we think of ourselves as behind, the more true it will be.
We speak of European leaders from conservative and social democratic governments,
which, although treated with suspicion (see the wiretapping of them all by
American espionage), consider it essential to reconstitute the unity of the
West under the leadership of Captain America and his promise of an economy forever
renewed by huge arms-laden adventures - look at the appeals of Obama and
Cameron to boost public military spending, a model of economic recovery through
rearmament that produced no less than World War II.