Six reasons why we don’t need a new cold war

The Pentagon budget the Obama administration unveiled this week calls for quadrupling spending on efforts to counter Russia. The money would move more troops, tanks, and artillery into position near the Russia border. This last Obama budget would also fund another installment in a $1 trillion and 30-year plan to “modernize” our nuclear arsenal with new land-based missiles, bombers, and submarines. If Congress supports the White House’s request, this budget would have our country spending more, adjusting for inflation, than we did during most of the Cold War. The Republican-controlled Congress wants to add even more. Sounds like we’re gearing … Continue reading

Catastroika

So Russia is now an active participant in the Syrian civil war. The pretext is standard: Islamic State must be defeated at any cost to the Syrian people. Yet the bombs are falling on other rebel targets – al-Qaeda’s Jabhat al-Nusra, no doubt – and civilian targets are not out of bounds. Russian bombs have already hit hospitals and medical centres. These incidents will only increase as the bombing continues, and the war continues to hurtle onward. As I wrote before the Russian army began bombing Syria, Vladimir Putin has a more coherent strategy than the Western powers – which … Continue reading

The bourgeoisie creates a world in its image

Cole_Thomas_The_Course_of_Empire_The_Savage_State_1836

In what I hoped would be the positive culmination of my BA Philosophy degree I wrote my dissertation on the Marxist theory of history in its relevance to international relations. It’s the extent to which the historicism in Marx holds a normative element given that the Marxist tradition actually lacks a theory of international relations, just as it traditionally lacked a theory of government. In both instances there is a need, in international relations it is an evaluative criterion which is necessary. Below I have reproduced the introduction and linked the following chapters. Over the last decade or more the question of … Continue reading