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A New Cold War?
by Threehegemons
04 October 2002 21:28 UTC
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Comparisons of the emergent US-EU split to the US-USSR raise some interesting 
questions.  I personally tend to believe that history doesn't exactly repeat, 
so I wouldn't expect some sort of new iron curtain, gulags, red scares, etc (at 
least, of the old sort).  But here is the comparison:  In the old cold war, the 
US was able to build a substantial alliance around the world.  Western 
Europeans were reassured that the USSR would not invade them, and their left 
wing intellectuals were disarmed by the negative example of Eastern Europe.  In 
the 'third world', the US allied with more reactionary nationalists, who 
appreciated their assistance in putting down various left wing projects.  For a 
brief moment in the sixties, the US flirted with encouraging reformism ('The 
Alliance for Progress') but it wasn't able to control the process, and soon 
moved back towards the reactionaries. In East Asia, where the left wing threat 
was more substantial, it did help facilitate more serious reformism.  The 
question posed by today's emergent split is, who would want to seek shelter 
under the US umbrella, and why?  Besides the Israelis.
The Europeans seem much more in touch with a general consensus of the global 
political class, and don't seem nearly as arrogant or irrational as the US.  
And neoliberalism pretty much liquidated whatever was left of the traditional 
reactionary class (landed elites).

Steven Sherman

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