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Re: <nettime> Obama and the dawn of the Fourth Republic
John Hopkins on Wed, 12 Nov 2008 12:08:05 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Obama and the dawn of the Fourth Republic


The Republic framework, I don't know.  It will be interesting to see how
much of the basic power structure of the country shifts in the next decade.
Sorry, I'm a pessimist, having been on the inside of the petroleum business
among other connections to the M-I complex.  And these grand titles of
phases of history, well, I think they are too reductionist.

this essay seems to neglect the operation of the Military industrial
complex during WWII and how that deeply affected the (continued)
concentration of Federal power since then (external defense always trumps
any other concern, especially when there is an easily identified
'aggressor'  (communism, drugs, terror)).  It's no coincidence that many
parts of the US infrastructure date to the New Deal because after that
time,  the Military-Industrial complex sucked up massive amounts for the
productive energy of the country.   This is the same technological
superstructure that will drive things forward from today (factories that
once built tanks in WWII then built cars and washing machines for 50 years
then will build alternative energy products for the next 50, if you want to
believe the rhetoric...)

Although, having said that, the question really becomes, for example, can
the Big Three amurikan auto makers actually successfully retool their
(closed)mindset and their factories to really do something that will take
the US forward?  They don't seem to have the imagination, and instead, go
mosey up to Washington who will GIVE them capital to fix their
Cold-War-mentality-driven production machine (we make cars, in the kind of
our own choosing, amurikans will buy them).  And Obama wants to pay them
(ostensibly to support unions)...  but what's the difference?  (well, one
difference is the spent treasury, the other is a spent military...  this is
a new development -- a development which I believe affects change more than
any other (ideological) factors).  This is the Bush legacy.  Bankrupt the

Do we have any particular historical examples of Bankrupt Empires returning
to prior positions of ascension?  Have to look into that.  Probably ONLY
when there shows up an alternative energy source that can be tapped into
that was not a factor previously (first growth oak trees for the first
British Empire's fleet's keels, and when those were spent, the empire
wobbled for a time until coal became the driver of the Victorian Empire...)
The US hegemony of this most recent Republic was driven by and sourced in
hydrocarbons, period.  That source is now a globally contested commodity,
contested by powers which a spent US cannot completely resist.  Unless this
Empire finds another source, I think it will simply continue to fade away
from what it was.  And it will be up to all those people around the world
who have been looking at it in either awe, hate, love, desire, or envy will
have to look elsewhere for entertainment, for someone to lay blame on, for
someone to beg of.  Imagine that!  Many people on this list will have to
adjust their view of the world!

Change continues.  as always.  can we keep up in our dotage?

so it goes.


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