Brian Holmes on Sun, 7 Mar 2010 23:15:14 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> A scenario for World War III

Thanks to Keith for an extremely provocative bit of historical
imagination. Equally important to air would be the scenarios of a new
kind of fascism, which would necessarily attend on war, and whose
initial contours, very different from the mid-twentieth century
variety, are already quite visible in the USA. However, let's stick
to the subject for now and get to that one later. Maybe sooner than

Michael H Goldhaber wrote:

> Neither China, Russia nor the US or Europe has the number of large
> families willing to surrender a substantial proportion of their
> children as cannon fodder, which was not the case a few generations
> ago.

A look into the robotics labs of any major research university
(UCSD is a good place to start) will reveal the possible answer to
this objection, already concretized in drone warfare and soon to
be visible in the form of autonomous vehicles patrolling wartorn
streets. The awful thing about war is that it can be used as a way
to impose central economic planning, the very trick the US learned
in WWII and has applied since then via Korea, Vietnam, Star Wars
and Iraq/Afghanistan/Terrorstan. Since the 1970s the theater of
economically profitable warfare has been displaced from Asia to the
Middle East. This is the nightmare scenario for me: proxy robot war
in the Middle East. This would be the culmination and decline of an
ill-fated Information Age.

> Cultures will compete in something more akin to a global version of
> American Idol.

I think the above idea went out of fashion after 9/11. It was known
before then as the end of history.

> But of course, even if that is all true, the cataclysm to fear still
> will be global warming, about which not much, it would appear will
> be done in time.

I totally agree and this was left out of Keith's scenarios.

For me, discussing all this does not mean playing the gloom-and-doom
game, but opening up avenues of real critique and mobilization for
other futures.

hopefully, Brian

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