Towards A Good Samaritan World

Saturday, June 25, 2005


I've long been a fan of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm (though of course I braoadly disagree with much of his worldview.) In this article, he captures some of the confusion of this moment in history. Hobsbawm acknowledges that the war in Iraq doesn't make sense in terms of your typical capitalist-imperialist narrative:

Even those who do not share the views of the old generals and proconsuls of the US world empire (which were those of Democratic as well as Republican administrations) will agree that there can be no rational justification of current Washington policy in terms of the interests of America's imperial ambitions or, for that matter, the global interests of US capitalism.

He acknowledges the revolutionary character of the "neo-con" project (which has got to be at least half a compliment coming from a Marxist):

It may be that it makes sense only in terms of the calculations, electoral or otherwise, of American domestic policy. It may be a symptom of a more profound crisis within US society. It may be that it represents the - one hopes short-lived - colonisation of Washington power by a group of quasi-revolutionary doctrinaires. (At least one passionate ex-Marxist supporter of Bush has told me, only half in jest: "After all, this is the only chance of supporting world revolution that looks like coming my way.") Such questions cannot yet be answered.

A crisis within US society? Possibly. Interesting...


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