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A book review by The Guardian in 2004.

The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the PeopleBy Jonathan Schell

In contrast, the situation was far messier in central Europe, and even messier and more difficult in Africa and the Middle East. But the cost for others was to be enormous: these ethnically homogeneous countries exported their sense of unproblematic racial superiority overseas in global conquest and plunder. Between 1870 and 1900, European nations seized control of some 10 million square miles of territory on which 150 million people lived.

The new war system reached its terrifying apogee in the first and second world wars when, for the last time, total war was fought to the bitter end. In the very death throes of the second world war, there was born the weapon that would profoundly change the nature of warfare. "The [nuclear] bomb revealed that total war was not an everlasting but a historical phenomenon," Schell writes. The invention of atomic weapons rendered the old global war system unworkable. The bitter end would in future mean nothing less than the destruction of humanity.

It is the rise of a very different United States, of course, that lies at the root of these fears and forebodings. Schell is excellent at laying bare the emergence of the new America and describing the character of its new imperial policy: the insistence, following 9/11, on describing the fight against terrorism as "war", thereby enabling the full deployment of the supreme military machine of our time; the assault on proliferation with the invocation of the axis of evil, combined with the endorsement of pre-emptive action, giving the United States the right to intervene anywhere at any time; the rejection of multilateral treaties; and the hubristic assumption that the American economic and political system is the only valid one. We have entered a profoundly dangerous era with potentially catastrophic consequences.

Great insight and analysis by Jonathan Schell, yet the world has changed due to a turn towards fascism in the last two decades. Turning points the NATO Bucharest Summit in 2008 promising further expansion into Georgia and Ukraine, the CIA led coup d'état of the so-called Maidan Revolt of Februari 2014, the Revolution and years of turbulence from the Arab Uprisings [color revolts] from 2011 through 2019. The failure to tackle the fossil fuel lobby, increasing global warming and climate change which led to the post-pandemic turmoil on the food and energy market. Letting the Ukraine War happen has sealed the fate of mankind for the next ten years.

The era of multilateralism and globalization led to decades of peace supported by the creation and expansion of the European Union. The latter is beyond its expiration date and is mortally wounded by outside forces.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 7th, 2022 at 09:21:53 AM EST


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