Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I strongly suggest reading Vinay Gupta's "Long Peace" essay. Sparkling with outrageous ideas for making Empire a reality.


1 comment:

John Powers said...

I'm using a netbook and the keyboard is so frustrating I hate to write. But I keep checking for comments because this such an important subject.

I was struck by your observations about empire. You have a point, but what impressed me on first read was the turning of the metaphor from "the long war" to "the long peace." Such a relevant shift.

At SSRC is an excerpt from Tony Judt's new book about the disintegration of the public sphere.

One aspect of Gupta's position has to do with the weak public sphere in many countries. He makes the point that USA government might be better off by-passing governments to provide services directly to people.

Now I'm an American citizen who finds the public sphere too often broken here. Judt sees it too. He proposes re-casting the conversation as something important to do about the mess.

That's not altogether satisfying, and yet it's precisely Gupta's re-casting, not just in this essay, but elsewhere which I admire so much.

Your most recent post has to do with the inability of nation states to do anything about global warming. Re-casting the conversation about such a pressing matter seems thin gruel. Yet we have to start somewhere and seems to me Judt is right that the conversations are where to begin.

Much gratitude to you Phil for doing just that.

Probably I'm off-base, but coming at Gupta's piece from the perspective that the USA is FUBAR, his ideas seemed less about extending empire and more about claiming a public sphere in an era where the model of nation states is failing.

Services which agencies my government might provide to people anywhere in the world might be relevant not just to "them" but to me as well.