by E Raymond Smith
THE Modern, or bourgeois, or european, age that ended in 1989 with the pulling down of the Berlin wall is now wholly yielded to the post-modern age. And, whether we know it or not, America is now in the entering phase of a new cold war, with China. Whether this is particularly conscious among the present american serving-elite, it is nonetheless the case. It happens simply because of the profound anxiety that runs throughout late-historical american society. The end of communism marked the advent of a kaleidscopic world no longer bipolar, no longer cleanly and manageably schizophrenic. Only now do we begin to realise with the proclamation of American Unilateralism that the world system of 1946-89, the last cartesian structure, especially provided a great deal of security in retrospect. There is in the collective unconsciousness of the generation now 'in' power (if not in control) a deep nostalgia for the first cold war, simply because it marked the days of our childhood and the old 'Mickey Mouse Club' show on american TeeVee.
That security paradoxically was supplied under the umbrella of mutual deterence, nuclear terror. The east bloc chaired (but hardly led!) by the Soviet Union, and the west with its far more multiple power-centres, nonetheless constituted two immense pillars leaned head-to-head. By their sheer mass they preserved a static balance for many decades, and in their cool shadow and in the soft shy grass at their feet grew the life of a ever more-variegated world that was of next to no importance to the giant stones sheltering it all from above. Of course lots of that post-World War II vegetation proved in time to be nettle-beds and even scorpion-infested. But none of this mattered to the great giants locked in their slow-motion struggle overhead. Be that as it may, we, the baby-boom baby-bombers now 'in' power with utterly no morality beyond lunatic 'self-expression' and no preparation for real life, only a surfeit of advanced degrees, all preserve a longing for the old days and the certainty bred of a definite and predictable form of insecurity. Hence the unconscious blundering into the first major confrontation of the postmodern age. With China.
Now one must not suppose that much, or even any, of this can be adduced to mean the end of the modern age in itself; after all, the beginning of the end of the modern age, in politics at least, was in 1870, with the nationalist proclamation in Versailles of a german 'empire' internal to Europe. Therefore, one here is stating only a blinding glimpse of theobvious: The post-modern age is now well underway. But had events gone only slightly differently in the last part (1946-1989) of the short twentieth century, we could very readily have segued from one dance-partner to another, into a DIRECT continuation of Cold War, only now with China. That would have meant only a further prolongation of the end of the modern age in America, no more than that. Still, the result would have been that lingering modernist traces would now be rather more hale in their old age in America, and not just the aetiolated trope of a clique of overwrought and nationalist, 'neo-conservative', theorists. (I have written elsewhere that the passionate zionists and right-Republicans of this circle are foredoomed because they are fundamentally mistaken in serving with over-persistence a modernist agenda founded on now-outdated high-technological progress-belief. Also, their projected time-frame is off.) Modernism would be far more lively simply because of quasi-caucasian american racial fear of far asians, as I have argued previously :
In World War I young americans went to war enthusiastically for sake of a flawed Democrat party-idealism; but, after the butchery of the young that ensued in the first case, enlistment following Pearl Harbor was high only because the attackers were of a visibly different race. Racism was the key to World War II patriotism. Not wild talk of the 'Four Freedoms'. Indeed, american GI's were widely disgusted with the decision first to beat Germany. The enthusiasm for war would have been by no means unanimous had Hermann Goering done something stupid like order enough of his prototype 'New York' bombers built in order to air-raid Manhatten. In any case, the fact that japanese were the attackers was in itself a definitive sign of the ending in the twentieth century of the european modern age. In 1941, for the first time since the Mongol invasions of the twelve-hundreds, an asian power walked the world-boards.
Unlike the rag-bag of rat-bag 'islamic' terrorists that have been put together by the TeeVee networks and the right-Republican faction, americans at large view asians with more lively fear and less of the contempt reserved by self-absorbed onanists, and other 'spiritual' persons, for mere angrily religious people. This is a lingering legacy of Viet Nam-era TeeVee-journalism and even earlier Korean War-talk about 'gooks'. Intuitively, this racialist fear is a vague presentiment among common people of the ultimate meaninglessness and non-utility of our supplied surrogate passions, the ephemeridae of country-and-western 'luv', the 'internet' and professional (NB) sports-displays; the quasi-caucasian biomass apprehends its supercession. However, there are many points at which the world-shift from modernism could have been delayed further, even after Pearl Harbor. Here I am defining the longer rather than shorter survival of modernism as a reaction-formation to vague inklings of yet further asian advance. Had the sardonic and passionate, cramped and slightly malignant, but only self-destructive, Nixon not gone to Far Asia in 1972…. Had the United States at any point before 11 September 2001 missed a step in its long gavotte over Formosa…. Had we not found an opportunity with the new neo-con play-thing, nigger-Iraq, over twelve or fifteen years to conduct a series of operations with the mid-term goal (regarded by protagonists as long-term, a sure guarantee of failure) of discrediting the UN and thus partnership in general….
The hazard-points between the United States and China over the 1946-2001 period have been numerous. Any one of them, had it eventuated in a measure of overt conflict, would have given modernism a new life-lease. The most dangerous period in this short retrospect was the vacant Clinton-period, set like a kind of gummy jewel in the middle of 1989-2001. Then in ways that historians will only be able to work out in detail decades from now, decision was all in the hands of the men of Beijing. They actually had the world-initiative by default, and lacked only means, OR A VISION OF USE OF EXISTING MEANS. It is as simple as this: Had the leadership in Beijing by the luck of the draw been but a slightly-different temperamental mix, they might well have found a vision of use of existing means. And this much already is absolutely the case (I've studied enough Chinese to know the language allows one to think this way):
IT Is beyond certainty that today a wing or faction in the inmost circles in Beijing is revolving its model of the New Chinese Post-2035 Twenty-First Century.
THE Latent danger of 1989-2001 of course was only the greater since the United States government was in the toils of moral oneupmanship with the fading-away allies of Hither Europe, over Bosnia. This was mere idiocy and sheer self-distraction, not least because the air-staffs of all nations knew already what were the practical limits on bombardment as a decisive diplomatic tool. China, to anyone who can bear to think clearly, is the focal point of the next great collision in the world. Not the third-rate creations of our falsely-clever and too-numerous, rival, intelligence-services. Not Postmaster Milosevic and Senior Janitor Hussein and panzerfuehrer Sharon. This is because chinese economic and political life is both far more dynamic than our musing over their growth-figures can reveal directly to us; and, China is in 2003 a curious partial analogue of Prussia at the end of bonapartism in Europe. Fortunately for China, the analogy has the advantage of not being precise, and the chinese certainly are not having to come from as far behind as did the Prussia of 1816. Yet we all remember what a mischief these peaceful prussians of Sir Winston Churchill's were in a troubled Europe from 1870, only fifty-five years after Waterloo, to 1945, only fifty-eight years ago. Unlike Prussia on its european scale, China, by virtue of its only demi-analogous relation to Prussia at a similar growth-stage, but on a far-larger regional scale, has a much better chance than did Prussia. I will go further and say that on the facts China and the Far Asia culture-complex will be the centre of the world-dominant and guiding culture of the twenty-second century. China, unlike Prussia, will unite successfully the broad region of the East Pacific, and thus the whole ensemble will arrive at union in half the time it has taken Europe.
The whole structure of things now attests that the struggle with China is presently underway. I have already alluded to the fact that americans despise rather than fear 'islamic' terror-entertainments on their TeeVee's. Latent in that contempt is a real hatred for their own systems of public education and mass-media, all of which have come up with such a lamed picture of religion: The real hunger of the mass of humanity is for some semblance of hope beyond the vulgarisms of CAT-scans and organ-transplants and new SUV-styles. Contempt for religion on the part of the statistical mass, which cannot retain the human form without organised faith and proper hierarchy, is a tragic product of an earlier literary contempt for religion which, in the 1920's, was the preserve of public intellectuals such as H L Mencken. Now, contempt for religion, monadic consumer-individual scorn for any uniting social metaphor essentially, is the lifeblood of our insolent and ignorant, clientised, classes; the motor-court fundamentalists among these are an ageing minority and annually of less significance. Everyone else among the lower orders, and the rent-seekers who therapeutically define them all in return for subvention, abide in the toils of post-religious hyper-sexualisation, and corresponding bodily terror of old age, pain and lingering death. The pretentious claims of a so-called good god have long since been laid by formless materielist anxiety, prosperity's dark brother. In the depths of their glitter-eyed daily shopping-terror, everyone of the common people will, if pushed but slightly, express a bemused anger (NB) over the flood of chinese 'shit' at 'their' Wal-Mart store; but, if one says 'sand-niggers', these self-same people will all go on the broad grin, chortle and rub one another.
Thus it is in the midst of this confusion that in fact the new cold war has begun. I alluded above to unconsciousness, and so it may be that I am beating to death here a mere structural fact, namely that the new cold war is underway autonomously and automatically, unbeknownst to Mr Bush, Mr Powell and the zionists around them. Indeed, with the american leadership demonstrating the salience of its Unilateralist Preventative War Manifesto on the bodies of the much-abused denizens of their new-found nigger-Iraq, it is not unreasonable to point out that in effect a kind of display-war is underway; and, for Beijing's benefit. That is certainly the heart of the matter structurally; and, it is precisely the case to the extent that post-modern american war-theory must needs of its own logic now make a SERIES of virtuoso displays–all for the edification of Far Asia. Whatever else may be its results, the disconcerting effect on observers whose reeling un-even economy is growing at an unprecedented eight per cent or better per annum is surely considerable.
On another level, of course, one hopes that Messrs Perle and Wolfowitz et al are not thinking overmuch of China in their calculus to seize control of the next twenty-odd years of power in the CFR dream-world. If they have much more of an idea of China's salience than they are letting on presently, then there is no hope whatever for the palestinians, whose only hope is America. This is all the more the case in the New Unilateralist Age. If now, after the heavily-weighted 'victory' in the right-Republican's nigger-Iraq, Mr Bush and Mr Powell were simply to issue a few direct orders to the secret pork-eaters Arafat and Sharon, THAT would be historical genius and a measured display of real and confident, reliable, authority. It should be well within the capacity of a true solo 'superpower' (and 'Israel's' underwriter) to simply hand it to the right-zionists, and exactly in Mr Edward Said's terms:
There will be no more flummery about these palestinian bantustans, you odious semites one-and-all have an enormous civil-rights problem, and you will henceforth accord equal rights under law to all persons living in this swindle-Israel of yours. And if you do not, then there will be no more rubber bullets for your thingy-guns. QED.
Of course this is not likely to happen, and I will spare readers any rubbish about a domestic jewish claque or lobby or 'conspiracy'. History shows conclusively that anger, fear, greed, lust, laziness and stupidity for practical purposes trump ALWAYS wily schemes and so-called 'secrets'. The simple fact is that to order 'Israel' to can the faeces and bring in civil rights for all within their boundaries would cut arabian terror-outrages to a startled fraction; and, that would not be good for the projected plans to rehearse to the world on the bodies of yet more arabs America's new-found macht. Secondly, Mr Ariel Sharon's predecessors no doubt long ago let America and Britain know in no un-certain terms that, if ever we try to put over Whig democracy on 'Israel' in the same way that we are shoving it off on these iraqiyya coons, then Tel Aviv has an appointment of longstanding with the authorities in…Beijing. It is this sort of difficulty with allies that Messrs Perle and Wolfowitz after all have been yodelling about for years.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 14 April 2003]