Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Superpower Illusion

Leslie Gelb is writing editorials for the New York Times on the international chess match.  In The New Anti-American Axis he colors in the traditional narrative of super military and economic world powers who engage in endless positioning for power, control and influence.

This new approach appears based in part on a sense of their growing strength relative to America and their increasing emphasis on differences over issues like Syria. Both Moscow and Beijing oppose the principle of international action to interfere in a country’s sovereign affairs, much less overthrow a government, as happened in Libya in 2011. After all, that principle could always backfire on them.
This is a useful narrative for those who benefit from the status quo, and have neither the will nor the imagination to embrace a better world.  Gelb concludes his discourse with a formula for continuing the balance of powers with a careful combination of force and diplomacy.

What he seems oblivious to is the limited relevance of this discourse.

Noam Chomsky discussed the limitations of this view in his speech at the American University in Beirut last month.

Surveying the terrible conflicts in the world, it’s clear that almost all are the residue of imperial crimes and the borders that the great powers drew in their own interests.
The worldview of the oligarchs who peddle special interest for capitalists and state militaries through consolidated media is crumbling from the force of the new social media and the internet.

Gelb and his ilk in the NSA, the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Monetary Fund have not grasped the futility of their efforts to control public consciousness, which they still consider to be, "public opinion."

But the collapse of the traditional human consciousness is manifest in historical events such as the approach of Voyager I to the wider reaches of interstellar space and the Milky Way, leaving the solar system as the first known artificial object to ever do so. 

Events in the Arab world, Asia and South America have recently bespoken in the loudest clarion terms wholesale rejection of the traditional state power alignments, and the inability of unpopular governments to sustain a grip on populations striving for progress via a new consciousness born of the cyber information age.

There's even discussion in the mainstream, corporate media of the futility of nuclear weapons, though the power centers in the nuclear-armed nations haven't awoken to the reality of such weapons' obsolescence.  

The clash of greatest import will not be among the great powers of old, rattling weapons they can only use for destructive purposes, but between the minds of old power structure and the consciousness that strives to bring all of humanity into a new reality of progress, together, with an unshakeable equality spelled out in the distant but ever-nearer galaxies where humanity prepares to take the baby step of its first stellar footfall.

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