On October 30, Lula was elected to the presidency after surviving a political persecution that threw him behind bars and kept him from running in 2018, paving the way for Bolsonaro’s disastrous term. Brazilian scholar-activist Diana Aguiar is back to answer questions like: is Lula’s government coup-proof? What will he be able to do in power? What will the right-wing do out of power? What happens in the region and what’s Brazil’s role in the world going to be in the next four years?
Reading Corelli Barnett, David Cannadine, and others, our stop today on the pre-WWI Europe tour is Britain, which has reached the very heights of world domination only to discover that they are being out-innovated and out-educated by rising imperial rivals. While social imperialists begged for consolidation of the white Anglosphere, a strategy given the old college try, it wasn’t to be. How the British system went into decline and the role it played in causing WWI, in this episode of WW Civ.
In this long episode we ask the question: what in the intellectualism of the early 20th century may have contributed to the climate that led to WW1? After reading Losurdo’s long book about Nietzsche, Justin does a deep dive into Nietzschean thinking about Great Men and genius and mediocrity; Dave covers militarism and nationalism; Justin comes back with some history on the 2nd International and the widespread belief in the inevitability of socialism; and we talk about the dual beliefs that war was inevitable and that war was impossible — and how they both contributed to the war happening.
Stan Cox is back for In Real Time episode 7, where we track the climate crisis and do other environmental talk. Stan reports back from some interviews he did with activists who are working locally on the climate crisis as we head towards two touchstones in November – the COP 27 conference in Egypt, from which nothing much is likely to emerge; and the November US elections, from which not much good can be expected either. And a bit from me about connections between neocolonialism and environmental destruction.
How do you turn a local conflict into a world war? Create an intricate set of alliances that guarantees it! Dave takes us on a tour of the construction of the alliance system from the Emperors’ Leagues to the Congress of Berlin to the Triple Alliance to the Reinsurance Treaty and more. How British and Bismarckian Balance-of-Power games made things so balanced that they could only collapse, in our second episode on the causes of WW1.
CO2 pipelines are proof of the principle that “the greatest source of problems is solutions”. Stan Cox is back to shoot down the notion that CO2 pipelines are going to save us. Justin, meanwhile, has finally read Rachel Carson’s 1962 classic Silent Spring, which as an environmental prof he should have read decades ago. Find out who’s fighting the pipelines to nowhere and what Rachel Carson had to say about the human liver, in September’s dispatch.
The Scramble for Africa is over. Greedy European powers can now only expand at one another’s expense. Du Bois and Lenin both thought this made a big European war inevitable. But others at the time thought it impossible. After two years we are ready to begin the 20th century with something your history classes never fail to discuss – the causes of World War 1. And so we begin the new series, World War Civ, which will include WW1, the Interwar period, WW2, and the aftermath, which will be followed by our Civilizations:Decolonization series – but that will be a while, so relax and get ready for World War Civ.
Democracy means “the people rule”. But do the people rule in the “democratic” systems that form governments all over the world? Are these democratic governments less repressive or authoritarian than those without the democratic certification? And does the democratic system of frequent multiparty elections deliver the developmental goods?
Talking to Vik Sohonie, former journalist who runs the grammy-award nominated Ostinato Records, about why Democracy (TM) fails the Global South.
An update on the unfolding post-coup in Pakistan. Talking to Waqas Ahmad again about the threat to arrest Imran Khan, the remarkable result of the election in Punjab where PTI won 15/20 seats, the arrest and torture of Shehbaz Gill and many others, the articles in the NYT and Time Magazine about how the coup government’s repression might be backfiring, and more.
At the peak of global colonialism no island however small was exempted from European greed. We conclude our Scramble for Oceania series with the scrambles for the many islands in the Pacific. Many of these are still colonies today, given names like “special overseas territory” to hide the fact. ALSO: I’m trying to do loudness normalization so hopefully the listening experience is improved.