Porfirio is out, Madero is in, but he has the same problem: how to stop the invincible peasant revolution now in motion? And the answer is, he can’t! Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata take the capital, but the seeds of their downfall and of their glorious peasant revolution are already laid. Part 2 of our miniseries on the Mexican Revolution.
The Mexican Revolution was an extraordinary event in 20th century history. In part 1 of our miniseries on the revolution we give the background from the Mexican-American war to the end of the quarter decade of Porfirio Diaz. The class balance of forces leading to the revolution and the dramatic events. We also talk about the main book Justin is using, Adolfo Gilly’s La Revolucion Interrumpida, written by an Argentinian-Mexican revolutionary in a Mexican prison! The intro and outro music for this episode is the Mexican Revolutionary song, La Cucaracha, performed by the Castilians. Listen to it at archive.org: https://archive.org/details/78_la-cucaracha-the-mexican-cockroach-song_the-castilians-stanley-adams_gbia0004379
We talk about the fearsome dreadnought, the race to build it, the Le Queax novels that were the Red Dawn of the 19th century, the Heartland theory of history, and conclude our discussion of the naval race. The tensions are getting high…
Carl Zha is back and I try to explain to him the hysteria of the accusations by the CSIS leaker in Canada of Chinese electoral interference. He can’t find a word of it in Chinese media which leads to the horrible possibility that Canada doesn’t matter very much to China. I try to explain to him what has been going on in the Canadian media and he reminds us that Australia has been concocting the same story – anonymous intelligence sources using the media to create a scandal around supposed Chinese electoral interference – since 2017. It’s hard to take seriously, so we don’t.
Part 1 of 2 on the Anglo-German Naval Race. We start with a modern theorist, Paul Kennedy, and his thesis that industrial power translates to military power. Then some earlier imperialist theorists we’ve mentioned before: Mahan and Mackinder, who Justin finally read. Then, the practitioners of naval power, Admiral Tirpitz on the German side and Fisher on the English. The first of two parts on the Anglo-German Naval Race leading up to WW1.
Back with Stan Cox on the environmental file. Stan’s written a dispatch on the Farm Bill. How the 5-year Farm Bills used to have consensus but how even that might be breaking, and then we talk about Wes Jackson’s ideas about a 50-year farm bill, thinking on the scale we probably need to be thinking on…
I’m joined by Dock Currie with another episode on the gift that keeps on giving, the CSIS-leaking China panic in Canadian politics. We talk about the recent walk-back from the most ridiculous allegations against Han Dong, the pivot to more aggressive demonization of China in Canadian culture starting in 2018, the Meng Wanzhou case and where things are headed. Dock is an articling student in BC and on twitter at Dock_Currie
Waqas is back to keep us up to date on the Imran Khan file. The entire Pakistan establishment is united in trying to keep Imran Khan from returning to power in an election through court cases, violent repression, and electoral delay; but the people’s protests don’t seem to stop. Pakistan and Imran Khan at an impasse. Waqas also presents his new research on how the coup unfolded last year.
Sina’s back to talk to me about my latest Substack article, “Multiculturalism is over in Canada. It’s back to Sinophobia.” It’s about the scandal unfolding in the Canadian media since Fife & Chase broke their anonymous CSIS-leak-sourced story about Chinese interference in Canadian elections in February. I’m worried about racist incitement and scandal-mongering. Sina thinks I’m worrying too much.
First we announce Civ Books, where you can buy some of the best Civilizations Podcast transcripts in hard copy. Then, we reveal two of the most long-standing geopolitical disagreements that Dave and Justin have hitherto unresolved: one on the rights and wrongs of the Yugoslav war of 1999, and the other on the status of Russia in its neighbourhood. Do these affect the way we interpret events on things like the 1908 Balkan Crisis, when Serbia and Austria-Hungary almost started it all off? Perhaps it does. After our declarations of bias we talk about the unfolding of the crisis, how Bismarck would have handled it differently, how Lenin saw it all as theatrics to make socialists take their eyes off the prize, and how it all ended up leaving everyone learning the wrong lessons.