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Author Topic: Our Similarity with the Pre-WWI Period  (Read 29 times)
BobK71
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June 08, 2018, 02:19:32 PM
 #1

Today's inspiration comes from this piece about how antagonistic nationalism, a new method of mass communications, hard-ball international politics, etc. produced a terrible war, and might produce another.

I would like to look even deeper.

While the 1900s were at the end of the First Age of Globalization, we can argue that we're near the end of the Second.  Both periods of globalization amount to efforts by a declining global empire to continue to prop up the value of its issued money by shifting production to cheap-labor countries.  If you can buy cheap goods with paper pound sterling or dollars, you have confidence in the monies' value.

And the blow-back from that effort was the rise of a less-than-friendly rival power.  Back then, it was Germany.  Today it's China.

Antagonistic nationalism is a natural product of the end of a financial bubble.  While the elites of all countries jointly profited during the growth phase of globalization, the later fragility of the bubble meant these elites must now share the pain.  How to allocate pain becomes an endless international struggle, as witnessed by surface-level stories of conflicts over North Korea, the South China Sea, trade wars, etc.

Which brings us to the mass media and its reportage of reality, or lack thereof.  Before World War I, hatred of imperial Germany was fanned pretty effectively by a British media tycoon.  In this thought-provoking piece investor philosopher Ben Hunt argues that we humans are hard-wired to happily accept simplifying narratives of reality (that he calls 'memes' and 'the common-knowledge game.')  And the elites know this.  (This would explain why the US media covered the Russian/Assad atrocities in Syria more readily than the US/Saudi ones in Yemen at the same time.)

It's perhaps not surprising that the mass media and national rivalries reinforce each other to bring about a toxic cocktail of prewar conditions.

In my opinion, all of this is just politics and deception that are fueled by an increasingly fragile global financial bubble.  I would not get emotionally attached to the argument of any set of elites.  Let them fight their battles but keep us out of the war.  In the end, as they always say, just follow the money, and you'll find the truth.
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Hydrogen
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June 13, 2018, 04:06:04 AM
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Good post. Would +merit if I had any left.   Smiley

Today's inspiration comes from this piece about how antagonistic nationalism, a new method of mass communications, hard-ball international politics, etc. produced a terrible war, and might produce another.

I would like to look even deeper.

While the 1900s were at the end of the First Age of Globalization, we can argue that we're near the end of the Second.  Both periods of globalization amount to efforts by a declining global empire to continue to prop up the value of its issued money by shifting production to cheap-labor countries.  If you can buy cheap goods with paper pound sterling or dollars, you have confidence in the monies' value.

And the blow-back from that effort was the rise of a less-than-friendly rival power.  Back then, it was Germany.  Today it's China.

Antagonistic nationalism is a natural product of the end of a financial bubble.  While the elites of all countries jointly profited during the growth phase of globalization, the later fragility of the bubble meant these elites must now share the pain.  How to allocate pain becomes an endless international struggle, as witnessed by surface-level stories of conflicts over North Korea, the South China Sea, trade wars, etc.

Which brings us to the mass media and its reportage of reality, or lack thereof.  Before World War I, hatred of imperial Germany was fanned pretty effectively by a British media tycoon.  In this thought-provoking piece investor philosopher Ben Hunt argues that we humans are hard-wired to happily accept simplifying narratives of reality (that he calls 'memes' and 'the common-knowledge game.')  And the elites know this.  (This would explain why the US media covered the Russian/Assad atrocities in Syria more readily than the US/Saudi ones in Yemen at the same time.)

It's perhaps not surprising that the mass media and national rivalries reinforce each other to bring about a toxic cocktail of prewar conditions.

In my opinion, all of this is just politics and deception that are fueled by an increasingly fragile global financial bubble.  I would not get emotionally attached to the argument of any set of elites.  Let them fight their battles but keep us out of the war.  In the end, as they always say, just follow the money, and you'll find the truth.

Its a shame no one bothered to reply to this. I think you covered everything. Whether today or a century ago, elites may attempt to spin negative circumstances revolving around class warfare into racial conflicts. Today we see this agenda being pushed in the form of white privilege, cultural appropriation, the soft bigotry of low expectations and other pseudo academic abstracts.

Their divide and conquer methodology may be designed to splinter demographics by gender, race sexual orientation and other differences. Conflicts which serve no useful purpose and distract from legitimate concerns. We see a bombardment of media encouraging indoctrination along these lines.

BobK71
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June 18, 2018, 06:32:58 PM
 #3

Good post. Would +merit if I had any left.   Smiley

...

Its a shame no one bothered to reply to this. I think you covered everything. Whether today or a century ago, elites may attempt to spin negative circumstances revolving around class warfare into racial conflicts. Today we see this agenda being pushed in the form of white privilege, cultural appropriation, the soft bigotry of low expectations and other pseudo academic abstracts.

Their divide and conquer methodology may be designed to splinter demographics by gender, race sexual orientation and other differences. Conflicts which serve no useful purpose and distract from legitimate concerns. We see a bombardment of media encouraging indoctrination along these lines.

Thank you.  I'm of the opinion that if one person reads some key fact, who knows how the effects may spread.  We're not really powerless, especially since this battle is not defined between total victory or defeat, but has many possibilities in between.

And it looks like you might be that person!

IMO a major part of the whole racial politics is driven by the necessary change of fundamental narrative at the top of the world system.  The power of Pax Britannia was in large part supported by the myth of the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon.  Since America is much more diverse, this idea can no longer help much to support a money bubble, but might actually be counter-productive.  So we have a 180 degree shift from WASP superiority to racial equality.  Average people have been caught in a severe case of whiplash.
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