Cold War Winners and Losers


Dana Milbank, It’s Official. We Lost the Cold War.

David Atkins begs to differ: The United States Didn’t Lose the Cold War. Racist Plutocrats Won It. He writes,

This is extremely misguided, and ironically plays right into Trump’s Westphalian nationalist worldview. It ignores historical and ideological context. And it convenient forgets how Putin rose to power, what his interests are, why they align perfectly with Trump’s, and how bipartisan American policy toward Russia led us to this pass. …

It was unsurprising … that a Russian government aligned with racist, sexist and plutocratic principles would find an easy friend in Donald Trump and the American Republican Party. They are natural allies. It is less that America became Russia’s client state, than that the conservative movements in both America and Russia made a semi-secret criminal global compact that neither could acknowledge publicly. Since Trump’s election, their wealthy patriarchal white supremacist movement has sought and encouraged allies in Britain, Europe, Brazil and elsewhere, seeking to align the world against socially inclusive economic progressivism in favor of plutocratic ethnonationalism. …

It didn’t happen because a nation-state called America allowed itself to be controlled by a nation-state called Russia. It happened because American insistence on corrupted privatization policy destabilized an entire country and threw it into the arms of an ethnonationlist right-wing dictator. Then that dictator used his influence to put a would-be right-wing ethnonationlist dictator in charge of America itself–an eventuality that the Republican Party of right-wing ethnonationalism accepted with scarcely a whimper, and now seeks aggressively to defend.

America does not need a renewal of jingoistic Cold War sentiment against Russia. It needs to reject both the economic and social agenda that brought both countries to their knees in an unholy alliance.

Aardvark’s Animadversion

I think what Atkins has to say is thought-provoking. (That would be why I quoted him, right?) But I think that our plutocracy is not as monolithic as he depicts it. I believe there are sensible elements of our plutocracy. By “sensible” I do not mean morally admirable; I mean, instead, able and willing to act in their own amoral self-interest. It is they who will save the day, if it is to be saved, and who will consign Donald J. Trump to the dustbin of history. William P. Barr, Esquire, anyone?

But of course I could be wrong. In which case we are well and truly fucked.