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Interesting debate on Open Democracy about war last month (first piece here, response here and original author ripostes here). The author of the second piece comprehensively misses the point that the author of the first and third pieces is trying to make, an illustration of how difficult it is to have a sensible discussion of this topic.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2006 12:25 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I'm certainly all for understanding the rationality behind wars, and the economic and political processes - some of which may indeed be positive - that they engender. I think Cramer does in the first article seem to be suggesting that the 'primitive accumulation' and 'class formation' that wars can bring about are a good thing - I think he clarifies this somewhat in his riposte. I think in the the first aricle he's not entirely clear about what he's actually getting at, which makes the sort of misunderstandings displayed in the second article quite natural.
Nov. 17th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
Perhaps I use a different values set, but I appear to comprehensively miss the first piece's points as well.

It seems to me that insofar as there are rational underpinnings to a conflict, and that there are positive as well as negative outcomes, too often, the sort of violence we are seeing these days does not have this 'cauldron of creation.' Case in point: Somali warlords and their indigenous mechanically engineered 'technicals' has not spurred on a domestic growth industry that stands on its own (an echo of American Civil War industrialism, say) ... in large part due to the low-cost dumping of effective military technology by MDCs.

Likewise, what of the social creation that can result from these conflicts? The US Civil War prized open a whole universe of social justice previously limited (nevermind that another hundred years of lynchings, beatings, and exile would continue before another 'moment of truth' arose; crushing indigenous resistance and identity in the process as well) - but all too often, we don't see the level of organization coalescing to shift into post-conflict governance, even when high-minded principles are in play. Case in point: the Taleban - importantly successful unifers of a war-torn land, they were unable to shift from thuggery to governance, and so came repression and a violence that fed on itself.

Also, should it come to it - will a post-civilwar Burma without its repressive junta, probably scarred by the experience, be the sought for solution in that Buddhist country?

No, too few leashes, too little follow-up on today's areas of violence for me to find much constructive good in it.
Nov. 18th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
May I ask you about what you think of OpenDemocracy?

(More info in an email, if you like)
Nov. 18th, 2006 08:42 am (UTC)
I find them a) professional in their dealings with people who write for the site and b) authoritative in that they pick the right people and topics in my particular area of interest. I write this with some guilt because they asked me for an article a while ago which I never got round to writing.

But feel free to email me if there's stuff you think I should know!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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