Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I disagree. The Vietnam war had ramifications that we are still living with. It was the of an era. I am not going to claim that it was the event that signified the break from modernity to post-modernity, but it clearly had its influence on the intellectuals of the time.

As with Iraq, this was more evident on the edges of the US hegemony.

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:37:54 AM EST
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It was the <end> of an era.

Preview is your friend...

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 04:46:36 AM EST
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You have a valid point. Michel Crozier, in his Le mal américain, made the case that America's decline began with its Vietnam adventure. I should have said that whatever damage Vietnam caused to US hegemony, Bush II's war is much worse.

I am not going to go into the issue of "the break from modernity to post-modernity". In my view, all post-modernity is is the working through of English speaking intellectuals of the fact that the Anglophone world had not actually achieved a feasible realization of modernity.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 05:15:18 AM EST
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I am afraid I do not understand what you mean by your last sentence. Could you elaborate a bit further?

As for my own opinion on post-modernity, I see it as both a relatively elitist intellectual discourse (which I am not dismissing however), as well as a fitting marker for the changing nature of western societies, away from "mass" society, ie. mass communication, mass production, top down control, etc.

by Trond Ove on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 05:28:11 AM EST
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Sorry I was being intentionally cryptic. What I had in mind is that there is nothing new in the discourse of "post-modernity": German philosophy had gone through all of that before Hegel. In fact, Hegel's philosophy was a response to precisely those problems that are now described as "post-modernity".

Anglophone philosophy was never able to provide a response to modernity that satisfies human beings' spiritual needs. Unfortunately, with World War I, British intellectuals (Bertrand Russell most influentially) rejected the only philosophy that was able to provide an adequate response—German idealism—even though before the war, German philosophy was very influential in Britain. (Russell was initially a Hegelian.) That's what I was getting at.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Sat Jan 13th, 2007 at 05:54:16 AM EST
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America's decline began in Vietnam?  America's strength has almost unimaginably since 'Nam.  What are you on about?

My main critique of the "America in Decline" talk is this: Seven years ago, America was spitting out 4% growth per year.  The poverty rate was falling.  The bubble popped, but the damage was, on the whole, quite minor.  (As I've pointed out, time after time, America never technically suffered a recession.)  Now, seven years later, America is -- somehow -- in some sort of great decline.  The British Empire fell, but life ain't too bad in Blighty these days.  The "declining empire" spin becomes quite weak when you actually look at the big picture.

Is there economic damage that has been done?  Of course.  We've wasted an enormous chunk of money -- to say nothing of lives -- in Iraq.  $500bn over four years.  But try to keep in mind that tis is less than one twenty-sixth of one year's output.  Give me a break.  America could pull out of Iraq tomorrow, raise taxes to balance the budget, and be in better shape than ever.

There is no great symbolism in losing in Iraq.  This has nothing to do with projecting power.  America could blow the entire region off the planet in a matter of hours if it chose to.  Bush launched a half-assed effort in an idiotic war.  That's it.  Trying to depict this loss as being a sign of America's decline borders on the religious in its objectivity.

I mean no offense, whatsoever, to you, Alexander, so all due apologies if any is taken, but it's simply ridiculous.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jan 14th, 2007 at 10:03:14 PM EST
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Why do you think the neocons launched their PNAC plan to lock-in American hegemony forever? They are terrified. The whole PNAC idea is to use military power to compensate for decline.

The US manufacturing base has been disappearing since the middle 1970s. It is a neoclassical myth that you can run a large, modern economy on services alone, through the magic of comparative advantage. The middle class is disappearing. Most American parents with children still living with them are resigned to the fact that their children will have a lower standard of living than their parents did. The US is having a harder and harder time of keeping its allies (other than the UK and Japan) in line and a whole geographical region (Latin America) is slipping out of its sphere of influence. What is that if not decline?

The simple fact that the US political system could produce no better administration than the incompetent, predatory Bush administration—and could not even do so legally—shows that the system is in decline.

All empires decline sooner or later. The PNAC idea of an eternal empire is a Chimera, like the Nazi's thousand year Reich.

But this is not the place to discuss this issue. If the question of whether the US is in decline or not has not been diaried here, it should be.

A bomb, H bomb, Minuteman / The names get more attractive / The decisions are made by NATO / The press call it British opinion -- The Three Johns

by Alexander on Sun Jan 14th, 2007 at 11:22:47 PM EST
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