How did Janan Ganesh miss the birth of ‘The New Cold War’, on 4 Fronts? Old Socialist ponders the question…

The New Cold War is already here! The ‘Enemies’ are Russia, China and Iran, with a minor, but pivotal role, for North Korea. Mr. Ganesh writes ‘as if’ this doesn’t constitute the present political reality. Joe Biden’s choices of Blinken, Powers, Wendy Sherman,Victoria Nuland, Jake Sullivan, Jon Finer are, if not the same shopworn technocrats, share the same views of Obama Clinton coterie, who control the New Democratic Party.  

See The Rand Blog: 

https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/for-joe-biden-an-experienced-foreign-policy-team.html

I was pondering, over the long holiday weekend,in America, how much I missed Ganesh’s telling aphorisms, that flow from his pen, like the dialogue in the plays of Oscar Wilde: to be savored in the moment, as the play continues its forward momentum. Instead I confronted with a maladroit pastiche of Machiavelli’s Prince.

These shadows of Ganesh’s talent:

None of the other answers to the nation’s disunity is even faintly adequate. Better-regulated social media, more competitive congressional districts: these reforms are sensible on their own terms. But the mismatch between the depth of the problem and the fiddliness of the solutions is the definition of bathos.

Because they give up so much to acquire power, politicians tend to overrate how much policy can ever achieve against structural and historical forces. The US did not enter an age of discord because of some technical faults in its political system. It will not escape the mire by fixing them.

https://www.ft.com/content/de6a5d8d-3745-4b07-96ff-0a0d59380f9e

Then he lapses into the prescriptive:how must the Enemy ‘be’ to meet the needs of the Hegemon? The quotation from Georgi Arbatov, almost acts as a compensation for the absent aphoristic Ganesh!

“We are going to do a terrible thing to you,” Georgi Arbatov, the Soviet adviser, is said to have told an American audience in the 1980s. “We are going to deprive you of an enemy.”

For the inquiring reader, look to ‘ Voices of Glasnost: Gorbachev’s Reformers Speak’ by Stephen F. Cohen, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, for an enlightening set of interviews with the reformers.

Old Socialist

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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