- Hayekian evolutionism and omitting the nation-state Scott Boykin, JLS
- Progress by consent: Adam Smith was right all along William Easterly, RAE
- Greater Britain or Greater Synthesis? Imperial debates (pdf) Daniel Deudney, RIS
- Bloodletting Whitney Curry Wimbish, North American Review
The sight of the U.S.-trained and equipped Afghan army literally melting away over a matter of hours in the face of the Taliban assault would be bad enough; the scenes of Afghans falling hundreds of feet to their deaths as they tried to escape in the wheel wells of U.S. transport planes will endure for decades as a reminder of America’s shame.
[…] In the Israeli-Palestinian context, a number of unsurprising lines of argument have emerged. The most prevalent from the right is that this is the latest demonstration of the folly of withdrawing from territory, as it only leads to a security nightmare that will be exploited by fundamentalist terrorist groups. Afghanistan is seen as an incarnation of Israel’s experience in Gaza, where Israel withdrew and left the territory in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, only to have Hamas take over within two years and remain stubbornly resistant to being dislodged nearly fifteen years later. The Taliban’s success on the literal heels of departing American soldiers is viewed as a preview of coming attractions for Hamas’s allegedly inevitable takeover of the West Bank should Israel ever leave the territory.
There is much more from Michael Koplow at Ottomans & Zionists. Is the Israeli Right correct? The same type of disasters happened when the French and the British (and the Dutch) were forced out of their imperial possessions after World War II. The Americans, and their European predecessors, built “states: out of their colonies. These states helped locals who wanted to be helped, but these states were always weak and wholly dependent on the imperial capital for everything. Once imperial powers leave, the weaknesses of these “states” become apparent quickly. Thus, communists, Islamists, and other despotisms quickly arise in the wake of imperial exit. To make matters worse, these despotisms employ the weak “states” the imperial powers leave behind.
This is a pattern that has happened now for two centuries. This is a problem of modernity, of industrial humanity.
Here’s the thing. Here’s the libertarian alternative. It’s time to recognize that Western governance is pretty good, comparatively speaking, and helps people get out of poverty (intellectual as well as financial) if they want to. The “states” Western powers create are weak. I think the libertarian alternative should be to stop trying to make these “states” stronger, or give them more capacity as sovereigns, and instead incorporate these states into their own body politics via federation. This would address the areas where Western-created “states” are weak, such as in security/defense of sovereignty, or corruption, while also leaving open the effects that Western governance has had on these societies that have been experimented upon. All those Afghans wanting to flee has made an impression on me. I think federation is a good compromise between state sovereignty and individual freedom.
- That brutal uncivilizer of nations (pdf) Jens Bartelson, CAL
- “[…] the Taliban, who have long made international recognition and legitimacy a priority.“
- The end of the interstate system (pdf) Giovanni Arrighi, JW-SR
- Habsburgs, Ottomans, and British anti-slavers (pdf) Allison Frank, AHR
- Albert Camus and imperial nostalgia Oliver Gloag (interview), Jacobin
- The true meaning of Christmas is a cozy American worldview Paul Musgrave, Foreign Policy
- The Christmas truce of 1914 Joseph Eanett, War on the Rocks
- Is cord-cutting still worth it? Stephen Silver, 19FortyFive
- Nietzsche in the Frankfurt School Sid Simpson, JHIBlog
- The problem of prosocial lying in the economics profession George DiMartino, Duck of Minerva
- Drunks and democrats Vaughn Scribner, Aeon
- The intimacies of four continents (podcast) Disorder of Things collective
- The political economy of U.S. Territories and Indian Country (pdf) Rachel Wellhausen, PS: Political Science & Politics
- The U.S. Empire, the Surveillance State, and the Imperial Boomerang Connor Woodman, Verso
- Unpacking the Sino-American relationship Paul Poast, War on the Rocks
- Worlds without nation-states: Five scenarios for the long term (pdf) Andreas Wimmer, Nations and Nationalism
We explore the consequences of ethnic partitioning, a neglected aspect of the Scramble for Africa, and uncover the following. First, apart from the land mass and water bodies, split and non-split groups are similar across several dimensions. Second, the incidence, severity, and duration of political violence are all higher for partitioned homelands which also experience frequent military interventions from neighboring countries. Third, split groups are often entangled in a vicious circle of government-led discrimination and ethnic wars. Fourth, respondents from survey data identifying with split ethnicities are economically disadvantaged. The evidence highlights the detrimental repercussions of the colonial border design.
This is from Stelios Michalopoulos and Elias Papaioannou, in the American Economic Review.
Is there a way of out this quagmire for Africa? The status quo, with its multilateral institutions, doesn’t seem to be working (perhaps because multilateral institutions have been grafted on to the old imperial structures), and colonialism-slash-imperialism started this problem to begin with.
- Israel’s annexation plans and the United States Michael Koplow, Ottomans & Zionists
- Opium: from vice to crime in European empires Diana Kim, Aeon
- An interview with John Stuart Mill Jason Brennan, 200-Proof Liberals
- Is the left reclaiming freedom and anti-statism from the right? Chris Dillow, Stumbling & Mumbling