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Ongoing wars and conflict resolution, international agreements or lack thereof. Nationhood, secessionist movements, national 'home' government versus internationalist trends and globalisation.

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By quetzalcoatl
#14504522
If you really want to play the Great Game of empire, then it only makes sense to do it in a way that best serves your interests. Mahan's thinking has not had a lasting impact, mainly due to an evolution away from the nation-state as the central determinant of how we define interest. We play the game now to subvert our own national interest. This seems quite puzzling at first glance, until one accepts the fact that national interest is the last thing on the minds of the transnational elite.

A more realistic view of 21st century IR would follow from an analysis something like this:

Global Capitalism Theory and the Emergence of Transnational Elites

National elites have experienced a new fractionation. Emergent transnationally-oriented elites grounded in globalized circuits of accumulation compete with older nationally-oriented elites grounded in more protected and often state-guided national and regional circuits. Nationally-oriented elites are often dependent on the social reproduction of at least a portion of the popular and working classes for the reproduction of their own status, and therefore on local development processes however so defined, whereas transnationally-oriented elites are less dependent on such local social reproduction. The shift in dominant power relations from nationally- to transnationally-oriented elites is reflected in a concomitant shift to a discourse from one that defines development as national industrialization and expanded consumption to one that defines it in terms of global market integration.

Thus US military power is transformed into the enforcement arm of an integrated international economic order. The emerging elite is less dependent on national populations, and therefore less beholden to them. The civic polity can be seen as irrelevant, as long as public opinion can be successfully managed (and from all appearances, it does seem to be managed quite well). The true struggle will be between the transnational elites of the west and the nation-state powers of the east (whose capitalist transformation has not yet subverted the state).

Oddly, capitalism has taken up the banner of the internationale, while nominally communist states are trying to rescue the fallen banner of nationalism.
By Oberon
#14528249
quetzalcoatl wrote:Oddly, capitalism has taken up the banner of the internationale, while nominally communist states are trying to rescue the fallen banner of nationalism.


The vast improvements in transportation and speeds and ease of training for operating modern industrial machinery has created a vast new opportunty for labor racketeering on a global scale, yes. 'Communist' states are the most corrupt and militarized so they make natural partners for labor racketeers. Not at all odd, really.

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