Monday, June 19, 2023

A shift of class power to whom?
Finally, if it is abstract and ahistorical to ignore this wider agenda behind the IRA that makes it more than merely the continuation of derisking in another guise, it is abstract and ahistorical also to ignore the remarkable fusion within the Biden administration between economic policy and the national security state. As Grey Anderson points out in a brilliant contribution in Sidecar, it is a sign of the times that the programmatic statement on economic policy of the Biden administration should be made by the National Security Advisor. Meanwhile, the Treasury Secretary gives speeches on economic relations with China, framed by the question of whether the two countries can avoid war. And the connection runs all the way down the hierarchy. Last week Jigar Shah, of the Department of Energy, tweeted out an image of Rosie the Riveter framed by wind turbines, with an appeal for Americans of today to emulate the greatest generation, who in a matter of a few short years turned American from a military non-valeur into the greatest superpower the world has ever seen.
Shah was tweeting the cover article in The New Republic by Bill McKibben, from September 2016 
"A World at War: We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII."
Rosie is drawn like a character out of PRC propaganda, and her face is Asian. It's hard to say if the illustrator was editorializing, or if he's just more familiar with Asian graphics. And Tooze doesn't mention or link to McKibben's piece. 

Streeck's reply to Tooze in the LRB
Adam Tooze’s outpouring is material for a future anatomy of the class rhetoric of faux cosmopolitanism as it flourishes among a soul-searching urban-academic middle class in the post-Brexit moment (LRB, 5 January). Those of us who do not meet the demanding standards of universalist utopianism can find solace in the fact that when it comes to earthly matters, even the inhabitants of the moral high ground have in the past shown a sense of healthy pragmatism, for example by abstaining from calling for Britain to join the European Monetary Union or the Dublin or Schengen agreements, making one suspect that they, too, distinguish between different institutional constructions of Europeanism or globalism, and between different national needs and interests in relation to them.

My comment on Tooze's post

"we have to imagine a shift in the balance of class power". Yes, a massive increase in the power of technocratic leadership. That has nothing to do with democracy, which is why China leads the green transition.

The EU was designed by an elite playing lip service to democracy while feeding itself, liberals believing their own lies while the poor and the periphery suffer. The leaders of the PRC have no interest in democracy but they like stability, and they worry about the people they rule. Honest realism carries a moral weight; idealism and hypocrisy not so much. 

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