In 2013, the institutions of the Cold War still exist, but the coalition behind them is showing signs of serious wear and tear. Americans no longer support war reflexively, and no longer wish to pay for a $50 billion spying apparatus to keep them safe from Communism-anarchism-terrorism. The Federal Reserve, with its massive bailouts, is now just part of the regular tussle of politics. Larry Summers was blocked, but even Ben Bernanke had a rough nomination in 2010, getting 30 “no” votes in the Senate, the most ever for a Fed chair. Prison reform is on the agenda, and drug sentences are being reduced — marijuana will soon be legal. The social safety net, unions, food stamps and the middle class — all signature accomplishments of the Cold War era — are also on their way out as new Jim Crow voting restrictions emerge.
This is not a comfortable world, for either traditional liberals or conservatives, bankers or borrowers. What is debatable in the realm of politics is expanding dramatically, from central banking to the possible end of food stamps and the middle class to whether there is any real difference between so-called private entity Google and its public brother, the NSA. The upside of a post-Cold War politics is the potential for less global superpower interference in local conflicts, fewer prisoners, debate over core questions of finance, and less surveillance. The downside is more economic instability, regional warfare, social unrest and inequality. The challenge in this post-Cold War and post-War on Terror era, for all Americans, is how to re-create a political coalition that ensures some level of social equity and military stability, without an existential enemy to unify us in getting there.
One thought on “Is the cold war finally over?”
The Cold War was just another manufactured war like the War on Drugs which was thought up by the 1% to make themselves richer. Games and more games. “Bomb, bomb, bomb…..bomb, bomb” Iran. Sick fu***.
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