Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

7

Among the prizes at stake in the endless war of politics is history itself. The battle for power is always a battle to determine who gets remembered, how they will be recalled, where and in what forms their memories will be preserved. In this battle, there is no room for neutral parties: every history and counter-history must fight and scrap and claw and spread and lodge itself in the world, lest it be forgotten or forcibly erased. All history, in this sense, is the history of empire—a bid for control of that greatest expanse of territory, the past.

such a good opening para

—p.7 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Among the prizes at stake in the endless war of politics is history itself. The battle for power is always a battle to determine who gets remembered, how they will be recalled, where and in what forms their memories will be preserved. In this battle, there is no room for neutral parties: every history and counter-history must fight and scrap and claw and spread and lodge itself in the world, lest it be forgotten or forcibly erased. All history, in this sense, is the history of empire—a bid for control of that greatest expanse of territory, the past.

such a good opening para

—p.7 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago
9

One could argue that the greatest support for Fukuyama’s argument is the fact that, even if the globalized marriage of market capitalism and liberal democracy does not constitute an ideal social order in regard to humanity’s collective fulfillment, prosperity, peace, or happiness, it still seems to mark the decisive end to our development by way of outright domination. This is the subtext to the innocuous-sounding, jargony point that the particular “state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history.” Translation: the neoliberal order will “stabilize” its own dominance by continually incentivizing, rewarding, and securing the dominance of those who believe that it truly is the culmination of human development. Their faith in the “end of history” is validated by the enduring fact of neoliberalism—the world itself stands as a monument to their historical vision.

—p.9 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago

One could argue that the greatest support for Fukuyama’s argument is the fact that, even if the globalized marriage of market capitalism and liberal democracy does not constitute an ideal social order in regard to humanity’s collective fulfillment, prosperity, peace, or happiness, it still seems to mark the decisive end to our development by way of outright domination. This is the subtext to the innocuous-sounding, jargony point that the particular “state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history.” Translation: the neoliberal order will “stabilize” its own dominance by continually incentivizing, rewarding, and securing the dominance of those who believe that it truly is the culmination of human development. Their faith in the “end of history” is validated by the enduring fact of neoliberalism—the world itself stands as a monument to their historical vision.

—p.9 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago
12

And yet, every day, all around us, the very meaning of history is eroding and dissipating. On the barren shores at the end of history, even the victors wander like historical amnesiacs. From within the worldwide windowless enclosure of the neoliberal order, the circuits of historical memory are frying, history itself has begun to break apart, and the end of the end may be in sight.

pretty

—p.12 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago

And yet, every day, all around us, the very meaning of history is eroding and dissipating. On the barren shores at the end of history, even the victors wander like historical amnesiacs. From within the worldwide windowless enclosure of the neoliberal order, the circuits of historical memory are frying, history itself has begun to break apart, and the end of the end may be in sight.

pretty

—p.12 The End of the End of History (7) by Maximillian Alvarez 11 months, 3 weeks ago
17

Henry Wallace, the secretary of commerce and former vice president, agreed with Stimson, as did Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson (though he later changed his position), but Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal laid down the definitive opposition. “The Russians, like the Japanese,” he argued, “are essentially Oriental in their thinking, and until we have a longer record of experience with them . . . it seems doubtful that we should endeavor to buy their understanding and sympathy. We tried that once with Hitler. There are no returns on appeasement.” Forrestal, a skilled bureaucratic infighter, had made his fortune on Wall Street and frequently framed his arguments in economic terms. The bomb and the knowledge that produced it, Forrestal argued, was “the property of the American people”—control over it, like the U.S. seizure of Japan’s former Pacific Island bases, needed to be governed by the concept of “sole Trusteeship.”

"the property of the American people" bruh that's fucked up

—p.17 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Henry Wallace, the secretary of commerce and former vice president, agreed with Stimson, as did Undersecretary of State Dean Acheson (though he later changed his position), but Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal laid down the definitive opposition. “The Russians, like the Japanese,” he argued, “are essentially Oriental in their thinking, and until we have a longer record of experience with them . . . it seems doubtful that we should endeavor to buy their understanding and sympathy. We tried that once with Hitler. There are no returns on appeasement.” Forrestal, a skilled bureaucratic infighter, had made his fortune on Wall Street and frequently framed his arguments in economic terms. The bomb and the knowledge that produced it, Forrestal argued, was “the property of the American people”—control over it, like the U.S. seizure of Japan’s former Pacific Island bases, needed to be governed by the concept of “sole Trusteeship.”

"the property of the American people" bruh that's fucked up

—p.17 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago
20

The following year, for example, George Kennan, author of the “containment” doctrine, a protégé of Forrestal, and the single most influential strategic foreign policy thinker of the moment, offered a strikingly candid version of the task at hand, in a classified memo that consciously punctured the universalist ambit of the Truman Doctrine:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. (emphasis added)

damn, saying the quiet part loud

—p.20 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago

The following year, for example, George Kennan, author of the “containment” doctrine, a protégé of Forrestal, and the single most influential strategic foreign policy thinker of the moment, offered a strikingly candid version of the task at hand, in a classified memo that consciously punctured the universalist ambit of the Truman Doctrine:

We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. (emphasis added)

damn, saying the quiet part loud

—p.20 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago
24

[...] the possibility of potential alignments between decolonizing nations and Soviet power was far less concrete and worrisome to the United States than the more definite and delineated material losses faced by the United States and the colonial powers with which it had aligned itself—namely, being deprived access to formerly “assured sources of raw materials, markets and military bases.” In other words, the challenge of the future, as Kennan had underlined, was to devise “formulae” to buttress the forms of political authority that sustained economic inequality (at a world scale) in the face of inevitable revolt and revolution against such authority and the social conditions it supported.

—p.24 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] the possibility of potential alignments between decolonizing nations and Soviet power was far less concrete and worrisome to the United States than the more definite and delineated material losses faced by the United States and the colonial powers with which it had aligned itself—namely, being deprived access to formerly “assured sources of raw materials, markets and military bases.” In other words, the challenge of the future, as Kennan had underlined, was to devise “formulae” to buttress the forms of political authority that sustained economic inequality (at a world scale) in the face of inevitable revolt and revolution against such authority and the social conditions it supported.

—p.24 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago
25

Over the next quarter century, fewer than 400 individuals operated the national security bureaucracy, with some individuals enjoying decades of influence. That the top tier was dominated by white men who were Ivy League–educated lawyers, bankers, and corporate executives (often with ties to armament-related industries) lends irony to official fearmongering about armed conspiracies mounted by small groups, let alone the idea that the role of the United States was to defend free choice against coercion imposed by nonrepresentative minorities. This fact, perhaps more than any other, suggests that, as much as the Cold War represented a competition between incompatible, if by no means coeval or equally powerful systems of rule (i.e., communist and capitalist), it was marked by convergences too. The Soviet “empire of justice” and the U.S. “empire of liberty” engaged in mimetic, cross-national interventions, clandestine, counter-subversive maneuvers, and forms of clientelism that were all dictated by elite, ideologically cohesive national security bureaucracies immune from popular scrutiny and democratic oversight.

—p.25 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Over the next quarter century, fewer than 400 individuals operated the national security bureaucracy, with some individuals enjoying decades of influence. That the top tier was dominated by white men who were Ivy League–educated lawyers, bankers, and corporate executives (often with ties to armament-related industries) lends irony to official fearmongering about armed conspiracies mounted by small groups, let alone the idea that the role of the United States was to defend free choice against coercion imposed by nonrepresentative minorities. This fact, perhaps more than any other, suggests that, as much as the Cold War represented a competition between incompatible, if by no means coeval or equally powerful systems of rule (i.e., communist and capitalist), it was marked by convergences too. The Soviet “empire of justice” and the U.S. “empire of liberty” engaged in mimetic, cross-national interventions, clandestine, counter-subversive maneuvers, and forms of clientelism that were all dictated by elite, ideologically cohesive national security bureaucracies immune from popular scrutiny and democratic oversight.

—p.25 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago
27

Despite his grudging admiration for the stolid Truman, Forrestal’s Wall Street background had left him at ease in a more speculative or liquid universe; at that precise moment, he was devising accounting gimmicks to offset near billion-dollar costs of stockpiling raw materials as a “capital item” that could be “removed from the budget.” The important point to emphasize is the relationship between two interrelated forms of speculation and accounting—economic and military—in which an absolute inflation of threats tempted a final break with lingering hard-money orthodoxies and a turn to deficit spending. Forrestal did not live to see the breakthrough, but his work paid off.

As Acheson described it, the Korean War—the first hot war of the Cold War era—“saved” the fledgling national security state. With its outbreak, the dream of eternal military liquidity was realized when Leon Keyserling, the liberal economist serving as Truman’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, argued that military expenditures functioned as an economic growth engine. That theory then underpinned NSC 68, the document that justified massive U.S. defense outlays for the foreseeable future and which was authored by another Forrestal protégé, Paul Nitze. By yoking dramatically increased federal spending to security prerogatives, military Keynesianism thus achieved a permanent augmentation of U.S. state capacity no longer achievable under appeals to Keynesianism alone.

aaaah that is cool

—p.27 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Despite his grudging admiration for the stolid Truman, Forrestal’s Wall Street background had left him at ease in a more speculative or liquid universe; at that precise moment, he was devising accounting gimmicks to offset near billion-dollar costs of stockpiling raw materials as a “capital item” that could be “removed from the budget.” The important point to emphasize is the relationship between two interrelated forms of speculation and accounting—economic and military—in which an absolute inflation of threats tempted a final break with lingering hard-money orthodoxies and a turn to deficit spending. Forrestal did not live to see the breakthrough, but his work paid off.

As Acheson described it, the Korean War—the first hot war of the Cold War era—“saved” the fledgling national security state. With its outbreak, the dream of eternal military liquidity was realized when Leon Keyserling, the liberal economist serving as Truman’s chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, argued that military expenditures functioned as an economic growth engine. That theory then underpinned NSC 68, the document that justified massive U.S. defense outlays for the foreseeable future and which was authored by another Forrestal protégé, Paul Nitze. By yoking dramatically increased federal spending to security prerogatives, military Keynesianism thus achieved a permanent augmentation of U.S. state capacity no longer achievable under appeals to Keynesianism alone.

aaaah that is cool

—p.27 Banking on the Cold War (16) by Nikhil Pal Singh 11 months, 3 weeks ago
36

[...] By the end of the 1970s, the era of neoliberal globalization had dawned, displacing visions of a welfare world. Leading the opposition to the NIEO, the World Bank and IMF rejected its aspiration to democratic and universal international economic law. Instead, these financial institutions insulated the global economy from political contestation by recasting it as the domain of technocratic expertise. In doing so, they rejected the claim that the global economy could be subject to demands for redistribution. The colony went free, stood for a brief moment in the sun, then moved back again toward servitude—this time to the empire of debt.

—p.36 The Welfare World (30) by Adom Getachew 11 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] By the end of the 1970s, the era of neoliberal globalization had dawned, displacing visions of a welfare world. Leading the opposition to the NIEO, the World Bank and IMF rejected its aspiration to democratic and universal international economic law. Instead, these financial institutions insulated the global economy from political contestation by recasting it as the domain of technocratic expertise. In doing so, they rejected the claim that the global economy could be subject to demands for redistribution. The colony went free, stood for a brief moment in the sun, then moved back again toward servitude—this time to the empire of debt.

—p.36 The Welfare World (30) by Adom Getachew 11 months, 3 weeks ago
39

[...] demanding a return to the liberal world order—as leading scholars in international relations and international law have recently done—is an inadequate response. It obscures the ways that the illiberal backlash of our moment emerged out of the inequalities and hypocrisies of that very same system.

From our vantage point, the welfare world of the NIEO might appear utopian and unrealistic. But to dismiss the world that decolonization aspired to make is to refuse to reckon with the dilemmas we inherited from the end of empire. It is to evade our responsibility to build a world after empire. Our world, like Manley’s, is characterized by a battleground of widening inequality and ongoing domination. We cannot simply recreate the 1970s vision of a welfare world, but we can take from its architects the insight that building an egalitarian and postimperial world is the only route to true democratic self-governance.

—p.39 The Welfare World (30) by Adom Getachew 11 months, 3 weeks ago

[...] demanding a return to the liberal world order—as leading scholars in international relations and international law have recently done—is an inadequate response. It obscures the ways that the illiberal backlash of our moment emerged out of the inequalities and hypocrisies of that very same system.

From our vantage point, the welfare world of the NIEO might appear utopian and unrealistic. But to dismiss the world that decolonization aspired to make is to refuse to reckon with the dilemmas we inherited from the end of empire. It is to evade our responsibility to build a world after empire. Our world, like Manley’s, is characterized by a battleground of widening inequality and ongoing domination. We cannot simply recreate the 1970s vision of a welfare world, but we can take from its architects the insight that building an egalitarian and postimperial world is the only route to true democratic self-governance.

—p.39 The Welfare World (30) by Adom Getachew 11 months, 3 weeks ago