Ten Articles on the New Cold War and a Reflection
13 Aug 2018 – While this new Cold War is certainly different from the first Cold War that ended in 1989, we are not in doubt that there is a new such tragic war and that the risk of military confrontation between Russia and NATO countries in Europe has increased.
We also happen to think it could have been avoided.
This Cold War has to do with, among many other things, NATO’s counterproductive expansion since 1994, the way Yugoslavia broke down and was broken up, with Ukraine and now Syria as well as – perhaps surprisingly to some – the rapidly diminishing political power and legitimacy of the West in the emerging world order.
A reflection on how security politics and media contribute to the closing of the open society
The increasing symbiosis between the political and the leading mainstream media of the Western world implies that, grosso modo, Russia is blamed for having caused this new situation. While Russia is certainly not innocent and it usually does take two to conflict this blame is rather a sign of diminishing capacity (knowledge) and will (economic and intellectual independence and courage) to ask critical questions that now characterise the corporate media.
Defence and security political news coverage, journalistic processing, editing and commentaries have sunk to an intellectual level that is considerably lower than during the first Cold War. The entire field is given low priority by editors. Domestic issues, sports, entertainment, lifestyle etc. have made it to the top.
Out of sync with the globalising world, most media do with 1-2 pages about global affairs out of, say, 40-50 pages and they base this material on the same handful of Western news bureaus.
The double checking of a variety of sources, versatility and multi-perspective coverage are things of the past and we see more uniformity and more subjectivity in the news media coverage than ever.
Add to this that both Russia and NATO countries engage in media management, or propaganda (tax payers footing the bills) which squeezes out comprehensive knowledge and unbiased analyses as well as critical angles on one’s own policies and actions.
Like hot wars, Cold Wars are fought not only on the battle fields but also in the media, about the souls of the citizens. Fearology, therefore, has become a dominant ingredient in this war as well as in the other – equally counterproductive and self-defeating – war, the War On Terror.
The more people are made to fear, the more they submit to surveillance, authoritarian laws, self-censorship etc and turn away from democratic debate and activism – a trend that will eventually lead to the dissolution of democracy itself.
In short, these international trends and tension-increasing confrontations boomerang back on our societies in ways that are as frightening as under-stated in the debate.
To put it crudely: the new Cold War and the War on Terror both have significant, destructive effects on society, diminish its democracy and creativity, narrows the spectrum of opinions and bring us further and further away from the globally desired goals of freedom, democracy and of living in a more peaceful world.
Security politics has come to mean destruction of the core fibres of what was to be secured. Paradoxically, it promotes the closing of the once open society.
In addition, that is, to squandering absurd US $ 1700 billion (or about 30 times the entire UN budget) worldwide on one more destructive, failed war after the other.
These are issues of the greatest importance for humanity’s future, even survival.
Being one of the last few academic think tanks totally independent of government and corporate funding (i.e. people-financed), TFF feel strongly committed to deal with them in the future too.
Here are the first thought pieces which can be read in whichever order you like.
TFF Director Prof. Jan Oberg is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment.
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
BY TRANSCEND MEMBERS:
- Trump to World: Pay Up for Hosting US Troops
- 15 Years Ago: US Sponsored Coup d’état. The Destabilization of Haiti
- Trump TV: The Making of the Fox News White House
ASIA & THE PACIFIC:
- Love Letter from Smoky Kabul: Nonviolent vs Violent Peace in Afghanistan and the World
- The Kashmir Conflict
- Why Has Kashmir Been Forgotten?