Geopolitical Economy and Class Formation
Geopolitical Economy and Class Formation

Capitalist Discipline and the Three Cold Wars

The current global configuration and more particularly, relations between the liberal West and Russia after the defeat of the Soviet Union (as well as China in the not too distant future) are widely perceived as a new Cold War. The comparison is t with earlier Cold War(s) must however be fine-tuned because the first and second  Cold Wars were very different. One covered the period until the late 1960s was based on a division of spheres-of-influence; the second was launched unilaterally under Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. In this paper, part of current work in progress, I argue that the current Cold War against Putin’s Russia mostly resembles the second Cold War which was intended to achieve regime change in Moscow and bring down the USSR. I also relate the three Cold Wars to the mutations in the format of capitalist discipline on society and nature, which has changed from a compromising corporate liberalism to a systemic neoliberalism (against all forms of socialism), and finally, after the collapse of the USSR, a predatory neoliberalism  The latter has moved beyond compromise into a realm of absolute risk-taking, financially, militarily and ecologically, and has in fact knocked the foundations from under the post-war world order. Amidst what looks like a terminal crisis of the capitalist  West, risk-taking has assumed the characteristics of a suicidal road to nowhere that must be urgently understood and blocked.

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