Linked with World War 4 Report

Published on world war 4 report, by Bill Weinberg, Jan. 17, 2005.

When opposite ends of the political spectrum agree on an initially improbable proposition, there is often something to it.

Since the end of World War II and concomitant dawn of the nuclear age in 1945, the planet has been anticipating a conflict worthy of the name “World War III,” with all its apocalyptic connotations. Two days after 9-11, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman announced that it had finally arrived: “Does my country really understand that this is World War III?”

Similarly, the day after the horrific Sept. 3, 2004 schoolhouse massacre in Beslan, North Ossetia, the Times quoted Moscow’s Orthodox Rev. Aleksandr Borisov warning his parishioners of pro-Chechen terror attacks throughout Russia, and declaring: “World War III has begun” …

… The phrase “Fourth World” has also been adopted by adherents of the radical decentralist Leopold Kohr, whose 1957 manifesto The Breakdown of Nations anticipated the collapse of the Soviet bloc and the current worldwide resurgence of ethnic regionalism. Kohr’s vision of a human-scale world was inspired, in part, by the anarchists who seized local power in Catalonia and Aragon during the Spanish Civil War, when he was working there as a war correspondent. Kohr died in 1994, but his intellectual heir John Papworth still publishes a Fourth World Review in England. The journal’s kicker is “For Small Nations, Small Communities & the Inalienable Sovereignty of the Human Spirit.”

So this Fourth World can also encompass anarchists, bioregionalists and decentralists who take inspiration from indigenous peoples, and seek to loan them solidarity–without attempting to appropriate their cultures. And World War IV is also a war on us, on those even within the imperial powers who seek to expand and defend democracy and local culture against the twin related threats of economic giganticism and “anti-terrorist” police-state measures–the “Social Europe” invoked by Marcos to distinguish from the Imperial Europe of the EU and NATO.

And such movements are faced with the threat of twin seductions: first, of embracing the ethno-religious extremism which is paradoxically recuperated by the forces of globalization; secondly, of embracing the globalist military crusades which ostensibly oppose such fundamentalisms. The first error confuses the “ethnically-cleansed” armed enclaves of Bosnia or the ultra-puritanical Islamist guerilla foci of Iraq with the Zapatista autonomous zones of Chiapas or the self-governing liberated barrios of Buenos Aires. The second confuses the empty and technocratic “democracy” which military-enforced globalization purports to expand with meaningful human freedom.

The unlikely intellectual allies of Woolsey, Podhoretz and Marcos have provided a new gauge by which we can measure the relative velocity of nightmares and dreams.
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