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From Hegemony to of Full Spectrum Dominance: War as Insurance
Unformatted Document Text:  13 outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary. 30 Disciplinary neoliberalism and militant liberalism: the differences are important. The first is a mode of discipline most clearly distinguished from the ‘embedded liberalism’ of the immediate post-war era when capital was heavily regulated in order to encourage national development. For some, this was a period of American hegemony since American state policy-makers incorporated a range of domestic and international subordinate class interests into its project of global leadership. 31 Though it has similarities with an earlier period of so-called laissez-faire, as a mode or mutation of economic liberalism, the discourse of disciplinary neoliberalism is associated with greater capital mobility and thus an increase in the structural power of capital. As a program for reform breaking with the tradition of ‘embedded liberalism’, it is perhaps best expressed by the promotion of privatization, liberalization (in trade and finance) and re-regulation encapsulated in the Washington Consensus and its successive elaborations. In this way, the discourse of disciplinary neoliberalism reifies (one might even want to say deifies) and privileges the rights of capital over other human interests while expanding its power to discipline subjects directly or indirectly. Unlike the era of ‘embedded liberalism’ the project of disciplinary neoliberalism is associated not with hegemony, but with a politics of supremacy defined by Gill as ‘rule by a non-hegemonic bloc of forces that exercises dominance for a period over apparently fragmented populations until a coherent form of opposition emerges.’ 32 It also corresponds, in contradictory ways, to the emergence of a transnational capitalist class who possess a global consciousness and who understand the world as a sphere in which to ‘do business’ and accumulate capital through the various corporate vehicles they own. But before the disciplines of neoliberalism can take effect they must first be implemented. There are perhaps three identifiable modes of implementation: self-adoption, structural imposition, and violent or aggressive imposition. The discourse of militant liberalism is associated with this third mode of implementation – a brand of liberalism that marries ‘Wilsonian idealism’ with ‘Kissingerian realpolitik’. 33 What this means is that neoconservatives share Wilson’s devotion to liberalism but realize that its promotion and instantiation sometimes requires the clandestine or overt use of force a la Kissinger. Thus the discourse of militant liberalism embodied in neoconservative thought is primarily concerned with imposing liberalism – by force if necessary – as a first stage in the creation of a disciplinary neoliberal order. By transforming and restructuring the state-society complexes of anti-liberal regimes to correspond to America’s ‘single sustainable model for national success’, neoconservatives argue that the risks to the American way of life and the world order that sustains it will be reduced if not totally eliminated. While some may argue that this chosen strategy may increase the risk to America’s civilizational order, militant liberals not only counter with the claim that aggressively promoting liberalism will 30 Christian Science Monitor. “Empire Builders: Neoconservatives and Their Blueprint for US Power.” Internet available at: http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neocon101.html 31 Stephen Gill (2003). Power and Resistance in the New World Order. (London: Palgrave MacMillan), p. 118-9. 32 Ibid., p. 118. 33 Christian Science Monitor. “Q&A: Neocon Power Examined.” Internet available at: http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/boot.html

Authors: Di Muzio, Tim.
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13
outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively,
not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the
world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle
East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense,
particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It
would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible,
but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.
30
Disciplinary neoliberalism and militant liberalism: the differences are important. The first is a
mode of discipline most clearly distinguished from the ‘embedded liberalism’ of the immediate
post-war era when capital was heavily regulated in order to encourage national development. For
some, this was a period of American hegemony since American state policy-makers incorporated
a range of domestic and international subordinate class interests into its project of global
leadership.
31
Though it has similarities with an earlier period of so-called laissez-faire, as a mode
or mutation of economic liberalism, the discourse of disciplinary neoliberalism is associated with
greater capital mobility and thus an increase in the structural power of capital. As a program for
reform breaking with the tradition of ‘embedded liberalism’, it is perhaps best expressed by the
promotion of privatization, liberalization (in trade and finance) and re-regulation encapsulated in
the Washington Consensus and its successive elaborations. In this way, the discourse of
disciplinary neoliberalism reifies (one might even want to say deifies) and privileges the rights of
capital over other human interests while expanding its power to discipline subjects directly or
indirectly. Unlike the era of ‘embedded liberalism’ the project of disciplinary neoliberalism is
associated not with hegemony, but with a politics of supremacy defined by Gill as ‘rule by a non-
hegemonic bloc of forces that exercises dominance for a period over apparently fragmented
populations until a coherent form of opposition emerges.’
32
It also corresponds, in contradictory
ways, to the emergence of a transnational capitalist class who possess a global consciousness and
who understand the world as a sphere in which to ‘do business’ and accumulate capital through
the various corporate vehicles they own.
But before the disciplines of neoliberalism can take effect they must first be implemented. There
are perhaps three identifiable modes of implementation: self-adoption, structural imposition, and
violent or aggressive imposition. The discourse of militant liberalism is associated with this third
mode of implementation – a brand of liberalism that marries ‘Wilsonian idealism’ with
‘Kissingerian realpolitik’.
33
What this means is that neoconservatives share Wilson’s devotion to
liberalism but realize that its promotion and instantiation sometimes requires the clandestine or
overt use of force a la Kissinger. Thus the discourse of militant liberalism embodied in
neoconservative thought is primarily concerned with imposing liberalism – by force if necessary
– as a first stage in the creation of a disciplinary neoliberal order. By transforming and
restructuring the state-society complexes of anti-liberal regimes to correspond to America’s
‘single sustainable model for national success’, neoconservatives argue that the risks to the
American way of life and the world order that sustains it will be reduced if not totally eliminated.
While some may argue that this chosen strategy may increase the risk to America’s civilizational
order, militant liberals not only counter with the claim that aggressively promoting liberalism will
30
Christian Science Monitor. “Empire Builders: Neoconservatives and Their Blueprint for US Power.”
Internet available at:
http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/neocon101.html
31
Stephen Gill (2003). Power and Resistance in the New World Order. (London: Palgrave MacMillan), p.
118-9.
32
Ibid., p. 118.
33
Christian Science Monitor. “Q&A: Neocon Power Examined.” Internet available at:
http://www.csmonitor.com/specials/neocon/boot.html


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