By David A. Westbrook
David A. Westbrook argues that we are living in "the urban of gold"--a international, cosmopolitan polity the place politics are performed via markets, and the place international capital markets, now not states, became the dominant strength in our social existence.
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Extra info for City of Gold: An Apology for Global Capitalism in a Time of Discontent
By any absolute and most relative measures, World War Two was the largest war that had ever been fought. Millions and millions were dead. Whole countries were devastated. Barbarism—the Holocaust—had broken out at the heart of Europe, calling into question not only European civilization, but the very possibility of history as a progressive narrative, the notion of civilization toward which we still gesture when we speak of development. Old antagonisms between liberalism and communism had reemerged, more virulently than before, feeding war in China and beginning a sequence of violent confrontations throughout the developing world.
Campaigning for the League of Nations, not long before his collapse, Woodrow Wilson spoke more candidly and horrifically than perhaps any other President, not excepting Lincoln at Gettysburg: Again and again, my fellow citizens, mothers who lost their sons in France have come to me, and taking my hand, have shed tears upon it not only, but they have added, “God bless you, Mr. ” Why, my fellow citizens, should they pray God to bless me? I advised the Congress of the United States to create the situation that led to the death of their sons, I ordered their sons oversea, I consented to their sons being put in the most difficult parts of the battle line, where death was certain, as in the impenetrable difficulties of the forest of Argonne.
9 This vision of an integrated peace after World War Two was established in three major institutional ways: the reconstruction of the defeated Axis powers; the establishment of the Bretton Woods Institutions and exchange rate system; and the establishment of the European Communities and their attendant institutions. Such political organizations are not achieved overnight, and planning for the peace began long before the war was over. 10 Germany was almost exclusively the focus of negotiations by the time the war ended, because Italy had in the meantime joined the Allies.