Beyond Left and Right

The New Face of the Antiwar Movement

November 9, 1989, marked the end of the old politics and the old alignments; on that day, as the Berlin Wall fell, so did the political categories and alliances of half a century. The end of the Cold War meant a lot more than the end of communism as a viable ideology. It meant more than the implosion of the Soviet Empire: Here in the United States, it also meant the end of anticommunism as a viable ideology and the implosion of the old conservative coalition that governed America in the 80's. It meant the breakup of the right, as well as the left—since both had, in large part, defined themselves in relation to something that no longer existed.

Of course, this process did not happen immediately; it is still working itself out. But today the great realignment has progressed far enough so that we can begin to see the broad outlines of a new political landscape. I often refer to the War Party, a phrase that is shorthand for that complex of social, political, and economic forces that constitute a permanent and powerful lobby on behalf of imperialism and militarism. In my very first column for Antiwar.com, I described it as "the war propaganda apparatus maintained by the interventionist lobby. Well-funded and well-connected, the War Party is such a varied and complex phenomenon that a detailed description of its activities, and its vast system of interlocking directorates and special interests, both foreign and domestic,...

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