Evidence shows that the globalization frenzy of the post-Cold War period is in the process of receding. US hegemony is declining due to 20 years of military defeats in imperial adventures. The percentage of US GDP devoted to military production has declined, along with the volume of US military spending (but only when adjusted for inflation). The Empire is trying to hold on by farming out imperial functions to allies, client states, proxy forces, and mercenaries. Rising anti-globalization sentiments from all over the world and all over the political and cultural spectrum are challenging the “Washington Consensus.” Some geopolitical strategists have theorized that post-globalization will generate a “multi-order order” similar to those which existed in the 19th century or even in pre-modernity.
The mother country of the Empire, the USA, is undergoing a rapid transformation into a “post-America” where traditional WASP/old bourgeoisie hegemony is being eclipsed by the rise of a techno-oligarchy as the new ruling class with the professional-managerial class as its allies and arbiters of the self-legitimating ideology of the state and official public morality. The tradition working to middle classes are disappearing while the ranks of the lower proletariat and lumpenproletariat are rising rapidly. The USA is adopting a traditional class system with the ruling class and upper-middle-class modeling itself on the European elite in terms of social norms but a system of socioeconomic stratification that resembles Latin America. Meanwhile, cultural, technological, generational, demographic, and economic changes have emerged which have largely supplanted the traditional WASP culture in favor of a diverse array of political and cultural tribes.
In many ways, it seems to be a return to the 19th century in terms of class relations and geopolitical norms, with the professional-managerial class once again assuming the role of the “progressive” intellectual and cultural elites of that time with their emphasis on scientism, technologism, therapeutism, educationism, and the public administration state, only with totalitarian humanism replacing social purity, Victorianism, eugenics, and racism in terms of the dominant moral paradigm.
So what are the implications of these developments for anarchist theory and strategy in the future?