LONDON — A good indication of liberalism’s declining health is the rising profile of the military in domestic politics.
As the clock ticks down on Britain’s Brexit negotiations and the prospect of “no deal” rises, the fallback of military security looms into view. Britain’s defense secretary, Gavin Williamson, has stated that an additional 3,500 troops will be on standby to help ensure supplies get into the country, and government officials reportedly have examined the option of martial law in the event of major civil unrest. It is hard not to detect a whiff of excitement about all of this in the reactions of hard-core Brexiteers and their supporters in the media.
A similar sickness is evident across the Atlantic. President Trump has declared a state of emergency, provoked by a supposed crisis at the Mexican border, and he has deployed American troops on home soil. Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who exemplifies many of the most frightening trends about the new strongman leaders around the world, has been steadily putting military personnel in key government positions.
These are more explicit demonstrations of military muscle, but the sense that politics has become warlike has been brewing for a while. War metaphors (“culture war,” “social justice warrior”) accumulate steadily, each implying a breakdown of common political ground. One way to understand the upheavals of the past decade, manifest in political populism and the surge in talk about “post-truth” and “fake news,” is as the penetration of warlike mobilization and propaganda into our democracies.
The principle that military and civilian operations should remain separate has been a cornerstone of liberal politics since religious and civil wars tore through Europe in the mid-17th century. The modern division between the army and civil policing originates in late-17th-century England, when early forms of public administration came to treat (and finance) the two independently of each other. Since then, the rule of law has been distinguished from rule by force.
However, there is an opposing vision of the modern state that also has a long history. According to this alternative ideal, the division between civil government and the military is a pacifist’s conceit that needs overcoming. And it’s not a coincidence that these days nationalists are especially keen to employ the rhetoric of warfare: The wars that fuel the nationalist imagination are not simply military affairs, going on far away between professional soldiers, but also mass mobilizations of politicians, civilians and infrastructure. Ever since the Napoleonic Wars witnessed conscription and the strategic mobilization of the economy, nationalists have looked to war to generate national solidarity and a sense of purpose.
There is another distinctive characteristic of military situations that civilian life often lacks: the promise of an instant response, without the delays that go with democratic argument or expert analysis. Warfare requires knowledge, of course, just not of the same variety that we are familiar with in times of peace. In civil society, the facts provided by economists, statisticians, reporters and academic scientists have a peace-building quality to the extent that they provide a common reality that can be agreed upon. The ideal of independent expertise, which cannot be swayed by money or power, has been crucial in allowing political opponents to nevertheless agree on certain basic features of reality. Facts remove questions of truth from the domain of politics.
War demands a different, more paranoid system of expertise and knowledge, which looks at the world as an uncertain and hostile place, where nothing is fixed. In situations of conflict, the most valuable attribute of knowledge is not that it generates public consensus but that it is up to the minute and aids rapid decision making. Meanwhile, the information shared with the public must be tailored to incite mass enthusiasm and animosity rather than objectivity.
The conditions that most lend themselves to military responses are those in which time is running out. Of course, many of the emergencies that we face today are fictions: the “emergency” at the Mexican border or, perhaps, the British government’s intentional exaggerations of the threat of a “no deal” Brexit to put pressure on Parliament. Framing an issue as an emergency where time is of the essence is a means of bypassing the much slower civilian world of deliberation and facts.
But there is something else going on. Because of technological changes of the past 30 years or so, initially in our financial system but subsequently in our media, political decision makers are increasingly short on time, having to react instantly to a constant flow of data. (If there is one feature of the military mind-set that we can all occasionally relate to, it’s that we don’t have very much time.) Many of the anxieties surrounding “post-truth” and “fake news” are really symptoms of a public sphere that moves too quickly, with too great a volume of information, to the point where we either trust our instincts or latch on to others’. There’s a reason Twitter invites users to “follow” one another, a metaphor that implies that amid a deluge of data, truth is ultimately determined by leadership.
It’s hardly a coincidence that many of the most transformative technologies that today enable decision makers and strategists to react fastest to a rapidly changing environment — like the digital computer and the internet — were first developed for military purposes. These same technologies have also taken over the civilian and economic worlds, as tools of surveillance and “real time” tracking shift from theaters of war to the realm of market research and psychographic profiling of voters. Social media has introduced games of strategy into public discourse, with deception and secrecy — information warfare — now normal parts of how arguments play out.
The culture of an over-accelerated public sphere, wrought largely by technologies that we don’t know how to slow, is partly responsible for making democracy feel more like combat. But what can we do about it? Liberalism is not set up for this kind of challenge. The liberal ideal of civility is one in which argument and research can move at their own pace and decisions are made after the evidence is in. The separation of war from peace that laid the ground for liberal democracy to develop was originally a legal achievement, whereas now it also requires defending sanctuaries of slowness in the news media, market and universities.
But there is also an undeniable urgency about many of the problems and threats that confront liberal democracies today, like climate change and the rising economic precarity of vulnerable populations. Familiar political divisions surrounding class and identity now provoke rapid, unpredictable new movements, facilitated by social media.
When nationalists introduce metaphors and symbols of war, they connect with a real and realistic sense that time is running out. But for those of us who want to see fewer soldiers on the streets rather than more, the challenge is to find civil — not military — responses to social, economic and ecological problems that escalate at such a pace that they have come to feel like enemy combatants.
William Davies (@davies_will) is a sociologist and political economist at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the author of the forthcoming “Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason,” from which this essay is adapted.B:
彩霸王梅花诗“【你】！！” 【罗】【本】【猛】【地】【喷】【出】【一】【口】【鲜】【血】，【整】【个】【人】【也】【如】【泄】【了】【气】【的】【皮】【球】，【再】【也】【发】【挥】【不】【出】【一】【点】【战】【力】，【完】【全】【被】【对】【方】【操】【控】【于】【掌】【心】。 【剧】【痛】，【前】【所】【未】【有】【的】【剧】【痛】，【足】【以】【让】【人】【怀】【疑】【人】【生】【的】【痛】【苦】，【即】【使】【是】【世】【间】【最】【坚】【强】【的】【人】，【也】【根】【本】【无】【法】【承】【受】【的】【疼】【痛】！ 【痛】【苦】【侵】【略】【了】【罗】【本】【的】【四】【肢】【百】【骸】，【也】【让】【他】【的】【精】【神】【变】【得】【越】【来】【越】【模】【糊】，【可】【疼】【痛】【依】【然】【得】【不】【到】【缓】
【鲁】【网】11【月】10【日】【讯】 （【记】【者】 【韩】【黟】【瞳】）【近】【日】，【国】【家】【电】【网】【山】【东】【省】【电】【力】【公】【司】【在】【其】【官】【方】【网】【站】【上】【发】【布】【了】【关】【于】【供】【应】【商】【不】【良】【行】【为】【处】【理】【情】【况】【的】【通】【报】，【对】【出】【现】【重】【大】【产】【品】【质】【量】【问】【题】、【履】【约】【不】【诚】【信】【等】【问】【题】【的】【供】【应】【商】【进】【行】【了】“【曝】【光】”。
【终】【于】【到】【了】【顶】【层】【的】【总】【统】【套】【房】。 【一】【进】【门】，【韩】【胤】【希】【就】【搂】【着】【她】【低】【喃】，“【我】【感】【觉】【好】【热】……” 【子】【颜】【赶】【紧】【说】，“【你】【等】【等】，【我】【开】【空】【调】。” 【韩】【胤】【希】【不】【让】【她】【走】，“【空】【调】【开】【着】【的】，【不】【是】【空】【调】【的】【问】【题】，【我】【知】【道】【你】【哥】【给】【我】【下】【的】【是】【什】【么】【毒】【了】……” 【他】【咬】【她】【耳】【朵】。 【子】【颜】【听】【清】【楚】【了】【他】【说】【的】【话】，【脸】【蛋】【顿】【时】【红】【了】。 【注】【意】【到】【他】【带】【着】【暗】【示】【的】彩霸王梅花诗【卢】【幺】【故】【作】【神】【秘】【道】：“【作】【为】【现】【任】【女】【兽】【奴】，【你】【难】【道】【不】【好】【奇】【你】【的】【上】【一】【任】【为】【什】【么】【会】【死】？” 【好】【奇】【吗】？【其】【实】【夏】【晴】【的】【好】【奇】【心】【很】【有】【限】，【她】【以】【前】【的】【好】【奇】【心】【只】【针】【对】【自】【己】【经】【手】【的】【案】【子】。【而】【现】【在】，【她】【需】【要】【做】【的】【是】，【好】【好】【考】【虑】【接】【下】【来】【该】【怎】【么】【做】。 【她】【已】【经】【洗】【完】【澡】，【用】【洗】【干】【净】【的】【迷】【彩】T【恤】【简】【单】【地】【擦】【了】【擦】【身】【上】【和】【头】【发】【上】【的】【水】，【便】【穿】【上】【了】【李】【丽】【的】【那】【套】【衣】
“【皇】【上】【别】【忘】【了】，【越】【国】【如】【今】【可】【是】【她】【说】【了】【算】，【她】【什】【么】【时】【候】【把】【朝】【臣】【放】【在】【眼】【里】【过】？”【他】【挑】【了】【挑】【眉】。 【惠】【帝】【说】，“【那】【这】【个】【孩】【子】【的】【作】【用】【就】【不】【能】【完】【全】【发】【挥】【了】！” 【百】【里】【斓】【微】【微】【一】【笑】，“【只】【要】【黎】【初】【曜】【在】【京】【城】，【她】【就】【不】【会】【攻】【打】【宁】【国】。【皇】【上】【有】【足】【够】【的】【时】【间】【让】【宁】【国】【强】【大】【起】【来】。” “【这】【个】【朕】【自】【然】【知】【道】。【不】【过】【黎】【初】【曜】【还】【是】【给】【你】【带】【吧】，【放】【在】【皇】【宫】
【楚】【甜】【刚】【被】【推】【进】【产】【房】，【两】【家】【的】【父】【母】【也】【就】【来】【了】。 【唐】【禹】【嘉】【并】【没】【有】【打】【招】【呼】，【只】【是】【一】【直】【蹲】【在】【那】【儿】，【眼】【神】【一】【直】【看】【着】【产】【房】【的】【门】。 “【宫】【口】【已】【经】【开】【了】，【一】【会】【儿】【孩】【子】【就】【能】【生】【出】【来】【了】，【没】【事】【儿】【的】。”【林】【楚】【宽】【慰】【着】【众】【人】。 【但】【是】【唐】【禹】【嘉】【并】【没】【有】【听】【见】，【满】【脑】【子】【都】【是】【刚】【才】【在】【车】【上】，【楚】【甜】【疼】【得】【直】【冒】【冷】【汗】【的】【场】【景】。 【产】【床】【上】，【汗】【水】【已】【经】【侵】【湿】【了】【了】