The Cold War, At Home and Abroad


The Cold War is often defined in terms of the ‘arms race’, as if the latter were specific to this period and to this phase of capitalist development. To which we might object that military Keynesianism is, in one form or another, a continued condition of the growth of capitalism. Or, to say it in another way: ‘War’ has a directly economic strategic function that the Cold War merely renders more obvious by expanding the role it plays in social control.

The history of the Cold War is an American history written from start to finish by the superpower that emerged victorious out of two world wars. Supercharged by the full employment and technological innovation of the war economy, which had boosted productivity and mass consumption through the logistical militarization of society in its entirety (military subsumption), the US affirmed itself as creditor power of a new world order generated by the socialisation and capitalisation of total war…