We reached all four goals, and I’m very grateful.

THANK YOU to all who donated or subscribed.

Those goals were:

1 – A longer article on the collapse of the USSR, putting everything I’m aware of together. In particular, I want to discuss the steps Gorbachev took which seem like either gross stupidity or intentional destruction. The fall of the Soviet Union was studied in great detail by the Chinese Communist Party, and has informed their actions since

2 – A summary of world system analysis as practiced mainly by Immanuel Wallerstein, with a look at what it means for the future. World system analysis takes capitalism as a world system, and looks at how it has re-ordered the entire relationship of nations, subordinating them to its needs, through about five centuries. We can see clearly that most countries today are not sovereign, but subject to the system as a whole, this is true to some extent even of the hegemonic power, the US. Wallerstein thinks this world system is played out, and we’ll look at why. (Wallerstein, like Randall Collins predicted the collapse of the USSR in advance, using his model, when almost all specialists in the USSR did not see it coming.)

3 – A longish look at the theory of revolutions: When do revolutions happen and why? This will draw on people like Randall Collins and Michael Mann. Most of what they have is based on the experience of agrarian empires, so I’ll try and extend it a bit to industrial nations, and also look at what it means for a world system to collapse. World systems prior to capitalism didn’t include the entire world (and capitalism didn’t till the mid-19th century), so we can see what happened, for example, when the Roman Empire collapsed.

4 – An essay on the effect of computer and telecom technology on humanity. Neil Postman, in Technopoly, back in the 1990s predicted it would be bad for most people, and I would argue it has or will be, but we’ll take a look at the ups and downs, the affects on economics, geopolitics, and daily life. As with writing, printing, and firearms, the early results may not be the same as those in the longer term, so we’ll try and figure out some of those.