[PAST EVENT] To Dissolve the People: Global Security in an Insecure Age

October 30, 2013
Tucker Hall, 127A
350 James Blair Dr
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
The Reves Hall Coffee Hour is a speaker series with informal discussions between students, professors and other guest speakers on global affairs. For the Fall 2013 semester, the speaker series will also be part of Reves Hall's The Global Twenty-First Century course.

The last lines of Bertolt Brecht's poem, Die Losung [The Solution], read:

Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

While Brecht was writing in 1953 about East Germany, his point in these final lines has a universal resonance - relevant to Athen's Peloponnesian League, Britain's wars with America, Mao's China, and Putin's Russia, as well as to Soviet-dominated 1950s East Germany, and increasingly to what many elites believe today with regard to the answer to global insecurity.

Against a largely misinformed and now deteriorating backdrop of euphoria over the Cold War's demise, the 'end of history,' and democracy's triumph, these elites have been in many ways already implementing stunningly successful policies "to dissolve the people" - but it is increasingly uncertain that their desired outcome, enhanced global stability, is happening and, perhaps more dangerously, is equivalent to security.

This lecture examines what might be the outcome of this latest - and far more widespread and clever - attempt at the peoples' dissolution.

Free and open to the public.

[[ywong, Eva Wong]]