Skip to comments.America's Role in a Darkening Age
Posted on 01/29/2013 6:25:54 AM PST by Kaslin
When, in the 1950s, Nikita Khrushchev said, "We will bury you," and, "Your children will live under communism," Eisenhower's America scoffed.
By 1980, however, the tide did indeed seem to be with the East.
America had suffered a decade of defeats. Southeast Asia had fallen. The ayatollah had seized power in Iran. Moscow had occupied Afghanistan. Cuban troops were in Ethiopia and Angola. Grenada and Nicaragua had fallen to the Soviet bloc. Eurocommunism was all the rage on the continent.
Just a decade later, the world turned upside-down.
The Berlin Wall fell. Eastern Europe was suddenly free. The Soviet Union disintegrated. China abandoned Maoism for state capitalism.
Now, 20 years on, the wheel has turned again -- toward darkness. No longer do we hear chatter about "The End of History" and triumph of democratic capitalism, of America imposing her "global hegemony" or leading mankind into "a second American century."
The hubris is gone, and triumphalism has given way to anxiety, apprehension, alarm.
In an essay, "The Return of Toxic Nationalism," Robert Kaplan, a geopolitical analyst for Stratfor, writes that Western elites are even yet failing to see the larger, darker picture of our evolving world.
These elites identify with the like-minded in other lands and "prefer not to see the regressive and exclusivist forces ... that are mightily reshaping the future."
Egypt and the Mideast offer "a panorama of sectarianism and religious and ethnic divides. Freedom, at least in its initial stages, unleashes not only individual identity but, more crucially, the freedom to identify with a blood-based solidarity group. Beyond that group, feelings of love and humanity do not apply."
This is "a signal lesson of the Arab Spring," and out of it will likely come an "Islamist-Nasserite regime" in Cairo.
"Asia is in the midst of a feverish arms race," writes Kaplan. Nationalism there is "young and vibrant -- as it was in the West in the 19th and 20th centuries." Having consolidated the homeland, China is moving to annex her adjacent seas, and a formerly pacifist Japan is "rediscovering nationalism as a default option."
Nationalism is "alive and thriving in India and Russia," with New Delhi building armed forces that will be among the world's largest.
"Race hatred against Muslims is high among Russians, and just as there are large rallies by civil-society types, there are also marches and protests by skinheads and neo-Nazis, who are less well-covered by Western media."
A weakening European Union has spawned a "resurgence of nationalism and extremism in ... Hungary, Finland, Ukraine and Greece."
"We are truly in a battle between two epic forces," says Kaplan, "those of integration based on civil society and human rights, and those of exclusion based on race, blood and radicalized religion."
How should the United States deal with this darkening age?
"Because values like minority rights are under attack the world over, the United States must put them right alongside its own exclusivist national interests, such as preserving a favorable balance of power.
Without universal values in our foreign policy, we have no identity as a nation -- and that is the only way we can lead with moral legitimacy in an increasingly disordered world."
But is this not itself utopian?
A great religious awakening is taking place from Morocco to Mindanao. If these hundreds of millions believe there is no God but Allah and he has shown the way to eternal life, why would they, why should they, tolerate pastors and preachers from heretical and false faiths?
How do we preach women's equality -- an easy access to divorce contraception and abortion -- to people who swear by a sacred book that says you kill people like that?
How do we preach the blessings of racial and ethnic diversity to a world where, as Kaplan writes, ethnonationalism and tribalism are being embraced and people are willing to die to create nations where their own kind and their own culture are dominant if not exclusive?
Before we put our "values" up there with our vital interests, as the object of our foreign policy, what exactly are we talking about? Do Americans in the grip of a social-moral-cultural war even agree among themselves on "values"?
Our First Amendment protects freedom of speech to call the Prophet vile names. Our freedom of the press protects pornography. Our freedom of religion means all religions are to be equally excluded from public schools.
Other nations believe in indoctrinating their children in their own beliefs and values. Where do we get the right to push ours in their societies?
When did the internal affairs of foreign nations become the portfolio of American diplomats? Did James Madison's first minister to Russia, John Quincy Adams, demand that Czar Alexander free the serfs?
"Without universal values in our foreign policy, we have no identity as a nation," says Kaplan.
But that is not our history. America has indeed been about ideas, but America is now and has always been about more, much more than abstract ideas.
The United States in the latter part of the 20th century overextended itself economically and diplomatically. It made commitments and became overtly involved in locations around the world that had very little to do with critical American interests. The policy cost America dearly in material and human treasure. The reality for the 21st century will be much different. Interested parties should read Washington’s farewell address. It was remarkably prescient and remains relevant.
Political power is cyclical and often swings as a pendulum from left to right over the course of decades.
The pendulum was wildly progressive in the early 20th century with Woodrow Wilson-type pols leading the charge for “equality.” Just a few decades later, the pendulum swung back to nationalism with WWII up through Eisenhower.
Obviously the 60s brought a resurgence of “civil rights” and “equality” discussions leading to a national malaise in the 70s.
Reagan brought us back from the brink in the 80s, Bush started the swing back to the center, and Clinton pushed us off to the left again.
Finally, Bushes came back to push us back to the right and 9/11 galvanized a nationalist unity we hadn’t seen since WWII.
Unfortunately, that nationalism bred a fervent anti-nationalist movement in the leftists, and they came out swinging in 2008 by putting arguably the most progressive, leftist, Communist candidate they could find in Barack Hussein Obama, the Marxist faggot, back in office.
The problem is that the farther you pull the pendulum to the left or to the right, the farther and faster it is going to travel back to the opposite side. After 4 years of Obama, people are tired and worn. After another 4 years, with tax increases on the table, black nationalism turning into anti-white bias in the media and society, gun-control and Obamacare slated to go into effect in 2014 to the likely detriment of societal cohesion, we are most likely going to see the resurgence of an ardent and powerful right-wing nationalism in this country starting in 2014 and swinging quickly into 2016 as Obama’s desperation grows and international stability begins to erode.
Make no mistake, folks, if we live through this administration, America is going to come roaring back and quite possibly as a nationalist, maybe even fascist, powerhouse on the world stage. We need to project strength and unity, but we need to be cautious not to overreach and give the power to a new-age Mussolini.
The problem is identifying and defining "critical American interests."
I pray your correct; but I don’t believe it. From where I sit it appears to me that the pendulum has swung so far to the left that there’s no going back. The problem is that those who might oppose the leftist agenda have no outlets for their viewpoints; the leftists control practically all of the MSM and the Internet blogosphere. There’s no longer the sound of civil discourse on any policy subject; there is rather, the sound of only one voice, the voice of the leftist propaganda organs. Worse, they control education from the ground up. Last time I tuned in, even Limbaugh seemed resigned to the fact that this administration will be followed by Hillary and when that happens, even the radio air waves will be silenced. The only real chance for any meaningful reform and recovery will come after the final collapse of the economy. At that point, after the mayhem that will doubtless occur, the sheeple might begin to open their pecan-like minds to some “new” ideas. This “dark age” has probably another 50 to 100 years in it.
Today’s world is not the same world of the 18th century. Washington’s farewell address was given as America was a country too weak and small to be involved in most European affairs.
The world has changed since then. What goes on in the rest of the world affects us more than it did then.
In any case, we were involved in foreign entanglements after Washington’s farewell address. Read about the quasi-war and the War of 1812.
I pray you’re wrong, and I’ll ensure that my children are raised in a such a way as to seek Liberty and opportunity at any turn and at any cost.
I anticipate the US being a big player in this “darkening age”. In the midst of another “crisis”, the American left will attempt to co-opt religion (with cooperation from popular Christian denominations) in an effort to attract a significant portion of the religious right. They will then steamroll a big government + big religion “solution” (i.e. decree) on the entire world. In one of the last acts on this world’s stage, government mandated morality will constitute the outward manifestation of the Mark of the Beast as described in Revelation.
Too bad. Worse for us.
Dark age = Obama&Co.
The War of 1812 was fought over neutrality and impressment, and we tried to take Canada away from the British. The attempt failed when the French refused to rise (second time that happened), and the British tried to take New Orleans, and that failed.
Quite a shoving match for little gain on either side, except a decision that "we need to stop doing this."
Jimmuh Carter redux. A profoundly ignorant non sequitur. Nowhere in the history of this Nation's founding was there defined a mission to incorporate "universal values" into foreign policy. This article is the product of a stupid man, pretending to think.
“we need to be cautious not to overreach and give the power to a new-age Mussolini.”
Damn! I must be REALLY confused! I could have sworn we already have a “new-age Mussolini”.
“Without universal values in our foreign policy, we have no identity as a nation,” says Kaplan
Jimmuh Carter redux. A profoundly ignorant non sequitur. Nowhere in the history of this Nation’s founding was there defined a mission to incorporate “universal values” into foreign policy. This article is the product of a stupid man, pretending to think.
You tripped over the article at the same place that I did. Your response is much better than the one I was thinking of. I would add that foreign policy is the outgrowth of the identity of a nation—and not the other way around. When the identity of a nation becomes garbled —so will its foreign policy. That’s happening now in the USA
>>>Make no mistake, folks, if we live through this administration, America is going to come roaring back and quite possibly as a nationalist, maybe even fascist, powerhouse on the world stage. We need to project strength and unity, but we need to be cautious not to overreach and give the power to a new-age Mussolini.<<<
I’ve thought about this often, ever since I took a college class called “History of Rome” about 30 years ago.
When the Roman Republic was collapsing, they gave unlimited power to Augustus, and if my memory is correct, one of the first things he decreed was a return to the Republic - notwithstanding the irony of a king declaring that liberty was restored. Unfortunately, Augustus did a pretty good job for several decades, and the memory of the old republic was gone for good.
After handing over succession duties to the Praetorian Guard following some nasty crises, the empire created the Pax Romana.
I could see this happening with us. The republic comes to near collapse, a strongman (or woman!) comes to the rescue, the nation is restored through extraconstitutional means, and we march into the world to kick some ass and restore order. The Romans lasted another 1,400 years after Augustus in one form or another. So could we. The Pax Americana, followed by a slow decay. Perhaps an Alaskan Byzantium, hanging on as the world changes around it.
Then, maybe in a few thousand years, maybe in a place like Mars or a distant planet, someone will look at the Constitution and the Federalist Papers and Tocqueville and wonder about liberty and limited government and individual rights, the same way our founders read Cicero and Plato while wondering why Periclean Greece rose and died.
My bet is that you’re right. We’re entering our empire phase. It’s not the end of the United States. It’s just the end of the republic.
God help us.
Obama is more like socialist Hitler. Mussolini was a fascist which is the opposite side of the political spectrum as Hitler but equally dangerous.
Mussolini is the opposite side of the spectrum from Hitler?
I think you have been misled, my friend.
Do some research on the political spectrum and its continuum. It is NOT LINEAR. The political extremes are fundamentally different but functionally the same. Hitler was a communist, espousing the idea of equality. Mussolini was a fascist, espousing the power of a police state over individual sovereignty.
“Hitler was a communist, espousing the idea of equality. Mussolini was a fascist, espousing the power of a police state over individual sovereignty.”
Amazing! I didn’t think anyone still bought into that. I am almost 69 and I was seeing that “political circle” stuff where you go to the right until you come back to the left and vice versa when I was a kid. I really thought its day was over.
The only thing that counts to me is whether someone believes in human freedom or they don’t. That IS linear and Hitler and Mussolini are both on the same end of the spectrum as Obama, no belief in freedom regardless of what they may have said or still say. Whatever Hitler espoused is of no matter, he most certainly did NOT DEFEND OR PROMOTE equality.
I always remember the rule from “ANIMAL FARM”, “All animals are equal but pigs are more equal”, Hitler and Mussolini along with a host of others were pigs.
I was always taught that the political spectrum from left to right was never linear or absolute in either direction. Fascism and Communism have so much alike that many confuse them, but they are fundamentally different in their approaches.
I view the left/right scale as a circle where eventually you go so far left that you wind up back at the right side of the scale or vice versa. The “middle” isn’t “Liberty,” per se. We are a center-right nation in that we espouse Liberty through individual sovereignty, and thus self-responsibility. Obama is trying to drag us to the left into Democratic (simple majority, mob rule) socialism, which in turn leads to communism.
Our “sweet spot” should always be center-right where religious liberty and personal responsibility reign over government. We are guided by the Judeo-Christian ethic, and that can never be left of center.