America is not the answer. This statement does not constitute sacrilege, as we've been conditioned to believe. Yet its opposite assertion, the prevailing sentiment of our times, is taken for granted and only rejected by the remnants of the sixties radical Left who haven't yet gone mainstream, mad or over to the neoconservative Right, where the business of quasi-religious global revolution, still, is so much better.
But this sentiment, that American values and institutions, that is to say America, are the answer to the ills of the world, is sacrilege in the literal religious sense, as well as loosely speaking--against decency, good sense, modesty, those tragically under-appreciated values that compel us to, for instance, recognize the rights of nations to self-determination and liberty. This widely held if little examined faith works through the same means of cultural intimidation as political correctness--is becoming intertwined as an article of political correctness--and is how liberal interventionists and neoconservatives alike have become the useful idiots of adventurous practitioners of machtpolitik--Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, et al. It's illustrative that there's not an ideologue in this unsavory triad.
We have become incapable of recognizing the tragic pride of this attitude. This, the closest thing we have to a national religion, is a faith that cannot rise to the level of religion because it requires nothing of us--other than nodding, unthinking acquiescence to power. It combines the worst aspect of religiosity--resistance to contradictory reality, with the worst consequences of secularism--immodesty, intellectual and moral sloth, decadence. We forget ourselves.
Read the whole thing. By saying that America is not the answer we actually defend America from people who would turn our republic into an empire. We can not maintain an internal republic and an external empire. They are not compatible. Liberals and neoconservatives both promote American exceptionalism as an argument for remaking the world. Patriots should hear these calls with skepticism.
Update: I am reminded of a quote from John Adams:
Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2008 July 05 11:47 AM Cultural Wars Western|