lege mea Vates cantu, normaque leguntur –Albertino Mussato
My name: g.v. wilkes iv, phd
My location: Victoria, BC, Canada
This be a vanity blog, my brothers and sisters. Vanity, all is vanity. And a lot of combat, criticism, and commentary.
The views I express here are my own, only my own, solely my own, and I represent no person, no group, and no institution, other than myself, and even then only partially and inconsistently, as my actions, and my intentions, are seldom in perfect accord, and they are subject to constant revision, review, clarification, and correction.
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Tag Archives: U.S.
In the decision delivered in November of 2010, the U.S. Democratic party was reduced to the rump of a regional party dominated by its California and New York delegations. These are states and urban concentrations dominated by the spoils-politics primitivism that passes for progressivism in our backward era:
[…] If you believe some pundits, California, New York and Washington, D.C. represent progress due to the enlightened social and environmental rhetoric espoused by the media, academics and politicians based in these regions, writes Joel Kotkin for http://www.newgeography.com in an essay titled A Most Undemocratic Recovery
The sovereign debt crisis in the form of the U.S. national debt has paralyzed the U.S. political classes, as I report here:
By way of contrast, the leadership of the G20 has risen up from its slumbers in a remarkable show of unity, leadership, and coordinated action, and not because of, but in spite of, the U.S.’s own Timothy Geithner:
[...] “Finance ministers of the world’s leading economies have been so spooked by the sovereign debt crisis that they have decided they can no longer wait until economies are growing strongly before they remove fiscal stimulus,” write Chris Giles and Christian Oliver from a marine observation station in Busan for the Financial Times in a story titled G20 drops support for fiscal stimulus, which means the G20 told Timothy Geithner and his Keynesian witchcraft to go straight to hell.
Caption: The Wheel of Fortune. U.S. leadership has fallen to the bottom of it. Or is this the tortures of the damned and the U.S. is paying for its fiscal sins? Either way, it fits.
It gets better, brothers and sisters.
- Europe also tells Geithner to go to hell: ECB Advocates Tightening as U.S. Urges Domestic Demand Growth
- And so does the German Chancellor: Merkel Says Recovery Can’t Trump Cutting of Budget Deficits
To our American brothers and sisters: Please wake up.
In an earlier transmission I wrote:
[...] [Prof. Michael Hogan's goals for the study of public address are indeed noble.] But they leave unaddressed the primary dilemma of civil society in our era: the decline of secularism and the organization of what Habermas would call a post-secular society. I do not endorse Habermas’ solution or even the term “post-secularism.” But so far as I know he’s the only major voice that has even posed the right questions. Others insist that Traditions cede their claims, their exclusivity, or their historical projects, because e.g. history is over and the model of liberal democracy is now the only model. Still others announce a “clash of civilizations.” Until we develop a positive program the clashers have it right. Or at least brute fact supports their view. Recent examples include Mumbai and Gaza [...]
Here would be yet another solution as set forth by Thomas P.M. Barnett in his Great Powers, to be published by G. P. Putnam’s on February 5, 2009. It falls under the rubric of STRATEGIC SOCIAL ISSUES
[...] “Finally, on the most personal questions of identity: If you can find your way to allowing freedom of religion in your country, we will do our best to reciprocate regarding any demands you may have for cultural separatism. While we don’t believe that such separatism is good or healthy, because it tends to prejudge the talents and ambitions of those we fear are trapped within its walls, we believe in voluntary associations–even those that won’t have us as members. But we know this: Humanity’s paths to happiness are as varied as the human condition. While some of us may applaud your achievement of a strict social rule set in this regard, none of us will countenance your unreasonable desire to impose those strict rules unwillingly on others. If you can accept that while your definition of God’s law may be forever, humanity’s need for rule of law is persistent, then we’re willing to let you carve out an enclave within our global society.
America doesn’t pretend to have all the answers regarding this historical integration process we now call globalization. We do, however, want you to recognize that we inhabit the longest-running experiment of states and nationalities and religions uniting in the common cause of individual freedom, collective security, and economic prosperity. We understand that our model does not constitute the universe of possibilities even as we seek to universalize those possibilities.” (pp. 414-415) [...]
Barnett proposes that the U.S. State Department trade some form of freedom of religion in return for respecting claims of exclusivity (cultural separatism). Similarly in the Detente era the U.S. bartered recognition of Soviet claims for the limited political freedoms of its Jews, other oppressed ethnic and national groups, and its more celebrated political dissenters. So Barnett’s bargain can also be read as a Detente redux because it discovers its logical basis in the same Cold War accommodation.
Barnett’s bargain conveniently codifies current practice and reflects point for point the West’s inconsistency on this issue. For example, how would Barnett rule on the U.K.’s official sharia courts? So—at least it would seem—Barnett’s bargain reduces to foreign policy void of respect for domestic or civil concern. A so-called grand strategy—and Barnett’s concern is to produce a U.S., post-Bush era grand strategy—would necessarily comprehend both the foreign and the domestic. At the level of the grand strategy the distinction between foreign and domestic no longer holds. How a polity understands those within its jurisdiction who hold to a tradition that does not admit of the claims of a civil society is the decisive question of our era. It was the decisive question when the nation-state system began to consolidate itself—it often took the form of the Jewish Question or various critiques of colonialism or imperialism—and now as the nation-state system begins its long decline and disaggregation, the question is raised anew with new actors, new social forms, and new material conditions. Barnett—alas—offers us no guidance.
Or am I missing something? Does Barnett have an answer to this question that he shares elsewhere?