Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

10/14/2009 (3:37 pm)

Decline is a Choice

Charles Krauthammer has written for the Weekly Standard what has to be the most thorough encapsulation of the US’ current international position that I’ve ever seen. It’s long, but in it he captures the heart and soul of President Obama’s foreign policy initiatives: namely, that the President chooses for America to retreat from the hegemony that was thrust on us unwittingly after World War II, and to become just one among many nations. All his policies, both foreign and domestic, are leading us in this direction. Decline, says Krauthammer, is a choice.

So why not? Why not choose ease and bask in the adulation of the world as we serially renounce, withdraw, and concede?

Because, while globalization has produced in some the illusion that human nature has changed, it has not. The international arena remains a Hobbesian state of nature in which countries naturally strive for power. If we voluntarily renounce much of ours, others will not follow suit. They will fill the vacuum. Inevitably, an inversion of power relations will occur.

Do we really want to live under unknown, untested, shifting multipolarity? Or even worse, under the gauzy internationalism of the New Liberalism with its magically self-enforcing norms? This is sometimes passed off as “realism.” In fact, it is the worst of utopianisms, a fiction that can lead only to chaos. Indeed, in an age on the threshold of hyper-proliferation, it is a prescription for catastrophe.

Heavy are the burdens of the hegemon. After the blood and treasure expended in the post-9/11 wars, America is quite ready to ease its burden with a gentle descent into abdication and decline.

Decline is a choice. More than a choice, a temptation.

His analysis of Obama’s foreign policy and its effects are spot-on. He’s entirely correct about the effect of Obama’s domestic policies on American economic dominance. He is correct about America’s decline being chosen and reversible. And, he is correct in noting that America is the most benign hegemon the world has ever seen, and the only one not to instantly and spontaneously produce a counter-force of allied nations to combat it.

I highly recommend this one.

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1 Comment »

October 16, 2009 @ 6:58 am #

Obama said:

“For a nation to remain a preeminent military power, it must remain a preeminent economic power.”

…which is why he is busy destroying America’s economy first. The rest of his plan will, of necessity, follow in due course.

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