July 7, 2008


America's special grace (Spengler, 7/08/08, Asia Times)

To ascribe a special grace to America is outrageous, as outrageous as the idea of special grace itself. Why shouldn't everyone be saved? Why aren't all individuals, nations, peoples and cultures equally deserving? History seems awfully unfair: half or more of the world's 7,000 or so languages will be lost by 2100, linguists warn, and at present fertility rates Italian, German, Ukrainian, Hungarian and a dozen other major languages will die a century or so later. The agony of dying nations rises in reproach to America's unheeding prosperity.

An old joke divides the world into two kinds of people: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't. America is one of the things that sorts the world into polar opposites. To much of the world, America is the Great Satan, the source of the plague of globalization, the bane of the environment, the Grim Reaper of indigenous cultures, the carrier of soulless industrialism, and the perpetrator of imperial adventures. To hundreds of millions of others it is an object of special grace. Whether one subscribes to the concept or not, America's grace defines one of the world's great dividing lines, perhaps its most important.

Violent antipathy to America measures the triumph of the American principle, and the ascendance of America's influence in the world. America's enemies make more noise than her friends, but her friends are increasing faster than her enemies. America's influence in the world leapt as result of her victory in three world wars, including the fall of communism in 1989. Arguably, America is ascending even faster today, despite the reverses in its economic position and the strains on its military resources.

Victory in the fourth phase of the Long War (actually four since just 1914--and that's only if we don't count the French capitulation) couldn't help but add to the ascent.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 7, 2008 7:25 AM
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