“President Obama is finding to his surprise that his deconstruction of America cuts both ways,” Richard Fernandez writes:
A 21st century person visiting ancient Athens by time machine would find a world not much above subsistence with animals wandering the unpaved streets. Food would be basic, unappetizing and crude. Effective medicine would be nonexistent. There would be no lights after dark apart from a few flaring torches. Yet there would be a shared way of thinking and values in common, drama, art, patriotism and belief. They would be an Athens, not just in the nominal sense, but as a way of life. And it would mean so much to them they would defend that way of of life to the death against the hordes of Persia.
By contrast modern societies are like thin clients; portals for passing influences. Being an American or Briton now means nothing more than having a passport with those words printed on the front. Like your computer Browser western societies have no inherent sense of state. There is no thing-in-itself. Data is injected from somewhere and the browser re-renders itself and morphs into something else. In that world being an American is no more different than being anyone else.
President Obama is finding to his surprise that his deconstruction of America cuts both ways. After convincing voters that America never had any strategic interests in Iraq, he can scarcely muster any argument for doing anything there. If any Mexican can come across the border to become “American” then there’s no reason why said “Americans” should obey him, and not the president of Mexico. After all the president of Mexico speaks Spanish and Obama doesn’t.
Having proved to all that “nothing is worth dying for” it is all too easy to add “including anything Obama tells you to die for”. By converting the US Ship of State into a clown car Obama made himself a clown. And that is how Obama is being treated. He’s excluded from talks between Putin, Merkel and Hollande over the latest crisis in Ukraine though doubtless he’s being kept informed on the golf course. Obama is out of the loop as Leader of the Free World — a term which itself was made a running joke by the Left — so why take it seriously?
Saul Alinsky wrote Rules for Radicals as a shortcut to bringing down the American postwar middle class society — its techniques are a useful wedge for those who wish to use political jujutsu to leverage strength against those perceived to be more powerful and entrenched. But he never asked “And then what happens?” Once you’ve weaponized a mob and torn down a society from within, how do you govern the atomized new world you’ve created?
Or as Richard writes:
There is probably no way back to the America of [Thomas] Sowell’s memory. The American operating system is gone. We are in a Leftbook world. No local hard drive, no local culture. Just whatever. Alas the Left has found to its surprise that they are not the only ones who can hit the CTRL-F5 keys. The Islamists can do it; the regional powers can do it; and Putin can do it. And they can’t object now, for the hole they opened is free for everyone to use. By destroying the operating system they have lost control over the peripherals which were once wired to the Pax Americana.
Read the whole thing. Also note this:
Al Qaeda hardly ever won a single kinetic battle against the US. But it won the fight that counted. By their brutality, obstinacy and will they have proved they will not go away before we will.
I’ve seen this movie before.