Tuesday, 12 August 2014

YANKEE GO HOME: THE STRANGE DEATH OF THE PAX AMERICANA

It is a paradox that while we have more information at our disposal than any other people in history, we have fewer facts. For every standpoint there is an opposing one, equally fought for and bolstered by just as many proclaimed ‘facts’. To support any position or its opposite, and as the deconstructionists used to say, a reading of the text can be organised. Take as an example global warming.

One side in the debate believes mankind has accelerated climate change to an unsustainable degree – as in Michael Mann’s infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph – while the other (think Bjorn Lomborg, Mark Steyn and Christopher Booker) believes the role of man in global warming (although it exists as the expression of a temporal cycle) is grossly exaggerated to protect revenue streams via government funding, as well as emphasised so the AGW coalition can bask in the sunlit uplands of the moral high ground, that much-disputed territory. To take a reasoned stance in this tsunami of conflicting information, I find myself reduced to applying the Three Wise Monkeys principle. Simply put, if David Cameron, Nick Clegg and David Miliband – aided and abetted by their courtiers in the media – tell me something is the case, the opposite must a fortiori be true.

But if the emergence of facts from this morass moves at a glacial pace, and is even then hopelessly moot, there is one unassailable truth that seems to be emerging from the chaos; the decline and fall of the pax Americana.

With the phrase named for the famous pax Romana of the Roman Empire – which also declined and fell, as Gibbon notes – the world order dependent on America is no longer underwritten by that waning power. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, no one could seriously doubt America’s hegemony. Moralists can churn out verbiage about the bombing of Japan all they like. It ended the war because America said the war must be ended. America spoke and the world listened. It was the rationale of the cosa nostra, but the war was over.

If you thought America’s twin A-bombs were insane, prepare yourself for Harry Truman’s commentary on the vaporisation of two cities. The atomic bomb, America’s atomic bomb, was ‘another weapon in the arsenal of righteousness.’ This is reminiscent of F1 driver Alain Prost commenting on an insanely dangerous manoeuvre by his nemesis, Brazilian Ayrton Senna. Senna had almost run Prost, who backed down, off the track. The sad-eyed Frenchman said in an interview; “How can you race against someone who has God in their car?”

America does not have God in its car anymore. It doesn’t have too much of anything. It still has military muscle, but much of this is engaged tip-toeing around Islam both at home and abroad. In the growing vacuum, Putin knows he can do what he likes. So too Kim Jong-Un, Assad, Netanyahu, ISIS, Boko Haram or whoever else is this week’s bad guy, today’s recipient of the two-minute hate. If the best that the rest of the ‘free world’ can muster is a strongly worded rebuke from the UN, tyrants will scarcely quake. In the coming realignment of global power, those crushed under the tyrant’s heel won’t get very far calling Sweden.

And while the liberal-left smiles smugly at the demise of the country they regard as the Great Satan just as strongly as their new head-hacking friends, we may look ahead at what replaces America. When the Islamic and Chinese historians of the future come to write the history of the 21st century – for we are told that the victors write the histories – what will they say about the might, vanity and hubris of the United States?

They might say that here was a country embodied as an ideal and underwritten by a Libertarian constitution. They might also say that here was a superpower that scolded itself to death. Just as Orwell wrote of England, the US is a family with the wrong members in control. America differs from the UK in that it never had to be sold multiculturalism because it was founded on that very principle. But there is a new kind of liberalism abroad, a poisonous fraternity every bit as dangerous as George W. Bush’s Skull and Bones.

Now that the magic fairy dust has finally rubbed off Obama (note that the queue of Western politicians clamouring for a photo-op has dried up), people can see the Emperor’s lack of apparel. He has added $7 trillion to an already unsustainable debt. He has personally overseen the de facto opening of the USA’s border with Mexico. He has publicly stated that ‘the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet’, alluding to Mohammed. Add this to a list of near-impeachable scandals – IRS, NSA, Benghazi, Fast Track – and you can see the wisdom of putting an ex-community organiser mentored by Communists and Black Liberation theologists in place as CEO of the world.

Financially, the game is up for America. As Mark Steyn writes, you can bail out Greece. There isn’t enough money in the world to bail out America.

We have had an ambivalent relationship with postwar America; we snipe at it while we scrabble after the gewgaws of its culture. I’m so bored with the USA, sang The Clash, although they would soon be dressing as American rebel icons and champing at the bit to tour there. We are all, even the progressive left who dominate UK ideology, in thrall to this cognitive dissonance.

One more fact amid the flotsam and jetsam of modern dis- and misinformation. When those robed and severe historians do come to pen The Decline and Fall of the United States of America, they will take a little time to ponder and puzzle – and find an appropriate translation for a phrase alien to them – over the quaint solecism ‘human rights’. They will be a thing of history, as well as one of the stoutest knots in the rope with which, as Lenin predicted, the West hung itself.

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