Vladimir Putin, President (for life?) of the Russian Federation DailyPnut.com
While Democrats continue to obsess over imaginary connections between Donald Trump and the Russian Federation, they seem to pay little attention to what the Russians actually are doing, and what their motivations might be. Yet, as current events involving North Korea and China remind us, allowing wishful thinking about our foreign adversaries to blind us to their very real threats is the height of folly. Chickens almost always come home to roost
Today, I read a very thoughtful essay by a Wall Street Journal editorial writer, Sohrab Ahmari, based in London, on why international events have taken such a disastrous turn for the West. Entitled How Nationalism Can Solve the Crisis of Islam, its subtitle is “Transnational liberalism breeds resentments and anxieties that are only beginning to surface across the developed world.”
With that title and subtitle, you can already sense the beginning of an attack on the conceits of modern day multiculturalism.
The French people unmistakably delivered a repudiation of the French political establishment yesterday when they chose Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen to advance to the second round of the presidential elections.
This Sunday, the 23d of April, 2017, will see the first round of the French presidential election. The burning question it poses is: Will the many revolts of Western civilization against its leftist, dirigiste elite be continued with the French election?
GDP per capita in Europe in 2014. According to the World Bank, the U.S. GDP per capita in the same year was $54,540. Wikimedia Commons
In this post,I will continue my look at what history can tell us about economics and politics. In my last essay, I briefly examined what lessons the major leftist revolutions — the French Revolution and the communist revolutions of Russia and China — could give us. In this post I will investigate how the economic and political history of post-French Revolution Europe might cast a light on the current American progressive-neoliberal conversation.
Very little divides American citizens more than questions about how the U.S. should interact with other nations. This has always been true about questions of national security for most of my not inconsiderable lifetime of 70 years. Lately, it has also become true about questions of international trade. What general rules should the U.S. follow in reacting and adapting to the challenges of other nations? It might be popular nowadays to assert the U.S. should not engage in nation building, but should that always be the case?
The Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Peril in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Four identical sculptures are locate in Buffalo City, South Africa; Changchun, China; Sarajevo, Bosnia; and Sydney, Australia Wikimedia Commons /paul (dex) from Toronto
Much of the impetus toward political correctness and identity politics in the U.S. and Europe has been imparted by the political philosophy known as multiculturalism. The acceptance of multiculturalism by many of the American Left is the one cultural threat (that I know of) to our present, commonly accepted basic human values at the very top level of our differing value hierarchies. For now at least, the most basic human values, which I discussed in The Basic Values Needed for Our Politics, are common both to most progressives and neoliberals (aka conservatives). As I discussed in Values, Reality, and Politics, the reasons for why progressives and neoliberal conservatives go for each other’s throats has little or nothing to do (at least currently) with differing fundamental values at the top of their respective value hierarchies. The gulf between them comes from how their clashing ideologies generate divergent lower level values to achieve the higher level values. Each ideology gives a different picture to its adherents of what Reality would allow us to do to achieve those most basic values.
Yet, multiculturalism, a political philosophy advocating a cultural relativism of basic values, threatens to change this picture to one where not even the highest level, most fundamental values are held in common. To understand this, consider how American progressivism has evolved over the past several decades. In particular, we need to understand the postmodern Left.
Last Sunday’s Italian constitutional referendum marks yet another step in the slow unraveling of the European Union and of European dirigisme. Following the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote to leave the EU last June 23, Italy’s vote against proposed legislative reforms is yet another popular protest against intrusive state management of society.
The administration of President Barack Obama may have marked the high-water mark of dirigisme in the United States. Brexit in Europe may have done the same for that continent. Hopefully, before the end of my life, I will be able to witness this milestone for humanity in Japan, Russia, and China as well. For Iran to achieve this may take somewhat longer, as that country has to deal with the dirigisme of a theocracy, and it is next to impossible to contradict the diktat of a god. Continue Reading…
Usually when we do not recognize some aspect of the nature of Reality, Reality reminds us — often in very unpleasant ways — that it is not to be ignored. Right now, it seems to be shouting at us! Continue Reading…
No American president in my lifetimehas had a foreign policy that has been as complete and total a failure as that of Barack Obama. Every foreign affair problem he has touched has turned to worms. The failures have mounted to such an extent that the very existence of our country is threatened. Most Americans would probably consider my last sentence to be extreme hyperbole, but taking a look at each of the threats against us, I can not see how the threats against us could be judged as anything less than existential.
It has been fifteen years to the day since the brutal attacks by Islamic jihadists on the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon across the river from Washington, DC, and the aborted attack on the nation’s Capitol that ended in an aircraft crash in a deserted field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The civilian toll of dead (2,977) exceeded all the casualties suffered by U.S. armed forces and civilians (2,403) in the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor, 60 years before.
Will Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini have the last laugh on history? There seems to be an almost universal rush among almost all the nations on Earth to become more like their prototypical fascist regimes. And no current nation on Earth is more like those 1930s fascist powers than the Russian Federation. Continue Reading…
The Western World’s political and economic elites, standing in for Macbeth’s witches, have certainly been fermenting Western discontent in their magic cauldrons. All over Europe and North America, electorates are seething with anger, frustration, and fear. Could this be the end of … what? It is hard to see exactly how the Western World will change its many world-views, but change them we must if we are to continue existing. If reality is actually different from our views of it, it has a tendency to remind us of the difference in generally unpleasant ways.
The American Left has a romance with European nations, particularly with Scandinavia, because of their supposed more socialist mix between the polar-opposite, platonic ideals of Socialism and Capitalism. Bernie Sanders, for example, believes we should sit at the feet of the Scandinavians and learn from their example. Last October during a Democratic Party debate, he said “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” A conservative rejoinder that it just ain’t so can take two routes. One is based on history, and one on economic data from the European countries. For the moment, I will take the data route, and discuss the history later in a following post.