Thursday, March 24, 2011


An article in ‘The Nation’ – trusty supporter of all things progressive – worriedly and apparently with some surprise notes that a number of women within Obama’s circle pushed for war with Libya.

Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice – “all three are liberal interventionists” – are apparently convinced that “when the United States exercise military force it has some profound, moral, life-saving character to it”.

I mention this not to politicize this blog but to note what has long seemed to me to be a powerful but little-noted dynamic in national politics: the National Nanny State and the National Security State are “sisters under their skins” (from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “The Ladies” here).

They both seek government-heavy intrusion using its police (domestic) or military (foreign affairs) powers.

This was – it has always seemed to me – a significant element in the ‘justification’ for the Mania Regime. Building upon the legitimate international Victimology insight that an awful lot of human beings are somehow receiving less than a decent shake in life, the American variant – adopted and mutated by the feminist and victimist advocacies – incorporated this element into the ongoing political scrum of American Identity-Politics gender wars starting in the later 1970s.

As the article notes, “all three are liberal interventionists, and all three seem to believe that when the United States exercises military force it has some profound, moral, life-saving character to it”. In the case of authoritarian regimes (which the US had previously supported or at least tolerated) the old neocon bit about ‘democracy’ has been joined now by a New Left and ‘liberal’ and bipartisan support for ‘democracy’.

But as so often nowadays – as was true in the days of the USSR and its official statements – it’s all in how you define ‘democracy’. Recall that long roster of People’s Democratic Republics that the USSR and its eager imitators erected after World War 2; you would have thought the world was overflowing with ‘democracy’ and ‘democracies’.

In the present case, ‘democracy’ as it actually operates in the Beltway now includes (although nobody would prefer to mention it) the entire panoply of feminist ‘reforms’ which have worked so well over here. Thus, bringing ‘democracy’ to any country is going to include the assorted ‘liberations’ that not only insist that the Beyond has no relevance to modern political discussion (or even the living out of one’s life) but also that women must have full economic and political participation and they must have it now. Thus the old American dampdream of liberating folks from the tyranny of absolute monarchs or totalitarian governments now includes liberating some of them from the tyranny of patriarchy and ‘men’ generally.

This is going to be a tall order. While all countries want to modernize and achieve the fabled Western economic abundance (at least for their elites), few of them want to secularize and Flatten their lives into the monodimensional prison of Postmodern American Correctness and all its pomps and all its works. And all its ‘reforms’ and ‘liberations’.

While Americans have managed to not-think about it too much, then, there are few countries that want to introduce the American government-heavy reforms. Which may well include sex-offender registries and the panoply of the Mania Regime. Indeed, if recently liberated from police-heavy government, what new democracy is going to want to impose upon its people – and what citizenry will lightly accept – the maintenance of huge police files, the replacement of government-friendly, prosecution-rigged courts, and skewed laws and jurisprudence with ‘victim-friendly’ courts and jurisprudence, and the police-heavy intervention into the very domestic hearths of the Citizenry – so eerily similar to the old ‘midnight knock on the door’?

And I’m going to imagine this is true for many women in those countries as well – although the American media prefer to accentuate the positive and the Correct by focusing on those few Westernized local females who Tweet and very much would like to see themselves among any new elite that is installed.

Having achieved some critical mass in the present American political establishment there is a strong push for well-situated women to push their agenda overseas in order to keep the ball rolling. And that objective feeds directly into support for military intervention (since, it would appear, political agitation isn’t working – perhaps because folks ‘over there’ still know a bad Tire when they kick one).

And what government in its right mind wants to start a culture-and-gender war? It worked over here only with the most active and intrusionist thumb of central government placed onto the scales of the political process and the suppression of any deliberation that looked like it would lead to public doubt and disagreement with the agenda. No genuine new democratic government is going to want to try and unleash that – and if it tried, then it would take more American money (in short supply) and even troops (ditto) to impose it, and probably incite a civil war.

(That the gender and culture wars here did not result in an actual shooting war is a compliment to the general peaceableness and maturity of the American domestic democratic ethos - despite the shrill assertions that almost half the population are by their very nature vile aggressive violent and sex-drenched maniacs. And if you want to say that all that was just part of the bumptious ‘start-up’ phase of radical feminisim beyond which it has now ‘matured’, then are we to imagine that a democracy somewhere ‘over there’, imposed by military intervention, is going to spring into existence fully-matured, replete with a passive Citizenry from the get-go?)

The Mania Regime(s), I hope it is clear, are an essential part of the gender-war. And even though the Beltway is trying to get beyond all that (by hoping that enough people now accept ‘the new normal’ in these matters as they are hopefully going to accept the diminished ‘new normal’ in economic affairs) yet these laws remain on the books and there is still lots of behind-the-scenes agitation for funding and increased power.

And in most countries in the Developing World (i.e. still small enough to pick on from a military point of view) the culture and people are still deeply religious. Will they want to welcome the assault on religion that is part of the necessary operational strategy of the secularizing elites? They can see what has happened to the Catholic Church over here as the eerily-undying ‘priest abuse’ program enters its 3rd decade.

So it seems to me that what is happening now has to be seen for what it is: a ‘deal’ whereby the New Left can make common cause with the neocon Right in this continuing effort to impose agendas by force.

This is what the SO community has been seeing for decades now domestically. And while the Beltway has been able to control the spin on the domestic results, it will have no such ability to do so – except perhaps within mainstream American media, which are only a small part of the world and foreign media – in other countries where folks are also able to form their own impressions and act vigorously on them.

For every ‘terrorist’ in Afghanistan, I imagine, there are a hundred folks who have simply decided that they don’t like what they are seeing and don’t want the entire American agenda foisted on them and their culture. They don’t like ‘missionaries’ and they most certainly don’t like – to use Napoleon’s acute phrase – “missionaries with bayonets” (or drones or any other whizzbang improvements on the theme).

And I think that this ‘Napoleon’ complex is precisely what is being fed – now not only by the Divine-Deputy neocon Rightists but now as well by the ‘liberate-from-oppression’ New Leftists. Just as Napoleon sought to impose the French Revolution (not ‘democracy’ in the sense of the American Revolution) throughout Europe back in the day.

So, after long decades, the SO community is seeing the Mania now spread – as perhaps it always had to – into an intensifying derangement of foreign policy as it earlier deranged the domestic ethos.

This will not end well.

Much remains to be done.

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