There Is No Plan

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America Must Renew Its Mission

with 3 comments

there's no place like home

there's no place like home

History has a habit of surprising us. Rarely, have so many disparate causalities clashed so profoundly, so quickly, as they are now. The world is at a crossroads for a multitude of reasons, and stepping into the gauntlet to face it all is President Barack Obama.

Elected, in the eyes of many, as an agent of change, it’s beginning to seem hard to believe that he can still be that agent. It’s as if all the stirring rhetoric for which he has become quickly famous will soon be lost in an almost janitorial drudgery of merely cleaning up the mess that is the modern world. The dream of change that he offered us was not a matter of damage limitation, but on just about all fronts, both at home and abroad this is what Obama is presented with. But looking back to our past might once again provide us with the path to the future.

It would take a peculiarly energetic patriot to believe that the world is only facing cataclysm because America had abandoned its Wilsonian mission to lead. But somehow that is what we must believe. Competing interests need to be quelled in the name of common interests and a great peacemaker with real power is the only ‘agent’ that can bring that about. Whether the problem is China’s thirst for fossil fuels to feed its new consumer expectations, or neutralizing global Jihadism, America needs to once more be the world’s fixer in the name of global health and longevity.

Radical thinking is required to drive the new American mission. An inversion of neo-conservatism. For once and for all we have to find a way to expunge the lingering fear of old colonialism with a new paternalism born of generosity and good sense. We should bypass and weaken the United Nations, and realize that it’s a historical anachronism used as political cover by too many nations to excuse inaction. In its place we must create new more targeted bodies to preserve the planet in more intelligent way. International bodies with real teeth to enforce global financial health and security, global climate protection, and – by military means if necessary – of peace between and within nations. America can and should lead these new bodies. It must not be ashamed of its recent past. Faith in America’s manifest destiny can and will be rebuilt.

Of course, in order to make good on its promise to the world, America must put its own house in order at home, and quickly. America must find a way to harness its drive and entrepreneurialism with a new Social Democratic contract with its people, heaving itself into the future in a way it has never done before. At the same time it needs to rebuild its economic hegemony, reforge its military as a strike force for world security and rekindle the worth and pride in American citizenship. This kind of transformation has no precedent in virtually any state – without social revolution. And yet America must achieve this change in order to once more lead the world. The structure of our country, politically and economically make this an almost impossible task, but it must be attempted.

It must happen now. It must happen on President Obama’s watch. It’s just possible that global security depends on it.


3 Responses

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  1. Coolrebel,

    Thanks for the reply. I recognize your point about Chaos. Somalia is a current example of a non-government mess. In my blog, I’ve written about their pirates. So your point is well taken.

    But on the other hand, the government also seems to create Chaos. The Roman, Ottoman, British, and American Empires were/are largely destroyed from within. The Fed acknowledged it’s role (albeit late) in the first great depression. The Smoot-Hawley tarrif act shut down global trade back then. Now, our US-centric bailouts and our post 9/11 anti-tourist and anti-immigrant policies seem to have a similar effect. Wasn’t it the Fed who, after the dot-com era, artificially lowered interest rates below the market; and concomitantly Congress passed laws encouraging sub-prime loans? Who just bailed out $700B, and will soon be printing $2 Trillion more out of thin air. It was just 1971 when the US still had a gold-backed dollar. Where on earth is all that gold.

    Isn’t the government also the cause of predictable chaos? Isn’t it too attractive for the power-hungry to rule over their neighbors at the threat of violence? I bet the Iraqi’s, Afghanistanis, and the other people in 120 countries in which the US government’s military has bases feel their lives have more Chaos with the US there than without.

    I’ve completely lost hope in government after recently living in California and the most recent election. And unlike Somalia, the US has a history of freedom and, at least in some places (New Hampsire, “Live Free or Die”) and movements (Free State Project) a decent chance of peaceful people living together in totally voluntary ways with private roads, and private welfare and private schools. Given the horror of government care for the poor, and lousy schools, I’m willing to bet we wouldn’t be a Somalia. But I’m also willing just to settle for a government about the size allowed by the constitution. Again, Governments seem to break their own rules all the time (because no one will arrest George W for illegal Guantanamos, or wiretaps, or….). Do you know about the FSP ?


    January 5, 2009 at 7:40 am

  2. your liberatarian analysis of my thinking is thought provoking indeed. many thanks for taking the time to comment, and adding to the dialogue.

    The problem is that power always comes at the price of freedom. And yet without government there would be chaos.


    January 3, 2009 at 8:22 am

  3. I’m with you on the United Nations. But history also has a big habit of boringly repeating itself. Much of what has happened has happened before in other countries, past (e.g. Germany & the Weimar Republic), and present (Zimbabwe).

    I’m Patriotic for the ideals the US once stood for – which is the opposite of Wilsonian leadership. In fact, global policing isn’t anywhere in the constitution (remember that the US was not to engage in any entangling alliances). Nor is undeclared, permanent war.

    “International bodies with real teeth” sounds like a dystopian horror to me – it’s the opposite of patriotic love for freedom.

    I believe that no audacity of hype from Obama or any other politician will save us. For they don’t create value – only people freely creating goods and services do that. I really hope both you and I are wrong. Ubummer’s policies are nearly identical to Bush’s – he’s going to steal the value of the currency at an even faster pace than W, and both are willing to continue neo-con preemptive war policy, including in Iran.

    I fear the great Obamanation will roughly approximate what you propose and produce a much worse sequel to the Great Depression. There’s a reason the enlightenment was called that – people were free, out of the oppressive state of the dark ages – to create, to paint, to live freely. No government can live your life for you. I believe global security depends on our ability to create value for each other and thwart those who send our children to war, or live as parasites off the value creating class.


    January 3, 2009 at 4:43 am

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