Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why It Should Matter

I have a new post up on Barely a Blog, run by the brilliant Ilana Mercer. (Ilana is a terrific writer, superb researcher and a classical liberal par excellence; if you're not a fan of hers, you should be.)

If you want to help others understand why what is happening in the Balkans matters in the grand scheme of things, I've laid it out there, in 700 words or less. I can expand upon just about anything in there, at great length - but that's the gist of it.

As for the why and wherefore, my theory is that it's all about power. As Robert Higgs has documented, the U.S. government has a history of claiming more powers for itself in times of emergency. Not surprisingly, that ends up resulting in a constant state of emergency, with government authority approaching infinity.

Now apply that to the international stage. The Cold War is over, the rules you once agreed upon to constrain your rival (who vanished almost overnight) are now constraining you, and you need to find a new cause to justify your dream of a "benevolent global hegemony". So you find (and just in case, instigate and stoke) a brutal civil war somewhere prominent, which gives you a pretext to posture at white-knighting, and get rid of those pesky laws and rules in the process.

If that happens to replicate the policies of Hitler 50 years prior - who's going to notice? Your people only know Hollywood history anyway. If you can declare your targets the Nazis Reborn, adding insult to injury, so much the better. All for the sake of bringing about the desired End of History...

People who dismiss American exceptionalism don't realize that it actually does exist - albeit not in the way its proponents would appreciate. This may well be the first hegemon in world history that self-destructs by dismantling the underlying principles of its own hegemony, because they are considered inconvenient. The proverbial cutting the branch one's posterior rests upon, as it were.

1 comment:

pebblemeddle said...

Another great post! I am a Serb who has lived in the U.S. for about thirteen years, and I find American foreign policy scary. Serbs seem to be continuously in the wrong, and, for example Israelis, no matter what they do, it always turns out to be OK. " Serbs in Croatia were denied autonomy and expelled en masse, but Albanians in Serbia were given independence," this is a great point, something that I still find simply unbelievable.