Tuesday, 15 November 2011

utopian gesture

More toxic yet, I believe, than politicians and their squabbles, though sometimes and in some places they are genuine and productive--the growing pains of democracy and inclusion--but mostly rightly adjudged as corrupt and self-interested, is the attitude, best exemplified in the sentiment of American Exceptionalism and the unsinkable promises and aspiration to maintain the chauvinism and clout of days and decades past (but the USA does not have a monopoly on hubris nor is the USA alone with her illusions of perpetuating institutions as they are). Despite what the prophets of doom are preaching, Europe and America are secure and can provide for their people, but dominance and even identity (tradition within bounds but also grandeur and influence out of proportion) have been supplanted by business and the bets that dictate the limits of sway and how far one can involve or distance oneself.  Crafters of State ought to recognize whether the effort expended is bent on re-capturing old glories--manifest destiny and merry old England, preserving values and norms, or if all that energy is re-directed towards making the landscape favourable for business that knows no borders, cultural or political.  National arrogance, insistent and potentially seductive, is dangerous enough on its own in any context but has the capacity for more damage when aims of peace and true prosperity are edged out by trade and economic demands that would preserve institutions (the topography) at any cost, delusional and empires without end.