Wednesday, November 02, 2005
But, obviously, the president is the one who makes foreign policy, and the secretary of State is the one that implements foreign policy. And it's the country's policy.putting aside the near-certainty that rumsfeld does indeed know wilkerson despite his denials, this is an obvious and monstrous lie -- foreign policy has become a defense department activity in this administration as never before, capping the long decline of the department of state. as was reported by ivo daalder and james lindsay in 2001, funding for state has been slashed by half since 1985 -- a trend which has continued under this adminstration. of course, foreign policy plays an ever larger role in american politics with every passing year as we grow more imperial and global as a suzerain. so where has the money and power funneled? to the lowest point, of course -- the department of defense. this parallels a similar trend regarding intelligence, where the cia has been gradually sidelined, being made scapegoat for intelligence failings that were not solely its responsibility, in favor of military intelligence -- nearly 90% of intelligence funding is now allocated to the pentagon, not to the cia nor to the state department's intelligence resources.
this misdirection and obfuscation of the increasingly militaristic operations of an american government consolidating under the aegis of the department of defense is a constant issue from the bush administration, which, whether or not it understands the potential implications of this course for a free society, does not wish to be questioned in any way about its executive prerogative to behave imperially. these trends are symptoms of the madness of decline, with a management class uncomfortably aware of the loss of merit that once commanded respect and fealty both within and without western society. in its place, regretting peace for war, eschewing concordia for control, they have worked tirelessly to construct a authoritarian leviathan, designed to extort by force that which is no longer deserved and has not been deserved for some time now. as the paranoia within the american management class grows -- believing themselves heavily charged with the defense and perpetuation of western civilization and the world and fearing themselves not capable of the task in any other terms, with our government and indeed our society growing ever more frightened, ever more insecure, ever more unstable -- we also grow ever more militant in response.
it can now be said that the events of 9/11, terrible as they were, should not have elicited the wild, unfocused, outsized and ultimately futile response that it did from american government. when the criminal actions of a band of insurgents against an american suzerain is enough to push our fading political and military juggernaut into attempting the hopelessly utopian and godlike task of remaking an entire region of the world and the home of an entirely different culture in our own image, it can be observed that the depth of our decline into paranoia and managerial futility has been underestimated by just about everyone heretofore -- and indicates that western civility is indeed far advanced in the direction of barbarity and, ultimately, its own dissolution. the hubris that comes before a fall is upon us.
we are far from the first to walk this path. the athens that survived the peloponnesian war, shocked and broken by the discord and destruction of hellenic internecene warfare, desperate to force harmonia where none was merited, devolved from democracy into a utopian conception of spartan military dictatorship. this model of authoritarian control meant to stand against gradual dissolution was widely adopted by city-states as discord spread throughout the greek world, and whether it slowed or accelerated the pace of decline is a subject of debate. its adoption in hellenized rome following the destruction and chaos of the punic wars made sparta the model for roman empire, plato's republic writ immense. its failure is apparent in the record of almost constant domestic unrest and foreign agitation with occasional repreives which was the nature of the roman world between the death of hannibal and the implosion of the third century, then hanging on feebly at the cusp of anarchy until alaric's sack of 410.
this is a picture of our possible future as much as any past. notwithstanding the dissembling cant of our management class, we in the united states, nervous masters of a global anglophone empire that has been constructed and maintained since the advent of british imperialism under the rubric of globalization and facing its baffling perplexities, now flirt with, even demand the outright establishment of this vulgar spartan system in our cultural desperation to stave off the decline into powerlessness that has grown to be for so many our unspoken social obsession.
Yeah, the Soviet people will never embrace capitalism and liberal democracy. It's silly to think they ever would, or could.
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