Robert Kaplan: America is ‘fated to lead’, a comment by Publius

I have spent the last three days reading Mr. Kaplan’s 24 page rambling screed , ‘The Coming Anarchy‘, at The Atlantic published  in 1994, just to become familiar with his writing, and found a font of American white male paranoia about the Other:

This exercise in the paranoia of The Hegemon, our enemies are everywhere, is part of the debate in America that included Huntington’s ‘Clash‘ , Fukuyama’s ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ and that cornerstone of Conservative Sociology ‘The Bell Curve’. Huntington tipped his hand, a bit later in his career, as seer of the fact that America was surrounded by Civilizational Enemies, but more particularly by the Mestizo Hordes,south of our borders, about to engulf American Anglo-Protestant virtue in his Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity. Mr. Kaplan and his philosophical/historical/political allies are of the Neo-Conservative Declinism School of historiography: the marriage of the Staussians and the epigones of Schmitt.    

The operative metaphor of “fated to lead” offered by Kaplan, extemporizes of the central theme of European Colonialism’s ‘mission to civilize‘.  Parag Khanna review features the idea  of ‘East Coast “universalists” as being out of touch with the rest of America. The question occurs, is it Kaplan’s or Khanna’s idea?   The actual term for these ‘East Coast “universalists” is political cosmopolitans, Parag Khanna should know this term!

Yet the reader who confronts the empirical evidence of this weekend , January 28 an 29 2017, at airports across America, in the wake of Trump’s presidential edict/order, to halt refugees/travelers, even Green Card holders, from selected Islamic States, to enter or re-enter America, seems to put that notion of American as ‘fated to lead’ into startling perspective, except to the politically myopic. The potential facts of wall building, and the blockage of the free movement of travelers, threatens the very Free Market Ideology that the Financial Time celebrates as the sine qua non , raison d’etre of The West. Or has Kaplan simply intuited the sea change, from Liberal Internationalism to American Nativism, and tailored his historically informed geographical speculations to the Dismal Age Of Trump?



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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