@EdwardGLuce & The Great Man. Political Observer comments

While babies in Vietnam are still being born with catastrophic birth defects from the effects of Agent Orange, decades after the end of the American Anti-Communists crusade or just call it mass slaughter, The Great Man is treated to lunch by a pundit who disingenuously call him consigliere, as the-in-order-too of not sounding too much like what he is, a sycophant to The Great Man.  Did Luce even mention his book ‘The Retreat of Western Liberalism’ ? Isn’t there some kind of obligation, on the part of the guest to know something of your host’s latest accomplishment? Or is the aged Great Man above that kind of social obligation?

The essay unfolds in an almost comic mode with Luce planning to waylay The Great Man into  ‘spilling the beans’ on the Know-Nothing Trump. The dramatic  tension is non existent, as this 95 year old is more interested in having an audience who simply listens, in awe, to his estimation and opinions about the wider historical  scope of his intelligence: his specialty is Foreign Policy Metaphysics. The Great Man doesn’t disappoint himself .

Mr. Luce knows the Party Line by heart, as he helped to construct it: Russian revanchism, the end of the ‘rules based order’ meaning the erosion of  NATO, in sum the ‘decline of American Power’. Or rather, the fact that Europe is no longer in need of American tutelage.  The burning question is TRUMP and his chaotic practice politics and his disturbing propinquity for another political monster Putin.

This little melodrama ends with Luce helping The Great Man to his car in the rain, and the ‘server’ speaks to Luce with some pertinent information: “Dr Kissinger has been looking forward to this lunch for days,”  

Political Observer



@Cusanus @StephenKMackSD @Tickytl

Thank you for your comment. Having read Habermas’ ‘The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity’, ‘The New Conservatism’ , ‘Postmetaphysical Thinking’ and Specter’s intellectual biography, your : Habermas is a weak sociologist from the Frankfurt School and their near-communist ilk dressed up as a weighty philosopher. Is not just overwrought, but reflective of ideological myopia, to be polite. Intellectuals/writers/philosophers,  in Europe, don’t seem to share the animus to Marx and his epigones, that is given full cry in your brief against the heretical Habermas.

If you read ‘ Theodor W. Adorno, One Last Genius’ by Detlev Claussen, you can read Horkheimer’s scathing letter to Adorno, about Habermas failure to meet his standards as a member of the Frankfurt School. The letter is published as an appendix to the book. Habermas went his own way, as his ‘Public Sphere’ demonstrated over time.






Thank you for your revelatory post and the link! A quotation from the summery :

  • Kissinger ignored a recommendation from his top deputy on the NSC, Viron Vaky, who strongly advised against covert action to undermine Allende. On September 14, Vaky wrote a memo to Kissinger arguing that coup plotting would lead to “widespread violence and even insurrection.” He also argued that such a policy was immoral: “What we propose is patently a violation of our own principles and policy tenets .… If these principles have any meaning, we normally depart from them only to meet the gravest threat to us, e.g. to our survival. Is Allende a mortal threat to the U.S.? It is hard to argue this.”
  • After U.S. covert operations, which led to the assassination of Chilean Commander in Chief of the Armed forces General Rene Schneider, failed to stop Allende’s inauguration on November 4, 1970, Kissinger lobbied President Nixon to reject the State Department’s recommendation that the U.S. seek a modus vivendi with Allende. In an eight-page secret briefing paper that provided Kissinger’s clearest rationale for regime change in Chile, he emphasized to Nixon that “the election of Allende as president of Chile poses for us one of the most serious challenges ever faced in this hemisphere” and “your decision as to what to do about it may be the most historic and difficult foreign affairs decision you will make this year.” Not only were a billion dollars of U.S. investments at stake, Kissinger reported, but what he called “the insidious model effect” of his democratic election. There was no way for the U.S. to deny Allende’s legitimacy, Kissinger noted, and if he succeeded in peacefully reallocating resources in Chile in a socialist direction, other countries might follow suit. “The example of a successful elected Marxist government in Chile would surely have an impact on — and even precedent value for — other parts of the world, especially in Italy; the imitative spread of similar phenomena elsewhere would in turn significantly affect the world balance and our own position in it.”

Viron Vaky made the unforgivable faux pas of making a ‘moral argument’ against Kissinger’s plan: the Policy Technocrat, in due deference to the benighted Herman Kahn legacy, only formulates policy within the frame of ends,means and possible outcomes. That has proven to be utterly catastrophic, to the a world subjected to the machinations of Great Men like Kissinger, and his apologists.

Best regards,


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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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