Janan Ganesh frames his latest essay via caprice, steadfastness,fickleness, Hegelian rhythm and whimsey. Old Socialist comments

Just a selection from Mr. Ganesh’s latest essay, on American Political life and Foreign Policy and its World-Historical repercussions. In sum a collection catchphrases-sometimes expressed as sentences. In sum, the rhetorical architectonic is based upon fragmentary thought, held together with stylistic embellishment, one of his writerly gifts.

No one is better placed to restore the US to planetary leadership.

Whatever the empire’s faults, caprice was not among them.

When the cold war ended, so did America’s steadfastness. The pattern since has been one of abrupt swings not just in policy but in underlying worldview from president to president.

When US fickleness recurs in trade, global health and other realms, you can see how countries might come to make their own arrangements or, in time, to throw in their lot with a more predictable superpower.


Mr Biden could run a masterly foreign policy, then, and still fail to recreate the kind of US influence that he knew from childhood through to middle age.

Aware of its relative youth as a civilisation, the west often assumes that Asia sees history as a vast Hegelian rhythm, measured out in centuries.

The Chinese pitch to wavering countries almost writes itself: better a heavy-handed superpower than a whimsical one.


Old Socialist

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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