janan.ganesh@ft.com: ‘Great-power politics suits America more than nation building’. Philosophical Apprentice comments.

When will the political romance with Joe Biden come to an end? The alliance between the Neo-Liberals, masquerading as New Democrats, and The Neo-Cons, is sure to suffer unbridgeable policy disputes. The Neo-Cons are by nature – their Founder Leo Strauss’s philosophical mendacity is founded upon internecine philosophical quarrels, with an actual History of Western Philosophy abandoned to a toxic, self-serving Mythology. Imagine the power of Strauss! It almost resembles the power of Heidegger, before the publication of the now notorious ‘Black Notebooks’. I’ve wandered a bit. the

Let me focus on this Ganesh paragraph:

 America’s knack for great-power politics is as consistent as its fumbles against insurgencies. The fledging republic saw off British menaces, kept Europe out of its civil war, beat Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany before nursing both to pacifist democracy and waged a cold war of immense craft and patience against the Soviet Union. US failures, whether in south-east Asia, the Middle East or the Horn of Africa, have come mostly against non-sovereign enemies in irregular conflicts.,

This paragraph, takes the practice of History Made To Measure, that renders the attempt to be succinct, into nearly illegible shorthand. While demonstrating a kind of historical grasp, resembling a Walt Disney cartoon, expressed in the quick flashes of montage. The ‘stills’ run at high speed of montage, defines this essay. A revelatory selection:

the innate difficulty of counter-insurgency, America’s weird history as a superpower, Having had few colonies in the formal sense, the nation’s political, military and even journalistic elites tend to view conflict as that which takes place between states., A superpower tussle is a beguiling return to the familiar. ,It is the relief of a governing class finding its métier again. The change goes beyond the conceptual to the guts and grease of US power. , Heroic financial and intellectual resources went into refitting history’s mightiest armed forces for the nimbler work of the terror age, Great-power strategy will be a kind of liberation., What really sets the new era over the old one is its potential for some semblance of domestic unity., What stands out about the US ordeal in Afghanistan is not the death toll, which roughly equals the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

The reader just needs to steel herself for the final paragraph of Mr. Ganesh’s collection of ‘stills’ run at high speed , that might be suggestive of a possible set of arguments, but does not constitute such.

No, the grim distinction of the past 20 years is the collapse of the national cohesion after 9/11. For all its heinous violence, terrorism was too diffuse a threat to give Americans that sense of besieged togetherness that past eras conferred. A conventional superpower, with four times their population, just might. A nation that has often defined its identity against an Other was never going to find it in Afghanistan.


America is still the Occupier of Iraq, an Embassy that is a fortress of American Power- the reader should treat the notion, that somehow America will leave Afghanistan, as the purest kind of fiction!

Philosophical Apprentice

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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