Sunday, September 03, 2006
America's Blind Date With History
With A Side Order of New Age B.S.
We've already had a taste of Oswald Spengler and his successful prediction of the "Fall of the West," which just about everybody that I've run across in the last couple of [weeks] says did indeed come to pass, especially in France.
Taking into consideration a better translation of the title of his monumental work, The Decline of the West (in German - Der Untergang des Abenlandes), suggests "the going under (sinking?) of the outer lands," i.e., everything west of the Danube (or possibly the Dnieper), he’s proposing an almost cataclysmic cultural collapse. Apparently, Abenlandes refers specifically to Europe, but American is not immune to [Spengler's] analysis of History. America has only not declined yet, but hopefully won't if more people wake up to the present monkey wrenches being poked into the spokes of the Wheel of Destiny.
Simply stated, Spengler understood history to be cyclic in an almost organic way, with nations going through various phases of religious and intellectual growth in their evolution to Historical pre-eminence.
I will argue here that the fulfillment of America's historic Destiny as democratic role model to the world and template of humanist dignity and individual freedom, has, in Spengler's sense, been rudely interrupted, and the Middle East, which had passed out of History with the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, is now being dragged back onto the world stage in an untimely and ahistoric fashion, exacerbated by the invigoration of fundamental religionists in America, obfuscated by the rise of multi-culturalist New Age cults, and aided and abetted by the secular religio-politics of neo-conservatism.
This secular and rational modern republic [America] was tested and passed the audition with the "winning" of the long Cold War, only to suffer the hubris of the Vietnam misadventure. As America was never intended nor designed to be a global empire, the failure of the Vietnam adventure was not properly integrated into the American psyche, and resulted in a national psychic schism, with a concomitant turning away of her elites-in-training from the Enlightenment and its rationalist ideals.
In post-Vietnam America, this schism manifested itself as a rejection of secular rationalism by the Yippies, hippies, and liberal multi-culturalists (while embracing an unregulated libertarianism) in the 1960s. This produced both our now-familiar neo-conservative 'democracy-imperialists' as well as a bitter backlash from conservative religious denominations of every stripe.
Continue reading America's Blind Date With History at TPM Cafe.