(draft: "The Canadian Century")
By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 9/4/2007
By now the fire was rising above the heap of dry wood, the flames were enveloping his legs, and in another minute they spread all over the tree . . . But are there any fires or any tortures or indeed any force in the whole world that can prevail against Russian force?
- Tarus Bulba, 1835, Nikolai Gogol
Anatomy of war behind, war ahead: War often builds on the same pattern – it is an abstract contention of the head at odds with the heart looking for a purpose and agents. When economy shifts radically, as it did in the 1830s and 1840s when American head and heart prepared for war together and again in 1929 in a different war, opportunity for the one or the other to take the advantage manifests in the matrix. It is worth noting as mortgage defaults are higher today than at any time since the Great Depression and the world economy is going through seismic shifts, primarily because of the rapid rise of
Sun Tzu said in a line made famous in the movie Wall Street that the war is over before it begins: The fight, when it comes, is only the result of forces and efforts which have been working unnoticed or willfully overlooked in political delusion or hubris over long periods. Over decades perhaps and possibly interlinked to the beginning of human history itself. Countervailing and struggling possibly even to the Creation. It comes maybe - as Walt Whitman said in the greatest ever observation on American karma - from our “unsatisfied Soul” seeking passage to the sun and moon and all the stars and Sirius and Jupiter.
When moral purpose is set the spirit flares and a dissident individual or a minority oppressed by the opposition must be found to team up with. Then organically, that interior minority or individual falls into the alliance with the side which opposes its master. But that individual may be an abstraction as well, like Eliza, the heroine of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, who, possibly more than any real-life individual, brought the modern world into existence.
Bush in 2005 wanted to ally his cause with every dissident group he could find on the planet, in effect seeking a global struggle to “democracy” by direct military invasion and intervention not conceived of in scope since the dark sun of Joseph Stalin rose in
War changes a country’s collective personality and psychology: The Mexican War prepared the South psychologically to fight in a greater war shortly after, and World War I awakened a barbaric sensibility in Germany – a primal spirit of the earth god Woden depth psychologists have called it – that would shock the world as it had never been shocked before 25 years later.
This (“never take any of your tools off the table”) is a standard Best Practices consideration of middle management conference-goers today, adopted by Presidential candidates who Mitt Romney said correctly, “have never managed even a corner store.” One claims experience in this end-of-the-world-nuclear-winter scenario because one of her relatives was President and she watched for eight years. Not unlike the way one of the family, possibly one sweetly but sadly Touched by the Lord, would learn to milk cows up here in
Eliza was a fictional American slave who escaped to freedom in
But that which begins in abstraction ends in abstraction. Recently, Vermont’s state archivist, Gregory Sanford, in opposition to mischief makers (of which I am one) who seek Vermont secession has written that it is a myth that Vermont fought in the Civil War to end slavery: “Jeffrey Marshall, the head of Special Collections at UVM, has read thousands of Civil War letters from hundreds of Vermonters,” he writes. “He reports that only a ‘handful’ of the
Not to pick on that particular college, one of
But the chemistry of this history is about as complicated as baking a cake: The net result 25 years later is an army officer corp bereft of Yanks and made up almost exclusively of Southern and Midwestern officers, a very good many of them taken up by the fanciful Southern political direction (now waning rapidly) of Jerry Falwell and its millennialist fever, complete with visions of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Christ focused on Iraq. It was virtually an act of secession by these northern schools from the definitive federalist vision of duty, responsibility and dharma incarnate as
Historian Tom Gossett, late of Wake Forest University, in his learned and excellent text on race relations in the South shows the importance of the Negro in the Mind of the North in the mid-1800s; in the mind of Victoria, in the mind of the world: When Eliza crossed the frozen river breaking up and jumping from floe to floe with babe in arms, we crossed the river with her, cradled in her arms, as was the Christ Child in the early pictures of the Divine Mother at Bethlehem. The image of Eliza and her Deathless Child appeared throughout the world, writes Gossett, on cigar wrappers in tsarist
The march to the federalized state envisioned by
The Russians have planted their flag there in recent days; there at the North Pole; that singular place where the earth seems to align itself with the North Star. I seem to live not far away; in any case, as near to the North Pole as one can possibly live and still be an American. In the Border Lands in
It is starting to get crowded up here. New Elizas are coming here daily to the northern edge of
During the make-believe cold of the Cold War, the great Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung warned that as power grew in the post-war West and the “American tempo” rose in the world, we should be careful not to “project our shadow.” By which he meant that our enemy is us and as we build our own strength, it strengthens and builds our enemy as our Dark Twin, the
Our Shadow had shifted. But that element seems to be drifting now and even my hunting buddies, it is reported, are putting down their rifles and the whole culture appears to be dwindling. Perhaps we are devolving to reason and good sense and returning from Outer Space. But it could be bad too: If we shift back our focus we will only return again to our old and greater economic enemy;
The Russians will not go away. The Russians never go away: It is part of the Western heart as Particle is part of Wave. Contention between the East and West is the oldest in Christendom, pervading relations between Eastern and Catholic Christendom as early as 1100s and dividing the Roman Empire to its dual centers of
This division amplified in the Cold War and it flares again: When the Russians planted their flag at the North Pole it was at the end of a series of war games uniting
There was perhaps only one moment when this division could have been healed; when a mandala could have been placed between the heart and head to find union between the two rather than contention; to open passage to which the One could find its Long Lost Pure White Twin.
That moment was in the late 1990s when the Clinton Administration, intent on convincing the world and itself that in spite of the effeminate and narcissistic effects of the President and his agents, they were not anima polluted (for what there is a much better street expression), and could be as warriorish in the tradition as any who threatened Russia: In 1997 the Clinton administration led 90 Senators to expand NATO and bring a new line of nuclear weapons into parishes of the Eastern Orthodox Church on Russia’s border.
But these people, some of them Rhodes Scholars and educated in the most formidable of traditions – Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Berkeley, Oxford – indeed the entire State Department, the Foreign Service and all the well-funded think tanks and all of those men with the high brows and resonant baritone voices who come to Jim Lehrer’s News Hour, turned in the end only to one of two quite common voices – Robert Kagan, the anti-hippie of his generation, who had a gratifying vision of a Shining City in which China and the Yellow Peril did not even exist, and Newt Gingrich, a small-time professor from a heartland college who had traveled South like Simon Legree with a vicious grudge against the Northeast Establishment.
Early on; long before,
And when the
But it was the End of History, don’t cha know. The Russkie had fallen, and in one of the most pretentious pronouncements ever uttered by a think tank as the Age of Incompetence began to take on its head of steam, it was even called the END OF TIME itself!
But of course, it wasn’t. It was that our ideological Dark Twin was now weakened. Certainly it was morally weakened and condemned by its own, especially Gorbachev and our living Tolstoy incarnate, Solzhenitsyn.
In truth, the 90 Senators who voted for NATO expansion saw
That was the singular possibility. We could then have found our Lost Twin and embraced him. But the Democrats, under the aegis of the Clintons She and He and Al Gore who vigorously supported this policy, had ceases to listen to Kennan, Eisenhower and the Old School in any matters. They refused to listen to Kennon – our most esteemed diplomat since
Today Gorbachev no longer condemns
And two weeks ago
The planting of the flag was a Sputnik moment but underwater. Its purpose was to territorialize our northern regions and surely as if it was a war dog peeing the frozen tundra property line to warn off Canadian coyotes.
We moved NATO into
Our first crisis in
We have reached the turning point and the moment of high crisis – a crisis in competence in management but also in outlook. We can no longer go forward as a federation as
As a prominent
We have seen a complete failure of federalism in
When historians look back at this fin de siecle to see what happened here, they will see a turning of events stemming primarily from a crisis of competence in governance. Both parties are cursed by it and it plagues especially the rank and file. It manifests in elected Democratic mayors of cities like
This systemic incompetence started to become apparent when
The chaos and incompetence afflicts both parties. But on the Republican side, the adults have stepped in. The well-needed Baker-Hamilton report was simply an action by the well-regarded Bush family-fixer, James A. Baker, to stem a disaster wrought by a son randomly cast into the Presidency and fully unprepared for his responsibilities.
Unity 08, with prominent Libertarian, Democrat and Republican features, has proposed these past two years that it is time for a new approach and possibly a third-party candidate and just recently, Sam Nunn, the highly respected former Democratic Senator from Georgia, has announced that he has held talks with both Unity 08 and with New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg about running for President as a third-party candidate.
Recently, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Nunn, who retired from the Senate more than ten years ago, “ . . . has watched what's happened to the country, and he's more than a bit ticked — at the "fiasco" in Iraq, a federal budget spinning out of control, the lack of an honest energy policy, and a presidential contest that, he says, seems designed to thwart serious discussion of the looming crises.”
"It's a possibility, not a probability," Nunn told the
But a lawyer friend of Nunn in
Nunn said he's not likely to make up his mind until next year, probably after the early rush of presidential primaries have produced de facto nominees for both parties. He said the decision will depend largely on what he hears from the current candidates. The only certainty, he said, is that he won't be anybody's candidate for vice president.
In the Journal-Constitution interview, Nunn admitted he is also tempted by the fact that a presidential run would offer him a world stage to press for a revolutionary shift in
Reading the blog on Unity 08, Nunn is liked by its participants. More than any living American politician, he has brought sense and sanity to a world hell-bent on mutually-insured-destruction. Just this week he traveled to
Ultimately, he told the Journal-Constitution, if there's to be any chance of persuading smaller countries to give up nuclear weapons technology — and keep it out of the hands of increasingly sophisticated terrorists — world powers will have to put themselves on a gradual, verifiable path toward total nuclear disarmament. That includes the
Political debate has been captured by the extreme wings of both parties, he said, ignoring solutions that can only be found in the middle.
"I do not see tough calls willing to be made by the body politic," he said.
Nunn is a conservative and a hawk on defense. He is also CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a private charitable organization originally bankrolled by Ted Turner. Like colleagues Kissinger and George Schultz who he recently consulted with in private talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin on how to improve U.S.-Russian relations, he brings to the table a maturity that the Democrats have not shown in recent years and which is non-existent in the current line-up of Presidential candidates, several of whom were part of the Clinton’s Cajun Cartel.
Unity 08 calls for a new approach and in a recent NPR interview, CEO Robert Bingham called for candidates to name the teams they would bring to
I was delighted to read that Senator Nunn had talked to Mike Bloomberg about an independent run for the Presidency in ’08. I also think that he should take Unity 08’s cue and not only name the Cabinet or advisors he would bring to
And Mike Bloomberg is not the only billionaire who is considering third party politics. Warren Buffett shows strong interest in Arnold Schwarzenegger entering in a third party movement. Ted Turner might consider this as well; perhaps these and other philanthropists would join forces in a new third party direction. Consider that a Founder's Committee or Board of Trustees of some kind with responsible citizens from different walks of life might appeal to a larger group than just one person like Bloomberg or Buffett.
It is time for the Democrats to Kick it Old School and do as Baker did with the Republicans. Bring back the adults: Draft Sam Nunn.