And we are starting it off with a bang.
I’m not particularly exercised about the assassination of this extra-territorial Persian adventurer. As I was reminded this morning, these people are not our friends.
Jawing about foreign policy is fun. It involves abstract, meta principles and few personal consequences to most of us. On the ground in the Middle East, Iran wants to be the center of a pan-Shi’ite orbit just like the Gulf Arabs want their own pan-Sunnah. Israel has decided it wants its neighbors to be retrograde Sunni regimes so that’s the side we pick. The Shia seem more content to allow Christian praxis and the Sunni, and in particular ISIS, are barbaric absolutists. Soleimani was singularly responsible for the elimination of ISIS and hence the continued existence of Christianity in Iraq and Syria. Of course, Islamic apostasy–conversion to Christianity–remains punishable by death in Iran and elsewhere. Again, we have no friends there.
The Middle East is an ancient, corrupt hall of mirrors and the United States, a young country, has no business blundering around in it. The Baghdad embassy is a billion dollar middle-finger to Iraqi sovereignty. It’s staffed by Ugandans and other foreigners and government being government, is a vehicle for all sorts of waste and grift. It is a forward operating base of US empire and it drew flak. I really can’t intelligently discuss the pros or cons of hitting Soleimani in response. I think if an embassy is hit you hit back but this is no mere embassy.
As Zahra Shafei observes, the US is a multicultural empire riven by a growing number of ethnic differences which Iranians like everybody else are happy to exploit. If we go to war with Iran they will call it a white, Jewish war; reason number x of many not to fight it.
Bear in mind I thought the Big One was coming last year but we have so far not stepped in that pile. But the decade is young.
Moving on, we finally get to say the Roaring 20’s again, instead of the clunky Oughts and Teens. It’s also our last chance to revive Art Deco but we won’t.
As I write this, the likely Democratic nominee for US President is Biden or Sanders absent some extraordinary jump in somebody else’s popularity or super-delegate maneuvering. Biden is in visible cognitive and physical decline. There is an accelerating upslope to decrepitude that begins for the elderly and Biden has hit it. He has said he will be a one-term President; I don’t think he’d make it through one term.
Sanders is a very recent phenomenon in US politics: a true-believing Marxist and social democrat. He is very far removed from the mainstream American ethos but he’s promising free stuff and the capitalists aren’t doing much for their image these days. He’s also 78 years old. I cannot imagine him and Stacey Abrams in the White House but it’s not really my country any more.
Will Trump be re-elected? I don’t know. I’m torn on whether he gives my team vital political and cultural space or not. Should I vote for him as an accelerant of collapse, as Biden or Sanders surely will be? I’ll have to think about it. But rest assured gentlemen, the Age of Ideology is over. There will be no kindly Mitt Romney or principled Jeff Flake slobbering lovingly over the 14th Amendment to save you.
Everything’s an accelerant now in the new political and cultural dynamic of the US. A large number of us say with a straight face that they want one billion people here. This is of course completely insane but liberalism–classical and otherwise–has no limiting principle. It will march itself into the very abyss, calling it Progress, Principles, the Constitution, the very Moral Arc of History. To oppose it is to be racist, Nazi, or on some Russian’s or Iranian’s payroll. And that’s just what the Conservatives will call you! (Speaking of Russian and Iranian payrolls, somebody hook me up. I might as well make money off this). The tribes can no longer agree even on the framing for debate. I’m not writing a book here so I need not go into the ethno-cultural and economic fault lines. They are abundantly documented every day.
It can’t last so it won’t. Prepare yourselves.
Meanwhile, in my very tiny slice of the Internet, the IT industry tells me I’ve got about one or two thousand people regularly reading my stuff. Twitter has become my largest referrer followed by unz.com. According to the algos, a quarter of my audience is solid middle-class and another quarter upper class. Everybody has premium brand buying habits so I appeal to the elegant poor as well. I have gotten a few e-mails over the years including some very interesting red pill accounts. All the intellectual ferment is on our side. I have no idea how many of us there are in the larger sphere but enough to germinate a Sublime Porte. Lift, train, pray.
Thank you to all my readers and followers. The Twenties are going to be quite a ride.