A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
There is little question in my mind that the United States is losing its sovereignity. I believe this has been inexorably occuring since Woodrow Wilson led us into World War One, and after that conflict, was instrumental in establishing the League of Nations. In the late 1980's we heard of Bush 41's "New World Order", and have seen the nearly uninterrupted ascendancy of the United Nations. Today, we see global economic conditions paving the way for discussion of world currencies and governing bodies. Get ready - we will be hearing of these things in the next three to five years.
Now what exactly does it mean to say we are losing our sovereignity, and what are the implications of it? And even if you agree that we are, is that necessarily a good or a bad thing? When Americans thump their chests and talk of sovereignity, it is typically with the implicit assumption that it is a vitally important and GOOD thing. But the most autonomous political entities of the last two hundred years were Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia - the two greatest killing machines in history. I would argue that autonomy is neither good nor bad. It is a descriptive not a prescriptive.
One must always be wary of speaking in generalities, but it is a necessity when addressing large questions in short articles. With that caveat, I submit that Europe, as people of my generation grew up knowing, is gone. The rich cultures and traditions that formed out of the wreckage of the Dark Ages, then gained strength via the political reforms and liberalizations crafted by England in the Middle Ages, has now morphed into a nearly unrecognizable polyglot of states and principalities, devoid of independent political thought and action. One need look no further than Europe's collective denial of and inability to deal with the ethnic cleaninsg atrocities of the 1990's to see an example of their political and social paralysis. I believe the reason they lack such independence is that they lack a collectively assumed life of culture and thought. Again - one can argue whether this is good or bad, but I do not believe we can question its reality.
It is happening here on a number of fronts, and while it has many causes, there are two primary ones. First - the worship of the god of tolerance. Another significant factor is the professiorial elite that populates the History and Philosophy Departments of our large State Universities, so called professionals who have intellectually emasculated their students with the debilitating lie of moral relativism**. Now tolerance is a worthy goal when applied to the context of indivdual relationships and attitudes towards others, and there can be no question that good has come of it. But in our rush to legitimize the notion that every thought or idea or creed is as good as the next one, we have obfuscated the reality that some ideas and systems are - dare I say it - BETTER than others. So immersed in and seduced by this new secular religion are we, that we are unable to define and declare firmly held positions, much less have the audacity to condemn anything. Think I exxagerate? Consider the term "suicide bomber". Instead of calling them the blood-thirsty, murdering terrorists that they are, we instead assign them the quasi-honorable military title of "suicide bomber". This despite the fact that their actions clealy tell us their objective is not suicide - it is mass HOMICIDE. But we dare not say it - for who are WE to judge?
None of us yet what the Obama Administration will hold in terms of foreign policy, the role of the State Department, or our long-standing participation in that odiously corrupt and and hopelessly ineffective money laundering body known as the United Nations. But what I pose is the question of American sovereignity. And what I point out is that political sovereignity is impossible without some semblance and content of a shared cultural distinction - an implicit understanding and acknowledgment that there are certain things that define countries and cultures.
Do we have a culture left that can be described as AMERICAN? Do we WANT to have such a cultural definition?
Or is America becoming no more than a geographic term that helps identify the continent known as North America?
It is time to ask such questions.
**For fascinating analysis and discussions of this, reference The Closing of the American Mind by University of Chicago Professor Allan Bloom, and Tom Wolfe's, I am Charlotte Simmons.