Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The declining hegemony of the West.

The significance of the confrontation with Russia over Ukraine:
The developments in Ukraine and Crimea are especially troubling for the West because they violate the West's linear conception of history. On this account, the advanced first world Western nations are ahead of the pack, and trying, simply out of their great compassion, to encourage stragglers like Ukraine along the path toward EU and NATO membership, monetary union and a slow-moving, controlled national bankruptcy in the hands of the IMF. The fall of the Soviet Union was a key psychological breakthrough in this story they tell themselves. They thrive on this story, for it defines them and gives them their sense of meaning and purpose. Anything that undermines its basic premises and foundations is deeply disturbing. However, many examples of unmitigated failure in the 21st century have been hard to ignore and have made this narrative sound increasingly shaky. With highlights like 9/11, the fiasco in Afghanistan, the ongoing Iraqi civil war, the global financial meltdown of 2008, intractable unemployment and economic stagnation plaguing the West in these first 15 years of the 21st century, and then the serial fiascos in Libya, Syria, Egypt and now Ukraine, and it becomes easy to see the special significance that this particular confrontation with Vladimir Putin has for the fragile Western psyche.[1]
It just isn’t going according to the script. Don’t foreigners get it that we’re anti-Christian, anti-Constitution, globalist, pro-debt, pro-funny money, pro-Muslim, pro-minority, pro-immigrant, pro-choice, and pro-homosexual?! Good God. What do we have to do?! Elect a president who can string two sentences together without a teleprompter?

And, yes, ok, we did rip Kosovo away from Russia’s Serbian pals, but why would that concern Putin ("Puti Poo" to Bill O’Reilly, the most serious of commentators) now when we’re just trying to be helpful in Ukraine?

[1]  "The Madness of President Putin." By Dimitry Orlov, Club Orlov, 9/9/14. (Post title is from Mr. Orlov.)

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