The Words of the Kaufmann Family
No World Order
McCurry warned, "Itís going to cost consumers money, itís going to provide a competitive disadvantage to people who manufacture satellites, it will probably put at risk a lot of jobs of American workers." ó Clintonís China Policy in Disarray
House votes to repudiate presidentís policy of approving Chinese missiles carrying U.S. satellites into orbit By Tom Curry and Robert Windrem MSNBC
George Bush was understandably excited to witness the "Fall of Communism." all the more so since his mentor was instrumental in bringing this humanitarian achievement to pass.
In a moment of exhilaration President "Weak on the Vision Thing" Bush dreamt aloud of a "New World Order." Now thereís an internal contradiction that would have made even Communist Philosophers jealous. A new world without vision? Order in human affairs without vision?
President Bush proved prescient in the wrong half of his schizophrenia. While we have perhaps the most fully and actively fractious world in human history, perilously without order, we abound in direct proportions in visionless leaders.
President Bush is often mocked for his dream of a unified world, but he was not wrong to do so. Circumstances were in fact ripe for the pursuit of harmonious relations among nations, but what was needed above all in this auspicious and fleeting moment was vision; more precisely an animating ideology. It is in many ways unfortunate that the final collapse could not have occurred while Reagan was still at the helm, for he perhaps more than any conservative leader in recent memory understood that ideology is the soil of ideology. Bush simply lacked this intuition, and as a result sputtered to an end as a one term president, more ignominious than anyone would have expected.
The Cold War was in essence an ideological battle. The Western warriors had a vague ideological commitment to a carelessly wed triptych of "democracy," capitalism, and ever more anemic hints of Judeo-Christian metaphysics. It is the failure to recognize the disintegrating roots to the divine which accounts for the current, ominous state of international relations, and ease with which the Arkansas Mafia has been able to drag our nation into disgrace.
The cold war provided an enemy that operated systematically and self consciously along ideological lines. This actually helped an intellectually sloppy "West" to patch together at least a minimal sense of purpose and self-understanding.
Because Communism was such a carefully and consciously crafted metaphysics, it forced us to some extent to cobble together a little system of our own.
Communists insisted that there is no God, we insisted that there is one. They established state tyrannies, and militarily enforced socialism, we promoted democracy, with its attendant freedoms, and free enterprise. Their conscious definition of who they were, also pushed us to keep our self-defining feet to the fire.
With the demise of communism though, this convenient, external prod for our own self definition was removed. This important point is what George Bush failed to notice when he excitedly, and accurately identified that international developments encouraged hopes of a new world order.
The fall of communism instantly made the US the only super power, and put it in a position to take a significant leadership role in human affairs. Problem was however, If we were to lead in ways other than merely by default, we would have had to make explicit the ideal toward which we would have hoped others to follow. This would have required the identification of a foundational metaphysics whence we could derive or intuit this "ideal."
The fact that neither Bush, nor anyone from that side of American politics could generate a "global" ideal, led to the steady disintegration in human affairs since the elections of 1992. It also accounts for the mysterious inability for many American people to recognize that the Clinton couple are evacuating the hard won foundations of American political and social culture of its goodness and its ability to stand.
The ideological vacuum left by the abandonment of an ideal and a goal grounded in a fundamental metaphysics has been filled with consumer materialism. People have come to assess the health of the society based on the Dow.
This is dangerous in countless ways. Perhaps most so in the absence of an ever present, altruistic check to greed and self interest.
The inevitable economic boon brought about by the end of a very expensive Cold War (known as "the peace dividend") has blinded the American public to the glaring red flags that signal haunting decline, not only domestically, but perhaps most unerringly in international relations. Who can not but shudder to see Iran congratulate Pakistan for its nuclear tests!?
It is my contention that the purest evidence that free market capitalism, and the pursuit of personal lifestyle improvement canNOT substitute for a complete world view grounded in metaphysical claims is the existence of the indefensible, and inherently criminal arms trade. Its commodity in fact is our future.
If America represented a value system worth defending, Americans would not tolerate a President who sold its country to enemy nations so as to support an election campaign.
When, however, the sole criterion for judging right and wrong is the Dow, the people lose the ability to recognize the loss of virtually irrecoverable moral foundations. We gain from this the loss of a nation, the loss of international respect and moral authority, the loss of a generation, and perhaps worst of all, the world loses a guiding light.
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