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  • Obama and US Cultural Confidence

    Posted by Jonathan on April 10th, 2016 (All posts by )

    Richard Fernandez:

    President Obama got it exactly wrong when he argued in a Washington Post op-ed that “as the only nation ever to use nuclear weapons, the United States has a moral obligation to continue to lead the way in eliminating them.” What he should have written instead was “as the only nation ever to refrain from using nuclear weapons gratuitously when it had the monopoly on such weapons, the United States has the moral authority to lead the way in regulating them.”
     
    What gives the US moral authority is bias, the improbability of it using nuclear weapons in time of peace. You can be sure the USAF won’t nuke Chicago, or Brussels or Kampala tomorrow, even if it physically could, because of civilizational bias. The reason why Obama’s unilateral reductions in the American nuclear arsenal as gestures to nuclear disarmament are meaningless is because he’s not actually reducing any of the risk. All the danger is on the other side, where the bias goes the other way for aggression, conquest and world domination. That is what he seems unable to reduce.
     
    [. . .]
     
    The reason why statements like “Islam is the religion of peace” or “we will never be at war with Islam” are so dangerous is because they ignore bias and reduce the problem to the mere monitoring of things. They put the most important factor of all into the error term. The result is a world of runaway entropy that is more dangerous to everybody, especially to Muslims.
     
    [. . .]
     
    These Kurdish peasants instinctively remember what the West has forgotten, that man lives not just in a world of things but of angels and demons. Cultures and belief are not optional extras but the bedrock of survival. They know instinctively that for man to survive he must fight Evil which is real with the aid of the Old Ones, who are also real. Only thus can he change his biases; only thus can he get the better of entropy.

    President Obama is the anti-confident American. He seems to believe that his country should be taken down a notch or two, should apologize for past wrongs, should stop seeing itself in terms of confident exceptionalism. How’s that working out? Fernandez’s points aren’t new but bear repeating. Belief in cultural and moral equivalence is effectively suicidal. Our elites are too corrupt and incompetent to understand that this is the case or to know what to do about it.

     

    18 Responses to “Obama and US Cultural Confidence”

    1. TangoMan Says:

      He seems to believe that his country should be taken down a notch or two, should apologize for past wrongs, should stop seeing itself in terms of confident exceptionalism.

      He speaks for a very visible segment of the Left. Why any healthy society allows people like this to influence culture and partake of politics is something future anthropologists are going to spend careers examining as they dig through our ruined civilization and try to figure out what crazy virus infected us all to favor (the Liberals) and tolerate (the normals) the presence of such weirdos in our society.

    2. Mr Black Says:

      You give him undeserved credit by calling him the anti-confident American. He is simply un-American. He is a confident Marxist and internationalist, and his ambition to be President was solely to live out the Marxist fantasy of doing as much damage as possible.

    3. Jonathan Says:

      There are many such people on the American Left, which is a subset of the broader set of western leftists who are hostile to the cultures of their own countries. Perhaps problems caused by such people in free societies are as inevitable as is creative destruction in free economies. The main difference could be that creative destruction tends to channel the self-interest of competing individuals towards ends that are broadly economically productive (though not productive for all individuals, or even always for most individuals in the short term), while leftist politics tends to channel individual self-interest towards ends that are generally destructive. Is a “healthy society” in equilibrium even possible? Maybe the best real-world outcome is a low-amplitude series of oscillations between conditions of greater and lesser freedom and productivity as successive generations learn from or repeat the mistakes of their predecessors.

    4. Will Says:

      I believe Mr. Black’s assessment to be spot-on. Remember the barricades to keep elderly and wheel-chair bound WWII veterans away from the memorial? I also think that he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment to use nuclear weapons against his enemies, in fact, via his proxies he may just be arranging something along those lines.

    5. Roy Says:

      If there is not God.

    6. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I assume he considers the ending of WWII with far fewer casualties on both sides a bad thing. As was avoiding WWIII with USSR due the MAD doctrine. When does the ‘smartest guy in the room’ Obama show up, ever? Personally, I’ve never heard from him.

    7. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      I will add that the invention of fission and fusion weapons virtually ended great power warfare, which had not only been the norm but had been almost continuous prior to that. Far from being the destroyers of worlds, Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller were among the greatest savers of human life and national sovereignty of the 20th century.

    8. Mike K Says:

      ” Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller were among the greatest savers of human life and national sovereignty of the 20th century.”

      Yes, but that was in the era of rational national leaders. Now, we have a death cult running Iran and our president is giving them money, arms and permission to use them.

      I’m not sure Obama is purposefully killing the West. I think he has decided that it is his legacy to bring Iran into the “Family of Nations.” His leftist ideology requires such fantasies.

      This is old stuff and the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still” was an early example of such delusion.

      Obama actually thinks he can talk the Iranians and the Saudis into giving up a thousand year old feud.

      Of such delusions are civilizations destroyed.

      I’m an optimist. I’m buying gold and silver. Pessimists are building bomb shelters.

    9. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> I’m buying gold and silver.

      I’m always reminded of Casablanca:
      “But can’t you give me a little more?”
      “Diamonds are rife on the market, everybody sells them!”

      If the US economy collapses, where are you gonna go and what are you gonna do with some gold and silver?

    10. Jonathan Says:

      I will add that the invention of fission and fusion weapons virtually ended great power warfare, which had not only been the norm but had been almost continuous prior to that. Far from being the destroyers of worlds, Robert Oppenheimer and Edward Teller were among the greatest savers of human life and national sovereignty of the 20th century.

      Yes. However, as Fernandez points out, it happened this way because the USA always had either clear nuclear superiority or almost-superiority. The weaker our relative nuclear strength becomes, the more likely nuclear warfare becomes.

    11. Mike K Says:

      “The weaker our relative nuclear strength becomes, the more likely nuclear warfare becomes.”

      Everybody in the world knows this but Obama, and maybe Kerry.

    12. dearieme Says:

      “the USA always had either clear nuclear superiority or almost-superiority”: contrary to Kennedy’s lies at the time of his election campaign.

    13. Michael Hiteshew Says:

      >> “the USA always had either clear nuclear superiority or almost-superiority”: contrary to Kennedy’s lies at the time of his election campaign.

      I’m not sure we can know that. The Russians always did and still do have a well staffed and well funded disinformation directorate. When dealing with them, if can difficult or impossible to discern what is real and what is misdirection or propaganda. Sputnik, for example, caught everyone completely off guard. I assume whoever was advising Kennedy – who unlike modern Progressives was a capitalist and a patriot – felt there was a danger.

    14. Mike K Says:

      “I’m not sure we can know that.”

      Kennedy declined a briefing.

      Dewey, in 1944, was tempted to use the Pearl Harbor surprise as an issue but was warned that it risked disclosing our knowledge of Japanese codes.

      He did not mention it and lost. Does anyone think that would happen today ?

    15. Grurray Says:

      “If the US economy collapses, where are you gonna go and what are you gonna do with some gold and silver?”

      Gold’s drop from its peak coincided with the stock market rising to its all time high. Now the past year they’ve both basically gone sideways, but it isn’t so far-fetched to think that if the economy and the stock market falter gold will rise. America’s political uncertainty and dysfunction has to catch up to the dollar sooner or later.

      At the very least you can be sure that in 10 or 20 years gold will still have some value to someone somewhere. I’m not nearly as sure that will be the case for a savings account at a big bank.

    16. Tyouth Says:

      “…some value to someone somewhere.” Presumably the baker with surplus bread and the fish monger with extra fish will trade for some bars, or trinkets.

    17. Grurray Says:

      Lord knows I love Casablanca, and that scene is another great reason. The price of diamonds were always kept artificially high because of the De Beers’ cartel and good marketing. When push comes to shove, their real value always comes to the fore.

      Nicholas Oppenheimer, the billionaire in charge of the company, admitted this week that most of the sales growth in the U.S. over the past decade has been the result of clever marketing campaigns.

      There’s no logical reason why you should have to cut a check to Mr. Oppenheimer’s family, or even to their competitors, in order to ask your girlfriend to marry you on Sunday. But you probably will anyway. Most of us do. Marketing is a powerful thing.

      De Beers fortunes have been declining even more so since they lost a class action lawsuit a few years ago that they tried to drag on for a decade.

      On the other hand, gold and silver are hated by authorities such as the Central Banks to the point that there’s reasonable suspicion that prices are being suppressed. They unconvincingly deny its value, while at the same time hoard the most in the world.

    18. Mike K Says:

      “there’s reasonable suspicion that prices are being suppressed. ”

      I just read James Rickards’ book, The New Case For Gold.

      He makes the point that the US and China are both suppressing the gold price for different reasons. China is buying and amassing a hoard in secret. The US is trying to slowly inflate the dollar but does not want the gold price to take off. In the 1970s, the US sold gold and in the 1980s, Britain sold gold. Both did so to keep the price down.

      Gold stores are down in the west. Both Russia and China are buying, not selling. China wants the price low to keep buying.

      My kids will probably get the gold and silver but I want to try to leave them something of value.

      Diamond prices seem to be falling now anyway.

      The price of polished diamonds declined for the sixth consecutive month in August, driven by sluggish sales, the Rapaport Group, a company that provides research and trading services to the gemstone industry, said in its September research report.

      And larger diamonds have been leading the downturn, at least in part because of a shift in taste among Chinese buyers.

      The polished diamond market surged during the global financial crisis, when buyers sought out jewelry as a safe investment, and prices reached a record in the summer of 2011. But they have largely fallen since then.

      Gold is money. Diamonds are not.