Zeitgeist

Three Flavors of Modern Anti-Americanism

March 13, 2012

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Canada is an even more blatant cultural parasite (excrescence may be a better term) subsisting almost entirely on what we send them. It is infuriating to watch Canadian academics clutching our PC best-sellers while lecturing us on how naughty we are for not imposing gay marriage nationwide and not jailing anyone who opposes it. Our social poisons fill Canadian bookstores and permeate Canadian movie screens. If we”€™re unhappy that anti-American foreigners take our stupidities seriously, let’s stop sending them our entertainment and leftist political tracts.

America’s most intelligent critics stand on the true European right. They are the remnants of the conservative nationalists in England, France, Germany, Flanders, Spain, and Italy: cultural traditionalists who scorn our decadence and the tendency of our political class to jerk around Europeans. These “€œdetractors”€ don”€™t take kindly to what Allan Bloom, in his strange 1987 “€œconservative”€ classic, The Closing of the American Mind, praises as the “€œAmerican educational experiment”€ of making war to force others into embracing “€œdemocratic equality.”€ But Europe’s beleaguered conservative critics are isolated, which may make them despise American cultural influence and democratic imperialism all the more.

These critics of our late modernity resemble what David Frum once denounced as the “€œunpatriotic right”€ in the US. They also sound like the late George Kennan (1904-2005), who feared the American expressions of what the Bible called “€œthe reign of arrogance.”€ A reflective patrician with a Presbyterian moral sensibility, Kennan became increasingly alarmed about where the US seemed headed. When he was 90, Kennan published a short book called Around the Cragged Hill advocating the country’s division into seven or more autonomous regions. This would have allowed regions to rule themselves in accordance with the once valued ideal of self-government. Kennan’s decentralizing plan was also designed to keep the American empire from poking obsessively into other countries”€™ affairs. Clearly such plans reveal subversive thinking, and I trust the Philadelphia Society will soon be devoting itself to Kennan’s treasonous, un-American mind. I also trust that none of us will be asked to comment on this subject.

 

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