Three wishes, as if in a fairy tale, are being prepared for the United States as it readies itself to be reborn for the new century, lest it turn out to be a still birth: use its regulatory power to ensure that the private markets invest in the country’s future; or the federal reserve financing the government deficits; or the United States getting used to borrowing from foreigners in their currencies, most likely in euros and then in BRICs, increasing our foreign reserves in mutual deterrence in a clumsy dance to peace.
After the blusterous unilateralism of W, America has become exceptional in its capacity to lose its exceptionalism, swinging the pendulum of internationalism to the other extreme as if on recoil. It seems as though a scared country does not want to continue to be in the bad books of the rest of the world. To become one of the boys we want to create a European health care system, partake in cap and trade and gradually transition the financial system to a mixed economy, à la Europa. The lampooning of Bush by the Europeans appears to have achieved the desired results for them in the post-Washington American politics which is bidding farewell to America itself.
The fiscal path the country is currently on, therefore, is to behave like the rest of them by borrowing in foreign currencies, as if Merriwether is going to save Aurora on her sixteenth birthday from Maleficent, with a kiss from Europe as America sleeps, so that Euamerica can live happily ever after 2050 for the world’s European populations to peacefully co-exist, strengthening their numbers in unity across the Atlantic: clean, green and living well like Hobbits and Elves.
The first two real choices are being marginalized in favor of the fairy tale of transatlantic, transcendental co-existence as if the purpose of existence of the United States will have been realized by 2050 in a more united and democratic Europe. The BRIC are being presumed to follow along, naming their streets and boulevards after those in Venice, Rome, Paris and London (the United States already does so) with Christian names for their peoples not far behind. This presumed transition phase expects to work hard to avoid the Armageddon in Jerusalem (it helps to know the revelation in advance), if they can, before Millennial Peace can set in. It is here that the fairy tale turns into a delusion and governments lose their moorings because they seem to be thinking that, if Constantine’s Rome could, so can the BRICs to eventually see the light. For rational people it is difficult to see which of the two, Armageddon or Millennial Peace, is the more self-fulfilling prophecy or if the former is a necessary condition for the latter.
This recession and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have hardly dented the U.S economy or polity if only the United States realizes how to benefit from its position of strength by not losing its sense of purpose instead of reacting to Cassandras foreboding the decline of the American empire which is a mythical place that does not exist. The reality is that Europe must liberalize its economies for it to unite better and the BRICs must both (more) democratize and improve their governments. And perhaps the rest of the world can learn something from the European political and economic arrangement rather than be thinking about European street names and Christian names.
The prospectively more minor global race―the European peoples (who have already been in the minority for some time causing the current global angst on both sides because the minority peoples have the majority wealth) ― must arrange their societies to enable them to have more children rather than trying to keep the others out to safeguard Europe’s culture and possessions, because keeping the barbarians out could end up in the sacking of Rome for darkness to descend once again on Europe even as the light continues to shine elsewhere.
The spindle is where self-determination lays.