|Adam And Yves kissing under the Missile Tow.|
While looking through my bookshelf, I pulled out one o Balzac's volumes from his La Comedie Humaine, and found a slip of paper onto which I'd copied, "Strength is merciful; it yields to conviction; it is just and peaceable, while the passions that are born of weakness are pitiless" (Vol 17, p.59).
Perhaps that assessment is inaccurate, however, it puts eloquently and succinctly one of my innermost convictions. The one that allowed me to not be upset in the eighties by the open door policy given to Japan's products in our markets while theirs were closed to ours. But now, simply judging by the actions of our government since the turn of the millennium, if this truism were to be used as a basis for judgement, the face which the US now shows the world is one of weakness, for that which now makes most Americans proud is the pitiless nature with which we treat other countries.
Because whereas most Americans have never heard of Balzac, people in most of the other OECD countries have not only heard of him, but are much more likely to be familiar with this sentiment that he expressed and are therefore not fooled by the hyper-macho posturing of the US the way its own citizens are. To them it is a symptom of profound weakness and when a giant, one positively bristling with weapons of mass destruction and on a Crusade to keep them out of the hands of anyone else, is down, they quail in fear as they assess their own weakness in response and try to improve their defensive posture vis-a-vis the aggressor-state.
As though to prove the assertion that "money never yet missed the smallest opportunity of being stupid", the US has managed to lacerate its economy to such an extent that, the author of the blog, ClubOrlov , Dmitri Orlov has just written a post about his home country of Russia, in which he states (quite accurately, I believe): "What is most stunning is the pace of economic development: Russia seems to be developing into the United States of the 1990s, while the US seems to be developing into a vast wasteland of boarded-up strip malls and suburban slums surrounding abandoned downtowns".
And lest you think that he is just being patriotically biased, the above-statement sounds a lot more like James Howard Kunstler than Mikael Gorbachev, and is based on Orlov's experience of living in both countries.
Since in times of war, as in storms at sea, solid treasure sinks to the bottom and light trifles are floated to the surface, which now means all the time, the US has traded the most productive, robust economy on the globe for a War economy, which, as President Eisenhower warned, ("Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron") is able to produce not even the trifles anymore, descending into 2'nd world status (and that, only because, although people keep referring to it, there is no longer any third world: first world was Capitalist, 2'nd, Communist, 3'rd, everything else; now, there's just developed and developing. Perhaps we should resurrect DEVO to characterize the OECD economies as their economies devolve and more and more keep "turning Japanese, I think we're turning Japanese, our world's deflating - doodoodoodoo-doodoodoodoo" - Oh, Lordie, Massah, I think I'm getting the Vapors).
And whereas President Obama ridiculed his ridiculous opponent on the subject of who was the US's most important geopolitical opponent, when Romney, correctly, I thought, answered, "Russia", Dmitri makes a very good case for why this is in fact, true. Obama's contention that a group of fanatics that have neither a country nor even a headquarters in which they can hole up without having a drone blow it and their leaders du jour to smithereens, is simply so absurd, I can't believe the debate's moderator didn't laugh in his face. Instead, it was accepted with a silence that agreed that it was Obama who made the correct assessment.
The reason for that mute acceptance is, of course, because Al-Qaeda, to whom, now in Syria, and before that, Libya, US dollars flow quite freely, breaking every clause of the Patriot Act (to our loss, as the attack in Bangazi demonstrated), was able to, once again, make a complete farce of the entire US Armed Forces, demonstrating to the world that while they are a quite competent and able War Machine they are, in terms of defense, asleep at the switch. So the stature of Al-Qaeda must be constantly exaggerated by the Commander-in-Chief of those same Armed Forces.
And what Dmitri points out, much more believably, is the superior stance of Russia as both an energy producer, and as a country geopolitically positioned for prosperity in a World going through jarring climate change.
So, whereas, I wouldn't worry about anyone considering Russia as "merciful and having a government that yields to conviction, one that is just and peaceable" (especially after Ossetia), it is one that has a pride in its literary culture, and, in fact, that of other countries', and so, it is most definitely not fooled by America's hyper militarism and its pitiless nature towards its self-proclaimed adversaries, but sees its own star rising while those on the spangled banner go nova, as even its own citizens quite routinely massacre one another for no particular reason whatsoever, but simply because, as one of its Secretaries of State, proclaimed, "What's the point of having this superb military (or, for citizens, all these 2'nd-amendment-protected assault weapons) that you're always talking about if we can't use it?"