Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Brooks: New World Order

"In the future, Kagan concludes, the U.S. is going to have to stabilize regional conflicts and gradually push back against the autocratic tide. The U.S. will also remain the most ardent champion of liberty in the face of Islamist anti-modernism. American predominance is not a danger. It’s the only thing standing between us and regression to a more dangerous world.

For what it’s worth, I’d say Ikenberry underestimates the power of nationalism. There’s little evidence that different nations with their contradictory moral cultures can really cooperate, except in utter crisis. But I’d also say Kagan underplays postnational threats. More than in the 19th century, security threats come in the form of global guerrillas, loose nukes and disintegrating nations.

Instead, we’re trapped in a hybrid world, in which many problems are postnational but the social structures are unavoidably national. The interesting bright spot is that both Ikenberry and Kagan believe in a Concert of Democracies, an emerging body where countries that do share values can rebut autocracy and consolidate their common success.

It’s a start."

1 comment:

Aaron X said...

Sorry to post off-topic, can find no e-mail for you here.

I noticed the title of your blog, and I thought you probably have an interest in this subject. I read this book Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, by Annette Gordon-Reed an attorney, back in the late 90s before the DNA tests confirmed a genetic link. I found it to be an insightful book which gave a rather detailed account of the facts, much what you would expect from a lawyer. But perhaps you're already familiar with this book.

I don't think of myself as particularly romantic, but it seems likely that there was more than just a slave and master relationship happening between these two people. The fact that their involvement lasted for some 30 years would tend to suggest that something beyond that simple dynamic could've occurred.

We men can be rather fickle creatures and we tend to tire very quickly of involvements that don't peek our interest on a number of levels. I imagine that this was true of men during Jefferson's time as well. When a man of Jefferson's temperament and social position chose to maintain a relationship over such a long period of time, it seems likely that he may have found something more lasting.

Of course no one outside of a relationship can ever really know what goes on between two people, behind closed doors, and that's as it should be. Whatever occurred between them, I just hope it was something real, because that's all any of us can hope for in this life.