Rounding back to questions of Americanism or American statist-conservatism, in other words questions of “conservation” of the American state as world-historical and neo-imperial state, come two comments following up on earlier discussion1:
Marx’s departure or disembarkation from philosophy began quite specifically (Theses on Feuerbach) as a rebellion against philosophy, in effect re-interpreting “end of history” as end of philosophy for history: It should not be taken as scandalizing that this orientation, customarily expressed in other terms, is what the Marxists and Marx had in common with the Nazis and the other negative or revolutionary parties.
- From geo, rejecting my interpretation of Brooks, as too “generous” (emphasis added):
Because if you think that the history of American foreign policy offers the slightest evidence of concern for humanitarianism (if understood as democracy, human rights, relief from poverty and deprivation, etc.), except rhetorically and for public-relations purposes, then I’m afraid you are, as you cavalierly label us believers in international law and global solidarity (though no doubt only possible after decades or centuries of gradual, painful, continually contested efforts, which only makes it necessary to begin immediately, on however small a scale), “tragically detached from reality.”
[I]t seems to me that to deny even “the slightest evidence of concern for humanitarianism” in American policy ever and overall would be very close to saying, and for a self-styled humanitarian virtually the same as saying, that we might as well have let the Nazis have their way. To say anything else would be to admit of some meaningful difference between Nazism and Americanism. If you identify yourself as above all a humanitarian, then such a meaningful difference, if you recognize it, would presumably be a humanitarian difference.
There might also potentially or at least conceivably an alternative and possibly very Schmittian difference, based on the assumption that on balance it’s better to win than to lose a war for the winners, and that “we” (the friends) won (defeated the foes). Even under this construction, however, and without pretending to judge motives and morals of all involved on any side, among the fruits of that victory was the opportunity to impose an order of international law, entailing a global regime of human rights law and a range of global institutions, all in keeping with long-standing American aspirations, adopted under American tutelage, echoing American documents, and so on, and so on. So there’s rich irony, or arguably an exhibition of filial ingratitude, in standing on that same foundation or in that house in absolute condemnation of America or Americanism. Whether the global regime under whatever name and in its current form, including America’s role in it, is worth preserving (worth working to preserve, potentially fighting to preserve), and if so under what modifications, is another way of phrasing the historical-conjunctural question as I previously stated it.