Thursday, March 04, 2010

The once arsenal of democracy

Now with the waning of American influence and the rise of China and India and, of course, particularly, with the accompanying decadence and moral corruption of the Late Empire, we are in danger of forgetting that it was not always so. I am currently reading about the building of the Berlin Wall, the initial days of Western confusion and the elation of the West Berliners when the USA finally made a visible show of support and sent in a symbolic force of arms - hundreds of thousands rushed to streets to greet the forces. Now could we imagine the same situation in East Berlin, what kind of greeting would have a Soviet battle group gotten? With a wall built to stop the selfsame people from leaving?

It is hard for me then to understand people who see the Cold War as having been waged by moral equivalents. Of course the Western corruption and decadence, the calculations and machinations always were there even then, naturally they were - what else can you expect of liberal democracy, of human nature? The divide was cynically used to build a gigantic, absurdly outsized and deadly influential military-industrial complex, but despite of that, the divide was real, a chasm. And when American forces, American might poured to fronts during the WW2, it was the only thing capable of keeping the West safe from genuinely mad terror states - despite of the accompanying decadence and moral corruption. The difference is that then those destructive forces were being kept in check. Where do we now have effective counterforces to all this cynicism, greed and manipulation? Who would now have enough faith in our structures, enough idealism to defend them?

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