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Norman Pollack – Dark Forebodings: America at the Cross-Roads

No, neither the Hebrew prophet Amos nor Priam’s daughter Cassandra inspires these thoughts, but the actual condition, ideological/psychological, of the contemporary American mindset, and its material foundations, an overly-ripened stage of capitalist development needing a constant infusion of power abroad, inner certitude at home, to maintain an acceptable rate of economic growth and the conviction that its military strength is sufficiently intimidating and in evidence as to provide for the unilateral determination of the global structure after its own wishes and image. Nothing short of that would satisfy, a nation running on (moral) empty, fear-ridden in extremis, unwilling and unable to adapt to the prevailing realities: its own deeds of commission, the principal war-maker, intervener, cause of human suffering, since World War II, which has in turn stimulated dislocations and engendered resistance, and the interrelated historical-political dynamics, partly in response, partly a function of independent industrial, technological, and scientific forces unstoppable as previously underdeveloped, exploited, countries, realizing their own potential and acting on it, demand a place for themselves and their people at the World Table. The US is no longer the sole determiner—if in fact it ever was, taking into account the incipient thirst for freedom of the persecuted and downtrodden which would eventually find expression—of human destiny. Time is not, and perhaps should not be, on America’s side, as it bullies all in its path whilst the international system exhibits gradual yet drastic and permanent change.

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