Today’s Essential Foreign Affairs Reads
1 hour ago
One cannot have a national gallery if there is no nation, and a nation cannot be, as Cicero says of the commonwealth, any old collection of random individuals. The people of any coherent society share memories and an understanding of virtue. In a non-nation, public art is inevitably propaganda that reflects the ruling class. Here the ruling class is divided between the Multi-Culturalist Marxist Left and the Capitalist Left. Thus, divisions over art are between those who like Norman Rockwell (the Capitalist Leftists) and those who adore Mapplethorpe et al. The one is childish and degrading, the other is tawdry and degrading. Nationalist art, whether of the Hitlerian, Stalinist, or FDRian types, is boring and threatening, while Internationalist Art aims at sucking out our humanity. The fact that the Internationalist art is more immediately toxic should not seduce us into feeling comfortable with the Lincoln Memorial or the covers of the Saturday Evening Post.
Although few recognize how precarious the situation is, we are trapped in a very complex civilization that is rapidly losing the sources of energy and numerous other raw materials that built and maintained it. In America today we have millions un- and under-employed and that is certain to grow into the tens of millions before the decade is out as our politicians horse-trade tax cuts for billionaires in return for extensions of unemployment benefits. The good news is that this phase of the great transition from the industrial age to that which will follow cannot last much longer for events are moving too fast.
In his latest TomDispatch post, Alfred W. McCoy, author most recently of Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, does both. Having convened a global working group of 140 historians to consider the fate of the U.S. as an imperial power, he offers us a glimpse of four possible American (near-)futures. They add up to a monumental, even indispensable look at just how fast our indispensability is likely to unravel in the years to come.
Archbishop Gomez called attention to a number of qualifications in the bill, which differentiate it from the blanket immigration amnesty some Republicans fear.
He explained that it allows “deserving immigrant youth” to become permanent residents, provided they meet certain age and circumstance requirements, have “demonstrated good moral character, have no criminal record and … have earned their high school diploma.” The further step of citizenship would require two years of college or military service.
Given these requirements, the archbishop said, the act's passage was not only a matter of fairness, but an opportunity for the U.S. to reward hardworking and motivated young people who could otherwise be forced to leave.