What happened after the U.S. “won” the Cold War?

Activist Bill Chisholm pointed me to this essay, which I find as apt as he does. Worth a very close read to understand how, after the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union dissolved, this nation’s so-called elites, rather than pausing for reflection and dismay at the destruction and death that attended the so-called Cold War with the Soviet Union, decided not only to do a victory dance, but to press on with the Project for The New American Century to become what others disgustingly called the world’s sole “hyperpower.” The resulting disintegrating mess, now, looks suspiciously like karma coming due.

The Age of Great Expectations and The Great Void

History after “The End of History”

The essay concludes:

“Where there is no vision,” the Book of Proverbs tells us, “the people perish.”  In the present day, there is no vision to which Americans collectively adhere.  For proof, we need look no further than the election of Donald Trump.

The Age of Great Expectations has ended, leaving behind an ominous void.  Yet Trump’s own inability to explain what should fill that great void provides neither excuse for inaction nor cause for despair.  Instead, Trump himself makes manifest the need to reflect on the nation’s recent past and to think deeply about its future.

A decade before the Cold War ended, writing in democracy, a short-lived journal devoted to “political renewal and radical change,” the historian and social critic Christopher Lasch sketched out a set of principles that might lead us out of our current crisis. Lasch called for a politics based on “the nurture of the soil against the exploitation of resources, the family against the factory, the romantic vision of the individual against the technological vision, [and] localism over democratic centralism.” Nearly a half-century later, as a place to begin, his prescription remains apt.

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2 Responses to What happened after the U.S. “won” the Cold War?

  1. CindyW says:

    Thank you, Ann, and your friend Bill, for introducing your readers to the thoughtful Andrew Bacevich, who has impeccable conservative credentials (for those foreign policy hawks who think you have to be a peacenik to disagree with US foreign policy) – graduate of U.S. Military Academy, commanding officer in Vietnam, father of a son who enlisted in the Iraq War (despite his father’s opposition to that war on policy grounds) who was killed in action (if my memory is accurate on these points). Read one of his books during the Iraq War (after reading posts on TomDispatch). Christopher Lasch, BTW, used to write about “market totalitarianism” to describe our current society.

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