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“In an ironic twist of fate, two decades after Western experts touted various “state-building” and “nation-building” theories and projects as the precondition for democratization and stability in the Muslim world after 9/11, democracies across Europe and North America are now also fast approaching the point at which systemic state failure is no longer a fantasy. After decades of multicultural deconstruction of its nation-states, the Western democracies are internally fracturing, and their societal and national bonds are dissolving. Today, thinking about national security in the West means taking stock of the effects not only of the dwindling sense of mutuality of obligation among the citizenry but also of levels of ethnic, racial, and political polarization not seen since the late 1960s. The current fashion for identity politics has advanced to the point that the progressive decomposition of Western nation-states is now a near-term possibility.
While civilizational collapse may still be a long way off, Western democracies face an erosion of the consensus of what constitutes the larger national community, and hence why its members should rally to defend it in an emergency. As internal national bonds weaken, the viability of a Transatlantic solidarity that rests on more than just geostrategic calculations loses some of its luster. A 2015 Pew study offers disturbing insight into the views of Western publics when it comes to allied solidarity: In the polling only Americans and Canadians declared themselves willing to go to war to defend their NATO allies in an Article 5 emergency, and even in these cases the numbers were not that impressive (56 percent for the United States and 53 percent for Canada); by contrast, in no European country was there a majority in favor of meeting the NATO commitment if this meant possibly going to war.
For close to half a century now, the United States and some of the most storied democracies of Europe have framed their key domestic and foreign policies around the foundational premise that democratic governance and systemic stability rest on rightly sized political institutions, normative systems, and the rule of law. The borderline fetishization of diversity as a value in Western political discourse offers both a safe haven from “nationalism” and, more importantly, the ultimate justification for democratic institutionalism as a panacea for the messiness of representative government.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"Apple, Google, Starbucks, and companies like them all claim to be socially responsible, but the first element of social responsibility should be paying your fair share of tax."
"One problem with today’s polarized politics is that both parties don’t mind stretching constitutional limits to achieve their policy goals. Democrats cheered on Barack Obama’s legal abuses on immigration and so much more..."
"The Democratic Party has problems with Israel. But Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.), the new members of Congress who have attracted attention with toxic tweets and support for boycott, are not the main protagonists."
"Chicago Police sources now suggest he staged what he says was a racist and homophobic attack on him. Smollett vigorously denies it. Whatever the truth, it's a moment to reflect."
"In talmudic tort law.. the responsible party must transfer to the plaintiff an area of his best land of equivalent value- rather than a larger area of low-quality land. From the standpoint of classical economics, such a requirement is nonsensical."
"“Alexa, can I use you on Shabbat?” The journalist spoke into a small glass-and-metal device he held in his hand, which connected him to a distant supercomputer in a place known only as “the Cloud.”"
"Racial capitalism is the process of getting some sort of social or economic benefit from someone else’s racial identity. In the United States, this usually, though not always, involves white people benefiting from nonwhite racial identity."
"A gay French writer has lifted the lid on what he calls one of the world’s largest gay communities, the Vatican, estimating that most of its prelates are homosexually inclined..."
"I’ll state the obvious and say that much if not all of the reason my life hasn’t changed is that I’m not a parent. Children are life’s great timekeepers, and when you don’t live with any, you’re at the mercy of your own internal clock..."
"...cooking without recipes is a kitchen skill same as cutting vegetables into dice. It’s a way to improve your confidence in the kitchen and to make the act of cooking fun when sometimes it seems like a chore."
"Psychedelics have frequently been maligned in both the scientific community and mainstream culture. But new medical research and a more capacious understanding of the drugs have started to shift opinions."
"The story of angels stretches all the way back to the opening sections of the Book of Genesis. There, God posts cherubs as sentries at the gates of the Garden of Eden, following Adam and Eve’s expulsion. "