Foreign Affairs Jan.-Feb. Issue
There Will Be No Liberal Redux
Here we are in post-election America. Trump won the election; the electoral college has cleared. The Liberals continue to rage but barring any untoward event Trump will assume the Presidency. We know how the Democratic hoi polloi look at it; screaming, mourning, rioting, but how did the Guiding Hand, the CFR take it? I received my copy of the voice of the CFR, the Jan-Feb Foreign Affairs magazine and judging solely from the article titles it seems to indicate that the world as it was has disappeared, melted away in the eyes of the CFR.
The cover offers the question: Out Of Order? The failure of the International System and a threat: Geithner: How To Handle The Next Crisis.
The cover pictures the Western Hemisphere with the US raised as though the hood of a car while a mechanic leans in to tinker. So really the US is what is out of order; the Liberals lost the election. The cover thus says that Trump has disrupted the International System by disrupting the US part of the agenda.
Interestingly the cover refers to an International System rather than a Global System indicating that the CFR is still mired in nationalism which it professes to despise. In other words they remain chauvinistic and xenophobic.
Now, I am only analyzing from the article titles, I have not yet read any. The first title is World Order 2.0. The choice of the word World rather than Global indicates that the CFR has not moved beyond Nationalism. The 2.0 indicates that one manifestation of the system has culminated and a new one has begun, hence Trump is seen as a radical departure requiring a realignment of Liberal thought.
In fact, the second article is titled: Will The Liberal Order Survive? The History Of An Idea followed by Liberalism In Retreat: The Demise Of A Dream.
So the question posed is since Liberalism is in retreat will the Liberal Order survive? In other words, Trump’s success has dammed the Liberal stream and if no outlet can be found the ideology is doomed. Thus did a single election cause the disruption of an Idea and Dream as insubstantial as they were.
So, having been firmly in the driver’s seat for the last seventy years Trump has displaced them and their fantasy. The post-war Idea and Dream has been terminated. The Left suddenly realizes that it is ideologically bankrupt. Back to the drawing board. The next article asks the question: The Once And Future Order: What Comes After Hegemony?
The term Once and Future Order is, of course, a play on the Arthurian term The Once And Future King meaning that Arthur was gone but that he would return sometime in the future much as Christ was the Once and Future Redeemer. Will the post-war Liberal Order return? Not likely, time moves on. But, then, what does come after hegemony? That is now.
According to the term hegemony meaning overlordship that of the US has ended. Russia has emerged as an equal. If the West from Russia to the US can unify at least in the attempt to play the dominant role against China and the East it may avoid subordination to China otherwise both Europe and the Americas will become a mere appendage of the Once and Future Middle Kingdom now being reincarnated.
Trump and Putin seem to recognize the necessity for cooperation to maintain status in the Global System. If so, then a new Global strategy must be quickly worked out. Any such strategy would obviate the post-war Liberal Order completely.
The last article displays the obliviousness of Liberal understanding of global affairs.
It asks Will Washington Abandon The Order? The False Logic Of Retreat. By Washington one supposes is meant the Trump precidency. The question is rhetorical given that Trump shows every indication of abandoning the Liberal Order down to the shoelaces.
Trump’s strategy is not a retreat but a new beginning. A new approach to circumstances that no longer can be dealt with by the outmoded post-’45 Liberal Order. The problem is that Liberalism can’t understand that the post-’45 circumstances have disappeared. There will be no future post-’45 Liberal Order returning.
Time for a Liberal reality check.