Seventy-six years back, on May 8, 1945, at 2301 hours, Main European Time, World War II in Europe officially ended. Although the war would continue in the Pacific Theatre for several more months, May 8 marked the significant end of what was certainly the most dreadful and devastating land war in history. European culture was changed irrevocably. A civilization which had endured the destruction and depopulation of the Thirty Years War, the scaries of the Reign of terror and Napoleon, and after that the disaster of the Great War of 1914-1918, now witnessed a kind of final collapse, a coup de grace by which its politics, its history, its customs, its extremely mode of viewing the world were undone.
Those millennial customs and acquired beliefs, that time-honored culture, that understanding of how societies operate and properly exist so identified with Europe– what remained of that, after the catastrophe of the First World War– was now overwhelmed, subsumed into a new truth controlled by completing blocs: the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its Communist satraps. Both spoke typically and loudly of democracy and equality; both forecasted global visions for the world. Their definitions were, obviously, various. However both had the cumulative impact of banishing older terminologies and language, and, in practice how Europe and the rest of the world ought to be arranged and governed, and what concepts and beliefs ought to be loved.
In their conquered zones the Soviets, obviously, did their best for the next forty-plus years to extinguish long-standing religion and a Western and Christian culture that went back at least to Charlemagne’s crowning in Rome on Christmas Day, 800 A.D. However in an ironic method, Communist oppression only covered over that legacy and those acquired traditions and faith. The persecution did not snuff out that heritage; it made it through intact, typically just listed below the surface, to emerge fully lively in such countries as Hungary, Poland, and Russia after the fall of Communism in 1989-1991. And in some fascinating methods what the break-up and disappearance of the Soviet system exposed was that its totalitarian guideline had actually served as kind of prophylaxis which not just kept its “captive nations” superficially docile, however also secured them versus the more radical and life-altering vision of a Pax Americana from the West.
This last statement deserves explanation. The Marshall Strategy and American persistence on disauthorizing older more conservative and conventional elements in Western Europe– throughout the very same duration as the Soviet supremacy of Eastern Europe– had extensive cultural and academic effects. Whereas Soviet supremacy was not able to root out an older spiritual faith and culture in its areas of hegemony– and, in reality, those forces were to play a significant function in its ultimate overthrow– in countries like Germany, France, and Italy the transformation enforced by the United States was more profound and pervasive, and the resistance to change far less resistant.
Essentially, American international policy put ambiguous worths of equality and liberal democracy ahead of allegiance to country, or, rather, insisted that loyalty to nation was coterminous with acceptance of American style democracy and equality as absolutes. Naturally, the rationale for this was an at first genuine and real opposition to world Communism– our American “ideology” against theirs, our perfects against the Red hazard. However in its post-war function America ended up being the “extraordinary country,” and soon presumed the responsibility to go round the world and enforce those ideas which vision of democracy and equality on other, unenlightened or recalcitrant countries. To utilize the words of Neoconservative author Allan Bloom (in his The Closing of the American Mind): “And when we Americans speak seriously about politics we imply that our concepts of freedom and equality and the rights based upon them are rational and all over appropriate.” Americans thus engaged in “an educational experiment undertaken to require those who do not accept these principles to do so.” (Quoted in Paul Gottfried, War and Democracy, 2012, p. 110)
In so doing our policy-makers, offered complimentary run for years, not just attempted to impose a sort of international “world faith” which would overturn regional identities and nationwide traditions abroad, but likewise reinforced and sealed the growth of what James Burnham and Sam Francis would call “the supervisory state” in your home.
It was the fulfillment of the prophetic words of General Robert E. Lee after the War for Southern Independence and the resultant extreme bowdlerization of the United States Constitution: the America cobbled together in 1787 would henceforth be set upon a path “aggressive abroad and despotic at home.”
If The second world war signaled the final eclipse of the British Empire– a decline in fact begun through the fatigue and destruction of the Great War– it also indicated the development of the American colossus. And regardless of a perky difficulty from world Communism, it was the American side which would finally emerge victorious.
However the seeds of our decline were already present and germinating; certainly, they had been there since those fateful days in 1865.
There is little stated by Abraham Lincoln with which I can concur. However I do accept the words he spoke in Springfield, June 16, 1858: “A nation divided against itself, can not stand.” And so, just as the unsuspected election of Donald Trump in 2016 showed increasing and serious doubts about American universalism worldwide, if ever so somewhat, it likewise discovered huge cracks and raw divisions between populations not just incapable of talking to or comprehending each other, but in reality, incapable of discovering agreement over basic definitions of what is excellent and real. Expressions such as “systemic bigotry,” “sexism,” “white supremacy,” and “police brutality” have been released as verbal cluster bombs used to disable, cancel, and eventually beat all opposition to the quickly advancing liquidation of those remnants of Western civilization and culture which somehow escaped the post-war dissolution.
May 8, 1945, and the Potsdam Agreement later on that August, while representing completion of humanity’s worst land war and the (brief) accomplishment of a Pax Americana, predicted the ultimate triumph of progressivist neo-Marxism and the demise of the “American Century.” The of the American Constitution in 1787 were not given a divine warranty that the confederation they patched together would last forever. It was, in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “a republic if you can keep it.”
That republic has not been kept. The time for dissolution and separation is at hand.