Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Nation in Resurgence

It seems that geography is making a comeback in its battle with ideology.

In Iraq, tribal forces have risen up to reclaim control of their territory from the transnational terrorists. Now, via Ace, they would like to show their Afghan counterparts how to do the same.

They would also like to supplant the sectarian Sunni vs Shiite electoral map in Iraq with one based on tribal association.

Some might question the philosophical underpinnings of such a shift, being a move away from using differences in abstract beliefs for political grouping and toward using ancestry. But religious beliefs will still play a big part in Iraqi politics, just inside the tribal system. Arab culture places a high value on paternal authority, and failing to include the tribal organization in the political structure of the country creates at best a dual power structure, and at worst invalidates the democratic one.

In the United States, the Democratic Party primary saw both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama use protectionism in an attempt to curry favor with the voters. But what they are really tapping in to is not some economic theory of harm in selling our products overseas. The source of protectionism's appeal is the fear of globalism, that we will be at the mercy of foreign powers, especially foreign corporate and banking interests.

The world over, it seems the pendulum is swinging away from the imagined, and back to the real. I doubt it will swing very far.

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