Thursday, February 18, 2016

№ 253. 21st Century Songs of Fire and Ice

Twenty-first century appears to be mirroring its predecessor period. From a bipolar world that emerged during the Cold War after the realignments of nations in the Second World War to the disintegration of the Soviet bloc in the 1980s and the 1990s, we are once more getting more fragmented and multi-polar.


Ball games are not safe with live ammunition and
civilian exposure.

Before the alliances forged in the two world wars, there was far less global consensus on many things. Universal rights, democratic principles and governance, nationalism and the moral code of nations were, on many fronts, still a work in progress. In fact, democracy and totalitarianism as mutually exclusive ideologies did not really coalesce at the end of the 19th Century when the old colonial powers were slowly losing their wealth, reach and power across the earth. These antitheses ideas developed and were galvanized as war propaganda only during and after the two world wars.


Carousel Ice Cream at Connecticut Street

But the flux and flurry of nationalism which fueled the wars last century are again gaining foothold in the 21st. Nationalism, which is really an intractable and often discordant set of values along ethnic, geographic, cultural, religious and even demographic lines, infuses much of the conversation about governance and sovereignty. Nationalism is proving to be a far more vexing concept. It will take decades more to reconcile it with the fairly novel invention of a community of nations.

If history rhymes rather than repeats itself, I wonder: What fire and ice songs are we chanting for these supposedly more enlightened times?

Do we need perhaps a common enemy to unite us?

Bring in the Borgs, Scotty!

Bento Box:

Case in point:

"Newspaper editorials and experts alike have taken aim at Trump's comments about introducing more nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula to counter the North Korean threat.

Daniel Pinkston of Troy University said it would play into North Korea's hands.
'The hardliners in Pyongyang would just love such an outcome because if that were to occur, it would completely justify their nuclear status ... and validate Kim Jong Un's policy line as absolutely brilliant and absolutely correct,' he said.
Reflecting a growing concern, Pinkston added, 'Whether he wins the Republican nomination or not, or whether he is elected president or not, even at this stage, he is already doing damage to the U.S. reputation internationally. And damaging U.S. security interests.'"

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