Says Thrasymachos that he’s fascinated with Walter Russel Mead. I must admit to share some of the fascination. It’s like watching a train wreck. I can’t help admiring the mess, and wondering how each piece of broken steel is entwined to the other. Thinking how on hell did the toilet end up between rows 11 and 12, surprisingly keeping its shape intact.
A good source of reactionary recruits is a sober analysis of recent foreign policy. Of Moldbug’s Cathedral, perhaps the most conspicuous part is the US State Department. National policy is subject to many emotional narratives and historical constraints that, on the whole, are quite understandable and acceptable at face-value. But any careful look at, say, US foreign policy before and after WW2, and a good perusal at contemporary sources is the fastest way to lose it. The sheer madness of it all shows that Progressives are just out of their minds.
And they still are, which also proves the Cathedral is still the same animal. The fact that a homo US ambassador was publicly murdered on the streets of Benghazi should be proof enough. But there’s always more. Going back to Mr. Mead, he likes to focus on those topics with more potential for bringing good news, say, 3D printing, or autonomous cars, or East Asian policy. A recent news hotspot is, of course, Myanmar.
See this masterpiece of foreign policy journalism, this awesome sentence destined to be studied in all International Relations undergrad courses for posterity.
Good news from Burma: the ethnic Mon minority rallied on Tuesday without any of the violent pushback from the central authorities that characterized similar expressions of democracy in the old days.
The headline, eloquent enough is: As Burma Opens, Its Minorities Seek Rights, Independence. Which is to say, as Burma Opens, Burma Disappears. Or, as Burma Opens, the Burmese lose their country. But that’s Good News! It doesn’t come to WRM that some things are just not meant to be opened.
I blogged before about how Myanmar is fucked for good. In the Junta times, the Chinese were taking over everything, and topping it with outright demographic invasion. As well as the Junta was having it, they didn’t want to be eaten up by the Chinese, and in a desperate measure they surrendered to the USG, thinking they’d at least maintain control of their nation. Hah. As bad as the Chinese political system is, one thing they manage quite well is ethnic policy. Ethnic minorities in China are allowed to keep their outward identity, but the economic incentives are set up so you’d better speak Chinese and behave Han if you want to eat more than sticky rice once a day. It goes without saying that hardcore religious groups (Tibetans and Uyghurs) aside, all other minorities have lost 95% of what makes them distinct.
But now Myanmar is the bitch of the International Community, so it has to abide by USG norms. Which means that any self-styled nation, tribe fetish or mental diseased group gets immediate rights to their own land, sovereignty AND an eternal flow of subsidies to compensate for the psychological distress caused by them having a bigger, better organised, more coherent neighbour. See, the Cathedral’s ethnic policy doesn’t encourage ethnogenesis or discourage it either, it just freezes it on time, and then applies the equality principle. Kinda like their view of evolution. They’re not against it, they just want it to stop. Now. Retroactively if possible.
Let it be said that I have no particular goodwill towards the Bamar people. I think it’s cool that the Mon (the original inhabitants of all continental SEA) are still around, and if anything I’d push for Shan state to be given back to Thailand. I just think it’s not really fair that just because the Bamar got into imperialism just 200 years later, now they have to lose their country. The Thais got into that business just at the right timing to completely assimilate the Mon and any other annoying tribes before British and American busybodies had time to get in the frontier, convert the tribes to Christianity and encourage guerilla war against the stronger tribes in the lowlands.
What is there to gain? What does the world gain in giving sovereignty to the Kachin? Or the Rohingya? The Kayan women deform their necks with metal rings to avoid rape and capture from neighbouring (stronger) tribes. A desperate attempt to cling to their tribal identity. Methinks they’d be better off by assimilating to the majority. But God forbid they are coerced into anything!!
Of course the Cathedral per se doesn’t have a master plan that includes Mon autonomy and Rohingya independence, although George Soros probably has a good plan to profit on any contingency. But the only real plan is the status-whoring of the droves of QUANGO and international civil servants who, like the missionaries 100 years earlier, just need people’s lives to mess with and justify their jobs, and the gutless hacks such as Walter Russel Mead who make money by sucking up to any stupid idea the USG comes up with.