(Common Sense) It’s true that the so-called neoliberals, those who spent their formative years, two or three or four decades ago, in seminar rooms at New England colleges, got many things wrong. They were arrogant; they had their blind spots; and now everyone on the left and the right hates them. It’s easy to. What we forget is that they got one thing very, very right, which is that there are things that are far worse than American hegemony. The new right, the identitarian left—they never say what comes after the old order, because they can’t think that far ahead, or they don’t care to. They’re just happy to watch it all burn.
Vladimir Putin knows how much daylight there is between hard geopolitical reality and American rhetoric. But we prefer to hew to the old platitudes. They make us think that we can rewind or undo or make things better if we just say the right things. It is time to imagine what our president seems incapable of: a new order, jungle-like, shot through with the fevers and hatreds of the world as it had always been before. Uncivilization.