Juggernaut: “any terrible force, esp one that destroys or that demands complete self-sacrifice ” (dictionary.com)
Three years ago I came to the conclusion that it was irrational to believe that the USA was going to change for the better on expat issues. Roger Conklin had recounted that a congressman lost re-election on account of his support for expat issues, and that made me realize that the no one could turn the USA from its present course. It was a juggernaut, and it is best just to get out of the way. A few weeks ago I started using the term “juggernaut” to depict the USA. Then this evening, I looked up the derivation of the term, from an idolatrous practice in India (s.v., juggernaut):
a crude idol of Krishna worshipped at Puri and throughout Odisha (formerly Orissa) and Bengal. At an annual festival the idol is wheeled through the town on a gigantic chariot and devotees are supposed to have formerly thrown themselves under the wheels
When patriotism becomes idolatry it is nearly impossible to change the course of a nation. Criticism becomes disloyalty. My critiques are “America-bashing“. But it seems to me that true loyalty too often requires throwing oneself under the chariot. Many times has these United States required its citizens to do this very thing: the Civil War, Viet Nam War, and now FATCA–to name just a few examples.
Well, if you don’t like the juggernaut metaphor to describe the United States, today Zero Hedge has recently repeated an article by John Chuckman, America as Dangerous Flailing Beast, but even Chuckman cannot help but see the religious devotion in America’s collective sociopathy:
America simply cannot accept its mistakes or that it was ever wrong, for Americanism much resembles a fundamentalist religion whose members are incapable of recognizing or admitting they ever followed anything but the divine plan.
America has made a costly series of errors over the last half century, demonstrating to others that the America they may have been in awe of in, say, 1950, and may have considered almost godlike and incapable of mistakes, has now proved itself indisputably, in field after field, as often not even capable of governing itself. The irony of a people who are seen as often unable to govern themselves advising others how to govern themselves brings a distinct note of absurdity to American foreign policy.
America’s establishment, feeling its old easy superiority in the world beginning to slip away in a hundred different ways, seems determined to show everyone it still has what it takes, determined to make others feel its strength, determined to weaken others abroad who do not accept its natural superiority, determined to seize by brute force and dirty tricks advantages which no longer come to it by simply superior performance.
Rather than learn from its errors and adjust its delusional assumptions, America is determined to push and bend people all over the world to its will and acceptance of its leadership. But you cannot reclaim genuine leadership once you have been exposed enough times in your bad judgment, and it is clear you are on the decline, just as you cannot once others realize that they can do many things as well or better than you.