American Decline

America’s Defining Problem in 2021 Isn’t China: It’s America

You can usually count on Bacevich to get to the point.

By Andrew Bacevich, The American Conservative

Writing in the journal Palladium, Richard Hanania has produced the first must-read essay of 2021. A research fellow at Columbia University’s Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Hanania is part of an emerging generation of young scholars who reject the increasingly dubious verities of the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. Their arrival comes not a moment too soon.

The title of Hanania’s piece is “China’s Real Threat is to America’s Ruling Ideology.” In this context, ideology refers not only to a belief system—liberal democratic capitalism, in our case—but also to a theory of history. Hanania’s real subject is delusion: Washington’s insistence despite abundant evidence to the contrary that the American way of life defines the ultimate destiny of humankind.


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