The End of Citizenship
Americans, most of whom couldn’t find either Ukraine or Russia on the map, are getting worked up about Ukraine because the media and other entities of cultural production are telling them to do so. The “liberal” media (CNN, MSMBC), “centrist media” (ABC, CBS, NBC), and “conservative” media (FOX, talk radio, Christian TV) are all giving the same marching orders (“Be upset about Ukraine, folks!”). The media outlets are giving the orders because these entities are wholly or partially owned by organizations like Black Rock, Vanguard, and others who regard the Russian invasion as disruptive to global trade, and a threat to their profit margins as Larry Fink, CEO of Blackrock, recently pointed out.
By Michael Lind, Tablet
Having converted their own republic into a borderless credit union, Americans have to borrow other people’s national pride.
In the spring of 2022, speculation in the commentariat that partisan rivalries were bringing the United States to the verge of actual civil war abruptly came to an end. With few exceptions, Americans of left, right, and center rallied around the national colors. Postmodern multiculturalism and anti-Enlightenment paleoconservatism suddenly were marginalized by romantic nationalism of the 19th-century variety. As war fever swept America, progressives and conservatives joined in denouncing not only the enemy government but also the enemy people and their enemy music, enemy literature, and enemy cuisine. Americans displayed the national flag in every imaginable form and pledged undying hatred of the nation’s foes.
The nation that Americans celebrated was not their own, but rather Ukraine, following the brutal Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic. Liberal Americans who would have thought it vulgar if not fascist to wave the Stars and Stripes took selfies with the blue and gold of Ukraine’s national flag. Democrats and Republicans who routinely demonize the leaders of the rival American party engaged in a kind of sentimental, uncritical hero-worship of Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, which would have been mocked had its object been Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Neoconservatives and centrist liberals used the Ukraine war as an opportunity to settle scores by accusing opponents in the rival party and rivals in their own parties of moral if not legal treason for less than total and uncritical support of a foreign country with which the United States does not even have an alliance.