Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stagger on, weary Titan

From Al-Guardian:

Stagger on, weary Titan

If you want to know what London was like in 1905, come to Washington in 2005. Imperial gravitas and massive self-importance. That sense of being the centre of the world. Hyperpower. Top dog. And yet, gnawing away beneath the surface, the nagging fear that your global supremacy is not half so secure as you would wish. As Joseph Chamberlain, the British colonial secretary, put it in 1902: "The weary Titan staggers under the too vast orb of his fate." The United States is now that weary Titan. In the British case, the angst was a result of the unexpectedly protracted, bloody and costly Boer war, in which a small group of foreign insurgents defied the mightiest military the world had seen; concern about the rising economic power of Germany and the United States; and a combination of imperial overstretch with socio-economic problems at home. Iraq is America's Boer war. A recent article in the New York Times plausibly estimated the prospective long-term cost of the Iraq War at more than $1 trillion. Increasingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran quietly calls the shots in the Shia south of Iraq. As the Washington joke goes: the war is over, and the Iranians won.

China and India are to the United States today what Germany and America were to Britain a hundred years ago. China is now the world's second largest energy consumer, after the United States. In the foreign reserve stakes, the US comes only ninth, after Singapore and just before Malaysia. According to some economists, the US has an effective net savings rate of zero. This country does not save; it spends. If you are, by any chance, of that persuasion that would instinctively find this a cause for rejoicing, pause for a moment to consider two things: first, that major shifts of power between rising and falling great powers have usually been accompanied by major wars; and second, that the next top dog could be a lot worse. So this is no time for schadenfreude. It's a time for critical solidarity. A few far-sighted people in Washington are beginning to formulate a long-term American strategy of trying to create an international order that would protect the interests of liberal democracies even when American hyperpower has faded; and to encourage rising powers such as India and China to sign up to such an order. That is exactly what today's weary Titan should be doing, and we should help him do it.


At August 25, 2005 8:50 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

What else would one expect from "The Guardian"?

At August 25, 2005 9:44 PM, Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Fjordman, this is off-topic, but I just want to tell you again what a great blog you keep. I come here as often as possible to catch up on all the interesting news (and not just from Scandinavia), and I keep recommending you (& link-whoring for you all over the web!) to other people.

Thanks for making the effort.

At August 25, 2005 11:03 PM, Blogger erp said...

Thanks just the same, but we don't need any more help. The president was right when he said, if you're not with us, you're with the terrorists. Guess which side the Italians chose?

At August 25, 2005 11:26 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you, Baron. I don't know whether I can continue with this pace forever. I am considering taking a break from blogging, maybe for weeks.

At August 26, 2005 12:34 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...


Say it isn't so! Well, if you must, then could you do a sort of request for people to leave the addresses of their favorite blogs? I just found one today that looks pretty good in Venezuela: I got some good ones before from Pastorius, I think.

Let us know how long you'll be gone if you go. We'll sure miss you:>(

At August 26, 2005 12:42 AM, Blogger talnik said...

First allow me to ditto the baron.

That done, there are several items the Guardian gets wrong. US savings rates often do not include the holdings in stocks (!), real estate (!!) and value of personal businesses. Most of us own stock, the majority real estate, and a sizable minority own our own businesses.
Finally, I have made the mistake that the Guardian is making, and I am from the US. I thought the Soviets were going to outpace the US in the 50's and 60's. Then the Arabs in the 70's. Then the Japanese in the 80's. Then the EU in the late 90's.


At August 26, 2005 12:53 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I read the first paragraph and said this has to come from one of those kooky left-wing British papers.

Yup, The Guardian of stupidity.

At August 26, 2005 1:10 AM, Blogger PD111 said...


If you think you need a break, then YOU NEED A BREAK.

One of the downsides of blogging on a topic that you address, is the time it takes to get it to hang together. It becomes an obsession. Consequently your near and dear ones suffer as well. They do not understand why Fjordman is so distant, and does not have time for them.

Take the time to relax and think of something more pleasant then this idiotic business of islam. We will be here when you get back. Hope you take some nice pics of fjords to show us.

Have a nice holiday.


At August 26, 2005 1:13 AM, Blogger PD111 said...

"Stagger on, weary Titan"


You are not Titan - take a break and have a nice holiday.


At August 26, 2005 2:19 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I won't take the break for weeks yet. In fact, I plan to post at least 5-6 longer essays within the next two or three weeks.

At August 26, 2005 3:46 AM, Blogger Dymphna said...

I can understand the need for a break. However, there is a certain momentum to these things. How about some guest blogger who could serve as the bench warmer while you're gone.

It could be one of your frequent commenters, or someone you've noticed that you like, or some anon local person who'd be glad to take over for a bit but doesn't want the responsibility full time.

It has worked for others; it might be doable here. No one would be expected to match your output level, knowledge, or style; rather, they would serve to remind people you are coming back!

I remember when The Religious Policeman in Saudi Arabi closed shop. I was most disappointed. Then lo and behold, he popped up in England. I think the desert sand got a bit warm for safety, given his caustic wit.

Anyway, it's just a thought. I nominate PD 111, who is a wealth of information and always spot on.

At August 26, 2005 5:48 AM, Blogger sissyblue said...


I agree, and perhaps a few select who could gather information for the larger group. That's kind of why I "marked" Fjordman. I can come here and get a really good idea of what's going on in the world. Maybe a group, with a central person would gather and select. I don't know. All I know, is there's a few good bloggers, and Fjordman's one of them.

At August 26, 2005 7:21 AM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

talnik said: "US savings rates often do not include the holdings in stocks (!), real estate (!!) and value of personal businesses."

More so, they do not include retirement savings in 401(k), IRA and other such accounts. Considering the amount of money that is in those types of accounts, Al Guardian is a few trillion dollars short.

The article is full of half-truths, distortions and baseless speculation and the author is evidently a member of the Paul Krugman school of economics.

At August 28, 2005 5:40 AM, Blogger GunJam said...

Did the article say we should sign up CHINA to the task of protecting liberal democracies? .... You mean, like Taiwan? (You have to LOVE al-Guwardiyyan.)


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