The CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority] itself, he found, was mainly staffed by American policy wonks — “young, naive, pushy people” fired with a messianic zeal rapidly to replace centuries of tribal and religious rivalries and state control with democracy and free markets, and displaying a dogmatism that, as Synnott drily noted, “cut no ice” with the Iraqis.
Perhaps the two greatest forces in American life today are egalitarianism and capitalism. Both opinionmakers and politicians shun other cultural questions, either because they believe they are unimportant or because they believe they are losing issues.
This muteness has crippled our response to cultural decay at home, so it is no surprise it has crippled our international actions as well.
Without cultural ballast, a democratic society cannot make the distinctions necessary for rational thought, let alone wise governance.
How does a country recover from this desolation?
(Link via Rod Dreher)