Thursday, October 14, 2004

Why I'm glad I don't live in Japan. The idea that a publisher would yank a comic because it portrayed something true, simply because a large segment of the population prefers the deliberate lies offered in their school textbooks... well, that just sucks. See also this Anime News Network notice.

This is the one thing that makes me worry about democracies in practice - their capacity for self-delusion. With the Japanese, it's the Rape of Nanking and the evils of the militarist era. With the Turks, it's the Armenian genocide. I'm afraid that the Europeans are turning back again to an open embrace of anti-Semitism. This is the point at which my natural skepticism leaves me very, very cold. Because I don't have faith in an Almighty, belief in the people is essentially a gamble, that wisdom is inherent in the untrammelled long-term expression of the aggregate.

Is the American delusion isolation - the closing-inwards? Will later generations see a shrivelled, bitter America, locked behind heavily patrolled walls, sealed off from the outer world? Will they buy only from each other, sell only to each other, let no immigrants in or jobs out? Will our foreign policy be nothing more than "fuck off and die, foreigner"? Would they be paranoid about the corrupting influence of alien cultures? Would their textbooks be full of the wisdom of Lindbergh, Moore, and Buchanan, who knew that nothing was wrong with America, which couldn't be fixed by the excision of the external? Will they teach their children that the American Empire was a long nightmare of wickedness? That the only thing which ever mattered was the Republic, unchanging, eternal, a blood-line of land and culture, home and hearth? That any engagement of the greater world, any intrusion from without, was an abomination - a sign of the souring of Republic into Empire?

I think I would hate that America. I would never see it come to pass, if I had the saying.

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