As imperial order frays due to the self-imposed relative power loss of the American hegemon, older demons will return to form, Sumantra Maitra writes in The American Conservative.
For the first time since 1973, the Israeli security cabinet declared war after what might be the largest attacksince the modern state’s birth from the smoldering wreckage of the collapse of the British imperial order. Even the war in 1973, a conventional war between states and civilized armies, did not see this scale of casualties—arguably the highest number of Israeli casualties in a single day—violence, and barbarism. A 30-year-old German-Israeli woman’s violated corpse was paraded through the streets of Gaza in the back of a pickup truck, desecrated all the way by Gazans spitting on the naked corpse. One is reminded that not all cultures are equal, and that evil is almost always objectively identifiable and often barbaric.
Questions aside about such a massive intelligence failure—which will hurt Israel’s reputation as both the most powerful military in the region as well as the most competent human intelligence collector—the videos of murdered Israelis will only mean two things. There’s no more Jus ad Bellum in this context. President Biden’s peace process is toast. No American administration can normalize this. There will not be a civilized gentlemen’s war in the region resulting from this. All conflict is, ultimately, theological.
Almost to prove the British-Indian Home Secretary’s point about forced “multiculturalism,” Palestinians distributed sweets in the streets of London, as the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, lamented on Twitter that England might see some violence between “communities” because passions are high. A Somalian Minnesota anti-colonial activist, herself a colonial settler per her own definition, tweeted out “what did y’all think decolonization meant? vibes? papers? essays? losers.” Another one, an Associate Professor at McMaster University, tweeted that “Postcolonial, anticolonial, and decolonial are not just words you heard in your EDI workshop.”
In a way, these tweets were clarifying, and to some extent, theoretically true. There can be no dual nationalism coexisting in a truly democratic polity. A multicultural polity is almost inevitably imperial, with a leviathan maintaining the balance of power and enforcing top-down order. In a democracy, things are different; there must be a dominant culture, dominant language, and ethos, and that might require the elimination of multicultural ethos and require forced assimilation.
The Germans and Europeans who migrated to the U.S. anglicized their names and fought against their country of origin in two world wars. Can we expect that from the recent migrants? Historically, it is assumed that migrants will take on a whole new form and discard their former selves. If they cannot do so or continue to care more about the culture or land they left than the land beneath their feet, that means they have failed to assimilate and should be deported.