Monday, May 30, 2022

Putin's War On Ukraine Is A War On The World

Putin's nuclear threats are a threat on cities like Moscow. There is a need for a global initiative to impose a no first use policy on all nuclear powers. Coddling Putin will not get us there. Making nucleat threats has to be outlawed. Putin is an outlaw.

The nuclear threat might or might not be. But the threat on food security is already in plain sight. This is Putin's doing. This world hunger is on Putin.

White People Fearful of Being ‘Replaced’ I would encourage Tucker Carlson at Fox News to invite a dozen or so chiefs from what remain of our Native American tribes to discuss what they think about the “great replacement” in America. ........ Many whites feel inordinately entitled and feel threatened by nonwhites. Republican leaders need to step up to the task of calling out their constituents and colleagues on “replacement theory.” Call it what it is: racism, antisemitism, prejudice, ignorance. ....... “The one thing America makes best is more Americans.”

Putin’s World Order Would Be Devastating for Africa Moscow is already deeply involved in destabilizing wars. ....... On March 2, member states of the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that strongly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The resolution, which was supported by 141 member states, affirmed that “any attempt aimed at the … disruption of the territorial integrity of a State … or at its political independence is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.” The resolution was an affirmation of the legal guardrails and norms that have guided international relations since the conclusion of World War II and the ratification of the United Nations Charter in 1945. ............. 17 African countries abstained, with another eight choosing to not participate. One country even voted against the resolution, Eritrea, a totalitarian dictatorship. ....... Putin is attempting to undermine the global order that has guided international relations for the better part of the last century. Building on Russia’s previous annexation of Crimea and parts of northern Georgia as well as its prior occupation of Ukraine’s Donbas region, Putin is taking a sledgehammer to the foundation of the once stable post-World War II order. ........... At stake are established notions of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the independence of member states, which suddenly become more temporal, arbitrary, and open to violent contestation. ...... Kenya’s permanent representative to the United Nations: ambassador Martin Kimani, who warned Putin and the Russian military to respect its border with Ukraine, using Africa’s own colonial past to highlight the dangers of stoking the “embers of dead empires.” ........... There are currently some 100 contested borders on the continent, most of them stemming from arbitrarily drawn colonial boundaries. ........ Established during the postcolonial independence period, many African states were born out of a commitment to self-determination. Ironically, this is the central issue being contested today by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. ......... If the lesson from Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is that might makes right, then Africa’s political geography could be perpetually in dispute. In other words, if the overlapping security guarantees provided by both the U.N. and AU charters can be violated with impunity, then what is to stop African leaders who envy Putin’s aggressive brand of authoritarianism from following suit? ............. Already, we see this happening in some parts of Africa. The volatile African Great Lakes region stands out for the fragility of its borders. The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, has become a target for exploitation by authoritarian leaders in neighboring Rwanda and Uganda. Rwandan President Paul Kagame, officially in power since 2000, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, have routinely marched their troops and proxies as well as directed their allied rebel groups to seize Congolese territory, loot natural resources, and kill citizens with alarming impunity. ......... Disregarding borders is particularly precarious in the Great Lakes region because it carries with it the potential to reignite one of the most cataclysmic conflicts in recent history. ........... Moscow has played a destabilizing role in Africa. Recent years have illuminated a “new scramble for Africa” as external actors seek to aggressively plant their politics, governance, and economic flags across the continent. Russia has been at the forefront of this predatory behavior by repeatedly propping up isolated and authoritarian leaders—most notably in Libya, Central African Republic, Mali, and Sudan—to advance Moscow’s patently anti-democratic influence. ............. Through the deployment of shadowy and unaccountable mercenary groups, polarizing disinformation campaigns, election interference, and arms-for-resource deals, Russia has gained influence while fostering instability and the increased human rights abuses that ultimately result from it. ............. Russia has also fomented—both covertly and overtly—and been quick to support the many unconstitutional seizures of power recently witnessed in Africa. The spate of coups and increasing instances of African leaders scrapping term limits, for example, better suit Moscow’s vision of remaking the international order in its autocratic mold. .......... most of the 16 ongoing internal conflicts on the continent have deep roots in authoritarian forms of governance.

None of Africa’s established democracies, in contrast, are in conflict.

More authoritarianism, then, can be expected to yield more conflict. ................ Tolerance for predatory interstate behavior globally, moreover, will embolden elevated forms of repression domestically in African states. After all, if the enshrined principles of self-determination and popular participation are not respected in a high-profile instance, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, then what international actors can be compelled to penalize the intimidation or jailing of opposition leaders, the shuttering of independent media outlets, and the brazen rigging of elections in Africa? Growing autocracy would do a grave injustice to the 75 percent of Africans who regularly state that democracy is their preferred form of government. The inevitable repression that will result from an unfettered international order would also lead to a spike in refugee flows and internally displaced populations. ................... As Africans grapple with the more present and disastrous aftershocks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is important to recognize the threat this form of authoritarian expansion will have on the continent if it is normalized. History shows us that impunity is contagious. And apathy in the face of imminent threat is foolhardy. The clear threats emanating from Putin’s worldview defy the principles that are central to an international order that both the U.N. and AU helped foster.

How Putin’s War Caused a Global Food Crisis A “perfect storm” in agriculture is contributing to a global economic unwinding.

Elon Musk's Cyber Stalking AOC

Elon Musk tweeted at AOC for a public comment made by AOC. It was not even directed at anybody. It was a general comment made about social media in general.

You could argue the social media tries too hard through their algorithms to take people away from the first five commandments.

Musk said, don't hit on me, I am shy. AOC deleted her tweet.

Musk is a 300-pound gorilla (literally) who had a chilling effect on the conversation. He made a hugely sexist remark to drive away someone from the conversation. What he said had a silencing effect.

This is wrong. He is trying too hard to be a right wing gadfly.

This is the kind of racism that his car factories are in trouble for.

AOC is the progressive star. She is the next generation of leadership. She is America's own Greta Thunberg, only older.

AOC is a public official. She is a Congresswoman. She is an elected person. She represents We The People. She made a legitimate criticism. An appropriate response would have been a legitimate or a lame defense of social media. But what Elon Musk did was racist and sexist.

Granted Elon Musk is a complex picture. He has taken a heroic stand for Ukraine, and done heroic things for Ukraine, and I admire that.

But he is not a package deal I have to accept. I have and will praise his good work. But I will also criticize his bad behavior. This was bad behavior.

On thate note, how about a wealth tax? I call it forking. Beyong a billion, your net worth forks. You keep the voting power in your company. We The People take the money and solve drinking water and housing. And the planet.

Regret, apologize, and get a fresh start, Elon.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

News: May 24

Kissinger says Ukraine should concede territory to Russia to end war suggesting a position that a vast majority of Ukrainians are against as the war enters its fourth month. ........ Kissinger urged the United States and the West to not seek an embarrassing defeat for Russia in Ukraine, warning it could worsen Europe’s long-term stability. ......... After saying that Western countries should remember Russia’s importance to Europe and not get swept up “in the mood of the moment,” Kissinger also pushed for the West to force Ukraine into accepting negotiations with a “status quo ante,” which means the previous state of affairs. ........ “Negotiations need to begin in the next two months before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome. ......... “Pursuing the war beyond that point would not be about the freedom of Ukraine, but a new war against Russia itself.” ........ restoring a situation in which Russia formally controlled Crimea and informally controlled Ukraine’s two easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has emphasized that part of his conditions for entering peace talks with Russia would include a restoration of preinvasion borders. ............ Much of Ukraine agrees with Zelensky on not giving up land in exchange for peace. ........... 82 percent of Ukrainians are not prepared to give up any of Ukraine’s land, even if it means the war will drag on. .......... a recent editorial from the New York Times’s editorial board that argued Ukraine would have to make “painful territorial decisions” to achieve peace. .......... The editorial was met with backlash, including from Zelensky adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, who said that “any concession to Russia is not a path to peace, but a war postponed for several years.” ........ Kissinger, a longtime advocate of a realpolitik approach that has nations putting their practical aims in front of morals and principles, urged European leaders to not lose sight of Russia’s place in Europe and risk the country forming a permanent alliance with China. .......... “I hope the Ukrainians will match the heroism they have shown with wisdom”

Monday, May 23, 2022

News: May 23 (2)

The War in Ukraine Is Getting Complicated, and America Isn’t Ready the war entering a new and complicated phase ....... the next few months may be volatile. The conflict between Ukraine and Russia could take “a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,” she said, with the increased likelihood that Russia could threaten to use nuclear weapons. ......... No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. Ukraine deserves support against Russia’s unprovoked aggression, and the United States must lead its NATO allies in demonstrating to Vladimir Putin that the Atlantic alliance is willing and able to resist his revanchist ambitions. ........ it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions. And the U.S. aims and strategy in this war have become harder to discern, as the parameters of the mission appear to have changed. .......... Or is the United States now trying to weaken Russia permanently? Has the administration’s goal shifted to destabilizing Vladimir Putin or having him removed? Does the United States intend to hold Mr. Putin accountable as a war criminal? ......... Inflation is a much bigger issue for American voters than Ukraine, and the disruptions to global food and energy markets are likely to intensify. ........ The current moment is a messy one in this conflict, which may explain President Biden and his cabinet’s reluctance to put down clear goal posts. ........ It is tempting to see Ukraine’s stunning successes against Russia’s aggression as a sign that with sufficient American and European help, Ukraine is close to pushing Russia back to its positions before the invasion. But that is a dangerous assumption. .......... A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. Though Russia’s planning and fighting have been surprisingly sloppy, Russia remains too strong, and Mr. Putin has invested too much personal prestige in the invasion to back down. ........... The United States and NATO are already deeply involved, militarily and economically. Unrealistic expectations could draw them ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war. Russia, however battered and inept, is still capable of inflicting untold destruction on Ukraine and is still a nuclear superpower with an aggrieved, volatile despot who has shown little inclination toward a negotiated settlement. Ukraine and Russia now “appear further apart than at any other point in the nearly three-month-long war” .......... In the end, it is the Ukrainians who must make the hard decisions: They are the ones fighting, dying and losing their homes to Russian aggression, and it is they who must decide what an end to the war might look like. If the conflict does lead to real negotiations, it will be Ukrainian leaders who will have to make the painful territorial decisions that any compromise will demand. ........... as the war continues, Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain. ........... Confronting this reality may be painful, but it is not appeasement. This is what governments are duty bound to do, not chase after an illusory “win.” Russia will be feeling the pain of isolation and debilitating economic sanctions for years to come, and Mr. Putin will go down in history as a butcher. The challenge now is to shake off the euphoria, stop the taunting and focus on defining and completing the mission.

Putin Rules Russia Like an Asylum “Since the 16th century,” wrote the dissident Russian journalist Valeria Novodvorskaya, “we have existed according to the laws of manic depressive psychosis.” ......... a long-term argument about Russian society. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, Ms. Novodvorskaya argued, Russia has suffered from manic depressive psychosis — “flaying” the weak government and “kissing the whip” of the fierce autocrat. The result was a country “hanging between fascism and communism,” and citizens unable to live like normal people. ......... In 1969, Ms. Novodvorskaya, then a 19-year-old student, was detained for distributing anti-Soviet leaflets and sentenced to two years in a psychiatric hospital. She knew firsthand the horrors of the K.G.B.’s system of punitive psychiatry for dissidents. For her, it distilled the logic of Russia’s rulers, tsarist or Soviet. The aim was to produce a lobotomized mass, alternating between passion and passivity — and never in danger of threatening the system. .............. Like the chief doctor of a Soviet penal psychiatric institution, Mr. Putin uses any means at his disposal to retain control and stamp out dissent. In his ward is a mostly poor, depressed society of 144 million people, divided by 11 time zones and four climate zones. In a state of anesthetized apathy and drugged-up distemper, the bulk of Russian society has quietly acceded to Mr. Putin’s rule — and to his brutal war in Ukraine. .........

For Mr. Putin, the people in his ward are his property: He can do whatever he wants with them. From time to time, he feeds them — never generously — to ensure his approval ratings remain high. He has a habit of offering handouts, especially in the run-up to elections.

One-off targeted financial gifts and benefit payments are a favorite tactic. The aim, of course, is not the material betterment of Russians. It’s to shore up support for the regime and ensure that turnout, in Russia’s strange pseudo-elections, remains tolerably high. .............. Many of the people in Mr. Putin’s ward do not live; they survive. .......... in 2019, 15 percent of Russians were living in poverty, while another 49 percent were close to dropping into that category. ............ Last summer, 40 percent of Russians, according to the independent Levada Center, were unable to feed themselves adequately while 52 percent couldn’t afford the necessary clothes and shoes. .......... In this dire condition, people understandably tend to think first and foremost about their stomachs. For many of them, politics is like the weather, an unchangeable and often incomprehensible fact of life. All opportunities for them to comprehend why they live this way have been completely blocked by state propaganda — and the politicians who could help them understand are either dead or in prison. ................ Much of Russia’s middle class is in the same ward. A vulnerable minority are from the private sector, but a majority is dependent on the state — they are doctors, teachers, civil servants, police officers, state company workers. Because they live a little better than the lower classes, they thank Mr. Putin for their somewhat better situation. ......... On state television, they’re told that Europe is rotten and that its people are on the bread line. Nowhere is better than Russia. ........... “Keep your head down, or else things will get worse.” .......... A psychiatric institution isn’t just full of patients. There are attendants, too. In Mr. Putin’s Russia, these roles are performed by government, defense and law enforcement officials, propaganda workers and wealthy businesspeople, all carefully controlled by security officials. Members of this cohort, sifted and filtered by the Kremlin, consider themselves the masters of the country and the country itself as their property. They have no ideology other than the servile worship of their superiors for their own gain. ............ the state penetrates every corner. Across society, they build imitations of Mr. Putin’s regime — in local government, the charity sector, even volunteer associations — just to prevent anyone from starting something not subservient to the state. Mr. Putin forgives these people corruption, torture, you name it, as long as they successfully guard the ward. They all work in different ways, but together they sap citizens’ willpower and strengthen their obedience. ...............

As they say in Russia, half the country is in jail and half the country are the guards.

............. Putin wields power not through consent but by coercion. Genuine enthusiasm for the president’s war, for example, seems to be missing. Otherwise he would not have called it a “special operation,” closed down the few remaining independent media outlets immediately after the war began, blocked social networks, introduced new draconian laws and persecuted people for the most trivial of antiwar gestures. ............. Putin also surely knows that he’s been sitting in the Kremlin too long and is losing some of his hold on the country. In February 2021, for example, 41 percent of respondents to a poll said they wanted the president to leave office after 2024 — an impressive result given the danger of speaking out. .......... In just two years he will face another decorative election, for which he rewrote the Constitution. In Ukraine, he wanted a quick victory so that no one would even think of replacing him with someone else. His plan was to redirect the accumulated public frustration and aggression away from himself and toward his “enemies” — Ukraine and the West. That way he could validate his right to remain on the throne as a great leader who had changed the world order.

But thanks to Ukraine’s stiff opposition, his bloodthirsty plan did not work.

............. Russian society, after so many years of Mr. Putin’s punitive psychiatry, will need a very long rehabilitation.

The Five Conspiracy Theories That Putin Has Weaponized

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is driven by conspiracy theories.

......... They were stories designed to make sense of what the regime, for its own purposes, was doing. ......... Since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two months ago, the gap between conspiracy theory and state policy has closed to a vanishing point. Conspiratorial thinking has taken complete hold of the country, from top to bottom, and now seems to be the motivating force behind the Kremlin’s decisions. ......... he may believe the conspiracy theories he repeats. ......... a regime disintegrating into a morass of misinformation, paranoia and mendacity, at a terrible cost to Ukraine and the rest of the world. ......... Everyone, the president declared, “wants to bite us or bite off a piece of Russia” because “it is unjust for Russia alone to possess the riches of a region like Siberia.” An invented quote had become “fact,” legitimizing Mr. Putin’s ever more hostile approach to the West. ............ NATO ....... a convenient boogeyman that animates the anti-Western element of Mr. Putin’s electorate ........ NATO is the subject of some of the regime’s most persistent conspiracy theories, which see the organization’s hand behind popular uprisings around the world. ........ In a long essay published in July 2021, Mr. Putin gave fullest expression to this theory, claiming that Ukraine was fully controlled by the West and that NATO was militarizing the country. ........ Crucially, NATO was what divided Russians and Ukrainians, who otherwise, in his view, were one people. ........... Since at least 2004, Mr. Putin has been suspicious of domestic opposition, fearing a Ukrainian-style revolution. Fortress Russia, forever undermined by foreign enemies, became a feature of Kremlin propaganda. But it was the Maidan revolution that brought about a confluence in the Kremlin’s messaging: Not only were dissidents bringing discord to Russia, but they were also doing so under orders from the West. The aim was to turn Russia into a mess like Ukraine. ............ In this line of thinking, opposition forces were a fifth column infiltrating the otherwise pure motherland — and it led to the branding of activists, journalists and organizations as foreign agents. ........... The clearing away of domestic opposition — ruthlessly undertaken by the Kremlin in recent years — can now be seen as a prerequisite for the invasion of Ukraine. Since the war began, the last vestiges of independent media have been closed down, and hundreds of thousands of people have fled Russia. Any criticism of the war can land Russians in prison for 15 years and earn them the title of traitor, working nefariously in the service of Russia’s Western enemies. In a sign that the association of dissent with foreign enemies is now complete, Mr. Putin’s supporters have taken to marking the doors of opposition activists. .......... The global L.G.B.T.Q. movement is a plot against Russia ............ Mr. Putin’s statement that in the West, “children can play five or six gender roles,” threatening Russia’s “core population” ......... Soon, anti-L.G.B.T.Q. scaremongering became a major plank of Kremlin policy. ......... It was remarkably effective: By 2020, one-fifth of Russians surveyed said they wanted to “eliminate” lesbian and gay people from Russian society. They were responding to a propaganda campaign, undertaken by state media, claiming that L.G.B.T.Q. rights were an invention of the West, with the potential to shatter Russian social stability. Mr. Putin, unveiling his party’s manifesto ahead of 2021’s parliamentary elections, took things a step further — claiming that when people in the West weren’t trying to outright abolish the concept of gender, they were allowing teachers in schools to decide on a child’s gender, irrespective of parental wishes. It was, he said, a crime against humanity. ............. In March, Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, claimed the invasion was necessary to protect Russian speakers in Ukraine from a West that insists any entrant to its club of nations host a gay pride march. The supposed predations of L.G.B.T.Q. rights had to be met with righteous force. ........ In the second week of the war, regime-friendly bloggers and then top-ranking politicians, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, claimed that Russian intelligence had obtained evidence that America and Ukraine were developing biological weapons — in the form of disease-ridden bats and birds — to spread viruses in Russia. The Ministry of Defense suggested it had unearthed documents that confirmed the collaboration. ............. To add ballast to the claim, state media repeated a remark made by Tucker Carlson, a Fox News host, that the White House was involved in biowarfare against Russia in Ukraine. There was, of course, no credible evidence for anything of the sort. But the story spread across Russia, and the Kremlin even convened a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss it. ............ conspiracy theories have become a way to reject mounting evidence of Russian atrocities — which are recast instead as foreign skulduggery. ......... Hollywood, meanwhile, is believed to be working hard to produce scenes of mass poisoning to further discredit Russia. The C.I.A. is spinning its web. ...... From battles of words on talk shows and online, conspiracy theories have effectively turned into a weapon that kills real people. That’s scary enough. But the most frightening thing is that Mr. Putin, waging war without restraint, seems to believe them.

How Democrats Can Win the Morality Wars Progressive elites are plagued by an inability to understand the nature and function of social issues in American life as anything other than a battle between the forces of truth and justice on one side and those of ignorance and bigotry on the other.” ......... The essence of good citizenship in a democratic society is to spend time with those who disagree with you so you can understand their best arguments. .......... a lazy tendency to assume that anybody who’s not a social progressive must be a racist or a misogynist, a tendency to think the culture wars are merely a distraction Republican politicians kick up to divert attention from the real issues, like economics — as if the moral health of society was some trivial sideshow. .......... Liberals dominate the elite cultural institutions — the universities, much of the mainstream news media, entertainment, many of the big nonprofits — and many do not seem to understand how infuriatingly condescending it looks when they describe their opponents as rubes and bigots. .......... Republican candidates could probably cruise to victory in this fall’s elections just by talking about inflation. ......... 60 percent of Hispanic respondents favored laws that would bar teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with students before the fourth grade. Nearly three-quarters of American voters are very or extremely concerned about “what’s taught in public schools.” .......... the Republican culture war issues are “alarmingly potent” and that some battleground state voters think the Democrats are “preachy” and “judgmental.” ......... The fact is the culture wars are not a struggle between the enlightened few and the ignorant and bigoted masses. They are a tension between two legitimate moral traditions. Democrats will never prevail on social issues unless they understand the nature of the struggle. ......... deep down we are formed by moral ecologies we are raised within or choose, systems of thought and feeling that go back centuries .......... We may think we are making up our own minds about things, but usually our judgments and moral sentiments are shaped by these long moral traditions. .......... the opportunities Democrats now have to create a governing majority on social and cultural matters........... The moral freedom ethos puts tremendous emphasis on individual conscience and freedom of choice. Can a society thrive if there is no shared moral order? The tremendous emphasis on self-fulfillment means that all relationships are voluntary. Marriage is transformed from a permanent covenant to an institution in which two people support each other on their respective journeys to self-fulfillment. What happens when people are free to leave their commitments based on some momentary vision of their own needs? ........... If people find their moral beliefs by turning inward, the philosopher Charles Taylor warned, they may lose contact with what he called the “horizons of significance,” the standards of truth, beauty and moral excellence that are handed down by tradition, history or God. .......... A lot of people will revert to what the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre calls “emotivism”: What is morally right is what feels right to me. Emotivism has a tendency to devolve into a bland mediocrity and self-indulgence. If we’re all creating our own moral criteria based on feelings, we’re probably going to grade ourselves on a forgiving curve. ........... The critics of moral freedom say that while it opens up lifestyle choices, it also devolves into what Zygmunt Bauman calls “liquid modernity.” When everybody defines his own values, the basic categories of life turn fluid. You wind up in a world in which a Supreme Court nominee like Ketanji Brown Jackson has to dodge the seemingly basic question of what a woman is. I don’t blame her. I don’t know how to answer that question anymore, either. ........... They worry that the left threatens our national narratives as well as religious institutions and the family, which are the seedbeds of virtue. ......... “independent of my will there is something noble, courageous and hence significant in giving shape to my own life.” ........ In this ethos, ultimate authority is outside the self. For many people who share this worldview, the ultimate source of authority is God’s truth, as revealed in Scripture. For others, the ultimate moral authority is the community and its traditions. ........ Left to their own devices, people will tend to be selfish and shortsighted. They will rebel against the established order and seek autonomy. If a person does not submit to the moral order of the universe — or the community — he may become self-destructive, a slave to his own passions. ......... It can lead to rigid moral codes that people with power use to justify systems of oppression. This ethos leads to a lot of othering — people not in our moral order are inferior and can be conquered and oppressed. ........ Fewer and fewer people in the United States believe in God. ........ Many conservatives say there is an objective moral order that demands obedience .......... Conservative Christians feel they are under massive assault from progressive cultural elites. Small-town traditionalists feel their entire way of life is being threatened by globalism and much else. They perceive that they are losing power as a cultural force. Many in the younger generations have little use for their god, their traditional rooted communities and their values. ............. This has produced a moral panic. Consumed by the passion of the culture wars, many traditionalists and conservative Christians have adopted a hypermasculine warrior ethos diametrically opposed to the Sermon on the Mount moral order they claim as their guide. Unable to get people to embrace their moral order through suasion, they now seek to impose their moral order through politics. A movement that claims to make God their god now makes politics god. What was once a faith is now mostly a tribe. .............. liberal societies need nonliberal institutions if they are to thrive. ....... America needs institutions built on the “you are not your own” ethos to create social bonds that are more permanent than individual choice. It needs that ethos to counter the me-centric, narcissistic tendencies in our culture. It needs that ethos to preserve a sense of the sacred, the idea that there are some truths so transcendentally right that they are absolutely true in all circumstances. It needs that ethos in order to pass along the sort of moral sensibilities that one finds in, say, Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address — that people and nations have to pay for the wages of sin, that charity toward all is the right posture, that firmness in keeping with the right always has to be accompanied by humility about how much we can ever see of the right. ........... Even individualistic progressives say it takes a village to raise a child, but the village needs to have a shared moral sense of how to raise it.

The Answer to Stopping the Coronavirus May Be Up Your Nose