Formerly anti-war France is on its third war in three years. This will be the second war for its newly elected Socialist government in just this year. That’s impressive for a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys who were supposed to be our role models in navigating the subtlety of international diplomacy. But France has always been renowned for its cheerfully amoral politics.
Role models don’t hold up too well under fire. Just ask any of the parents who encouraged their daughters to watch Hannah Montana or any of the anti-war activists who thought that Obama would be different.
The man whose only calling card was the peace sign, is about to launch his second war. And if bombing Syria goes well, there’s always Egypt. And if the Tunisian protesters follow their lead and dare to boot their Islamist masters, they might get a few cruise missiles headed their way in Operation Caliphate.
Obama’s premature gift of a Nobel Peace Prize has become one of the more absurd footnotes in his career. Like Cyrus gyrating on stage, he seems to be doing his best to leave behind his old anti-war reputation. Now he can hardly wait for the UN inspectors to finish their job in Syria before squatting at a table and nodding cluelessly while being told where the bombs will fall first.
If hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue, as La Rochefoucauld said, our elites have decided to dispense with the tribute. Not only will there be no more virtue, but the dealers in vice will not even bother with the hypocrisy. If the balance of our society has been tilted forcibly from virtue to vice, as most recent developments suggest, then the former child stars and hope and changers no longer feel that they need to bother even maintaining the appearance of virtue.
Last time around, Obama had already begun the Libyan War before he told the American people. This time, the Syrian War could begin at any time, but will possibly be preceded by the release of a report. Or maybe the report will come out later, as the man who should be president is acting like an emperor, and the emperor is naked enough to be performing at the VMAs.
Alinsky’s fourth rule is making the enemy live up to his own codes. But what if the enemy has no rules, only will. What if the enemy has no values and exists only to be seen. That is the unreal space occupied by a former community organizer from Chicago and teenage girl from the Disney Channel. Where there are no values, there can be no hypocrisy. All that is left is the triumph of the will.
The VMAs are a calculated spectacle in the same way that Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will was and in the same way that the latest Obama speech pledging to act unilaterally on his latest plan if Congress does nothing. Their theme is the triumph of the will over morals, the power of the individual to dominate crowds through no special virtue except determination. It is a fascism of the spirit that glorifies the dissolution of the individual in a secular religion of power and privilege.
Miley Cyrus did what she did because she could. The goal was the most priceless commodity of modern culture; attention. In a crowded digital world, the only thing that matters is being seen. Obama’s triumph is being noticed. It is the secret of his success. In a crowded digital world, the triumph of the will is not physical or intellectual, let alone spiritual, but that quality of compelling others to become aware of your existence and to incorporate your existence into their reality.
Like Miley, Obama will go to war because he can. It isn’t even his idea and it isn’t a good idea, but that doesn’t matter. If you’re a Disney starlet, eventually you have to show everyone that you’ve grown up by taking your clothes off. It’s what the audience expects. If you’re an anti-war liberal who makes it into the White House, you have to show everyone that you’ve grown up by getting out there and getting your war on.