pax americana

  2005-11-30


Over the past few years at university, I have been constantly presented with the idea of myth. Most will toss this away as a spiel on Zeus and Aphrodite, but this is not what I mean. Myth as Barthes used it can be used to refer to a second meaning behind symbols or signs. The American flag has a powerful mythical meaning. As the chaplain here notes, this mythological power in America gives it incredible unitive might. It also gives it incredible projective force into the world. Over the next few months, or least over the holidays, I hope to look a little bit into the breakdown or appearance there of of American moral authority in the world. The States are now associated with pax romana and pax britannica. In a sense, at least, the USA is an empire. I don't know how to feel about that one. I identify with the mythos of the US, internalized the Dream. But the Dream needs saving. It was built in a powerful religious context, and the 60's and 70's did much to detroy that, and I have not been incredibly impressed with what I have seen there since. Without realizing it, I believe that many Americans are knocking out what originally made them great. Of course, this is an exploration, and I imagine I will waffle all over the place in search of Platonic Truth. In other news, I met tonight with a potential CRC intern. She was quite nice, and I think if she decides to come here, she will be an asset to the university. And now I need to spend the rest of the week and weekend on academic pursuits, however uninteresting.