In an enlightened nation, power and authority are in perfect balance. Power never exerts itself until it has the authority to do so, be this authority constitutional or other. This is why enlightened states are so goddamn dull. When was the last time you were entertained by a Swiss politician leading his country into a losing war behind a pack of lies?
Superpowers become superpowers because they understand that while authority whispers, power roars, and any attempt to repress power leads to deep and profound psychological damage. Unfortunately, you can put a nation on psychotropic drugs, so the healthy nation gives its power free reign, and in doing so becomes a superpower. In the end, authority scampers to keep up with power. Ultimately, its sole function becomes justifying power’s destructiveness after the fact.
As the sole surviving superpower of the universe, we found our Constitution to be a tight fit. Since becoming the guiding light of the world, we have slipped out of our constitutional straight jacket and, thanks to a supine Congress, are now cavorting naked through the world. Like any streaker, we create chaos and confusion wherever we go.
What makes power entertaining it that those who exercise it are so blinded by hubris and an inflated sense of exceptionalism that they fuck up everything they try. Under their deft leadership, cake walks regularly turn into quagmires. The surest way to court defeat is to believe that one is entitled to victory.
Some say ours is a dynamic society that is on a straight-line ascent to total world domination. What our pundits mistake for dynamism is little more that an out-of-control momentum that, like all great powers before it, will inscribe a Bell Curve across history until it descends into oblivion,
The Swiss may be dull, but they’re still around.
When the Big Dick spoke of the need to work the “dark side” what he really meant was that, as a great power, we had to work the dark side of self-destruction. The beauty of hubris is that it blinds us to our decline and convinces us that suicide is life-affirming.
I am thrilled to see Obama coming around to your way of thinking. It means that the entertainment will continue even if he is elected.