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Monday, January 9, 2017

George Will on the State of the World, Obama

An excerpt from Will's NY Post piece

The fact that the world is more disorderly and less lawful than when Obama became president is less his fault than the fault of something about which progressives are skeptical — powerful, unchanging human nature. They are desirous and competitive, and hence are prone to conflict.

And to causing progressives to furrow their brows in puzzlement. In 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry was disappointed with Putin, saying, more in sorrow than in anger: “You just don’t in the 21st century behave in 19th-century fashion.” If you do, you place yourself on (in one of Obama’s favorite phrases) “the wrong side of history.”

Make that History, which, in progressives’ lexicon, is a proper noun, an autonomous thing with a mind, or at least a logic, of its own. Kerry’s reprimand of Putin expressed a progressive’s certitude about progress: The passage of time should ineluctably improve the comportment of nations. Which is why in 1911, the renowned 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, in its entry on torture, said “the whole subject is one of only historical interest as far as Europe is concerned.”

The Dachau concentration camp was opened in March 1933.

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