Let me ask a question:
Can a calendar conquer the globe?
The Romans chose January 1 as the marker of a New Year for political purposes to attach Rome's founder - Romulus - to the formulation of the state. Legend has it that he gave created a 10-month calendar and put New Year's Day on the first of Martius, the month of the war god Mars. When Rome turned Christian in the fourth century, January 1 happened to be the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ as well, so not much needed changing.
Since then, Russia and its Orthodox Church used the date in 1700, and Serbia, then still a part of the Muslim Turkish empire, followed in 1804. The Ottomans also moved the Islamic New Year's Day for to January 1 in 1840 (although they carried on counting years from the Prophet Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina in AD 622 until 1927). Japan adopted both January 1 and anno Domini in 1873. Egypt followed in 1875. Thailand in 1889. Korea in 1896, etc, etc. China tried a few times as well, and today registers January 1 as a nominal New Years Day, but really only uses it for shopping.
More then two-thirds of the planet sees January 1 as the beginning of the New Year. Now that's power!
It's not suspicion that gets me, just face-in-palm frustration, when a group of Americans can sit in a room full of Chinese businessmen and whisper to each other about how dangerous China is becoming. Dude! They were all wearing suits! How can a country challenge the status quo power without even challenging its sartorial standards?
Similarly, how can we take ISIS' plans for global domination seriously when, given multiple chances, they refuse to cut themselves off from the internet? The Caliphate loves Facebook and Twitter. But no force in the history of mankind ever uprooted a status quo power by letting that power mediate its messages of revolution.
Neither the calendar, suits nor Facebook is conquering the globe. Those are objects. The correct question is: what are these objects attached to? Use your eyes, not your brain.
I guess it's the dishonesty that bothers me. The refusal to describe what's in front of one's eyes is a peculiarly American problem. And by "American," do yourself a favour and replace that word with "Yankee" or "progressive." They're the same thing anyway. Without a solid background of tradition, the Yankee is transfixed by symbols and semiotics due to his Puritan history. That's useful for avoiding any real introspection about necessary actions. It's always easier to pretend you're not to blame for your actions.
The deflection is useful for maintaining cognitive dissonance. On the one hand, the Yankee owns a global empire based on his rules and values. To him, there are two types of countries in the world today: American-style democracies and soon-to-be American-style democracies. At the same time, the Yankee prefers to say it was the Roman calendar that conquered the world, not the US Army. Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too.
This makes sense on the strategic level, I suppose. After all, if you were thinking about ways to conquer the globe, wouldn't you pretend that your version of government and society is actually "universal" and people just need to be nudged in the "right" direction? Wouldn't you be able to justify all manner of destructive actions and beliefs if you thought the world needed "progressing" to your ideals? Harvard's and Stanford's ideas always become global frameworks for ethics and social systems. But that has nothing to do with empire! Silly boy. It's just a bunch of well-meaning smart people striving to uncover why genocide is always bad and should be stopped!
What do you want to be true? If you say genocide shouldn't happen, I'm with you. And it would be great if people would just stop killing each other. But if you say the "international community" should act to stop genocide, then the Yankee risks proving once and for all that nation-states are not sovereign after all. Washington says all the time each nation-state has the right to conduct its own affairs as it sees fit. Yet it castigates, invades and sanctions any country that doesn't comport to Yankee/progressive standards of good government (democracy is a euphemism for "Yankee values").
Genocide is a tough nut to crack, I understand. But the question is not: do nation-states have the sovereign right to decide their own affairs? The answer to that is no, duh. The question is: why does the Yankee have the authority to draw the geopolitical lines? If genocide should be stopped, you are saying there are no independent states. Fine. But then why are we hearing this nonsense about calendars taking over the globe?
Does it ever occur to a progressive that a reason genocide happens is that sovereign nation-states are being unhelpfully intervened with? If nation-states were left alone to choose how they wanted to govern based on their own historical baggage and comprehension, a good chunk of the ethnic tensions would disappear. But no, instead we get articles about how the Yankee ideals are actually "universal human rights" and anyone deviating from this ideal deserves a JDAM up the ass.
At no point does anyone seem to be suspicious about why those universal rights line up perfectly with the desires of Woodrow Wilson and the Puritans.
Any article about the "responsibility to protect" or how a calendar conquered the globe creep closer to outlining the actual truth: there is no outside. The entire world is captured by the Yankees in a globe-spanning post-Christian empire. But because America was founded by rebels from the slave-caste, it still has an aversion to speaking the truth about this imperial project. It prefers people don't see it at all because then the slaves would have turned into everything they hate about their masters - imperial owners.
That's why the calendar is so important - if it's just a calendar doing the conquering, then there are no people to attack. So those in actual power stay hidden.
Even America's enemies are looking through its nonsense telescope of symbols. Al Qaeda thought it was attacking Yankee power, but it only attacked symbols - the WTC and Pentagon. Everyone remembers that day because Yankees and AQ are captured by the same symbolic delusion. But who remembers the USS Cole attack? No one. It's hard for a modern American to make sense of that attack because that was a military on an actual piece of US power - a guided-missile destroyer. That cannot resonate with a Yankee because, to his philosophy, what you say you are (symbols) is more important than what you do.
The Yankee empire that began in Massachusetts, took over the continental US, before overwhelming the planet, will one day look back at this strange few decades after the Cold War as a curious time. It will remember this moment as its adolescence in which it accidentally took ownership of a global network but couldn't reconcile its rebellious teenage nature with the responsibility of being an adult in the world system.
It will see these euphemisms of "calendars conquering the globe" and "responsibility to protect" as quaint and childish. It will have accepted the responsibility of being a mature custodian of an empire by making rational and necessary decisions, far removed from silly Puritan "good and evil."
Of course, to get there, he must paint what his eyes see, not what his brain wants to see.