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Le caractère religieux de la perception américaniste du monde, ce caractère si fort qu’il exerce probablement une forte influence sur la psychologie américaniste elle-même, joue à plein dans l’affrontement avec la Russie. Il joue d’autant plus que les USA, en état d’infériorité sur ce théâtre et dans une phase notable d’affaiblissement, ont peu de moyens concrets à opposer à la Russie. Les USA conservent leur attitude manichéenne, religieuse, et s’appuient d’autant plus sur elle pour fonder leur violente critique anti-russe, – critique de plus en plus violente du point de vue dialectique, d’autant plus violente qu’elle s’éloigne de la réalité de la politique. (Malgré cet éloignement de la réalité, les effets psychologiques sont très forts et l’hostilité anti-américaniste des Russes à cause de cette attitude US ne cesse de se renforcer et devrait rapidement devenir structurelle.)

L’auteur et historien Lee Congdon développe, dans le numéro du 22 septembre de The American Conservative, une analyse de cet aspect étrange, radical et messianique de la psychologie américaniste, et sa pénétration dans la politique extérieure des USA. Il s’agit ainsi d’une politique étrangère basée sur l’acceptation implicite que l’américanisme, dont cette politique fait la promotion, est la “quatrième grande religion occidentale”, selon les mots du professeur Gelernter, de l’université de Yale.

«Americans, of course, also spurned communist ideology and feared that it might succeed in dominating the world, including the United States. They seemed not to notice that they themselves were in thrall to a political religion; recently, in fact, Yale professor David Gelernter described “Americanism”—that is, American democracy—as the fourth great Western religion. No doubt he cheered when President Bush, in his second inaugural address, declared it to be “the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.” In practice, this imperial ambition, for that is what it is, has meant constant meddling in the affairs of governments the U.S. considers to be insufficiently democratic.

»There is no doubt, for example, that the National Endowment for Democracy played a significant role in Georgia’s 2003 Rose Revolution and Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2004-05. In 1999, the NED initiated the World Movement for Democracy, “which presupposes the universality of the democratic idea” and the inevitability of “democratic transition,” even in a Middle East that lacks democratic traditions. One of the least convincing reasons for waging war on Iraq was to plant the seeds of democracy, with the expectation that they would germinate and grow throughout the region.

»Such visions should come as no surprise. America has always prided itself on being the world’s last best hope, a shining city upon a hill. But Woodrow Wilson’s call for a world made safe for democracy focused and intensified that missionary zeal. Most Americans believe democracy to be the only legitimate form of government and the U.S., as the leading democratic nation, to be duty bound to evangelize the world. American officials are quick to lecture leaders of sovereign states who violate one or another of democracy’s commandments, and few of them question their right to impose our system, by military force if necessary, upon those who resist conversion. They would be puzzled by the question once posed by Edmund Burke: “Is it then a truth so universally acknowledged that a pure democracy is the only tolerable form into which human society can be thrown, that a man is not permitted to hesitate about its merits, without the suspicion of being a friend to tyranny, that is, of being a foe to mankind?”

»It is a truth acknowledged by neoconservatives, many of whom have the president’s ear. Irving Kristol, the godfather of neoconservatism, has written that “large nations, whose identity is ideological, like the Soviet Union of yesteryear and the United States of today, inevitably have ideological interests in addition to more material concerns. Barring extraordinary events, the United States will always feel obliged to defend, if possible, a democratic nation under attack from nondemocratic forces, external or internal.” (The word “internal” here is particularly revealing of an interventionist mentality.) That being so, “democratic” Georgia must, at all costs, be defended against “autocratic” Russia.

»It is not without interest that Kristol is an ex-Trotskyite. Like him, most of his followers have a leftist past, and that accounts for the fact that they are attracted to ideological movements. If communism did not save the world, perhaps democracy will. One can see something of the same instinct in the ex-communists who gathered around the old National Review. Frank Meyer was a former member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Max Eastman translated several works by Trotsky. James Burnham, another ex-Trotskyite, argued that a new “managerial class” would replace the old capitalist class; different class, but the same structure of analysis.»

D’autres ont une interprétation plus abrupte de cette attitude, la transcrivant en des termes plus terrestres et triviaux, hors de toute considération religieuse. Le résultat est une politique “stupide”, selon le jugement que donnait l’anonyme Spengler, le 19 août sur le site Atimes.com. Le jugement était porté sur la politique US face à la Russie, la façon dont les Russes, très intelligents dans leur politique, sont désarçonnés par la sottise de la politique US. “Les Russes jouent aux échecs, les Américains jouent au Monopoly”, observait Spengler.

«The fact is that all Russian politicians are clever. The stupid ones are all dead. By contrast, America in its complacency promotes dullards. A deadly miscommunication arises from this asymmetry. The Russians cannot believe that the Americans are as stupid as they look, and conclude that Washington wants to destroy them. That is what the informed Russian public believes, judging from last week's postings on web forums, including this writer's own.

»These perceptions are dangerous because they do not stem from propaganda, but from a difference in existential vantage point. Russia is fighting for its survival, against a catastrophic decline in population and the likelihood of a Muslim majority by mid-century. The Russian Federation's scarcest resource is people. It cannot ignore the 22 million Russians stranded outside its borders after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, nor, for that matter, small but loyal ethnicities such as the Ossetians. Strategic encirclement, in Russian eyes, prefigures the ethnic disintegration of Russia, which was a political and cultural entity, not an ethnic state, from its first origins.

»The Russians know (as every newspaper reader does) that Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili is not a model democrat, but a nasty piece of work who deployed riot police against protesters and shut down opposition media when it suited him – in short, a politician in Putin's mold. America's interest in Georgia, the Russians believe, has nothing more to do with promoting democracy than its support for the gangsters to whom it handed the Serbian province of Kosovo in February.

»Again, the Russians misjudge American stupidity. Former president Ronald Reagan used to say that if there was a pile of manure, it must mean there was a pony around somewhere. His epigones have trouble distinguishing the pony from the manure pile. The ideological reflex for promoting democracy dominates the George W Bush administration to the point that some of its senior people hold their noses and pretend that Kosovo, Ukraine and Georgia are the genuine article.

»Think of it this way: Russia is playing chess, while the Americans are playing Monopoly. What Americans understand by “war games” is exactly what occurs on the board of the Parker Brothers' pastime. The board game Monopoly is won by placing as many hotels as possible on squares of the playing board. Substitute military bases, and you have the sum of American strategic thinking. »

Ces diverses appréciations nous disent beaucoup de choses vraies. On peut les rassembler en un constat essentiel, du point de vue du jugement sur la politique extérieure; on peut avancer que l’affirmation US en faveur de la démocratie, qui est l’affirmation constante centrale de la politique extérieure US puisque la démocratie est présentée comme l’application politique de l’américanisme, n’a rien à voir avec un montage, un complot, une manœuvre, une hypocrisie ou une tromperie. (Bien entendu, il s’agit de la vision américaniste de la démocratie, on le comprend et on comprend de quoi il s’agit.) L’un appelle ce phénomène la “quatrième grande religion occidentale”, l’autre la “stupidité” de la politique US; en aucun cas, il ne s’agit d’autre chose que de sincérité, d’une croyance ingénue et aveugle. La principale chose à comprendre, c’est sans aucun doute cette sincérité (qui est alors plus l'automatisme d'une psychologie contrainte qu'une vertu du caractère); ceux qui ont du mal à accepter cette idée ou qui la rejette ont beaucoup de mal à apprécier et à comprendre, encore moins à prévoir le comportement US.

Il apparaît également, d’une façon d’ailleurs absolument logique avec ce qui précède, que les avatars ne découragent nullement les USA de leurs croyance en eux-mêmes et, bien entendu, dans leur religion de l’américanisme. Ils préfèrent alors se retirer du jeu, même si cela doit leur coûter cher en termes politiques, et, de toutes les façons, écarter la réalité au profit de leur propre interprétation, laquelle conduira à une réaffirmation d’une réalité modifiée à mesure. Le virtualisme est donc une démarche religieuse, réalisée grâce au miracle des technologies de la communication.


Mis en ligne le 22 septembre 2008 à 22H36