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New X-Men: Liberal Interventionism

[The Three-In-One sez] In our dreams we have seen a new Dark Age. Seen all history set back by a thousand years of ignorance and war. Seen, worse than all these, a terrible flaw at the heart of things. How did this happen so quickly?

[Wolverine sez] I guess no one thought Rome could fall, either… those guys had a postal service that could deliver mail across 170 miles in one day. They had indoor plumbing, the women were free, they had art and science and a communications network that spanned the civilized world.

Within a hundred years, it was all debris and lice.

Sometimes ya gotta take care of what you got. (New X-Men #151)

Then Sean Collins sez:

Now, I may just be desperate to find a fellow liberal-interventionist defender of civilization against theocratic fascism and nihilist terrorism out there in the great big wide world of funnybooks, but what alternate explanation for this passage by Grant Morrison can you offer?

Well, I haven’t read this particular issue of New X-Men yet, but I can think of a few alternate readings of the passage other than as criticism of moral complacency in the face of “theocratic fascism” and “nihilist terrorism.” E.g., as criticism of the moral complacency of liberal-interventionist defenders of “civilization” who’ve decided they’ve got this “civilization” thing down better than so-called “theocratic fascists” and “nihilist terrorists.” Or even better, you could read it as a criticism of moral complacency just in general.

(N.B. You needn’t read this as a critique of Sean’s politics, which I don’t know a lot about since I’ve not read many of his blogging on politics. As far as I know Sean is a perfectly non-complacent liberal-interventionist defender of civilization, self-aware and capable of self-criticism.)


  1. Rose says:

    I totally misread Sean’s comments and thought that perhaps the war “against theocratic fascism and nihilist terrorism out there in the great big wide world of funnybooks” was being waged by none other than Grant Morrison and his ilk. While I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be a political post rather than metacommentary on the state of the comics industry, maybe that’s one way you can read it. Ups and downs and much prophesying of doom, and all to what end?

    But, Wolvie, baby, Rome was full of free women? Hmmm, I dunno where you came up with that one. I suppose it’s all relative. Me, I think liberal interventionists could have done some good in Rome if they’d had the chance.

    — 13 January 2004 at 11:54 pm (Permalink)