runs an essay arguing the same thing I did in my Taki Magazine
column “America First
.” I said:
Extolling the “ultimate wisdom of a borderless world” has become a fad among establishment icons such as Bill Clinton and John Kerry.For Americans to have their own country is a flagrant violation of the civil rights of foreigners to move here no questions asked.And yet the Olympics are organized along nationalist lines, and that’s what makes them watchable. …Feelings of patriotic solidarity help us organize the blooming, buzzing confusion of the world. Without nationalistic enthusiasm, the Olympics would be just a blur of games that we don’t follow and athletes we haven’t heard of. Who are these eight strangers splashing facedown in the swimming pool and why should I care?But add patriotic solidarity—Oh, the one in lane 5 is American? Go! America first!—and the Olympics are suddenly good television.
Not surprisingly, however, Foreign Policy
puts a hostile globalist spin on my observation:
The Olympic Spirit Is Unbridled, Rabid NationalismThe Games succeed because they indulge precisely what they claim to transcend – the world’s basest instinct for tribalism.BY DAVID CLAY LARGE AUGUST 12, 2016… What makes Rio’s ongoing party impervious to the scolds?In part, it’s the beauty of supreme athleticism and the sizzle of carefully choreographed spectacle. But, more fundamentally, it’s the games’ capacity to dip repeatedly into a deep well of communal passion harbored by competitors and spectators alike. Whatever the organizational inadequacies and logistical screw-ups, these purported celebrations of one-world togetherness succeed because they indulge precisely what they claim to transcend: the world’s basest instinct for tribalism.That instinct lay at the heart of the ancient Greek Olympics, in which athletes entered the arena as champions of rival city-states for whose communal glory they fiercely fought, sometimes to the death.
What did those competing Greek city-states ever do for the advancement of human culture?