The White Man's Burden

Of course in terms of bizarre literary readings, the troubled New York Times article on The Great Gatsby mentioned below has absolutely nothing on Bill Kristol's column about how George Orwell's take on Kipling shows that Republicans, like Kipling, are awesome.

One argument I make in my forthcoming book, Heads in the Sand, is that we shouldn't understand Bush-style neoconservative foreign policy as some kind of tremendously innovative new thing. Rather, it's very much a part of the same tradition as 19th century imperialism -- a tradition that had mostly gone into eclipse for good reasons after WWII and whose post-Cold War resurgence has brought us little of merit. It's by no means a wholly original argument, I'm following John Judis' underappreciated The Folly of Empire among other works, but I did think it was still a provocative one. At a minimum, I thought it was something most neocon types would deny. But here's Kristol, proudly waving the banner of Kipling and empire, and with nothing to say about the whole sorry business other than that Kipling is "politically incorrect" as if the whole "should we seek to subjugate the entire world with our military might" issue boils down to liberals being fussy.