James Burnham on Obama

I’m deep into rereading the works of the great James Burnham in preparation for the fourth annual conference on November 14 of the very fine William F. Buckley Program at Yale University, which will be devoted chiefly to Burnham’s classic Suicide of the West. (Come if you can: details here). And in the last chapter of Suicide of the West, Burnham explains in just two sentences exactly why Obama’s foreign policy ambitions were doomed from the very start:

The guilt that is always part of the liberal syndrome swells painfully when liberals gain power and find that the world’s sorrows show no tendency to vanish at their sovereign touch. Liberals are uncomfortable, uneasy, when they become “the Establishment”: we took note earlier of the desperate lengths to which academic liberals go to prove to themselves that they are non-conformists, even on a faculty every member of which has been formed in the same ideological pod.

You can take in previous Power Line items on James Burnham here, here, and here.