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Antony Blinken Is Rockin’ in the Free World

State of the Union: American imperialism is a tacky generational project for boomers.

Antony Blinken, b. 1962, is the Secretary of State of the United States. He’s also a baby boomer (albeit at the tail end of the generation), and has the sensibilities to match. Monday found him wearing a black shirt and jeans, waving an electric guitar around, performing Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” with a Ukrainian band. (Young’s lyrics seem to be lost on our 62-year-old Quiet American.)

The video must be seen to be believed:


It’s an illustration of what I think of as “the Coke ad mindset,” after the famous 1971 “Hilltop” TV spot.

A superficial internationalist pluralism held together by a totalizing economic structure—it’s a straight line from the Coke ad to the McDonald’s peace of Tom Friedman to Blinken singing a song about American decadence as an anthem in the capital city of a joint client of the U.S. and the IMF. The Coke ad is also an ideological mirror of the Soviet system, which was also internationalist, pluralist, and held together by a totalizing economic structure. “Don’t feel like Satan, but I am to them…. We got a kinder, gentler machine-gun hand.” Much to consider!