Yes, there is a Brave New World faction in the West, whose chief representatives are, perhaps, the transnationalists of the Davos type. It has little or nothing to do with the neocons. The Brave New Worlders have not prospered in recent years. Part of the story is the foundering of the European Union project; part of it is the defenestration of cultural and media elites in the US. The Brave New World is not fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Brave New World not only could not fight a war; it could not survive in a world where war were possible.
Reilly earlier made his point this way:
As C. S. Lewis once remarked, there is wishful thinking even in Hell, so we need not take seriously Mullah Kreikar's analogy of Iraq to Soviet Afghanistan. Most Iraqis have a vested interest in the Coalition remaining for a year or two. The parts of the country that lend themselves to guerrilla activity are not the areas where the population is likely to be hostile. There is little prospect of a technological fix for the insurgents, as US Stinger missiles were against Soviet helicopters. The list of differences could be lengthened. However, the outcome of the war in Iraq, as of the Terror War in toto, depends on a similarity: whether the people see the future being offered them as desirable, or at least tolerable.
American confidence on this score is so great that it is rarely even questioned. Consider this assessment by Philip Zelikow, made on the Jim Lehrer News Hour on August 8:
But on the plus side, since we are all being very downbeat about this, let's just notice that in late 1940s, we were competing against a major ideology that had taken power in much of Eurasia, was about to seize power in all of China and had enormous appeal in large parts of the world. Here we are in a struggle of ideas against the foe who says their goal is to recreate a caliphate through blood and fire. If that's the battle of ideas, I think that we are in a good position to win that.
To this I would say that, if the contest is between the Caliphate and the Federalist Papers, we have little to worry about. On the other hand, if the contest is between the Caliphate and The Sopranos or Sex in the City, I am not at all sure that the Caliphate may not have the greater appeal. The problem is not simply anti-moral popular culture, but the collapse in elite morale that made the popular culture possible. The clothes, music, architecture, even the religions of Western countries can be exported on their merits. However, a political culture that embraces the reasoning of Lawrence v. Texas cannot be exported except at bayonet point.
One the points that Mark continues to remain ignorant of is that with the exception of individual cases like Christopher Hitchens or Glenn Reynolds, the people who are pioneering these transhumanist concepts tend to be the ones least interested in fighting the war on terrorism.