Since this blog is called "Friends and Enemies," it only seems appropriate to bring up the Belgian theorist Chantal Mouffe in response to Damir's previous post. There is inevitably and "us" and a "them," it's only a question of where one draws the boundary. Is the "them" to be found within or without? All other things being equal, the latter is a better option. But all things aren't equal. I'm tempted sometimes to think that the threat of China might serve as a rallying point for Americans to put to the side at least some of their differences. But this presumes that Americans need to be "united." If I had to choose between some artificially-imposed unity—like the kind that gave us the Patriot Act and civil liberties abuses after 9/11—and the fractious, tense hyper-pluralism that we have today, I know what my answer would be.