The View From 1776
Tuesday, March 23, 2004
The “Logic” of Liberal-Socialist Foreign Policy
Renewed attacks on Bush administration foreign policy arise from a theory of human nature and political relations that is both simplistic and vulnerable to totalitarianism.
A confluence of events in recent days brings into sharp focus the fundamental differences between liberal-socialist political theory and the realistic understanding of human nature and political governance that guided our forebears in writing the Constitution in 1787.
Public hearings of the independent commission investigating the 9/11 Al Queda attacks are being reported mostly from the liberal-socialist viewpoint. In that take, President Clinton had matters well in hand and was dealing effectively with the Al Queda threat, but the incoming Bush administration abandoned his sound policy and embarked on a foolhardy and unilateral militarism. Multi-lateral diplomacy through the UN and treating terrorism as a legal problem are the only appropriate responses. Armed force to destroy terrorists is unthinkable.
Simultaneously, former counter-terror functionary Richard A. Clarke published a book denouncing the Administration in the same terms. He is being lionized by the TV interview shows as a voice of reason in a sea of conservative idiocy.
Terrorists bombed commuter trains in Madrid, and voters elected a socialist leader pledged to abandon military action and seek safety in appeasement. The head of the European Union intoned soothingly that diplomacy is the only appropriate means to calm Europeans’ fears.
Finally, Israel assassinated the founder and leader of Hammas, and the socialist world, led by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, denounced this action as a violation of international law.
Such reactions arise from a world view conceived in mythology, which makes them unrealistic and therefore dangerous. Moreover, if the “logic” behind them is fully implemented, it leads to totalitarianism.
The socialist religion, called liberalism in the United States, is based on the myth that humans are wholly good and kind, when they have not been corrupted by the institution of private property. Socialism therefore fights to overturn governments based on the natural-law, inalienable, and individual rights of life, liberty, and property.
For the liberal-socialist, there can be no freedom as long as some people have more wealth than others, because that prevents equal access by everyone to all of society’s goods and services, regardless of whether he deserves it or whether he works to earn it. Earthly paradise is therefore an egalitarian society in which no one may have more than anyone else. Unfortunately for the socialist religion, history repeatedly has demonstrated that such a political state can exist only under despotic rule by an intellectual elite administering a gigantic and rigid bureaucracy. France and Germany, sinking under the weight of their socialist welfare-state systems , are the most prominent current-day examples. The Soviet Union, Mao’s China, and Castro’s Cuba are prototypes for socialist “liberty.”
These socialist religious beliefs explain the current attacks on the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Al Queda and related terrorist organizations are not bad people. They are the victims of Western society, in particular the United States, which has unjustly taken more than its share of the world’s goods and services. If we just deal diplomatically with terrorists, we can work out an equitable solution to give them a fair share of wealth, and their fundamentally benevolent natures will be reasserted. Magically peace and tranquility will be restored to the world. This is the mythology embodied in the UN and the fictions of “international law” and “the community of nations.”
One of the most puzzling aspects of liberal-socialist denunciations of American foreign policy and Israel’s counter-attacks against Palestinian suicide bombings is liberals’ refusal to condemn terrorism as evil. Indeed, liberals ridicule and scathingly denounce President Bush’s characterization of terrorist nations as part of an Axis of Evil. They despise his references to spiritual religion. What accounts for that?
Again the answer is found in socialist religious mythology. Socialism, beginning in the French Revolution of 1789, aims always to wipe out spiritual religion’s concepts of morality and personal responsibility. Classifying actions as good or bad is said to be unscientific value judgment. French socialists held that the only morality was social justice, essentially equal distribution of wealth, which was to be imposed by ruling councils of intellectuals. In England of the 1850s and 1860s, Charles Darwin’s great propaganda champion Thomas Huxley declared that there was no such thing as sin or morality. Society was merely the struggle for survival, a process of evolutionary natural selection. Marxian contemporaries of Darwin enthusiastically adopted evolutionary theory to justify Marx’s prediction of the inevitable triumph of socialism.
In the United States during the early decades of the 20th century, John Dewey donned the mitre of socialist priesthood and taught his philosophy of Pragmatism that dismissed morality and ideas of good or bad. There were, said Dewey, only actions that worked for an individual or failed to work. The end justifies the means, which in his case meant that any action by liberal-socialists to corrode the moral foundations of the nation would be pragmatically acceptable, if the result were the imposition of socialism as the official national church.
In more recent years, students in this country have far too often been taught by our schools that the only virtue is “tolerance,” which means that there can be no standards of right or wrong. Students are told that they must see everything from the other guy’s viewpoint. Even the Holocaust cannot be condemned, because Hitler had his reasons.
Liberal politicians, academics, and mobs in the streets scream that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was simply a capitalist plot to grab Iraqui oil reserves and enrich fat-cat corporations. Dealing forcefully with terrorists, they declare, is evidence of the corrupting influence of private property, at a time when taxes should be raised, resources ought to be diverted to enlarging the welfare state, and the government should employ every citizen.
These are the products of liberal-socialism, a religion teaching that people are good if not corrupted by private ownership of property, that liberty is equal access to goods and services, whether you work for it or not, and that earthly salvation lies in collectivized government, planned and managed by intellectuals.