Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Arab Spring

Charles Krauthammer offers a stinging reproach of the left’s interpretation of the Arab world in his column today. While conceding that we do not yet know whether the seeds of democracy springing up in the Middle East will grow to fruition, he suggests that the early opposition to democracy in the region by the liberal elites has put them in a bad place:

Those who claimed, with great certainty, that Arabs are an exception to the human tendency toward freedom, that they live in a stunted and distorted culture that makes them love their chains -- and that the notion the United States could help trigger a democratic revolution by militarily deposing their oppressors was a fantasy -- have been proved wrong.

In case anyone missed the point, he is even more blunt (and honest) later:

It is not just that the ramparts of Euro-snobbery have been breached. Iraq and, more broadly, the Bush doctrine were always more than a purely intellectual matter. The left’s patronizing, quasi-colonialist view of the benighted Arabs was not just analytically incorrect. It was morally bankrupt, too.

Well worth a read.

Discussions - 2 Comments

But is there such a thing as a human tendency toward freedom without the appropriate cultural climate?

If there is then the Government does not need to establish or reinforce a particular cultural climate...in other words a lot of the compassionate conservatism programs are for naught.

On the other hand if the appropriate cultural climate simply calls for the removal of tyrants, such as in Iraq...How long before a finagling linguist bends the meaning of war to include culture: The principle being of course that we will find that humans have a tendency towards freedom when wars are waged against the chains they love. Drugs also being a tyrant we will have a war on drugs, and then smoking, or alcohol and fast food...and perhaps if religion is also a tyrant then against Islam and perhaps even christianity... Could we rationally project such wars to liberate us from ourselves, and awaken our innate human tendency for freedom?

Obviously getting rid of Saddam is a different type of obstacle to freedom than ridding the world of tobacco...but didn’t the abolitionist turn to temperance once they solved slavery?

What definition of freedom must we use before it makes sense to say that human beings have this tendency towards it such that a group cannot be an exception to it because of a culturally particular love of chains?

We must combine the Prussian ethos with that of France.

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