What they wanted was a liberal democratic world revolution. Napoleon was to become the leading figure of a severely watered-down version of this revolution. The Napoleonic code was a true step ahead, other elements like the fact that Napoleon elected himself to be emperor, not so much.
Today, communists stay where they are, in China, Cuba, North Korea. Western radical lefties have degenerated in large numbers to people who simply oppose western civilisation and support everyone and everything that also opposes it, be it Islamic totalitarian organisations or whatever Third World dictator is on offer. Moderate lefties seem to be increasingly attracted by the cultural and moral relativism of their radical counterparts. In my experience, these people are cynic, nihilistic, they don’t really want anything at all. Except money from their despised government. That’s why I left them.
Neocons make their appearance
The weirdest thing happened. The weirdest thing I could have ever imagined a few years ago. The one group that wants a liberal democratic world revolution today is conservative. Conservatives traditionally have been isolationist and for Protectionism. They have been religious and they have always opposed liberal values. So called “paleocons” still are. But a new group called “neocons” are not.
Neocons see themselves as representing Enlightenment values. It is a fairly broad idea that even encompasses social democratic policies, although a relatively free market economy is certainly the most common position among neocons. Still, a broad range of “middle of the road” political views is included. The one great difference to everyone else is foreign policy.
The goal to spread liberal democracies everywhere and to fight dictators and terrorists by force, if necessary, is fairly idealistic. But it has worked before. Just look at the country you (assumably) live in! The notion that this would be a right-wing idea strikes me as fairly odd. Since when do the French revolutionaries count as “right-wing”? If they do not, then why do their successors count as right-wing? There can be no doubt that the neocons are the modern version of the French revolutionaries. Those who would have supported the establishment of liberal democracies in the 18th century, which ultimately paved the way for our modern world, should still support it today. I don’t see why not.
A dying country
I live in a country, Germany, that was liberated by the US and by Britain (with the help of others) from a totalitarian regime. Most Germans don’t give a damn. They are not quite such a useless, unthankful bunch like the French but they are very strongly confused about politics. 10 percent of the population actually demand a “fuhrer who governs with a strong hand”. A quarter of the population demands a “strong party that embodies the people’s community”. Source: Handelsblatt. The majority of Germans are still anti-semites: 51,2 percent think that what the Israelis do to the palestinians would be “essentially the same” as what the Nazis did to the Jews. Source: Michael Miersch.
Radical pacifism is enormously widespread in Germany. Ex-Chancellor Schröder only became chancellor because he opposed the liberation of Iraq. The majority of Germans believe that we should leave Afghanistan and offer the Afghan people to the Taliban butchers on a silver plate. Source: Hamburger Abendblatt. We also have a serious demographic problem. The Germans are dying out because they don’t get enough children. This means that there is no belief in progress, no belief in a future of any kind.
I have become fairly isolated with my progressive views in my country. Hardly anyone believes that liberal democracies should be spread anywhere. Many think that there is too much of that in Germany, as it is. There is no party that shares my views. The liberal pary, FDP, is isolationist and it has a sad track record of anti-semitism (“anti-zionism”, yeah, whatever). The left parties don’t want us to go anywhere. The traditional conservatives, the Christian CDU, has become rather left-wing as well. And the parties right from the CDU are fascists. Also, I’m not a traditional conservative like the right-wing part of the CDU, I’m a neocon. There simply is no such a thing here, nothing even remotely like it. Only a few individual political commentators who think somewhat like me, Henryk Broder being the most famous example.
Liberty for all
Well, fuck that. I believe in a universal civilisation. I believe that liberal democracies are superior to every other system – and what other system is there but dictatorships of various sorts? Of course, I don’t oppose basic democratic countries like Switzerland, although I prefer representative democracies. Insofar as they also guarantee human rights, that’s fine with me.
Liberal democracies are superior because they guarantee individual rights and offer everyone a chance to chose his or her destiny. They are far more peaceful than dictatorships, far more economically successful, scientific progress is way ahead, and liberal democracies do not fight each other. The only way to world peace is the transformation of every country into a liberal democracy. The means to reach this is world revolution.
Democratic world revolution entails a war of ideas – which is what I am participating in. It entails not only self-defense, but defense of others. It entails reforms, it can mean war and violent overthrow of governments, although that would be the last option and should be carefully applied. But it certainly means that if you happen to be a dictator or a terrorist who suppresses, tortures and kills people, we will render you harmless and we will free the people you enslaved – sooner or later, in one way or another, we will come for you. The writing is on the wall.
This is the message that, in my view, we should send to the tyrants of the world. And to their slaves we say: Stand up and fight and we will be with you. The day of freedom is nigh.
Yeah, I actually believe this stuff. The answer is always the same. Either people say that my “real motives” would be somehow different – that’s news to me – or they say that I would be “hopelessly naive”. With other words: You, with all you pseudo-progressive bullshit, don’t want anything to chance. You love the status quo. Why don’t you go and marry it?
I don’t like the fact that there still are millions of people who are enslaved everywhere in the world. They don’t like it either. The neocons have not been proven wrong. Italy, Germany and Japan were all liberated and they were all transformed into liberal democracies. There is no reason to assume that this won’t work elsewhere. It takes time and effort. In some places it will be easier than in others. I don’t care. I want people to be free.
It is reasonable to want this. The evidence is clear: People are happiest in liberal democracies, our societies work better than any other that has ever existed. Iraq would be much further developed by now if other regimes, namely Iran and Syria, had not supported the Iraqi “resistance”. There is really only one reason to assume that some peoples are naturally incompatible with freedom: Racial inferiority. I don’t believe in anything like that.
So far, I’ve heard no convincing counter-arguments. I won’t change my position until I do.
Liberation in the news
“Negotiating with Taliban will crush Afghan women”, writes Lauryn Oates, who is “Projects Director for Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, managing 12 education projects in Afghanistan including a teacher training program which recently graduated its 1,500th teacher”. She also writes:
As an aid worker in Afghanistan and a longtime advocate for girls’ education here, I find Kristof’s disregard for the desires that Afghans have expressed for the U.S. and NATO to stay put until the job is done, deeply offensive. It’s offensive to the brave Afghan teachers I work with who go to work every day to a long day teaching three shifts of students, because there are more girls showing up to school than can fit into the classrooms all at once. It’s offensive to those girls who are finally grasping the opportunity to study, after this most basic of human rights was denied to them under the Taliban.
The foreign military forces on the ground here are imperfect in their track record, but they have still provided the breathing space that has allowed 2.5 million girls to return to school, 170,000 teachers to go back to work, and thousands of schools to be built. Those achievements have been worth it, and we have invested too much and lost too many, to give up now.
Source: Calgary Herald
Lauryn Oates from the Human Rights Brigade agrees:
I’ve worked for 14 years to defend the rights of Afghan women, especially the human right to education, and I’ve been coming here regularly since 2003. If the Taliban return to power, I won’t come here anymore. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn’t be able to do any work here. A dead aid worker is not a very useful aid worker. Let me clear: the work that my organization, and hundreds of others, have been doing, will stop. The schools, the libraries, the teacher training, the literacy classes… Gone. Gone. Gone.
Right now, we can do this work, despite the erratic and increasingly deranged behavior of the Afghan president, and the imperfect track record of NATO to date. The international military presence has held the fundamentalist, death-cult insurgents at bay just enough to create some precious breathing space, however small and vulnerable, that allows education to spread.
Source: The Propagandist
I couldn’t possibly abandon these women and girls to their fate – death, torture, suppression by the Taliban. Do you want to abandon them? Do you disagree with me that they deserve, by the very fact of their existence, to live in freedom?
If you have a different strategy to liberate people like these girls that doesn’t include the military, speak now or forever hold your peace. Or join the effort.