Sunday, July 26, 2009

Obama, the President of Shoddy Philosophy?

After the Bush administrations' adoption of the extraordinary neocon idea that the spread of democracy would bring peace and prosperity to all - including the recalcitrantly authoritarian Middle East - opponents ended up vilifying not just everything about George W. Bush, but also both the policy and the principle of democracy itself. A typical case of throwing the baby with the bath water ...

But democracy, embodyment of the values of the Enlightenment, traditionally always has been a Liberal enterprise, not a Leftist one. Leftism (as well as Rightism) grew from a 17th and 18th century counter movement. Set aside those who rejected violent revolution on principle, like the Fabians, it was only after the many failed revolutions of the last century that Socialists took another look at their ideology and adopted the epithet Democratic (as in Social Democrats, and as opposed to 'authoritarian' Socialists).

Present Postmodernists are the ideological heirs of said counter movement. It is therefore no small wonder that the original, pre democratic roots are again moving center stage with the present occupier of the White House, who is the quintessential Postmodernist. Clever politicians as they are, they're sacrificing democracy on the ethical platform of "social justice". If nothing else, the scions of the Counter-Enlightenment always appear to be spreading their lethal ideals with the best of intentions.

Here you can read who have already been thrown under the post democratic Obama bus ... Six months into the pomo administration and the record is already quite impressive.

The new motto of foreign policy seems to be "transnational peace through friendship among potentates".

The only doubt benefiting Obama, is the question whether he truly harks back to basics, or if he is merely pushing the softer Postmodern option of ethical relativism ("who are we to meddle (in Iran), we - the West - don't have the monopoly on truth (democracy)" - or alternatively "absolute truth does not exist" - or alternatively "truth is merely a subjective construct".

The world may consider itself lucky if official policy is merely shoddy, accidental moral equivalence, or the inability to understand that the fulfilment of positive rights is the result of the state respecting negative rights. In other words, oppression (fear) and starvation are the result of a lack of freedom, always.

It's all explained in detail and with great clarity in ...

Commentary Magazine: "The Abandonment of Democracy", by Joshua Muravchik

The most surprising thing about the first half-year of Barack Obama’s presidency, at least in the realm of foreign policy, has been its indifference to the issues of human rights and democracy. (...) The new president signaled his intent on the eve of his inauguration, when he told editors of the Washington Post that democracy was less important than “freedom from want and freedom from fear. If people aren’t secure, if people are starving, then elections may or may not address those issues, but they are not a perfect overlay.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed suit, in opening testimony at her Senate confirmation hearings. As summed up by the Post’s Fred Hiatt, Clinton “invoked just about every conceivable goal but democracy promotion. Building alliances, fighting terror, stopping disease, promoting women’s rights, nurturing prosperity—but hardly a peep about elections, human rights, freedom, liberty or self-rule.” (...) The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has put out 30 public releases, so far, and not one of them has discussed democracy promotion. Democracy, it seems, is banished from the Obama administration’s public vocabulary. (...)  >>>

- Filed on Articles in "The Pomo Presidency" - 


James Higham said...

Derivative philosophy on the run I should have said.

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