Blogs > Liberty and Power > "If We Don't Change the World...

Jul 3, 2005 11:09 am

"If We Don't Change the World...

... the world's gonna change us."

That's what Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said today on"Meet the Press."

And in that simple phrase, Hunter has summarized one of the crucial constructivist principles at the foundation of the Bush administration's stated neo-Wilsonian initiative in the Middle East.

comments powered by Disqus

More Comments:

William Marina - 7/4/2005

Gee, I wish I'd said that, to paraphrase Oscar Wild,
to which Whistler replied, you will oscar, you will.
As you phrase it above, I agree with you!

Chris Matthew Sciabarra - 7/3/2005

Bill, we've been down this road before; I can point you to quite a few of my posts on this, but you had the same reaction back then.

I am not talking about Wilsonian "idealism"; I am talking about Wilsonian ideology, and its functions in legitimizing state expansion both domestically and globally.

Every form of statist expansion has relied on an ideological veneer to legitimate its actions. Even the most naked forms of aggression have used certain ideologies of "liberation" to justify that aggression. And "spreading democracy" is one of the oldest ideological justifications that has been used.

Considering that I don't even view "democracy" as anything but a limited procedural value, and that I am far more concerned with the culture, politics, and economics of freedom, I think it's telling that the Bush administration, like others before it, has relied so heavily on this particular form of "democratic" ideology. And it is a fairly typical ideological product of neoconservatism in general, which is an outgrowth of the same constructivist impulses among "social democrats" and Trotskyites.

With an administration that is a focal point for both neoconservatism and religious fundamentalism, Bush continues to use explicit Wilsonian terminology to justify his policies. I see nothing high and mighty about the terminology or the "idealism"; on its own terms, it is nothing less than constructivist in its implications.

William Marina - 7/3/2005

Would you please explain what you mean by that phrase with respect to the Bush policies? I find no idealism there, except in verbiage, but rather unilateral imperialism while blathering on about preventing war and bringing democracy, all after no WMDs, etc.
Neither was Wilson an idealist. His 14 points were in response to Lenin's challenge, and the League was a conservative effort to hold the old empires together in the face of revolution. Radicals from Ho Chi Minh to William Borah understood this. Lodge was a unilateral imperialsit just like Bush. What's new?
What a crock of terminology the Imperialists keep pedaling!