August 15, 2010
© 2010 LewRockwell.com (Link to article)
Among conservatives in general, I am in the minority in actually opposing Big Government, and think that moral laws are absolute and that no one is above the law – not even agents of the State. Alas, today’s conservatives in general have been supporting a huge growth in centralized, bureaucratic federal government, at home and overseas, and are not actual conservatives. Many conservatives have abandoned traditional moral values that respect life, liberty and property, and have abandoned the principles of the Rule of Law and God-given rights as recognized by the Declaration of Independence, and have for many years embraced the interventionism of socialist central planning and the expanded intrusive State.
For some inexplicable reason, while many conservatives have shown skepticism of much of Washington’s Big Government domestic agenda, such as the recent medical and financial takeovers and other usurpations and power grabs, when it comes to foreign policy they seem to show a dangerously blind faith in the State.
I believe that one main reason why Americans including conservatives are out of touch with traditional values of morality and personal responsibility is the century-long proliferation of collectivism in America. War is a collectivist concept. To be blunt, war has been waged for the sake of war, for the sake of power, and to strengthen the power of the State, regardless of the emotion-filled rhetoric the politicians and other nudniks have spewed upon us to rationalize it.
In the Bush Administration’s and now Obama Administration’s wars and anti-terrorism short-term fixes, conservatives have been supporting an emotion-driven carte blanche unleashing of the federal Leviathan that has enabled so much corruption, usurpation of due process rights, as well as violating the absolute Rule of Law against killing innocent human beings. But this abandonment of American principles and contradiction of the Declaration of Independence is nothing new.
When conservatives opposed U.S. entry into World Wars I and II, they were incorrectly labeled “isolationists,” when in actuality they were “non-interventionists.” In Woodrow Wilson’s taking the U.S. government into World War I to “make the world safe for democracy,” his grandiose plan backfired against the U.S., because it was an abandonment of the Rule of Law and George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s wise anti-”foreign entanglements” doctrine.
Intervention begets further dysfunction: Woodrow Wilson made the world safe for World War II.
A few years into post-World War II Cold War, conservatives joined the anti-communist crusade, exemplified by National Review Founder William F. Buckley, Jr., writing that “We have to accept Big Government” to prevent communism from spreading to our shores. But it’s the conservatives who have seemed like communists in their supporting a huge federal Leviathan, and supporting the forced, intrusive “spread of democracy” abroad (and the destruction of life, liberty and property abroad that goes with it).
Many conservatives oppose domestic interventionism, but for some reason foreign policy is different. Many just don’t seem to recognize – or want to acknowledge – that the U.S. government’s intrusions and aggression into foreign lands have elicited much anti-American sentiment especially from inhabitants of Middle-Eastern territories.
For example, the 1953 CIA-led coup that replaced Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh with the Shah gave Iranians 25 years of brutal dictatorship, so it should have been no surprise that such U.S. government interventionism would inflame anti-Americanism in Iran and throughout the Middle-East, and would lead to the 1979 taking of American hostages in Iran.
More fuel for anti-Americanism continued with the U.S. government’s providing Iraq with weapons and intelligence during the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. From the mentality of socialist central planning bureaucrats in Washington, the U.S. government aided Iraq in a “strategic planning” effort to counter the Iranian Revolutionaries, when it would have served America better in the long run to stop interfering in Iran’s, Iraq’s and other countries’ affairs.
Such socialist interventionism backfired much more intensely against the United States after the U.S. government’s invasion and destruction of Iraq beginning in 1990. The U.S. government’s non-retaliatory1990-’91 invasion of Iraq and subsequent destruction of water and sewage treatment facilities, and blocking the means necessary for rebuilding through sanctions throughout the 1990s, led to widespread disease, increased cancer and child mortality rates in Iraq, and further inflamed anti-Americanism. Sometimes I wonder if today’s conservatives, especially the younger ones, even know about those U.S. government actions during the 1990s. It seems that many people are now eager to do the same things to Iran, rather than learn the lessons of history.
After the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, conservatives abandoned their otherwise intuitive distrust for the State and fell prey to George W. Bush’s emotionalism and fear mongering, leading to a blind acceptance of what has now been one intrusion after another of domestic spying and unnecessary airport searches, a policy of randomly rounding up totally innocent people in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, and remote-controlled drone bombings and killings of innocents, especially non-combatants, women and children. How can someone claiming to be a “conservative” and to believe in moral values support these kinds of immoral State-executed actions? And how can any conservative rationally support the Big Government Leviathan that has been shown to be nothing but counter-productive against America?
Despite repeatedly hearing from terrorists themselves the terrorists’ actual reasons for their terrorism – the U.S. government’s constant intrusions into Middle-Eastern territories for six decades – conservatives still fantasize that it’s because the terrorists dislike America’s freedom and values. But the truth is that they don’t like America because our government has been committing the most intrusive, invasive and harmful acts in their territories for many decades, since well before 9/11.
Unfortunately, the internationalists and collectivists, from the Wilson Progressives to the Bush neoconservatives, have considered a “moral” government as one that actively involves itself in the business and lives of others, domestically and internationally, using both government social workers and government soldiers. But that misuse of government has been the source of many problems and conflicts. In practical terms, the desired results of society’s collectivist planners are not actualized in the long term, because government intervention and socialist central planning involve violations of liberty and property, and cause further destruction of society. That applies to both international and domestic interventions.
Let me put it this way: If I hire a bodyguard, his job is to protect me from the aggressive acts of others. I don’t want him to do anything else. I don’t want him to go into the neighbors’ home next door to organize their home for them, and I certainly don’t want him to act aggressively against others. But if he starts a fight with someone, or interferes with someone else’s fight, at that instant he is making me more vulnerable to subsequent aggression by the objects of that bodyguard’s aggression.
Governments that impose intrusions into other territories or start wars make their own populations more vulnerable. Poking Middle-Eastern hornets’ nests has made Americans less safe.
But I believe that the Rule of Law is absolute. Never intrude into the lives, liberty or property of others anywhere. No theft, no trespassing, no killing of innocent human beings, period.
Call me old fashioned.
To the Founders, a moral government does not violate any individual’s right of sovereignty, one’s right to life, liberty and property, in or outside of America. And the denial of due process is not only contrary to the Founders’ original intent, but conservatives may very well have been supporting policies that could be used against them by presidents and their flunkies who do not believe in the idea of inalienable rights. We have already learned that about Elena Kagan.
We really must decide whether or not “all men are created equal,” and “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” To be a truly moral society under absolute Rule of Law, a society must decide in the affirmative.
I wish that conservatives agreed with me on that.