|Conservatives and the Creative Impulse: Part II||Loosey-goosey Hits the Wall|
by Christopher Chantrill
February 16, 2005 at 2:10 pm
NO SOONER had Prof. Nancy Hopkins of MIT bounced up from her fainting couch upon the prospect of yet another task force to investigate gender inequity in the darkly menacing groves of Larry Summers Harvard than conservatives started swooning over Ward Churchills remarks about little Eichmanns in the twin towers on 9/11 had it coming. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of Americas global financial empire – the mighty engine of profit to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved – and they did so both willingly and knowingly. Its been that kind of winter.
We conservatives need to get up off our fainting couches too, and realize that Ward Churchill is right. Oh, not about his rude, crude argument ad Hitlerum, but the larger argument.
Let us speak truth to ourselves. The United States is a global empire that is taking over the world, and we conservatives are in favor of it.
Heres how the American empire works. In 1990, Nike opens a factory in Vietnam. For the first three years, the workers walk to work. Then they start riding bicycles. After another three years, the first motorcycles appear. Last year, when Swedish writer Johan Norberg visited the factory, he found that now a few workers can even afford an automobile.
Let us speak truth to ourselves. The reason the United States dominates the world is not because of our democracy or the rule of law. It is because of our power.
We are much too sensitive about this, and the left takes full advantage of us. Lets end the denial and admit it. The last half millennium has been an age of breathtaking world conquest, an achievement unimaginable even to great world conquerors like Alexander and Genghis Khan. This world conquest began with the expulsion of the Moors from Spain and the Portuguese flanking movement around Africa to cut the Middle East out of the spice trade. Then the Spanish conquered Central and South America, the British East India Company took India from the Mughals, and the Puritans and their willing accomplices from mainland Europe conquered North America.
Despite all this bloody conquest, the secret of western power is not military, however. Nor will you find its secret in the rational power of big civilian bureaucracies. The west is powerful because it is a Hayekian spontaneous order, the result of millions of decisions by millions of little men and women. It is the American settler moving west and compelling the U.S. cavalry to come and rescue him from irate Indians. It is the humble clerk of the East India Company who got a military friend to teach him a bit of soldiering and then went out and conquered Bengal. It is the young bookkeeper getting interested in the barrels of Pennsylvania oil being traded by his employer, Hewitt and Tuttle, commission agents of Cleveland, Ohio.
This sort of Hayekian thinking has even seeped into the military. Western generals now train soldiers to be self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility instead of just food for powder.
Let us speak truth to ourselves. Our double-entry bookkeeping, our self-government, our rule of law, and our limited-liability companies are more than mere wonders of the world. They are more than innocent inventions; they are terrifying force multipliers that made us into world conquerors.
We should thank Ward Churchill and his ilkthe Chomskys and Zinns, the firm of Hardt & Negri, and even No Logos Naomi Kleinas they luxuriate upon their government sinecures and pettishly expose the little lies we Americans tell ourselves to avoid confronting our world-historical consequence. They are right. America is an empire, and we are all imperialists. And a good thing too.
Let us adopt the psychobabble of our liberal friends. The 9/11 attacks were a cry of help from Saudi little rich kids begging us to come and release them from the cruel and depraved rule of their fathers. Just think of American soldiers as helping professionals that want to help people.
Ward Churchill is right, but so what? Does he think he can set the world ablaze by riling up some little Saudi rich kids and the Ruckus Society? Let him wait till the Indians get their act together. Ever since Jinnah and the Muslim League theyve had it up to here with Islam. Then there are the Chinese. Their house church people are planning to launch 100,000 Christian missionaries upon the world. They have developed a narrative about Christianity as a westward moving religion. It got started in Palestine and then moved west to Europe, to America, and to Asia. The destiny of Chinese Christians, they believe, is to bring Christianity westward across Asia and Back to Jerusalem. As a famous American said: You aint seen nothing yet.
That will teach Ward Churchill a lesson.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he way to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,
Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop
discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm
[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values
Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion
The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America