The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

China and the Case for Democracy

Consider Mark Helprin's take on our future with China at OpinionJournal:

The short unhappy life of whatever passed for unipolarity is emphatically over not merely because the strategy of the moment has allowed a small force of primitive insurgents in Iraq to occupy a large proportion of American military energy, but because China is now powerful and influential enough, at least as a "fleet-in-being," to make American world dominance inconceivable. And in the longer term, China is bent upon and will achieve gross military and economic parity with the United States.

Once again, the New Burkeian disagrees.

As I have stated before, neo-con philosophy is not the prevailing doctrine of the Actionary. Helprin's analysis derives from the neo-con perspective of a polarized world. With the absence of a massive communist movement, neo-cons turn their attention elsewhere. With the recent success of Democracy in Afghanistan, and the hopeful future for Democracy in Iraq and Palestine, neo-cons are looking for a new enemy. But presenting foreign policy in this fashion is not in America's best interest. The promotion of Democracy is not a negative endeavor.

There are two prevailing world views on our planet: Judeo-Christian and Eastern cosmology. Yet they do not necessarily exist in opposition. And since Democracy is a universal phenomenon, it is accomodating to both cosmologies. Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Democracies exist today. Eastern Democracies exist, as well. Is it necessary to condemn China to authoritative opposition of Democratic powers?

Democracy also comes to fruition in many fashions. Consider the British, American, Japanese, and Indian examples. I fail to see how Democracy cannot be achieved in a Chinese fashion, as well. In fact, China has achieved many reforms since the Cult of Mao. Today, China is administered by technocratic committee. Some semblance of Democracy exists on the local and district level, too. Chinese citizens are allowed to elect their local officials in many areas of the country. The Chinese have experienced a tumultuous time in the past two centuries. If we continue to promote economic and informational reform within China, the possibility for future Democracy is hopeful. China deserves a little more respect after its abuse at the hands of Western Imperialism and Communism.

Helprin also suggests American dominance as a goal. The Actionary does not consider American dominance as a justification for policy. Democracy, in and of itself, is a universal goal, that America has the ability to act upon. There are no alterior motives in this promotion. Simply put, civil societies find peace in their best interest. This is the goal of President Bush's Administration. China is well on its way to achieving civil society. Of course, it will be difficult to assemble a quarter of the world's population into an operational Democracy. But that is up to China, as Iraqi Democracy is up to Iraq.

Consider a world of Democracies: a universal civil society bent on cooperation for humankind. Many avenues open up for the development of the world. Think about the possibility of future space exploration or the development of new energy sources. Do we have a better chance for this than in a world of Democratic cooperation?

Remember that the rhetoric is important in the current promotion of Democracy. We have to actually believe in the truth of what we promote. The New Burkeian believes in these possibilities. As an Actionary, the New Burkeian will promote those ideas. What better friend can we have in this quest than the Chinese, a quarter of the world's population? I believe the future is bright. Do you?


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