The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Widespread Panic

The New Burkeian has become acutely aware of a sort of "widespread panic" regarding the Administrations establishment of Actionary policy.

Many traditional and neo-conservative elements of the Republican Party specifically fear the threat to status quo stability. If the litmus test for American foreign policy is the degree of Freedom to which a foreign nation adheres, countries such as China and Saudi Arabia are prime targets for the Actionary cause.

Consider Joshua Muravchik's article at Opinion Journal. He suggests at one point:

Those who are skeptical of injecting issues of freedom, democracy and human rights into the conduct of foreign policy call themselves "realists," and they accuse their opposite numbers--the so-called idealists--of an almost juvenile enthusiasm. But a sober reading of the historical evidence shows that President Bush and his fellow idealists are more realistic than the "realists".

Indeed, idealism does not imply impossibility. Specifically, idealism within the framework of American conservatism is simply principle. As I stated in my last post, principle has always underlined major American foreign policies, and President Bush simply re-emphasized those principles in direct opposition to neo-con logic.

And therein is the problem. Neo-con logic views Actionary linkage as a limitless policy. Well, I would agree that Freedom is indeed limitless. If we did not believe this, we could have made no progress in our nation's 200+ year history regarding Liberty. Neo-con logic, however, limits them to an understanding of Freedom within our own borders. Security and Freedom outside of America should not be linked according to neo-con philosophy. They view Freedom in the subjective sense, while Actionaries view Freedom in the objective sense.

What neo-cons and traditional conservatives fail to understand is that the implementation of linkage does not require similar action to Iraq and Afghanistan. There are other means to enforce change. As I have stated before, opening up China economically has opened up China politically. Local elections are being held and various reforms are being considered. Natan Sharansky notes, in "The Case for Democracy", that once that taste of Freedom is experienced, at any level, a government inherently loses its ability to check dissidents. In a sense, a slippery-slope has been created. This is what I call the truth of Democracy and Freedom.

There are many ways to implement linkage, and they do not all entail the use of military force. However, using Freedom as the underlying principle in our own foreign policy not only gives credibility to our intentions, but to our actions. And this is the "American Way".

On the other hand we have the liberals. True liberals should have no problem with the idea of linkage. American liberalism, however, has moved so far to the left (read socialism) that empty Soviet-style rhetoric is being spat out. To them, Actionary policy seems to expand "American Imperialism" beyond the scope of even the neo-cons. It is as if Actionaries have thrown off the veil of conspiracy completely, and the typical American does not realize it because they were "idiots" to begin with. The use of the terms "lie" or "liars" in Congressional hearings far surpasses even President Bush's use of the term "Freedom" in the inaugural.

But, as I just stated, true liberals, that is the liberals in the new Democracies around the world, agree with this idealism. Just read some of the Iraqi blogs listed in my sidebar. It is the "old regime" conservatives in these foreign countries that are in a "widespread panic". And I think that was the intent. They should be scared. The Administration has put them on warning. "If you do not start reforming the Freedoms within your countries, America will be forced to act accordingly."

The New Burkeian understands his inability to change the hearts and minds of all people. The Actionary, however, will do whatever it takes to stand by and promote the principles of Freedom and Democracy. There is no ulterior motive. And if you come to understand this, the panic will subside. There is truth in these principles, and only good can come of the Actionary cause. The status quo stability is no longer an excuse for inaction. It is the right thing to do as Americans. Will you join the Actionary cause?


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