The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Reactionaries: Left and Right

Consider the recent controversy over the Dubai-ports deal. Attacks have come from both the Left and Right over the possibility of Arab management of the ports. The apparent juxtaposition of the two sides in concert was predicted earlier by the New Burkeian. In fact, this is a conflict between 'reactionary' and 'actionary' politics.

In two previous posts (one and two) I outlined the emergent differences and the dichotomy shift in American politics. As American conservatism drifts more towards the middle of American politics the New Left becomes increasingly 'reactionary' towards the Administration's policies. This 'reaction' becomes in-grained in their poltical philosophy. The recent shift towards nativism by Senate Democracts exemplifies this shift. Where the Left previously advocated multilateralism in the foreign policy, recent calls have been to deride Arab (foreign) control over American resources. This certainly does not contribue to our multilateral credentials. It helps that labor organizations, the Left's traditional base, largely oppose the port deal.

On the other hand, elements of American conservatism have clung to the traditionalist and neoconservative dogmas. Both have a fairly 'reactionary' attitude in the political sphere. The New Burkeian still stands by the claim that the majority the American public that has supported the Administration has an 'actionary' attitude. How do we then explain the recent outcry by Congressional Republicans regarding the port deal? It is a political response in an election year, and I believe that it only serves to weaken Republican prospects for the next election. We either continue to uphold the Phoenix of American Idealism or we lose American conservatism's newfound dynamic ability to respond to current events.

So let us get to the heart of the issue. What does it mean to oppose the Dubai-ports deal? As I have stated before, promotion of democracy (Actionary doctrine) can be achieved other than at the point of a bayonet. Advocating the 'free market' has its merits. The influx of capitalism in China has allowed for free elections at the local levels of governance. It is a small step, but a step none-the-less. The UAE has become an increasingly secular society at the hands of capitalism. Secularization is a crucial step towards Democracy. We should support the Dubai-ports deal as means to achieving Democacy in the broader Middle East. We support our allies in the WoT, and our allies must strive towards the peaceful prospects of a free society. The UAE is exemplary in this aspect. The failure of this deal would provide a huge blow to American prestige in the WoT, and also provides a united front from which the New Left can coordinate in opposition. Reactionaries on both sides would derail our current progress towards a better world.

Even deeper than this is the message we send to Muslims. All Muslims are not extremeists. The New Burkeian wold suggest that a silent majority of Muslims are indeed moderates and advocates of Democracy. Consider this recent Muslim Manifesto. Understandably, this comes from Muslims in America where we give voice to the silent majorities. But there are clearly moderate Muslims in other areas of the world. Iraqi Muslims have shown to be largely secular when it comes to politics. The Muslims of the UAE are clearly moderate. Iranians, if given the chance, would probably choose a secular/moderate government, as well. If you doubt the new Burkeian then I would suggest you read some of the Arab/Muslim blogs linked to this site.

What is an Actionary to do? We must not lose sight of the goals set forth by President Bush in his Second Inaugural. It appears that some Congressional Republicans have lost there way, but I do not believe the American public in general has forgotten. Sure, there are set-backs, but even Actionary idealism is tempered by American conservatism. This is not a utopia we are striving for. I think those on the Left and Right understand that for all the benefits of Democracy we do not always agree with the outcome. The path to a world of Democracy will not always be agreeable, as well. But we did not scrap the Constitution ater the Civil War, so why should we scrap our principles in the current dilemmas. Let us not scrap the Dubai-port deal because of some mistaken reaction.


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March 26, 2006 at 2:50 AM  

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