Saturday, October 16, 2010

Extremism in Defense of Liberty Is Still No Vice

Noting that "extremists are usually right on the facts," Kevin Carson says, "If you don’t know it, it’s only because you’re ignorant" — If You’re Not an Extremist, You’re Not Paying Attention. More:
    If you think the anti-government paranoids of right and left are “extremists,” it’s a safe bet you don’t know much of anything at all about the actual historical record of federal law enforcement, the content of legislation like the 1996 Counter-Terrorism Act or USA PATRIOT, or the broad range of “national security” powers claimed by the Executive in the event of martial law proclaimed unilaterally by … wait for it … the Executive.

    If you think Noam Chomsky’s a raving anti-American lunatic, it’s a safe bet that you don’t know anything about the role of the U.S. government after WWII in setting up provisional governments staffed by former Axis collaborators, about the things the U.S. government did in Guatemala in 1954 and Jakarta in 1965, about Operation Condor, or about the School of the Americas.

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Blogger Francis Xavier said...

I'm afraid I can't agree that this author is "right on his facts;" in fact, I think this piece is so disingenuous that it needs heavy titration with NaCl.

It takes years if not decades to train really competent administrators, and in my opinion the US was absolutely right to make do with the seasoned administrators on hand, particularly since many of those who presented themselves as alternatives were hellbent on establishing "workers' paradises."

The same circles from which this author hails, generally - and I believe correctly - describe M. Bremer's decision to purge Iraq of all its seasoned administrators (aka lower and mid-level party members) as the height of folly, which caused Iraq huge harm. One can't have it both ways.

Latin America has never had the tradition of rule of law that the Anglo-Saxon countries have, but rather a tradition of rebellion, revolution, and shedding the blood of one's political enemies, on the left as well as the right. One might as well wish to rid Saudi Arabia of polygamy. Rather than railing against the vanishing acts of troublesome Latinos, Americans keen to rid the world of abhorrent traditions should band together and declare a jihad against the American tradition of extreme gluttony, which besides causing eyesores, huge health-care costs, and early deaths, can oblige the unfortunates to book two adjacent airline seats.

Now that would really be extreme.

7:08 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I was not fond of his characterization of the Gilded Age.

2:58 AM  

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