Thursday, April 19, 2012

American Foreign Policy and the "Enlightenment"

Recently over at the American Conservative, Leon Hadar wrote:

Indeed, it is difficult for Americans to understand that the so-called Enlightenment Project of the 18th Century — with its rejection of the received truth of religion and faith, of church and traditional authorities and its emphasis on individual rights and the liberating power of reason — which sparked a major philosophical and political revolution in the West and provided the ideological foundations for the establishment of the United States — has never become a unified and universal undertaking.
In fact, the growing power of the theocratic political right in the Republican Party, represented by presidential candidate Rick Santorum and his supporters among Christian Evangelists, conservative Catholics, and ultra-Orthodox Jews — who have expressed strong opposition to abortion, homosexual relations and even contraception — is a sign that even in the American Republic that enshrined the separation of religion and state in its Constitution, religious faith and traditions continue to play a major role in public life.

H/T: The Pittsford Perennialist

1 comment:

Steve N. said...

Indeed, it is difficult for Americans to understand that the so-called Enlightenment Project of the 18th Century ... has never become a unified and universal undertaking.

Well, give it some time...

Actually, I find this kind of thinking humorous. The so-called "theocratic political right" are the truest believers in the enlightenment principles enshrined in the American founding--the truest believers, in fact, of all First Ammendment freedoms. The only thing that separates them from their near (and unambiguously leftist) brethren is their principled devotion to the actual written contract. Undiluted leftists by contrast, conciously or not, have no problem coming up with and convincing themselves of any objectively outrageous post hoc justification for violating those principles... as long as the right kind of folks are winning. Who? Whom? and all that...

As such, the "theocratic political right"--along with every other right liberal caucus--can only at the very best mount a rear-guard campaign against the overwhelming left-liberal enemy, who dominating every channel of propaganda, has no reason to fight fair.

The only reason that something vaguely resembling a drag on progressivism exists at all in the US, the principle exporter (as this blog's masthead clearly implies!) of progressivism in world, is that its own State Department has not yet had the chance to rebuild a "just" and "democratic" America from the ground up... like it has in so much of the rest of the world. WWII presented USG a unique opportunity to kill rightist nationalism in most of the rest of the world but not, obviously, at home. Who knows when that opportunity may come? But if and when it does arise, you can be sure, USG will act decisively for "peace", "justice", and "democracy".