There’s no direct evidence that Adam Garfinkle has been reading Moldbug, but he’s at least reinventing the wheel:
… the Manichean pro- and anti-democracy polarity with which most Americans think about the situation in Egypt is deeply and dangerously misguided. … this view is an expression of a secularized evangelism anchored in the Western/Christian mythical, salvationist idea of progress, and … its unselfconscious use says a great deal more about what’s wrong with us than about what’s wrong with Egyptians. […]
… the best way to understand U.S. foreign policy is, as the late Michael Kelly once put it, as “secular evangelism, armed.” American foreign policy is, as James Kurth has brilliantly and incisively written, a product of “the Protestant Deformation”, a declension of a religious worldview, complete with logical train and eschatological pretensions, but rendered systematically into secular language that masks its real source. As G.K. Chesterton said, America is indeed a nation with the soul of a church—and not just any church, but a multi-sectarian Protestant one. […]
We Americans believe in global democracy promotion, including in Egypt, ultimately for religious reasons tied to our belief in progress, which is itself a key premise of the aforementioned Protestant Deformation. So when both Islamist and even merely Islamic critics characterized the Bush “forward strategy for freedom” as a Christianity-based attack on Dar al-Islam, and most Americans were embarrassed for them on account of the supposed primitive level of their understanding, the fact of the matter is that they were correct. […]
When I hear democracy-export advocates talk about their plans and aspirations, whether in government or in the NGO think-tank world without, it reminds me of the tone, though of course not with the identical vocabulary, of what meetings in Methodist church basements must have sounded like as missionaries in the mid- to late-19th century were about to head off to fulfill their sacred duties to save the heathens in China. We sometimes worry about mission creep, and rightly so. But what we should be worrying about more broadly, as Lawrence Husick once shrewdly quipped to me, is missionary creep—a version of which infests the infernally silly “debate” we are now having about democracy in Egypt.