The Left Done Right
The Diplomat‘s Zachary Keck is one of the smartest mainstream commentators writing today. He’s either an enemy to be respected, or a dark side infiltrator to be left undercover. In either case, he’s always worth reading.
Observing that democracy promotion no longer works, he advocates a Neoreactionary foreign policy as the only effective path to the eventual realization of Cathedralist goals. If this wasn’t a classic opportunity for Modernist means-ends reversal to show what it can do, there would be every reason to worry about being out-maneuvered. Zeck’s proposals are sufficiently cunning to raise the question: Who’s subverting whom?
One of America’s top foreign policy goals, particularly since the end of the Cold War, has been promoting democracy across the world. In the minds of American foreign policy elites, there are both moral and strategic imperatives for spreading democracy.
Regarding the former, Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, believe that liberal democracies are morally superior to other forms of government. As for the strategic rationale, American elites point to the fact that liberal democracies don’t go to war with one another, even if they aren’t any less warlike (and may be more warlike) when interacting with non-democracies. One can quibble with these rationales, but they are deeply held by American elites and, to a much lesser extent, Americans in general. […] But if the American foreign policy community is going to continue trying to promote democracy, it must come to terms with one simple irony: it has become less successful at spreading democracy even as it has made democracy promotion a greater priority in U.S. foreign policy.
How, then, to spread democracy successfully? Obviously, by forgetting all of the ‘democracy’ nonsense:
The bottom line is that if the U.S. is going to promote democracy, it has to get better at it. It is irresponsible and immoral to promote democracy if it is likely to lead to anarchy, no matter how pure initial intentions were. And if the U.S. wants to get better at promoting democracy, a good place to start would be by promoting forward-thinking authoritarian leaders who base their legitimacy on economic growth and integration into the global economy.
If the Cathedral recruits enough smart people to build itself a Neoreactionary wing, a wide range of presently mindless discussions are going to become a lot more interesting.