Source: The American Conservative.
The writer makes a fair point: “Are autocracy and democracy in a climactic ideological crusade to determine the destiny of mankind? For if that is the future, it is surely not America’s past.”
Marketing and public relations are surely products of American genius, but they have the downside of trivializing important ideas. Democracy has been trivialized to a slogan, a shallow excuse for thoughtless endeavors.
Because of democracy we elect presidents by mail, we jail or impoverish political dissidents, we even go to war. Because of democracy we don’t even notice that there is little democracy in our own country.
As antidote I offer the observation that democracy and tolerance have much in common. The correlation repays scrutiny.
6 thoughts on “Is Autocracy Really America’s Enemy?”
“… Founding Fathers wanted it to stay out of foreign quarrels and foreign wars?”
All well and good until we realize that what happens around the world affects us all.
We are 2 1/2 centuries after Adams’ rebuke.
The wheat deliveries threatened by war in the Ukraine affect a billion people. Do we just ignore that, close our doors and hope for the best to maintain a certain insularity?
We are far from perfect. Never have been perfect for that matter. Exceptionalism is a phrase we apply to ourselves to make us feel good about our adventures.
Iran is a good example of Cold War tactics gone awry. We helped depose a liberal, perhaps socialist, leader whom we feared might lean towards the Soviets. Installed the Shah, a notorious and brutal dictator, and that led to the current regime.
Is this a fault of democracy or our power? A power imposed on us by the old “last man standing” theory of post WW2?
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RE: “All well and good until we realize that what happens around the world affects us all.”
That’s a nice thought, but I doubt it is true. I imagine that most of what happens around the world affects only the participants. Because of this, avoiding foreign entanglements related to events that don’t affect the U.S. seems like a reasonable default foreign policy.
Fisheries, which have declined radically in the
last decades, is a good example of why impacts are global in many cases. The Alaskan King Crab fishery is now closed due a 90% decline in crabs in the Bering Sea. Attribution is the warming waters. Major economic impact particularly for Alaska.
Hacking and other internet scams are most definitely a global problem. Cyber warfare can easily devolve into conventional warfare.
Shifting weather patterns can impact many of us even though direct influence may not be immediate. Examples are climate refugees and agricultural goods.
Pandemics. We just went through major supply chain issues because of COVID in countries that supply industries with critical parts.
Oil and gas are very global resources and cuts in some major suppliers are at least a temporary impact for most of us.
Bottom line, we are no longer able to stay isolated and mind our own business while catastrophes rake other nations. Such thinking is unrealistic and foolish.
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RE: “Fisheries, which have declined radically in the last decades, is a good example of why impacts are global in many cases.”
They are also a good example of my point that most of what happens in the world affects only the participants. A general decline in fishery harvests would affect fish consumers, obviously, but not necessarily anyone else.
Fish consumers are pretty ubiquitous and not beholden to national boundaries. That’s why our fishing industry is affected by shortages created by other countries.
We are no longer a bunch of tribes that meet serendipitously for battles over territory and women. (Although, the similarities to today are laughably true.)
Global interdependence is real and can’t be reversed, nor should it be.
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Sounds a lot like isolationism run amok. We tried that once before in our nation’s history and it didn’t take too long to revert to the norm.