The New Burkeian

Reflections on the Revolution in Conservatism

Monday, January 31, 2005

Missouri: Conservative Trends in the MSM?

As some may know, the New Burkeian is a Missourian (pronounce accordingly). The demographics of Missouri tend to match the larger demographics of America. This is why Missouri often matches greater trends across the US, including elections.

Journalism, unfortunately, tends to mirror those same trends. And I live in Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, and the oldest journalism school in America. Needless to say, I have some issues with anything journalism on our campus. The J-School in Columbia, Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, and the Star in Kansas City all tend to be liberal institutions. So I read the USA Today, if that makes any sense.

At any rate, the Post-Dispatch, a Pulitzer newspaper, is making some changes. A Note From the Commentary Editor explained this makeover. It appears some conservative voices are going to be heard in a traditionally liberal market, and a Pulitzer market, to boot. Awesome.

I know that it may be premature to start talking about a greater conservative trend, but Missouri really does mirror the greater US. On our "East Coast", we have the liberal stronghold of St. Louis. The growing county and outlying areas of St. Louis tend to be more conservative, however. On our "West Coast" we have another liberal stronghold in Kansas City. Outlying areas of KC tend to be conservative, as well. In the middle of the state is your traditional college town (crazy "fringe left" groups and all), Columbia. President Bush did win in our county, though. South Missouri tends to have more religious folks. And North Missouri is home to traditional populists. Outside of the major cities, you tend to find more conservative people. There is a good mix of people in Missouri, and I believe we have elected the winning president all but once in the last 100 years.

If a state that has turned largely conservative can influence its major paper's voice, then perhaps a nation that has turned largely conservative could influence the MSM's voice. Influence could "trickle-up" (heh), maybe.

At any rate, I look forward to reading my hometown paper again. And I hope, for the sake of all Americans, that this trend continues on up to the MSM.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Free Iraqi

Just thought everyone should check out this post from Ali at Free Iraqi.

Ali, you inspire us all with your words. Good luck tomorrow.

Victor Davis Hanson Makes a Point

While the debate between neo-cons and Actionaries continues, the New Burkeian wishes to return to some domestic politics.

In Mr. Hanson's recent article the necessity for cohesion in the ranks of American conservatism is addressed:

Most Americans do not trust the Democratic party's foreign policy, its commitment to a government-mandated equality of result rather than of opportunity, and its divisive identity politics that seek to cobble together angry interest groups — radical gay activists, ossified D.C. civil-rights insiders, abortion-rights advocates, and Moveon.org types who distrust the United States — in lieu of a grassroots national majority. Yet even such political self-destructiveness does not necessarily mean that the Democrats cannot regain the presidency even without a centrist candidate like Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman. In 2008, we could see another splintering of conservatives as happened in 1992 and 1996. A sober, stable Ross Perot-like national populist could well siphon off discontents — perhaps 5 to 7 percent of the conservative electorate — furious about immigration, deficits, and a sense of American financial impotence abroad.


The real focus of conservative politics, over the next two years at the least, needs to be on the domestic agenda. On issues such as Social Security, tax reform, and immigration American conservatives need to expand their ever-increasing base, and to keep from alienating the new conservative electorate. Even idealists and realists within American conservatism agree, for the most part, on what needs to be done.

Specifically, tax reform needs to be the focus in the next election year. There is not an American out there that does not want some sort of tax reform. By tackling this issue head-on, after a year of draining the resources of liberals over Social Security and judge nominations, American conservatives can really secure the strength of the Republican Party for a generation. And unlike conservatives that were backed into a corner during the Clinton years, Democracts should fail to find a cohesive voice on anything coherent. The American electorate may not always agree on the direction of foreign policy, but the call for reform of the federal system seems to be a far-reaching issue.

An overwhelming victory in the mid-term elections could spell doom for liberals in the 2008 Election. A strong and cohesive voice from American conservatives needs to be heard, though. I suggested that the debate between neo-cons and Actionaries would not be detrimental in the near-future, but come mid-terms, the issue needs to reach some sort of consensus.

Much to the relief of the New Burkeian, Actionary voices are being heard. As I have stated before, I cannot go through life a pessimist. Larry Kudlow addresses upholding "Freedom over Cynicism" at National Review Online:

Bush’s inaugural vision will be proven right. His speech will be vindicated, and along with it will come a foreign-policy triumph of moral idealism, human rights, and freedom over the cynical “realist” view that after all we have seen in the past 25 years we can still do business with dictators and despots in the name of stability.

Hear, hear!



Thursday, January 27, 2005

Widespread Panic II

The New Burkeian wishes to first pay respects to American conservative commentators and scholars that have established American conservatism as a force to be reckoned with in American politics.

I stand by my claim that the "widespread panic" over the President's Inaugural Address is a tragic reaction by neo-cons and traditional conservatives. They miss the point. If President Reagan had not shifted our realist response to communism with an idealistic policy of confrontation with an "evil empire", the quick collapse of communism would never have occured.

Consider William J. Bennet's response to the inaugural:

President George W. Bush's inaugural address pleased and inspired me. Talk about a return to, and affirmation of, first and best principles! This exhilarating testament to freedom reminded me of why I became a member of the Republican party 20 years ago, the Democrats having then abandoned the fields of human rights and national security.
Now consider Peggy Noonan's reponse to her original harsh words regarding the inaugural:

To declare that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, that we are embarking on the greatest crusade in the history of freedom, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation--seemed to me, and seems to me, rhetorical and emotional overreach of the most embarrassing sort.
With all due respect, Mrs. Noonan has worked hard to further the conservative cause in American politics, but she finds herself in the midst of opposition to President's Bush's Actionary statements despite her roots. She defends President Reagan's idealism:

For a half century our country faced a terrible foe. Some feared conflagration. Many of us who did not were convinced it would not happen because the United States was not evil, and the Soviet Union was not crazy. The Soviets didn't want war to achieve their ends, they wanted to achieve those ends without the expense and gamble of war. We rolled them back, bankrupted them, forced their collapse. And we did it in part through a change of policy in which Ronald Reagan declared: From here on in we tell the truth. He called the Soviet Union an evil empire because it was a) evil and b) an empire, and c) he judged a new and stark candor the way to begin progress. We'd already kissed Brezhnev; it didn't work. And it wasn't Reagan's way in any case.


Then she proceeds to attack President Bush's idealism as being "out of context". But was not that the reason President Bush reemphasized "that day of fire". He put all of his statements regarding the promotion and expansion of Freedom in that context. If anything, the threat posed by fear-societies, today, is even more immenent than the threat posed by a weakening USSR, then. Mrs. Noonan's statements are a detriment to the growth of the American conservative, as such.

The New Burkeian did not refer to the history of American idealism as a Phoenix for arbitrary reasons. It is the rebirth of that idealism under certain circumstances that has allowed us to reach the heights we have achieved. It will continue to identify America as an actual "Beacon of Liberty", in word, and in deed. The response from the "widespread panic" group reeks of the realism that appeased Hitler, prolonged the Cold War, and allowed for 911 to even occur. It is dangerous to ignore tyrrany and its inherent threat to Freedom worldwide. This is what "that day of fire" means to me. I believe this is what it meant for President Bush.

Victor Davis Hanson discusses this emerging battle between realists and idealists within American conservatives. It is an ill-defined debate that needs to be pushed to the forefront of discussion among American conservatives. The New Burkeian has always suggested that the idealists rally around the title, Actionary, in direct opposition to realist "neo-cons". Neo-conservatism is identified with so much negativity. Consider the opening to this recent review, on two anti-neoconservative books, from The Claremont Institute:

Bashing George W. Bush has been the thinking person's sport for four years now. Foreign policy intellectuals play their own version of the game: bashing neoconservatives. This is Bush-bashing with a Ph.D. It has proven surprisingly popular, attracting onto the field not only liberals but also some traditional conservatives and many conspiracy theorists, for whom the neocons are the new Trilateral Commission.

The review goes on to discuss the failure of liberal critics to even attack neo-conservatism effectively, but the negative implications of being labeled a neo-con still exist. I do not believe President Bush is a neo-con. I believe he is an idealist, an Actionary, that believes in the truth and universal nature of Freedom and Democracy

Natan Sharansky noted the emergence of a conservative idealist renewal in June of 2002, during a foreign policy address by President Bush. The State Department got ahold of this policy, and turned it into something unidentifiable from the failed policies prior to 911. This is why he wrote "The Case for Democracy". President Bush read Mr. Sharansky's book, and I think the President is truly trying to adhere to the policy of linkage. Our security is directly related to the Freedoms of people worldwide. Hence, "widespread panic".

At this moment in time, a bitter battle between realists and idealists will not hurt the American conservative. The idealists must secure their place in support of this Administration, though. Actionaries must never lose sight of the principles that have made America great. And we must fight for these principles to remain a cornerstone of American conservatism. The question remains: Will American conservatives stand by principle and the ideas of the Actionary (something I believe the American electorate voted for), or will we cater to the realists, and lose the mandate we have taken from American liberals?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Widespread Panic

The New Burkeian has become acutely aware of a sort of "widespread panic" regarding the Administrations establishment of Actionary policy.

Many traditional and neo-conservative elements of the Republican Party specifically fear the threat to status quo stability. If the litmus test for American foreign policy is the degree of Freedom to which a foreign nation adheres, countries such as China and Saudi Arabia are prime targets for the Actionary cause.

Consider Joshua Muravchik's article at Opinion Journal. He suggests at one point:

Those who are skeptical of injecting issues of freedom, democracy and human rights into the conduct of foreign policy call themselves "realists," and they accuse their opposite numbers--the so-called idealists--of an almost juvenile enthusiasm. But a sober reading of the historical evidence shows that President Bush and his fellow idealists are more realistic than the "realists".


Indeed, idealism does not imply impossibility. Specifically, idealism within the framework of American conservatism is simply principle. As I stated in my last post, principle has always underlined major American foreign policies, and President Bush simply re-emphasized those principles in direct opposition to neo-con logic.


And therein is the problem. Neo-con logic views Actionary linkage as a limitless policy. Well, I would agree that Freedom is indeed limitless. If we did not believe this, we could have made no progress in our nation's 200+ year history regarding Liberty. Neo-con logic, however, limits them to an understanding of Freedom within our own borders. Security and Freedom outside of America should not be linked according to neo-con philosophy. They view Freedom in the subjective sense, while Actionaries view Freedom in the objective sense.

What neo-cons and traditional conservatives fail to understand is that the implementation of linkage does not require similar action to Iraq and Afghanistan. There are other means to enforce change. As I have stated before, opening up China economically has opened up China politically. Local elections are being held and various reforms are being considered. Natan Sharansky notes, in "The Case for Democracy", that once that taste of Freedom is experienced, at any level, a government inherently loses its ability to check dissidents. In a sense, a slippery-slope has been created. This is what I call the truth of Democracy and Freedom.

There are many ways to implement linkage, and they do not all entail the use of military force. However, using Freedom as the underlying principle in our own foreign policy not only gives credibility to our intentions, but to our actions. And this is the "American Way".

On the other hand we have the liberals. True liberals should have no problem with the idea of linkage. American liberalism, however, has moved so far to the left (read socialism) that empty Soviet-style rhetoric is being spat out. To them, Actionary policy seems to expand "American Imperialism" beyond the scope of even the neo-cons. It is as if Actionaries have thrown off the veil of conspiracy completely, and the typical American does not realize it because they were "idiots" to begin with. The use of the terms "lie" or "liars" in Congressional hearings far surpasses even President Bush's use of the term "Freedom" in the inaugural.

But, as I just stated, true liberals, that is the liberals in the new Democracies around the world, agree with this idealism. Just read some of the Iraqi blogs listed in my sidebar. It is the "old regime" conservatives in these foreign countries that are in a "widespread panic". And I think that was the intent. They should be scared. The Administration has put them on warning. "If you do not start reforming the Freedoms within your countries, America will be forced to act accordingly."

The New Burkeian understands his inability to change the hearts and minds of all people. The Actionary, however, will do whatever it takes to stand by and promote the principles of Freedom and Democracy. There is no ulterior motive. And if you come to understand this, the panic will subside. There is truth in these principles, and only good can come of the Actionary cause. The status quo stability is no longer an excuse for inaction. It is the right thing to do as Americans. Will you join the Actionary cause?

Friday, January 21, 2005

The Phoenix: American Idealism in Foreign Policy

The New Burkeian is pleased to announce the rhetorical victory of the Actionary.

President Bush has placed before us the future of American foreign policy. Linkage, the connection of American foreign policy to foreign internal Freedoms, has become the the underlying goal of future American diplomacy.

Principles have been the framework of American diplomacy since our existence as a nation. Power, peace, and prosperity have always played a role in the direction of our foreign policy, but principles have always been the underlying framework.

Washington presented our underlying principle as an aversion to foreign entanglements that plagued Europe in the 19th century. Monroe presented the principle of American predominance in affairs of the Western Hemisphere. Lincoln presented the principle of a united nation acting as one. Wilson saw the potential of our "Beacon of Liberty". FDR presented the principle of free societies versus fascist societies. The Cold War extended that principle of capitalism (and to some extent Democracy) against the slavery of communism. Reagan brought us back to linkage, or Freedom, as the underlying goal of our foreign policy.

From the ashes of our precious principles has emerged the new Phoenix. Our foreign policy will now be based on the fundamental belief that free societies are in the interest of all mankind. We cannot look out for our own national interest without looking out for the interests of the entire world. Free societies are the future of mankind. Democracy is the only system that works. Democracies inherently look out for the good of at least the majority of human interests. And the New Burkeian believes that people are, by and large, Good.

Principle underlines the strength and perseverance of the American way of life. I am overwhelmed by the ability of the current Administration to understand that. Some may view my enthusiasm as premature. But I cannot go through life as a pessimist. I truly believe in the goodness of mankind. I truly believe in the power of Democracy and Freedom to give guidance to that inherent good. And I praise this Administration for at least attempting to highlight that understanding as a primary goal of our foreign policy.

Think what you will of President Bush. Doubt his abilities as a decision-maker and leader. The man truly believes in the same ideals that the New Burkeian presents. He is truly an Actionary. And even if you disagree with the decision of the majority of the country (for that is the way a Democracy really works) to re-elect him, at least have faith in the ideal he sets forth. There is nothing evil or immoral about the want for free societies throughout the world. Nothing but good, in the universal sense, can come of a world of free societies. I know that our fundamental shift in foreign policy goals has only been stated through rhetoric, but I truly believe in the direction the President has set for us.

The Actionaries have won. Now, as Actionaries must always do, we must continue the fight by deed, as well as word. We must push for linkage to be the actual policy the Administration has set forth in principle. And we must use whatever means our Forefathers have provided for us to achieve those goals. This new Phoenix is truly a glorious creature. I only hope he survives to see the conclusion of a free world.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Questions

To those reactionaries out there who oppose the Iraq mission, or to those who supported the invasion, yet criticize the rebuilding, I pose these questions:

Was the Civil War a just war?
Knowing the price our nation paid to uphold the Union and fight for a just cause, would you still fight the Civil War?
Was Reconstruction necessary?
Would there have been any progress to assimilate the slave population without Reconstruction?
Despite the setbacks of Reconstruction and the alienation of many whites in the South through Reconstruction, would you still institute Reconstruction?
Were the Civil War and Reconstruction successful in the long run?
Has there been no progress in America between North and South, black and white, slave and free since these events?
Was the Civil Rights movement necessary?
Is the Civil Rights movement in a state of progress?
Are we a stronger nation today because of these tragic chapters of our history?
Did we perhaps learn from our mistakes in these tragedies?
Is it not right to fight for something that is Just simply because it is difficult?

I suggest those people that criticize so vehemently, sit back, reflect on our 200+ years of history, and realize that we did not become a champion of Democracy, Freedom Justice, and Liberty overnight. We also still have a lot to learn. But just because something is difficult, does not give us an excuse to ignore it. Saddam is evil. The insurgency and radical terroristists wish evil upon the peoples of Iraq. The South, like the Iraqi insurgency, was a tough adversary, but those that held the moral high-ground won the Civil War. Give these people a chance to achieve victory. They deserve their rights to Freedom as much as the slaves did prior to the Civil War. We owe them the ability to set up a Free and Just Democracy as we have achieved in our own country. It saddens me how short a memory many seem to hold in our country.

It is time we fought for something, instead of against or in respone to something.

Brief Statement

I wish to make a brief statement regarding the controversy over Prince Harry.

Everyone is missing the point. The simple fact of the matter here is the reemergence of an anti-Semetic viewpoint on the world stage. As I have stated before, it is linked to anti-Zionism. They are one and the same. Now the EU, an arguably anti-Zionist conglomerate, is talking high and mighty about the ban of all Nazi imagery among its member nations. Prince Harry is making public statements about his poor judgement. And liberal leaning humorists (can we say Saturday Night Live) are making light of the issue.

People need to look at the bigger picture here. Years of attacks on Israel's right to act against those that would eliminate the Jewish presence in the ME altogether, let alone Israel's right to exist, have desensitized an entire generation of the world to the horror of the Holocaust and anti-Semetism. Nazi imagery is such a small part of the equation. Until people are made to recognize the immoral equivalence of anti-Zionism and anti-Semetism, this trend will continue.

Check out Masada2000.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Domestic for a Change

I have become so passionate for the spread of Democracy in recent months. This has led the New Burkeian to ignore his duties in describing the goals of the new conservative domestically. We can all be Actionaries on many different levels. I believe that an individual's right to determine his course of action is central to Democracy and the Actionary cause.

So what could be so important in domestic policy that I would change my pace. As the inauguration nears, and the election victory becomes more a part of history, a whole new road appears before us. The Administration did many things to improve the average American's life, but none of it was truly permanent. We have a chance to truly make some difference in the future generations of America, though.

Reforms of the Great Society (chiefly Social Security and Medicare) and Tax Reform should be hot topics in the coming years. What should the Actionary push for? I think, generally speaking, the Actionary needs to push for the transfer of responsibility within the federal system: the realtionship of government within our great Democracy from the national, to the state, to the community, to the individual. Government does not necessarily need to be smaller, so much as the national government needs to transfer some of its responsibility to the other, often more efficient, sectors of our federal system.

Great Society Reforms need to be transferred to the state and local level. Some states already have more efficient systems in place. While I personally would enjoy a social security account I could directly control, I understand that the complete privatization of social security could be something we are not ready for. However, the end goal for all government programs should be the education of the individual to better handle such issues on his own.

As far as Tax Reform, I'm all about the flat tax. Check out this article by Thomas E. Nugent. In our federal system we cannot ignore the needs of the national government for funds. We can create a more efficient national tax, though. I've also heard about a national sales tax, but I find sales taxes to be annoying. Just tell me what percentage you want at the end of the year, and I'll pay it. And that's that.

I must admit that I have not looked into these topics so much lately. As I have said before, I do not think any American President could ruin the American economy to the extent people believe. I would hope the Senate Republicans would block a Democratic President's ill-advised tax reform, as much as the Senate Democrats block minority conservative judges (heh). I've just chosen to focus the New Burkeian on foreign policy because it is at the crux of our future place in the world. I will be back with domestic issues, though. The Actionary never rests in his quest to allow indiviuals to make the decisions they should make.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson

This guy never ceases to amaze me. Quite a brilliant conservative, and something of an Actionary in his own right. Check out this interview on the RightWingNews.

What's Next?

Without meaning to sound condescending, many of the Iraqi bloggers have impressed me with their ability to grasp the basic tenets of Democracy. They have moved beyond the basic ideas of Democracy to a discourse on what Democratic reforms they should make within their own countries. Ibn al-Rafidain has been discussing the translation of American Democratic values to an Iraqi set of values for some weeks now.

Ali, from Free Iraqi, had some interesting things to say about Democratic values within Iraq. One of his big pushes is for the seperation of church and state. He presents an interesting concept that should enable the cultural relativists to see the true universal nature of Democracy. Islam is as compatible with Democracy as Christianity or Judaism. I'll let you take Ali's word for it, though. He does have support for this concept from Sunnis within Iraq, as well. Consider this post from Democracy in Iraq.

I never thought I could learn so much about our own Democracy through another's eyes! Ali had a great suggestion about what we should do next, too. He suggests we consider Lebanon for our next outpost for Democracy:

Now it's not easy to determine the next base that should be attacked but I agree with those who said that Lebanon is the best candidate. Not Lebanon as a whole of course but Hizbollah and the Syrian army there. There are certainly many arguments against such choice, but I believe it's the best for many reasons. It would terrify Syria and Iran and distract their efforts in disrupting Iraq's march towards democracy, it would help democracy in Lebanon get rid of the influence of the Syrian Army and Hizbollah and it would give Iraq a much needed time to recover and build its infrastructure in a way that makes it not very rewarding to attack it again as the way it is now with the fragile infrastructure. The ex-Ba'athists aided by a very tiny minority of Salafis in Iraq won't be able (without huge aid from neighboring countries and Arab fighters) to stand against the Iraqi government aided by massive American power. They would most likely divide into small gangs that can be annoying but certainly not strong enough to determine a whole country's future.

Who better to understand the fate of Democracy in the Middle East than another Middle Easterner? I think it is a great suggestion. And it presents the fact that through linkage (remember Sharansky and President Reagan) huge conflicts such as Iraq will not be necessary in the future. I do not deny the possibility of another huge conflict in the future, but I do suggest that the promotion of Democracy can be achieved through other means.

Now if we can just get rid of those neo-cons and isolationists.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Links

First off, I am happy to see the return of Ali from Iraq the Model. He has started a new blog entitled Free Iraqi. Recently he discussed the possibilities for Democracy in the MidEast. He also discusses the differences in life in Iraq since the Coalition of Democracies ousted Saddam. You can only present the bad side of Iraq so much before word gets out about the good side. Ali presents much hope for the future of Democracy, not only in Iraq, but in the MidEast, and the world in general. As long as America keeps linking policy to the internal nature of foreign regimes (ie Democratic Reform), we stand a good chance of winning the WoT. And if you're curious about the idea of internal linkage, read Sharansky's new book "The Case for Democracy".

I usually start off my daily web surfing by perusing the sites listed on my sidebar. I can usually link to a few more interesting things from those sites. This is how the New Burkeian usually generates posts. Often I have an idea ahead of time, but I rely on these links to give weight to my ideas. Recently, I've added some new links to blogs and other sites. I encourage anyone who checks this site out to check out some of these links more often.

As I have stated more often recently, the WoT and the promotion of Democracy needs to transcend political ideologies as we understand them in America. Liberals and conservatives should generally agree with the inherent good in the promotion of Democracy. There will be isolationists that oppose this push, and old school realists that believe security and Democracy have no internal link. But those two schools of thought lie within both ideologies, as the promotion of Democracy should lie within both conservative and liberal ideology. So the push should be for those of us that do believe in Democracy as a unifying force to push that within our own ideological groups.

I recently heard a liberal from the New Republic speaking out on these same ideas. At first I was horrified. Then I realized that it was only natural that some from the Left should become enlightened to the ideas the Administration is putting forth. We can disagree on the reforms of the tax code and social security, while working together to promote Democracy. How do you think we won the Cold War? It certainly was not from a stark division in ideological interests the pundits would have us believe exist today in America. As I have said many times, the rhetoric is very important. There are no ulterior motives in the WoT beyond the promotion of Democracy and the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure.

I must admit that my identification as a conservative has limited my ability to persuade those on the other side about the inherent good in the promotion of Democracy. Mr. Sharansky discusses this fact in his book. He avoided being identified on either side for years in fear that he would be marginalized. I could start a new blog, but I do not wish to. Yes I am a conservative, but I also believe in the big picture. And that picture includes a world of Democracies that gets the same opportunities as Americans to bicker over petty issues (heh).

Linkage of our foreign policy to the internal nature of foreign regimes is crucial. Both conservatives and liberals fought the Cold War, but one man ultimately set us on the winning strategy. And it does not matter what ideology he hailed from. He simply linked our relationship with the USSR to the internal freedoms of its peoples. Once people within the USSR tasted the few drops of freedom they received the whole system of tyranny fell apart. At two different junctures in history "experts" believed that the Japanese, Germans, and later, the Russians, were doomed to authoritarian rule because of the nature of their peoples. Cultural relativism is dead in this aspect. Freedom and Democracy were not out of their reach. The same is true for Iraq and Afghanistan. Some day the same will be said for China, Palestine, and Iran. We must link our policies to internal policy, though.

So join the New Burkeian in the quest for Democracy. Let us transcend ideological lines for a better future. Being an Actionary has nothing to do with being a conservative or a liberal. Being an Actionary means you have hope for the future of the world. It means you have hope for the future of Democracy. And it means you have faith in the political process we ourselves participate in. You do not always win, but your voice will always be heard.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Tsunami (or The True Benefits of Civil Society)

With the unprecedented damage and destruction of the recent Indian Ocean tsunami, the real nature of Democratic civil societies can be seen. The stories of individuals doing their part to help people in need is overwhelming. Whether it is a cab driver in Baltimore who hands out envelopes for donations, or the people at my work wanting to actually go to the effected areas to contribute, Americans are doing what they can to help. And American individuals and NGOs are already on the ground doing their part.

Forgive me for using a terrible tragedy to further my views on the Actionary cause to spread Democracy. Understand that I am only showing the true power of civil society to make the world a better place.

It has recently come to my attention that all Aid efforts by the US are being coordinated through an independent group of nations involving the likes of Japan, India, Australia, and Singapore. Meanwhile, the UN is having conferences at 5-Star hotels to determine the best way to administer Aid. Consider this piece by the Diplomad:

In this part of the tsunami-wrecked Far Abroad, the UN is still nowhere to be seen where it counts, i.e., feeding and helping victims. The relief effort continues to be a US-Australia effort, with Singapore now in and coordinating closely with the US and Australia. Other countries are also signing up to be part of the US-Australia effort. Nobody wants to be "coordinated" by the UN. The local UN reps are getting desperate. They're calling for yet another meeting this afternoon; they've flown in more UN big shots to lecture us all on "coordination" and the need to work together, i.e., let the UN take credit. With Kofi about to arrive for a big conference, the UNocrats are scrambling to show something, anything as a UN accomplishment. Don't be surprised if they claim that the USS Abraham Lincoln is under UN control and that President Lincoln was a strong supporter of the UN.

What's important here is that this independent group of nations (all Democratic with Free Societies) has coordinated an effort to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the tsunami outside of the UN super-bureaucracy. While the UN is flying officials to posh hotels along the Indian Ocean, Americans and others are on the ground doing their part. Much of this occured before the US announcement of the amount of Aid to be granted. This is because individuals within our civil society decided to help before even our government could do anything.

Individuals and their ability to accomplish extraordinary things is inherent within Democractic civil societies. Individuals can decide how their time and resources can best be spent. This all relies on the basic assumption that people are naturally good and compassionate. I think the enormous outpouring of Aid has proven that. Americans do not need the UN, or even their own government, to tell them how to help people. It comes naturally.

This is a huge victory for the Administration, and Democracy in general, in the WoT. This is what Democracy is really all about. Individual people are doing what they can to make the world a better place. It also highlights the UN's inability to deal with the problems of the world in a quick and efficient manner. If the UN cannot even get their Aid effort going by now, no wonder the US decided to act against Iraq after a decade of Saddam's violations against UN Security Resolutions. These issues were not going to be dealt with effectively.

Understand that it is the coalition of Democracies that are coordinating the relief effort most effectively. It was the coalition of Democracies that dealt with Saddam effectively. And it is the coalition of Democracies that will win the WoT. The power of Democracy does not come from governments, resources, or military might. Power comes from the ability of individuals to decide to help. Civil societies create those individuals. And when individuals are truly allowed to decide their own fate, good things come to the world. It is sad that it takes the tragedies of a tsunami or a Saddam Hussein to show us that. The inherent good of mankind will prevail, though. The New Burkeian has always believed this.