Anti-democratism article published at FrontPage

Today there appears one of the tiny handful of articles to be published at FrontPage Magazine over the last four years that fundamentally challenges the Bush Doctrine, of which FP’s editors have, of course, been passionate and zealous supporters. Elan Journo, associated with the Ayn Rand Institute, argues that by encouraging democratic elections in the Mideast we have only encouraged and empowered our jihadist enemies. What we needed to do was not to democratize Muslims, but to defeat them.

However I’m not entirely clear about Journo’s ultimate aim: is it to crush pro-jihad regimes in order, finally, to democratize Islam after all? In which case Journo would be what I have called a Hyper-Bushian. (See article below.) Or is it to crush pro-jihad regimes—and entire societies—in order to destroy Islam? In which case Journo is urging the start of a world war that cannot end but with a devastated Islamic world, tens of millions of dead Muslims, and a genocidal U.S. overseeing the ruins. Or is it to crush pro-jihad regimes in order to weaken the Islamic world to the point where it can be quarantined from the rest of mankind and would not be able to threaten us any more? In which case Journo may be Separationist, like me.

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Dana writes:

As an Objectivist, I thought I’d try to shed a little light on EJ’s article for you.

You presume his intention is to realistically discuss what should have been done in the WOT regarding elections and that you can extrapolate a real world position on how we as a culture should deal with the threat of Islam. This is not what the article is about.

He is using the method by which Bush has dealt with the Muslims to harp on a favorite Objectivist theme and to expound Objectivist philosophy. This is the mission of ARI (Ayn Rand Institute, Peikoff’s branch, not to be confused with the oddly soft and liberal branch that arose from the schism with Nathaniel Branden) writers, the ARI IS mostly a writer training program designed to create a stable of editorial writers who put Objectivist ideas out in the world. He is concerned solely with pointing out that it is the “immoral” (to us) ethics of humble self-sacrifice and the inability of a government acting on that ethos to do what it takes to wage what he openly states he thinks is a war of self-defense.

To the Objectivist, the entire way we engage in war now, the unbelievably ridiculous rules of engagement that force our soldiers to get permission before firing on the enemy in self-defense, the refusal to kill the enemy, etc are prime examples of the horror of the Christian/Leftist Altruistic morality of self-effacing self-sacrifice that holds that one’s OWN self interest must at all times be sacrificed to the interest of Others, and the worse the Other—the meeker, lower, poorer, viler—the better. (I am not writing this part to argue with you about the nature of that morality, which I am sure you don’t view that way, but merely to explain the Objectivist view of that morality).

The general ARI stance on the WOT is to crush our enemy utterly WW2 style, and then if we FEEL like rebuilding them any way we want because WE feel it’s in OUR best national interest, well thats fine, but that we have no duty to remake their societies or “give them freedom” or do ANYTHING from the perspective of what would be good for THEM or what they want.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 03, 2007 08:04 PM | Send

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