How liberalism, the ideology of Western suicide, destroys its own ability to promote liberalism

James P. writes:

Last year, as you noted, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner volunteered to the Chinese that the U.S. had “human rights problems” that included racism, as seen, he said, in Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law.

This year, as reported by Reuters, the Chinese have announced that the “United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments’ human rights problems.” Since we stand condemned out of our own mouths as a racist human rights violator, we are in a poor position to reject or deny this Chinese claim or to accuse other countries of human rights violations. The State Department has none but itself to blame for crippling the effectiveness of its own diplomacy!

LA replies:

This is a perfect example of the cosmic dead-end to which liberalism leads. Liberalism wants to advance equal human rights everywhere. But according to liberals, our own society, with its vast power and might (making it unequal in relation to other countries) and its unequal distribution of wealth and privileges (making it unequal among its own citizens), is the most guilty of the sin of denying equality. So American liberals constantly work to delegitimize their own country. And having done so, they destroy America’s very authority as the global tribune of equality.

The point is, nothing can be accomplished, including the promotion of equality, without authority. But liberalism undermines all authority. Namely it undermines all authority as unequal, because authority makes some entities more powerful than others. And so liberalism undermines its own ability to promote equality.

To put it another way, nothing can be done without a self, whether an individual self or a collective self (such as a nation) to accomplish it. But liberalism undermines all collective selves, because all collective selves, by their very existence as distinct, particular entities maintaining their existence vis à vis other distinct particular entities, violate the imperatives of equality.

Liberalism is simply the delegitimization and cancellation of all entities, including, most of all, liberal entities such as America. Liberalism consumes the world, and then it consumes itself, like the vacuum-cleaner creature in the Beatles cartoon Yellow Submarine.

As for the remarkable Chinese statement attacking America’s interference in other countries over their human rights violations, because America is itself a major human rights violator and has no right to judge, as James said, what can American liberals possibly say in reply? The Chinese are simply repeating what American liberals themselves constantly say about America, that it is a country rife with racism and inequality.

However, I must qualify my above comments. While liberalism cancels out an imperfectly liberal (because still particular and distinct and powerful) entity such as America, the same is not necessarily true of a more perfectly liberal entity such as the European Union or the United Nations. These international, faceless bodies, lacking any vestigial elements of national particularity or national power, representing only the idea of universal equality, and dishonestly eschewing any notion that they possess or seek power, because they simply represent the good of the whole human race (see my article, “Transparency Revealed: The U.N. Sees Us, We Can’t See Them”), can serve as the global promoter or dictator of equality in a way that America cannot. There has always been a battle between the neoconservative vision of globalism, in which America dominates the world in the name of equality, and the transnational progressive vision of globalism, in which international entities such as the UN and the EU dominate the world in the name of equality. This discussion suggests that the transnational progressives will win, or at least that they are better situated than America to win.

Here is the Reuters article:

China tells U.S. to quit as human rights judge
Sun, Apr 10 2011
By Chris Buckley

BEIJING (Reuters)—The United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments’ human rights problems, China said on Sunday, countering U.S. criticism of Beijing’s crackdown.

The row between Beijing and Washington over human rights has intensified since China’s ruling Communist Party extended its clampdown on dissidents and rights activists, a move which has sparked an outcry from Washington and other Western governments.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is the most prominent of the activists to be detained by police or held in secretive custody in the latest crackdown.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday she was “deeply concerned” about it, and cited “negative trends” including Ai’s detention.

A U.S. State Department report on global human rights released on Friday said Beijing had stepped up restrictions on lawyers, activists, bloggers and journalists, and tightened controls on civil society.

It has also increased its efforts to control the press, Internet and Internet access, the report said.

But China has shown no sign of bowing to foreign pressure.

Its Foreign Ministry on Saturday dismissed the U.S. report as meddling, and its own annual report about U.S. human rights stressed Beijing’s dismissive view.

“Stop the domineering behavior of exploiting human rights to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” it said, according to excerpts published by the official Xinhua news agency.

“The United States ignores its own severe human rights problems, ardently promoting its so-called ‘human rights diplomacy’, treating human rights as a political tool to vilify other countries and to advance its own strategic interests,” said a passage from the Chinese report

Produced by the State Council Information Office, the government’s public relations arm, the report dwelled on what it said were severe deprivations and threats facing many Americans, as well as Washington’s invasion of Iraq.

It also cited the United States’ refusal to ratify a number of international human rights pacts, and listed poverty, hunger and homelessness as stains on the country’s rights record.

“The United States is the world’s worst country for violent crimes,” said the report. “Citizens’ lives, property and personal safety do not receive the protection they should.”

“Racial discrimination is deeply rooted in the United States, permeating every aspect of social life,” it said.

Criticism of China’s human rights problems do not come just from foreign governments and groups.

Chinese rights lawyers and advocates have also been dismayed by a recent burst of arrests, detentions and heavy sentences against dissidents and activists.

On Sunday, hundreds of Chinese police moved to prevent a planned outdoor service by a church in Beijing that had been evicted from its former premises.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

I have to say I find justice in this situation. During the height of the Cold War, when we were engaged in an ideological battle with Communism, it made sense that the United States would point out Red China’s abuses of human rights. However, at this point, it seems rather unseemly to hector them one day and beg them for a loan the next. It reminds me of the scene in “Atlas Shrugged” when Hank Rearden’s brother Philip asks him for money while simultaneously chiding him for his lack of social awareness.

Along the same lines, I recently saw a Fox News report on Laura Bush’s efforts to “empower” the women of Afghanistan. I don’t care for the way Muslims treat their women, but as long as they’re doing it in their own countries I’d prefer we mind our own business. As the relationship between the sexes in the Western world becomes more and more insane, we appear ridiculous telling other countries to emulate us.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 14, 2011 07:46 PM | Send

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