Abram Shulsky At The American Interest: ‘Liberalism’s Beleaguered Victory’
‘However varied they are, these counter-ideologies generally share a sense that liberalism’s protection and privileging of individual self-interest as opposed to the common good (however defined) makes it ignoble; potentially or actually unjust; and chaotic or anarchic and hence ultimately weak. This sensibility is evident in the pejorative meaning of the term “bourgeois”: someone who is so immersed in the pursuit of petty material concerns that he is blind to both nobility of soul and the claims of social justice.’
Interesting read, and some points well taken about China, Russia, even Germany, which have incentives to reject certain aspects of liberalization. It may have always been a little alien to them (addition: yes, even the Germans).
I’m guessing the views represented in the article could lead to a view that liberalism will need to continue its appeal and activity in the Muslim world, and that it still is THE global force to be reckoned with, from individual rights to Western Statecraft to more open markets to technological advancements to a host of other ideas and influences. Resistance may not be futile, but even a non-ideological retreat into the mosque, nature, the monastery, etc. may not be enough to resist at least some liberalizing influences.
Ideologically and policy-wise, such thinking can lead to support for, well, more Westernization and liberalism, meaning anything from a defense of trade-routes and American security interests to neo-conservative military intervention as in Iraq to humanitarian peace activism and global human rights secular one-worldism, which often gets our military involved at some point.
A.E. Stallings has a piece about the Parthenon’s frieze:
‘It is consistent with the conventions of Greek temple art for a frieze to depict a foundational myth of the city and her cults. To me, Connelly’s theory is attractive and plausible, and is backed by a considerable breadth and depth of scholarship—archaeological, visual, and textual. Not everyone will be persuaded, and the absolute certainty of the author will be off-putting to some; but her ideas cannot be dismissed out of hand.’
Looking back towards the classics, or through our lenses and language, platforms and theories, interests and passions:
A poem by Stallings:
The mistake was light and easy in my hand,
A seed meant to be borne upon the wind.
I did not have to bury it or throw,
Just open up my hand and let it go.
The mistake was dry and small and without weight,
A breeze quickly snatched it from my sight,
And even had I wanted to prevent,
Nobody could tell me where it went.
I did not think on the mistake again,
Until the spring came, soft, and full of rain,
And in the yard such dandelions grew
That bloomed and closed, and opened up, and blew