Michael Totten At World Affairs: ‘How To Become A Dictator’

Full piece here.

Totten touches on libertarianism, anarchy, federalism, the idea of federal states, Lebanon, Syria under both Assads, and more:

“If you decide you want to leave journalism,” Nadim Shehadi said to me over coffee at a café on Beirut’s old waterfront, “if you feel like you’ve been there and done that and would like to become a dictator, you should hire me as an advisor. I’m expensive, but I’m worth it.”

and:

“If Syria is to become like Lebanon, though,” I said, “it will have to be like Lebanon without its militias.”

“Lebanon,” he said, “will be a very different place without the Assad regime next to it.”

Totten’s book: Where The West Ends. I donated to Totten to allow him to keep up his travels.

It’s likely you won’t agree with all of Samuel Huntington’s ideas, but he maintained a deeply learned understanding of the animating ideas behind Western/American political organization with keen observation of what was happening on the ground in foreign countries.  Here’s a brief summation from Robert Kaplan’s article:

“• The fact that the world is modernizing does not mean that it is Westernizing. The impact of urbanization and mass communications, coupled with poverty and ethnic divisions, will not lead to peoples’ everywhere thinking as we do.

• Asia, despite its ups and downs, is expanding militarily and economically. Islam is exploding demographically. The West may be declining in relative influence.

• Culture-consciousness is getting stronger, not weaker, and states or peoples may band together because of cultural similarities rather than because of ideological ones, as in the past.

• The Western belief that parliamentary democracy and free markets are suitable for everyone will bring the West into conflict with civilizations—notably, Islam and the Chinese—that think differently.

• In a multi-polar world based loosely on civilizations rather than on ideologies, Americans must reaffirm their Western identity.”

I also tend to think that Francis Fukuyama’s End of History and Hegelianism, at least, was a return to the kind of expansive idealism that leads towards bigger federal states, and fuses cultural and national identity, pumping up bureaucracies and the federal state towards unreachable secular ideals.

Related On This Site: What about a night watchman state, and isn’t libertarianism partially an introduction of Enlightenment rationalism moving  individuals towards forms of anarchy and away from religious doctrines, traditions, customs and conservative ideas?: Repost-Youtube Via Libertarianism.Org-David Friedman: ‘The Machinery Of Freedom’

Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill

A Few Thoughts On Foreign Policy-Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest: ‘Conservative Principles Of World Order’