November 10, 2011
In his columns, GMU Economics Professor Walter Williams promotes the ideas of liberty and economic freedom. Sometimes I have a disagreement with him, and in Democracy Is Impossible, there are some assertions and some assumptions I would like to address. He believes that we should not intervene and attempt to bring democracy or freedom to the Middle East, and I agree with that.
However, we have had democracy here in the U.S. — “good and hard,” as some would say. Democracy is majority rule, which is dictatorship by mob rule. I hope that Prof. Williams isn’t implying that democracy is a good thing to have. Having this collectivist, majority rule dictatorship here in the U.S. has given us a State apparatus in which some people can use the coercive, compulsory powers of government and its hired guns, the police, to rob others — mostly through taxation, protectionist regulatory restrictions and the government-controlled banking cartel and Federal Reserve. But also the compulsory powers of the State and its armed forces have been used to rob others in foreign territories.
Prof. Williams believes that there is little prospect for freedom in most areas of the Middle East, and that “Western encouragement and hopes for democracy are doomed to failure and disappointment. Most nations in the Middle East do not share the philosophical foundations of the West. It’s not likely liberty-oriented values will ever emerge in cultures that have disdain for the rule of law and private property rights and that sanction barbaric practices…”
If Prof. Williams really believes that the West has maintained the philosophical foundations of the rule of law and private property rights, then I have a bridge to sell him.
In the past century, Western governments, especially the U.S. government, have not exactly practiced the philosophy of Live and Let Live, in my opinion. To practice the philosophy of Live and Let Live is exactly what you have when people respect the lives, liberty and property of others. But Western governments for many decades have not been doing that.
For example, in 1951 after nearly 40 years of the British exploiting the Iranians’ oil resources, Iranians elected Mohammad Mosaddegh as Prime Minister, who then cancelled the oil contracts with the British and nationalized Iran’s oil industry. Then, on behalf of the British, the U.S. government’s CIA overthrew Mossadegh and brought the notorious Shah back to power. The U.S. supported the Shah’s dictatorship, torture, and violations of civil liberties for the next 25 years. The Iranian people reacted against the U.S.-installed Shah regime by becoming more and more religiously fanatical and militantly anti-American, and finally had a Revolution in 1979 that included also the extremist Revolutionary Guards taking Americans hostage for 444 days.
You see, the “unintended consequences” of the Western interventionist CIA coup (that was on behalf of the British retaking the Iranians’ oil) and the U.S. government’s loyal support for a vicious dictatorship resulted in that 1979 blowback. (For further details, see this.) This was not exactly a Live and Let Live policy on the part of Western governments.
In 1991 the U.S. Government, under President George Herbert Walker Bush, invaded Iraq because the central planning interventionists didn’t like Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait (although, supposedly, Kuwait had been stealing Iraq’s oil through underground horizontal drilling).
Had Saddam invaded a country that had no oil, would Bush the Elder been so insistent on invading Iraq, a country that was of no threat to the U.S.? Of course not. It was all about oil, and whatever other natural resources the U.S. and other Western governments could steal from other countries, particularly less advanced countries. That’s really what Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s were all about, not terrorism, and now it’s time to invade more African countries, such as Libya and Uganda, etc.
For our more “civilized” Western countries, invading less advanced countries’ territories and stealing their natural resources is rationalized because the lives of the people of those countries can easily be devalued by the wise Western folks. Those other people are less advanced, you see, and therefore, their rights to any liberty or property are just not equal to those rights that Westerners have.
And of course, to show how advanced and civilized our Western governments are, they have been employing tactics overseas such as apprehending, detaining, torturing and murdering whomever they wished without due process, without trial or even suspicion. And they have been violating the liberty and property rights of their own people as well, here in the U.S. especially, spying on them and imprisoning innocents without trial.
You see, the American Founders’ principles of due process and presumption of innocence — some of what came out of the Enlightenment (Huh? The what?) — needed to be scrapped and it was necessary to revert to the old ways of barbarism, for the sake of protecting the Amurcan people, of course.
And now, let’s bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran, for no good reason (And, especially see this.), and use a lot of fear-mongering propaganda to get the support of the masses of Western nations. Of course, the masses of these Western nations are just so well-educated and informed, aren’t they?
I guess the reason that Ron Paul gets snubbed and censored by the MSM is because he’s the only candidate whose message isn’t that of these “civilized, advanced” Western governments of ours. Dr. Paul genuinely believes in Live and Let Live, not just in foreign policy but in economic affairs as well. In other words, he believes in genuine freedom, presumption of innocence and, when it comes to foreign policy, using force only in actual self-defense and not for any kind of paranoid preemptive purposes that he knows would or probably will have dire “unintended” consequences, as we have seen this whole past century.
Do you think that maybe it is time to throw the central planning socialists of Western governments into the dustbin of history? I know I do.