A Journal for Western Man

 

 

 

Anti-Imperialism:

The Smear Campaign against

Western Values

G. Stolyarov II

Issue II- September 2, 2002

 

 
You have heard the foreign ventures of the United States and European nations of the Renaissance and Victorian epochs denounced repeatedly by means of outworn clichés and warrantless stereotypical accusations. These defamations are frequently employed to also condemn present American endeavors such as the War on Terror and its conflict with the despotism of Saddam Hussein. In the schools, the mainstream press, and historical textbooks, the explorations of early pioneers are dubbed “cultural genocide” while the United States one-time investments in Middle Eastern oil and earlier Mexican enterprises are termed “imperialistic Social Darwinism”. Yet the leftists uttering these catch phrases seldom dare to define their terms and thus expose the hodge-podge which truly permeates their notions and the genuine vileness of their motives.

What is “imperialism”? The commonplace stereotype is that it is an act of “one nation taking over another”. Taking over for what reason? None is given. An attempt to topple a dictator fits this to as great a degree as does an act of arbitrary marauding. This vague definition equivocates the ravaging hordes of Attila the Hun to, for example, the United States occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951, during which the Japanese were at last assured that their natural rights of free religion and free speech, as well as the equal freedoms of their feminine population would never be deprived from them. It was a time when the Japanese were rendered incapable of repeating their aggression throughout the Pacific, which was an unlawful implementation of force to seize the resources of other nations and individuals which the Japanese did not produce. Yet the modern academic definition of “imperialism” sees no distinction between the actions of the United States, performed in self-defense, and the perpetrations of the Japanese warlords. Is that term indeed not convenient to the various socialists, communists, theocrats, oligarchs, and miscellaneous opponents of rights who can similarly state that a recent occupation of Afghanistan and its transformation into a relatively individualistic society is an action of “cultural genocide” because the United States happened to grant their women a choice of whether or not to wear the traditional veil?

To comprehend the enormous scope of legitimate activities which the leftists threaten to undermine by such a ploy, we must retrospect upon a time when disclosure of these motives was more blatant and when confessed socialists could still proudly manifest their stances without encountering indignation from the American public. One such devotee of totalitarianism was John Dewey. You can see the traces of Mr. Dewey’s “ideas” influencing modern educational standards, which every year prove incapable of assisting students in independent rational thought while indoctrinating them into “socially complacent” dogma and a whole host of unwarranted material related to the environment, Western history, and ethical philosophy. Dewey, who had admittedly approved of Stalinist tyranny in the Soviet Union and who had modeled his educational system after the indoctrination factories there, was also the originator of a “moral” doctrine of pragmatism, a theory which effectively nullified principled, systematic approaches to real-life problems and replaced them with “the spur of the moment”, any short-term urge or whim or impulse like lies, subterfuge, extortion, whatever is claimed to “work”. The long-term faults of pragmatism are glaringly obvious. A policy of repeated lies and evasions will lose one the trust of his associates and their willingness to interact with him, while the holdup man tactic of pointing a gun to their heads will either create dependents or formidable foes of them, turning the perpetrator into either a despot or a criminal on the run. Knowing Dewey’s own political inclinations, it comes as no coincidence that precisely that philosophy was demonstrated by the actions of thugs like Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, and, in the present, Saddam Hussein. And look at what consequences it brought about!

It so happened that Dewey had served ten years, from 1910 to 1920, as the vice-president of an activist clique known as the Anti-Imperialist League. How did he exploit the vague “definition” of “imperialism”? A March 23, 1927, essay in “The New Republic” reveals his true motives. The piece is titled “Imperialism is Easy”, and addresses as its primary target the ventures of United States capitalists in Mexico. He wrote in this regard, “Given, on the one hand, a nation that has capital and technical skill, engineering and financial, to export, plus manufacturers in need of raw material, especially iron and oil, and, on the other hand, an industrially backward country with large natural resources and a government which is either inefficient or unstable, or both, and it does not require intention or desire to involve the first nation in imperialistic policies. Even widespread popular desire to the contrary is no serious obstacle. The natural movement of business enterprise, combined with Anglo-American legalistic notions of contracts and their sanctity, and the international custom which obtains as to the duty of a nation to protect the property of its nationals, suffices to bring about imperialistic undertakings.”

What, essentially, was Mr. Dewey warning against? His analysis of the matter is generally logical, but the conclusions he reaps from it are absurd. Yes, it is true that a nation which is inadequately advanced will possess a government that will violate the efforts of foreign businessmen to introduce their own endeavors there. Even physical assaults are likely by a leadership which Dewey confesses to be “inefficient or unstable”. Why? Because a corrupt government that does not fulfill its proper (and limited) functions and the behind-the-scenes factions manipulating an “unstable” puppet government cannot thrive under conditions of a free market, in which the increased amounts of material and intellectual commodities available to the masses will quickly incite the development of a numerous and learned opposition front upheld by productive economic forces seeking an order that does not limit their right to trade with their consumers. Suppression of progress is inherent in the functions of a totalitarian/bureaucratic state, which will inevitably respond against foreign, progressive business interests within its stagnant realm, an action that necessitates military intervention from the nation of which the entrepreneurs are citizens. When the power of the gun is posed against the power of the dollar, the dollar will crumble unless another gun exists to eradicate the original party which had initiated force. And the supposed Anglo-American integrity in upholding business contracts is indeed also a factor in a rightful outrage and retaliation at the said contracts’ violent negation by the Mexican or any other regime. What would occur then? The corrupt government initiating force would be deposed and the people permitted to form a more stable one which simultaneously recognizes the rights of businesses to offer services to consumers and to earn profit from enterprises they do not extort, but rather develop.

But this is precisely the economic “interventionism” that Dewey opposes. His role model is a sniveling Mexican bureaucrat whom he quotes later on in his essay. "Of course, we have to handicap you by legislation and administration in every way we can. You are much abler and more experienced in business than we are; if we don't even up some other way, you will soon own the whole country." What does this essentially state? That the productive men who invest their time and effort abroad must be penalized not for their incompetence, but for their ability, not for their vices but for their virtues. That is the statist nihilism which seeks to destroy the good for being the good. That mentality is precisely what Dewey wishes to perpetuate by opposing the American government’s efforts to defend the entrepreneurs when their rights and the products of their minds are threatened by a moral decadent’s gun. The unnamed corrupt desk clerk, who had likely risen to power by means of a family connection or affiliation with a robber clan whose fortune was built on extortion, will see no deterrence to his acting upon the “pragmatist” conception that his own power-lust of the moment is justification to hoard the wealth created by a meritorious individual without the creator’s consent.

From a literal founder of “anti-imperialism”, the man who had introduced also the educational paradigms of today and a majority of the teachings of today’s academia, comes the genuine motive for the smear campaign waged to this day. It exists to cripple free markets around the world, to limit the productive capacities of economic pioneers, or, which is even more alarming, to subject the great innovators to the parasitic expropriations of the statist regimes which are upheld in their splendor solely by the squalid destitution experienced by their subjects. Does it now seem a coincidence that the leftists constantly label a man like Hernan Cortes a blackguard, a man who had assisted a hundred tribes in Mesoamerica in throwing off a two-century-long yoke of oppression imposed upon them by the bloody Aztec regime, which had sacrificed daily 20,000 of their subjects’ men, women, and children? It was Cortes whose efforts had abolished human sacrifice in perpetuity, liberated the common folk of Mexico from back-breaking feudal duties to the ruling elite, who had introduced European industry into the Americas and helped originate a system of encomienda, in which, unlike common stereotypes suggest, the natives were paid for their services and taught new skills which rendered them capable of thriving on their own labor. It was also the Spanish who had in 1542 passed a series of Indian Protection Laws forbidding the unpaid for utility of native services, as well as Native American slavery in New Spain. Yet no historical endeavor is slandered and abased to the degree that this massive amelioration has been in past years.

Let us explore a more recent example, the colonial policies of the British and French in Africa. They entered the continent when it was a bloody battleground for tribes with never-ending ethnic feuds, who still bore spears, hunted game as their only source of food, and seized any values of greater complexity not through production, but extortion. When the Europeans left, the continent possessed a series of railroads, mining concerns, numerous colleges, schools, and hospitals, urban communities, and a life expectancy which had surged from thirty to its current level of fifty (still infinitesimally small, but an improvement nevertheless). But it was due to the rantings of “anti-imperialists” about the European powers’ infliction of “cultural genocide” by bringing Western civilization into the utility of the locals that a massive withdrawal ensued circa 1950 to 1965, precisely the time when Dewey’s theories were gaining a widespread following and his various sects of disciples, the American socialists, the hippies, and the moral relativists, had launched wave after wave of destructive activism. Because the transition from savage wilderness to cultivated democracy had not been completed in a majority of African territories, the bloodbaths resumed in regions across the continent, from the Mau-Mau terrorism in Kenya to the feudal infighting in Somalia, to Mugabe’s recent expropriations of Caucasian farmers’ land in Zimbabwe, to the Tutsi-Hutu ethnic cleansing in Rwanda, to the Al Qaeda-funding genocide-inflicting dictatorship of al-Bashir in Sudan, just to name a few. That is the Attila-ist chaos which emerges when sniveling academics attempt to suppress the economic freedoms of entrepreneurs.

This issue is an imminent one at present as well, when America may be misled into another foreign policy blunder by the leftists, who seek United States withdrawal from the Middle Eastern arena due to its “imperialistic oil policies” allegedly having fueled the hatred of fanatics like the Al Qaeda. They hold blindly to the assertion that Western nations had been “exploiting” Saudi petroleum and “inconsiderately” erecting military installations in the area. What is the truth? Saudi Arabia would be a barren desert today if businessmen from the United States, Britain, and France had not invested in its oil, built their own derricks, pumped their own “black gold”, and attempted to profit from it. Then the extortionist Wahhabist sheikhs who had produced no values of their own nationalized the industry in the 1950s and employed its monetary flow to fund anti-Western sentiments in Pakistani madrassahs. It was their backward “pragmatism” of plunder which had permitted Islamic extremism to endanger the fundamental infrastructure of our Western society and its values of free enterprise, progress, rights, and consensual trade.  Yet so far few have dared to condemn Saudi Arabia as a foe whose initiation of force requires retaliatory force to preserve the lives and livelihoods of the innocents. Among the courageous are an analyst from the Rand Corporation and the wonderfully rational commentators from the Ayn Rand Institute. But they are facing a wave of self-righteous nihilism directed at them because of their “imperialistic” suggestion that the United States should “take over” another country or even continue its current policy of stationing its military there for self-defense against a genocidal Iraqi tyrant who may soon become endowed with the capacity to launch weapons of mass destruction at America and Israel. The crackpots of the academic paradigm nevertheless warn against the “imperialistic” action of invading Iraq itself!

In summation, the enormous cultural and ideological influence exerted upon our society by Comrade Dewey during the early twentieth century is responsible for a smear campaign which targets not the random marauding and extortion committed by the Montezumas, Mugabes, Saddam Husseins and Osama bin Ladens of the world, but a system of profitable economic investment which entails as a side effect massive increases in the quality of life for denizens of foreign lands. This vile movement opposes the ideals of individual rights, technological development, economic power, and free markets which have been the basis for great nations like the United States while upholding and advocating the aims of stagnation-oriented despots and the “cultural preservation” of the cesspits that are their domain. That is what they truly mean by their vehement hatred of “imperialism”, so allow me to define the term with greater clarity. “Imperialism” is the overseas exercise of civil liberties by denizens of nations which recognize every person’s right to them. The alternative is the rule by the expropriator, the oppressive man who employs brute force instead of industrial production to gain a value. Such a character type was known to Ayn Rand as the “Attila”.

It is an either-or choice: Imperialism or Attila-ism. You decide.

G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent filosofical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right, Le Quebecois Libre, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Senior Writer for The Liberal Institute, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. His newest science fiction novel is Eden against the Colossus. His latest non-fiction treatise is A Rational Cosmology. Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@yahoo.com.

This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.

 

 

 

 

 

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