A Journal for Western Man
The Smear Campaign against
G. Stolyarov II
Issue II- September 2, 2002
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.
It is an either-or choice: Imperialism or Attila-ism. You decide.
This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.
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.