Anarchy and Unilateralism

Conservative Contradictions, Volume 5: Anarchy and Unilateralism

People here and there occasionally claim that some police officers are corrupt. Young radicals occasionally claim that hierarchical forms of government are all corrupt, or that centralized leadership is always abused by those in power.

Conservatives, along with other flavors of partisans, will meet those claims with a response like this: "Well, without police, without order, it will be anarchy! The STRONGEST will win, and they'll abuse everybody! It will be wild and awful. Nobody wants that. You don't want that, do you? We'd both be killed right now by some big brute."

The argument is valid. The sentiments behind it are popular. The prospect of being ruled by brutes run amok puts a sour look on our faces. Rightfully so.

Yet, American Foreign policy ends up justified by meat-heads on these grounds: "We are the biggest and the strongest, so obviously we are going to do this around the world, and do that around the world, and such and such, and protect our interests."

In other words, anarchy is a bad and frightening thing domestically, but on the global stage, anarchy is a justification for itself, as long as the mightiest nation is doing the justifying. The simple fact that power DOES act selfishly becomes proof that it VERY WELL OUGHT to act selfishly.

Next edition: Terrorism demands a total renovation of our legal concepts and our constitution, but hate crime legislation is silly.


War & Global Warming

Conservative Contradictions, Volume 4: War & Global Warming

If you say to a compassionate conservative that you may have noticed some shocking setbacks in the Iraq war, or that new levels of violence have been reached—perhaps a single violent day that was bloodier than any previous day—the person could justifiably point out that no matter the details of current events, the TREND might still be positive. Your conversational partner suddenly becomes an expert in statistical study, and an outspoken zealot of long-term line graphs and careful cautious research, and they might even hand you a pamphlet advertising a helpful community course in mathematics.

However, the same logic would never be applied to the matter of global warming. Nor would the logic even be comprehended if it were applied by somebody else.

A very violent day will never be viewed as evidence about the trend of a war. But, a record-setting cold day will be taken as definitive proof that global warming doesn't exist.

Next edition: Criticism of domestic authority is a naive invitation to turn our country into a dark jungle ravaged by anarchy, but in the global arena Might Makes Right as long as America is the champ.


Big Government and American Paradise

Conservative Contradictions, Volume 3: Big Government and the American Paradise

The American Experiment is a God-blessed gold-encrusted paradise sitting on the peak of an Olympian hill. Why is it so fantastic? Because the government is reducible to its people. It is a great experiment, the greatest experiment. By the people, for the people, of the people. It was achieved by bloodshed on hallowed ground. With all these stories in mind, America is vehemently cited as the freest and mightiest nation in history.

So the government is reducible to its people. But the fact that The People hold the sovereignty does not deter the accusation that government institutions are inherently corrupt, wasteful, self-serving, and out of control. They should be drowned in a bathtub.

A prudent person can doubt a government. Any government. Doubt them all. Doubt them into the ground, I say! But how can we consider something to be a golden god-blessed paradise at the same time that we find it so suspicious? We can't, unless we are stupid.

Next edition: A single unprecedentedly bad day in the Iraq war doesn't mean the trend is bad. However, one very cold day means that global warming doesn't exist.


Big Government and Big Military

Conservative Contradictions, Volume 2: Big Government and Big Military

Conservatives supposedly wish to reduce the size and expenditures of the government. The brilliant idea here is that bureaucracies are inherently self-serving and wasteful. Therefore, the government should be harshly scrutinized and criticized, and then strangled or drowned in a bathtub.

However, the most expensive and most physically powerful human institution ever created-- the present American military-- is never questioned by the compassionate conservative in terms of its motivations or its efficiency.

The military is run by a team of angels and housewives hand-picked by god, since it escapes all bureaucratic indictment. The military is not an institution, just as ancient Egypt is not African. They are both wonderful dreamworlds that exist in their own private universe.

Institutions, departments, governments, and everything else of the sort, have no scruples and inevitably fall prey to boundless human imperfection and corruptibility. A military however, has every scruple in the book. Nothing to see here. (In fact, all authoritarian institutions will be equally immune. For example, police forces.)

While any item that is, or resembles, an institution is fretted over and rushed at with axes like an overgrown forest of weeds, the single most imposing institution in history receives a halo and is excused from all the obvious failings that would be presumed for any other public organization.

Next Edition: The American Experiment, which is a golden god-blessed paradise on the peak of an Olympian hill, is so fantastic because the government is reducible to its people. At the same time, its government is a devilish plague.