by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Yoram Hazony identifies links between the “isms” in a National Review Online column.
My liberal friends and colleagues do not seem to understand that the advancing liberal construction is a form of imperialism. But to anyone already immersed in the new order, the resemblance is easy to see. Much like the pharaohs and the Babylonian kings, the Roman emperors and the Roman Catholic Church until well into the modern period, as well as the Marxists of the last century, liberals, too, have their grand theory about how they are going to bring peace and economic prosperity to the world by pulling down all the borders and uniting mankind under their own universal rule. Infatuated with the clarity and intellectual rigor of this vision, they disdain the laborious process of consulting with the multitude of nations they believe should embrace their view of what is right. And like other imperialists, they are quick to express disgust, contempt, and anger when their vision of peace and prosperity meets with opposition from those who they are sure would benefit immensely by simply submitting.
Liberal imperialism is not monolithic, of course. … These disagreements over how the international liberal empire is to be governed are often described as if they are historically novel, but this is hardly so. For the most part, they are simply the reincarnation of threadworn medieval debates between the emperor and the Pope over how the international Catholic should be governed — with the role of emperor being reprised by those (mostly Americans) who insist that authority must be concentrated in Washington, the political and military center; and the role of the papacy being played by those (mostly European, but also many American academics) who see ultimate authority as residing with the highest interpreters of the universal law, namely, the judicial institutions of the United Nations and the European Union.
One wonders how Jonah Goldberg might compare this notion of liberal imperialism with his own description of liberal fascism.