by John Hawkins | August 15, 2002 5:06 pm
The Problem With The European Left: Justin Sodano from The Weigh In sent me an email asking what I thought about one of Steven Den Beste’s latest editorials. Den Beste talks about “Transnational Progressivism” which I’d basically define left-wing internationalism.This philosophy encompasses all the usual claptrap that the left, in particular the European-left, loves to promote. International law, the United Nations, multiculturalism, the more fascist tendencies of the EU, anti-nationalism, moral equivalence, victimology, etc.
The biggest problem with the European left’s view of the world is that they’ve totally misunderstood what happened to Europe after World War 2. They look at what has been a relatively peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious 60 years in Europe and believe that diplomacy, brilliant European leadership, and a commitment to cooperation made it all happen. This is like assuming that people pay income tax because politicians have passed laws that require them to do. Actually, that’s not the case. People pay income taxes because if they refused to do so, someone with a gun will show up and force them to pay their taxes or be put in jail. If there was no longer a threat of men with guns showing up to put people in prison for not paying their taxes, the amount of revenue collected would quickly fall off to almost nothing.
Therein lies the problem the European left’s view of their post WW2 world. Without the US and the rest of NATO defending Western Europe from the Soviets and enforcing the rule of law in Western Europe itself, all the diplomacy and treaties in the world wouldn’t have made one bit of difference. United Nations resolutions and condemning things in the ‘strongest terms’ means exactly jack diddley squat in non-Western countries. Do you think Saddam Hussein cares if the EU condemns him for gassing the Kurds? Do you think a United Nations resolution would dissuade the Iran from developing nuclear weapons? Do you think a few European nations sending their ambassadors home would keep China from invading Taiwan? Even sanctions don’t mean much in the days of global economy. Europe couldn’t cut off all trade with China or stop buying oil from the Middle East without causing a depression back at home that their citizens would never tolerate.
There is an ultimate truth about the war that the European-left can’t bear to face. If they ever achieved their goal and convinced the United States that they were right, that treaties, diplomacy, and UN resolutions were the way to go, the world would quickly devolve into chaos, war, and a total breakdown of global order within a decade. Maybe it would take that sort of brutal savagery to wake up the internationalist lefties, but the rest of us shouldn’t have to experience that sort nightmare to recognize the reality in front of our faces.
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