Liberalismul şi imperiul: o poveste de dragoste?

Un articol publicat de Daniel McCarthy, editor al revistei The American Conservative, continuă să stârnească reacţii pe platformele conservatoare şi libertariene din Statele Unite la mai bine de două luni de la apariţie. Teza lui McCarthy, potrivit căreia “democraţia liberală” este un “accident” făcut posibil de existenţa Imperiilor Britanic şi American, a fost întâmpinată cu ostilitate de libertarieni şi conservatorii anti-intervenţionişti.

Câteva fragmente dintr-o dezbatere interesantă:

„Liberal democracy is unnatural. It is a product of power and security, not innate human sociability. It is peculiar rather than universal, accidental rather than teleologically preordained. And Americans have been shaped by its framework throughout their history; they have internalized liberalism’s habits and rationales. Not surprisingly, they have also acquired the habits and rationales of empire—and now they must understand why.” – Daniel McCarthy, “Why Liberalism Means Empire”

“Although I generally respect his writings, I must sadly conclude that McCarthy’s recent article in support of US empire was woefully deficient. Indeed, I would argue the exact opposite of what McCarthy tried to demonstrate. Specifically, if you allow your government to maintain an empire abroad, then you can’t possibly expect a free and open society at home. This fact is staring us in the face as police departments across the country accept the surplus military equipment used in foreign occupations.” – Robert P. Murphy, “A Free Society Must Give Up Empire”

„We’ve had enough experience with government to know that even well-intended policies will likely be turned to the benefit of special interests (“free-trade imperialism”) and that the people most adept at deception and most comfortable with administering the machinery of violence will be most attracted to political power and best at procuring it. What’s to keep the imperial apparatus from falling into the hands of politicians who see war and conquest as the keys not just to security but also to glory, manliness, and national greatness?” – Sheldon Richman, „Does Freedom Require Empire?”

„Richman compares the hazards of foreign policy to those of domestic economic planning. In the case of the economy, the libertarian alternative is the free market; no planning. In the case of foreign policy, is the libertarian alternative also no policy? How can a state in a world of states—all of which, as libertarians know, have a coercive character—have no foreign policy? It’s true that the less power foreign-policy planners have the less trouble they can get up to. This is something on which libertarians and realists who favor restraint can agree. But realists recognize that this tendency for too much power to lead to abuse must be weighed against the dangers of other states’ power. Libertarians seem to see no danger in that direction at all.” – Daniel McCarthy, “Does Liberalism Mean Empire?”

“Imperialism is the blood brother of statism, in economics and in politics: that’s one reason why we libertarians – and all freedom-loving people everywhere – oppose it. An empire must always be defended against those it oppresses, and this requires a “national security” bureaucracy that is constantly thinking up ways to expand its mission. From “defense” of the empire and its supposedly legitimate “interests” our policy morphs into “preemptive” warfare – the elimination of potential threats which, our leaders imagine, could possibly transform into real threats at a moment’s notice.” – Justin Raimondo, “The ‘Bitter Truth’: Empire and the Death of Liberalism”