Do you want to know why President
George W. Bush`s focus on the war against terror was
redirected to war against Iraq and the Muslim Middle
Professor Claes G. Ryn`s new book,
America the Virtuous: Crisis of Democracy and the Quest
Professor Ryn is a learned,
insightful, and courageous scholar who ably explains the
ideas that are destroying our country.
These ideas are the property of
neo-Jacobins. Professor Ryn calls the ideas “a recipe
for conflict and perpetual war.”
Neo-Jacobins are known to Americans as
neoconservatives, a clever
euphemism behind which hides a gang of radicals who
stand outside of, and opposed to, the American
tradition. The US has been subverted from within as
these counterfeit conservatives hold the reins of power
in the Bush administration.
Professor Ryn shows that Jacobins
have not a drop of conservative blood in their veins.
For example, the Jacobins` concept of morality is
abstract and ahistorical. It is a morality that is
divorced from the character of individuals and the
traditions of a people.
Jacobins are seduced by power. The
foundation of their abstract morality is their fantastic
claim to a monopoly on virtue. Secure in their belief in
their monopoly on virtue, Jacobins are prepared to use
force to impose virtue on other societies and to
reconstruct other societies in the Jacobin image.
Jacobin society is a centralized
one that subordinates individuals and their liberties to
abstract virtues. In short, it is an ideological society
imbued with assurance of moral superiority that
justifies its dominance over others, including its own
Virtue gives Jacobins a mandate to
rule the world in order to improve it. Opposed to the
American Republic that is based in traditional morality
and limits on power, the Jacobin agenda is to remake
America into an
empire capable of imposing virtue on the world.
Jacobin morality is divorced from
moral character, personal conduct, and treatment of
others. Jacobin morality expresses itself in benevolent
sentiments toward abstract entities. Human lives and
cultural diversity mean nothing compared to
“making the world safe for democracy” and
“liberating women from the Muslim yoke.” Jacobin
morality seeks to achieve a uniform unipolar world.
Possessed of an unrelenting will
to power, the Jacobins in the Bush administration,
together with their media allies, seized the opportunity
afforded by September 11 to meld America`s nationalistic
response to terrorism with the Jacobin ideological
agenda. Once Americans associated invading foreign
countries (Afghanistan) with the “war on terror,”
Jacobins shifted the “terrorist threat” to Iraq.
Now they are working to shift it to Syria, Iran, and
Lebanon. Next will be Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
It also explains why Jacobins are
unconcerned with our own country`s porous borders while
they seek to control
Middle Eastern borders. The hordes of young Mexicans
pouring into the US are a convenient source of
cannon fodder, just as President Lincoln redirected
the flow of
Irish immigrants in his day into the Union Army.
Jacobins are dangerous because
they lack historical understanding and rely on abstract
righteousness to impose ideological unity. Their drive
for like-mindedness implies coercion, the gulag and the
Orwellian state. The Jacobin agenda means the end of
Professor Ryn shows that Jacobins
are lost in abstractions and do not appreciate or
understand Western civilization as a human achievement
resulting from centuries of struggle to create moral
character. Self-restraint, empathy, and mutual respect
are necessary for pluralistic societies. However, such
genuine virtues have no role in the uniform Jacobin
It is difficult to quibble when
Professor Ryn writes that “monopolistic ideological
universalism that scorns historically formed societies
is a potential source of unending war and great
disasters.” Professor Ryn reports that many
Americans, including conservatives, find aspects of the
Jacobin message attractive without understanding where
it leads. The Jacobin quest for American world supremacy
appeals to nationalistic patriots, to macho types whose
response to September 11 is to
“kick butt,” to people fearful of terrorist
plots, to global business and financial interests, to
do-gooders anxious to spread democracy and
women`s rights, and to people who enjoy power and
success vicariously like fans of champion sports teams.
Jacobins are to be found among
both political parties and among both “conservative”
and “liberal” columnists. As a result of
befuddlement, Jacobins now control the formerly
conservative media, foundations and think tanks, and
they occupy most of the putatively “conservative”
posts in universities.
Professor Ryn acknowledges that he
is alerting us to the Jacobin threat late in the game.
Jacobins use their power and influence to
suppress dissent. Jacobin ends justify Jacobin
means. Thus, lies, deception, and manipulation cause
Jacobins no shame.
As Professor Ryn observes,
ambition unchecked by intellectual humility and moral
self-control is the source of tyranny.
Paul Craig Roberts is the author with Lawrence M.
The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice. Click
here for Peter Brimelow`s
Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the
recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.