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The Wilsonians’ Folly
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  • wigwag


    • Andrew Allison

      Too true.

  • Greg Olsen

    The problem with Wilsonianism in general is that its assumes that a Kantian paradise can be obtained. Its underlying philosophical assumptions are built into the international peace movement, Davos Man, and cosmopolitanism generally. The problem is that it presupposes a Weltanschauung that is not shared by the bulk of humanity.

    Combine the progressive vision that mankind can be perfected with utilitarian materialism (all social issues have material causes) and destroy the ability to make intercultural value judgments with the cult of multiculturalism and you get iatrogenic policies.

    Policy makers could do with a firmer grasp of reality, a dose of humility, and an appreciation for the tragic.

    Liberalism considers self-determination a universal good. That is fine and absolutely part of the American political philosophy, however, state building is messy. Africa has been beset with states lack of legitimacy, in ability to project control over their territory, and a propensity to personal rule and corruption that creates conditions for violent insurgencies and coups d’etat.

  • fastrackn1

    As I have said many times before, humans need to look at themselves as the animals that they are and stop thinking that because they have a large brain that they are not subject to the basic behaviors that animals possess, and that they can somehow rise above it.
    The stuff in this article has been going on for thousands of years between different peoples and it is not going to stop…and trying to stop it around the world is a waste of time. It is ‘only’ because of the modern civilization (here in the US and other developed countries), that we have built in the last few hundred years, that we have been able to stifle our basic human instincts. Most other countries don’t have a civilization that can stifle their instincts, so there is chaos.
    There is nothing more myopic than pie-in-the-sky do-gooders who live in the world the way it should be, not in the world the way it is.

    Anyway, let the electrical grid go down for several months in this country and we will see our true nature, and just how uncivilized we actually are….

    • Fred

      Sorry ft1, but that sounds to me like a shallow cynicism dressed in a facile scientism. That humans are animals is hardly a recent discovery, nor is the fact that humans and their cultures are neither infinitely pliable nor perfectible (One reason I’m a Christian is that, as GK Chesterton said, original sin is the only religious doctrine that can be empirically verified.) All that said, humans are not just any animals. That “big brain,” what before 19th century scientism was called rationality, does separate us from other animals and gives us options they do not have, one of which is civilized behavior. Tragically, it is not an option every culture chooses, and it never will be. That’s why Wilsonianism will always fail.

      As for your electrical grid comment: Yes, in such an event many people would adopt an “every man for himself” attitude. And many
      others would come together to protect themselves and each other. There would indeed be great barbarism, savagery, and cruelty. There would also be equally great heroism, kindness, and generosity. To paraphrase the bard, There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your cynicism and scientism.

      • fastrackn1

        Actually it’s not shallow cynicism, it is reality…and there is plenty of evidence all around us, and also historically. I don’t go through life looking at things with flowery optimism or intellect, nor do I ignore what humans are at their core…again, it is just reality…but I know that offends types like you…oh well.
        Scientism, again, deals with reality through overwhelming evidence…what is written by ‘men’ in a 2000 year old book, does not…offended again?…oh well.
        No we are not just any animals, but are animals nonetheless…which is why we behave the way we do sans modern civilizations or technology…which was the point of my comment above and how it applies to the article above.
        Because of the living conditions in these places, people behave the way they do, and no amount of Wilsonianism is going to change that…and why those peoples are living in the conditions that they are is a whole different conversation…but your type can’t handle my thoughts on that, so I won’t even go there at this time.

        Humans are ‘only’ able to create these cultures of kindness and softness like we have here because of their technologies that have brought their modern civilizations, not because their basic instincts allow them to…that is my point. Not long ago we were slaughtering Indians and slaves, and burning people at the steak.
        Taking away electricity would simply show us what we really are, despite some random acts of kindness…simple fact.

        Bard??…I want to talk reality, and you want to talk poetry…okay pal, sure….

  • rheddles

    Smarter Wilsonians

    Boy, there’s an oxymoron.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I have no respect for Wilsonians. Their solution to every problem is to throw money at it with redistribution (Socialism) from the wealthy to the poor. Without any thought to the economic law of Supply and Demand and the “Feedback of Competition” that forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price in free markets. They see a famine and they give out free food, which hurts the good farmers undercutting the prices that were going to get paid for being good farmers. It also allows people to avoid taking actions like moving elsewhere, to improve their prospects of a future. They see war and injustice and they want the criminals bombed out of existence. Without any thought to what will take the place of the resulting power vacuum. In their arrogance Wilsonians see themselves as better than everyone else, and that they should have the authority to make their decisions for them.
    I say let the market work its magic, let people find their own way, let competition force them to improve.

  • gabrielsyme

    In Egypt, the result appears to be a smarter, though perhaps harsher dictatorship. There at least the dice roll has ended (relatively) happily, though even that moderately decent result is reliant on the hopes of the Wilsonians being completely reversed.

  • Vadim Pashkov

    Dr Watson told The Sunday Times that he was “inherently gloomy about the
    prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the
    fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the
    testing says not really”. He said there was a natural desire that all
    human beings should be equal but “people who have to deal with black
    employees find this not true”.

  • Anthony

    Wilsonians must first acknowledge (especially in parts of sub-Saharan Africa)conflict is driven by “weak institutions” – “if a country has legitimate, strong, and effective institutions, the discovery of diamonds or oil on its territory will not tempt rebel groups to grab them or foreign powers to meddle in their exploitation.” Wilsonians (to use WRM’s appellation) assume perhaps too much along lines of R2P (Responsibility to Protect).

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