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Curious premises

Reader comment on item: [Bureaucratic Leftism and] Globalthink's Perils

Submitted by Mark Baber (Switzerland), Sep 26, 2002 at 07:06

Hi Daniel,
I hail from New Zealand, one of the left's predictable targets, to paraphrase your introduction. I rather suspect it's one of the right's predictable targets too, but that doesn't seem to deserve a mention these days.

I do not identify myself as belonging to any particular mainstream religious philosophy - I suppose I'm a heathen to all of them. So I acknowledge that I write as a "religious minority".

I was a little surprised to see your comments start with the premises that the U.S. government has an over two-century record of forwarding human rights and defeating tyrants, and that the United States has duly elected leaders.

There are many histories and facts that indicate that "some" U.S. government officials have promoted human rights and helped defeat tyrants, and "some" have done exactly the opposite.

It's rather a large dispute throughout the world and the U.S. at present as to whether the United States electoral system is indeed democratic or not, and I'm sure you are aware of the debate and issues concerned. Are they indeed "duly elected" ?

You seem to group them all together - they're all so wonderful, and none can be criticised for personal, national, or global mistakes or unjustified bias.

Proceeding from this point to a discussion of "the strange idea" that none of them or their motives should be subject to scrutiny by anyone who is not an American official (most of the U.N.), completely undermines your arguments and justification for the vilification of the 'left' , whoever they might be.

Dodgy premises, leap of logic, and then such conclusions ?

I'm very keen to hear a rational explanation for American governance of the world's affairs according to its own "interests", but don't see this in your message.

As an aside, I believe New Zealand has strict limits on political campaign finance, and has no recent history of election fraud or misrepresentation. It may well be that "transnational progressivism" represents "a" significant challenge to liberal democracy", but purchased elections and campaign fraud represent "a" challenge as well - which is the "more significant" challenge ?

If campaign finance control makes for a backward step in democracy, I guess that makes most New Zealanders positively regressive. Maybe the first regressive step was leading the western world to grant women the right to vote ? Just kidding, Daniel, just kidding.

I'm so astonished to read other comments that seem to indicate that the American authors truly believe America to be a democratic republic - by what independent, verifiable criteria would one measure this by ? The last elections ? (Shudder)

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