Margaret Thatcher’s Sermon on the Mound

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

1988 May 21

I am greatly honoured to have been invited to attend the opening of this 1988 General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; and I am deeply grateful that you have now asked me to address you.

I am very much aware of the historical continuity extending over four centuries, during which the position of the Church of Scotland has been recognised in constitutional law and confirmed by successive Sovereigns. It sprang from the independence of mind and rigour of thought that have always been such powerful characteristics of the Scottish people, as I have occasion to know. It has remained close to its roots and has inspired a commitment to service from all people.

I am therefore very sensible of the important influence which the Church of Scotland exercises in the life of the whole nation, both at the spiritual level and through the extensive caring services which are provided by your Church’s department of social responsibility. And I am conscious also of the value of the continuing links which the Church of Scotland maintains with other Churches.

Perhaps it would be best, Moderator, if I began by speaking personally as a Christian, as well as a politician, about the way I see things. Reading recently, I came across the starkly simple phrase:

“Christianity is about spiritual redemption, not social reform”.

Sometimes the debate on these matters has become too polarised and given the impression that the two are quite separate. But most Christians would regard it as their personal Christian duty to help their fellow men and women. They would regard the lives of children as a precious trust. These duties come not from any secular legislation passed by Parliament, but from being a Christian.

But there are a number of people who are not Christians who would also accept those responsibilities. What then are the distinctive marks of Christianity?

They stem not from the social but from the spiritual side of our lives, and personally, I would identify three beliefs in particular:

First, that from the beginning man has been endowed by God with the fundamental right to choose between good and evil. And second, that we were made in God’s own image and, therefore, we are expected to use all our own power of thought and judgement in exercising that choice; and further, that if we open our hearts to God, He has promised to work within us. And third, that Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, when faced with His terrible choice and lonely vigil chose to lay down His life that our sins may be forgiven. I remember very well a sermon on an Armistice Sunday when our Preacher said, “No one took away the life of Jesus , He chose to lay it down”.

I think back to many discussions in my early life when we all agreed that if you try to take the fruits of Christianity without its roots, the fruits will wither. And they will not come again unless you nurture the roots.

But we must not profess the Christian faith and go to Church simply because we want social reforms and benefits or a better standard of behaviour;but because we accept the sanctity of life, the responsibility that comes with freedom and the supreme sacrifice of Christ expressed so well in the hymn:

“When I survey the wondrous Cross, On which the Prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride.”

May I also say a few words about my personal belief in the relevance of Christianity to public policy—to the things that are Caesar’s?

The Old Testament lays down in Exodus the Ten Commandments as given to Moses , the injunction in Leviticus to love our neighbour as ourselves and generally the importance of observing a strict code of law. The New Testament is a record of the Incarnation, the teachings of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Again we have the emphasis on loving our neighbour as ourselves and to “Do-as-you-would-be-done-by”.

I believe that by taking together these key elements from the Old and New Testaments, we gain: a view of the universe, a proper attitude to work, and principles to shape economic and social life.

We are told we must work and use our talents to create wealth. “If a man will not work he shall not eat” wrote St. Paul to the Thessalonians. Indeed, abundance rather than poverty has a legitimacy which derives from the very nature of Creation.

Nevertheless, the Tenth Commandment—Thou shalt not covet—recognises that making money and owning things could become selfish activities. But it is not the creation of wealth that is wrong but love of money for its own sake. The spiritual dimension comes in deciding what one does with the wealth. How could we respond to the many calls for help, or invest for the future, or support the wonderful artists and craftsmen whose work also glorifies God, unless we had first worked hard and used our talents to create the necessary wealth? And remember the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment.

I confess that I always had difficulty with interpreting the Biblical precept to love our neighbours “as ourselves” until I read some of the words of C.S. Lewis. He pointed out that we don’t exactly love ourselves when we fall below the standards and beliefs we have accepted. Indeed we might even hate ourselves for some unworthy deed.

None of this, of course, tells us exactly what kind of political and social institutions we should have. On this point, Christians will very often genuinely disagree, though it is a mark of Christian manners that they will do so with courtesy and mutual respect. What is certain, however, is that any set of social and economic arrangements which is not founded on the acceptance of individual responsibility will do nothing but harm.

We are all responsible for our own actions. We can’t blame society if we disobey the law. We simply can’t delegate the exercise of mercy and generosity to others. The politicians and other secular powers should strive by their measures to bring out the good in people and to fight down the bad: but they can’t create the one or abolish the other. They can only see that the laws encourage the best instincts and convictions of the people, instincts and convictions which I’m convinced are far more deeply rooted than is often supposed.

Nowhere is this more evident than the basic ties of the family which are at the heart of our society and are the very nursery of civic virtue. And it is on the family that we in government build our own policies for welfare, education and care.

You recall that Timothy was warned by St. Paul that anyone who neglects to provide for his own house (meaning his own family) has disowned the faith and is “worse than an infidel”.

We must recognise that modern society is infinitely more complex than that of Biblical times and of course new occasions teach new duties. In our generation, the only way we can ensure that no-one is left without sustenence, help or opportunity, is to have laws to provide for health and education, pensions for the elderly, succour for the sick and disabled.

But intervention by the State must never become so great that it effectively removes personal responsibility. The same applies to taxation; for while you and I would work extremely hard whatever the circumstances, there are undoubtedly some who would not unless the incentive was there. And we need their efforts too.

Moderator, recently there have been great debates about religious education. I believe strongly that politicians must see that religious education has a proper place in the school curriculum.

In Scotland, as in England, there is an historic connection expressed in our laws between Church and State. The two connections are of a somewhat different kind, but the arrangements in both countries are designed to give symbolic expression to the same crucial truth: that the Christian religion—which, of course, embodies many of the great spiritual and moral truths of Judaism—is a fundamental part of our national heritage. And I believe it is the wish of the overwhelming majority of people that this heritage should be preserved and fostered. For centuries it has been our very life blood. And indeed we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Bible.

Also, it is quite impossible to understand our history or literature without grasping this fact, and that’s the strong practical case for ensuring that children at school are given adequate instruction in the part which the Judaic-Christian tradition has played in moulding our laws, manners and institutions. How can you make sense of Shakespeare and Sir Walter Scott, or of the constitutional conflicts of the 17th century in both Scotland and England, without some such fundamental knowledge?

But I go further than this. The truths of the Judaic-Christian tradition are infinitely precious, not only, as I believe, because they are true, but also because they provide the moral impulse which alone can lead to that peace, in the true meaning of the word, for which we all long.

To assert absolute moral values is not to claim perfection for ourselves. No true Christian could do that. What is more, one of the great principles of our Judaic-Christian inheritance is tolerance. People with other faiths and cultures have always been welcomed in our land, assured of equality under the law, of proper respect and of open friendship. There’s absolutely nothing incompatible between this and our desire to maintain the essence of our own identity. There is no place for racial or religious intolerance in our creed.

When Abraham Lincoln spoke in his famous Gettysburg speech of 1863 of “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, he gave the world a neat definition of democracy which has since been widely and enthusiastically adopted. But what he enunciated as a form of government was not in itself especially Christian, for nowhere in the Bible is the word democracy mentioned. Ideally, when Christians meet, as Christians, to take counsel together their purpose is not (or should not be) to ascertain what is the mind of the majority but what is the mind of the Holy Spirit—something which may be quite different.

Nevertheless I am an enthusiast for democracy. And I take that position, not because I believe majority opinion is inevitably right or true—indeed no majority can take away God-given human rights—but because I believe it most effectively safeguards the value of the individual, and, more than any other system, restrains the abuse of power by the few. And that is a Christian concept.

But there is little hope for democracy if the hearts of men and women in democratic societies cannot be touched by a call to something greater than themselves. Political structures, state institutions, collective ideals—these are not enough.

We Parliamentarians can legislate for the rule of law. You, the Church, can teach the life of faith.

But when all is said and done, the politician’s role is a humble one. I always think that the whole debate about the Church and the State has never yielded anything comparable in insight to that beautiful hymn “I Vow to Thee my Country”. It begins with a triumphant assertion of what might be described as secular patriotism, a noble thing indeed in a country like ours:

“I vow to thee my country all earthly things above; entire, whole and perfect the service of my love”.

It goes on to speak of “another country I heard of long ago” whose King can’t be seen and whose armies can’t be counted, but “soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase”. Not group by group, or party by party, or even church by church—but soul by soul—and each one counts.

That, members of the Assembly, is the country which you chiefly serve. You fight your cause under the banner of an historic Church. Your success matters greatly—as much to the temporal as to the spiritual welfare of the nation. I leave you with that earnest hope that may we all come nearer to that other country whose “ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.”

Moral Foundations of Society

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

The Moral Foundations of the American Founding

History has taught us that freedom cannot long survive unless it is based on moral foundations. The American founding bears ample witness to this fact. America has become the most powerful nation in history, yet she uses her power not for territorial expansion but to perpetuate freedom and justice throughout the world.

For over two centuries, Americans have held fast to their belief in freedom for all men—a belief that springs from their spiritual heritage. John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in 1789, “Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” That was an astonishing thing to say, but it was true.

What kind of people built America and thus prompted Adams to make such a statement? Sadly, too many people, especially young people, have a hard time answering that question. They know little of their own history (This is also true in Great Britain.) But America’s is a very distinguished history, nonetheless, and it has important lessons to teach us regarding the necessity of moral foundations.

John Winthrop, who led the Great Migration to America in the early 17th century and who helped found the Massachusetts Bay Colony, declared, “We shall be as a City upon a Hill.” On the voyage to the New World, he told the members of his company that they must rise to their responsibilities and learn to live as God intended men should live: in charity, love, and cooperation with one another. Most of the early founders affirmed the colonists were infused with the same spirit, and they tried to live in accord with a Biblical ethic. They felt they weren’t able to do so in Great Britain or elsewhere in Europe. Some of them were Protestant, and some were Catholic; it didn’t matter. What mattered was that they did not feel they had the liberty to worship freely and, therefore, to live freely, at home. With enormous courage, the first American colonists set out on a perilous journey to an unknown land—without government subsidies and not in order to amass fortunes but to fulfill their faith.

Christianity is based on the belief in a single God as evolved from Judaism. Most important of all, the faith of America’s founders affirmed the sanctity of each individual. Every human life—man or woman, child or adult, commoner or aristocrat, rich or poor—was equal in the eyes of the Lord. It also affirmed the responsibility of each individual.

This was not a faith that allowed people to do whatever they wished, regardless of the consequences. The Ten Commandments, the injunction of Moses (“Look after your neighbor as yourself”), the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule made Americans feel precious—and also accountable—for the way in which they used their God-given talents. Thus they shared a deep sense of obligation to one another. And, as the years passed, they not only formed strong communities but devised laws that would protect individual freedom—laws that would eventually be enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Freedom with Responsibility

Great Britain, which shares much of her history in common with America, has also derived strength from its moral foundations, especially since the 18th century when freedom gradually began to spread throughout her socie!y Many people were greatly influenced by the sermons of John Wesley (1703-1791), who took the Biblical ethic to the people in a way which the institutional church itself had not done previously.

But we in the West must also recognize our debt to other cultures. In the pre-Christian era, for example, the ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle had much to contribute to our understanding of such concepts as truth, goodness, and virtue. They knew full well that responsibility was the price of freedom. Yet it is doubtful whether truth, goodness, and virtue founded on reason alone would have endured in the same way as they did in the West, where they were based upon a Biblical ethic.

Sir Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote tellingly of the collapse of Athens, which was the birthplace of democracy. He judged that, in the end, more than they wanted freedom, the Athenians wanted security. Yet they lost everything—security, comfort, and freedom. This was because they wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them. The freedom they were seeking was freedom from responsibility. It is no wonder, then, that they ceased to be free. In the modern world, we should recall the Athenians’ dire fate whenever we confront demands for increased state paternalism.

To cite a more recent lesson in the importance of moral foundations, we should listen to Czech President Vaclav Havel, who suffered grievously for speaking up for freedom when his nation was still under the thumb of communism. He has observed, “In everyone there is some longing for humanity’s rightful dignity, for moral integrity, and for a sense that transcends the world of existence.” His words suggest that in spite of all the dread terrors of communism, it could not crush the religious fervor of the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

So long as freedom, that is, freedom with responsibility, is grounded in morality and religion, it will last far longer than the kind that is grounded only in abstract, philosophical notions. Of course, many foes of morality and religion have attempted to argue that new scientific discoveries make belief in God obsolete, but what they actually demonstrate is the remarkable and unique nature of man and the universe. It is hard not to believe that these gifts were given by a divine Creator, who alone can unlock the secrets of existence.

Societies Without Moral Foundations

The most important problems we have to tackle today are problems, ultimately, having to do with the moral foundations of society There are people who eagerly accept their own freedom but do not respect the freedom of others—they, like the Athenians, want freedom from responsibility. But if they accept freedom for themselves, they must respect the freedom of others. If they expect to go about their business unhindered and to be protected from violence, they must not hinder the business of or do violence to others.

They would do well to look at what has happened in societies without moral foundations. Accepting no laws but the laws of force, these societies have been ruled by totalitarian ideologies like Nazism, fascism, and communism, which do not spring from the general populace, but are imposed on it by intellectual elites.

It was two members of such an elite, Marx and Lenin, who conceived of “dialectical materialism,” the basic doctrine of communism. It robs people of all freedom—from freedom of worship to freedom of ownership. Marx and Lenin desired to substitute their will not only for all individual will but for God’s will. They wanted to planeverything; in short, they wanted to become gods. Theirs was a breathtakingly arrogant creed, and it denied above all else the sanctity of human life.

The 19th century French economist and philosopher Frederic Bastiat once warned against this creed. He questioned those who, “though they are made of the same human clay as the rest of us, think they can take away all our freedoms and exercise them on our behalf.” He would have been appalled but not surprised that the communists of the 20th century took away the freedom of millions of individuals, starting with the freedom to worship. The communists viewed religion as “the opiate of the people.” They seized Bibles as well as all other private property at gun point and murdered at least 10 million souls in the process.

Thus 20th century Russia entered into the greatest experiment in government and atheism the world had ever seen, just as America several centuries earlier had entered into the world’s greatest experiment in freedom and faith.

Communism denied all that the Judeo-Christian tradition taught about individual worth, human dignity, and moral responsibility. It was not surprising that it collapsed after a relatively brief existence. It could not survive more than a few generations because it denied human nature, which is fundamentally moral and spiritual. (It is true that no one predicted the collapse would come so quickly and so easily. In retrospect, we know that this was due in large measure to the firmness of President Ronald Reagan who said, in effect, to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “Do not try to beat us militarily, and do not think that you can extend your creed to the rest of the world by force.”)

The West began to fight the mora! battle against communism in earnest in the 1980s, and it was our resolve—combined with the spiritual strength of the people suffering under the system who finally said, “Enough!”—that helped restore freedom in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union—the freedom to worship, speak, associate, vote, establish political parties, start businesses, own property, and much more. If communism had been a creed with moral foundations, it might have survived, but it was not, and it simply could not sustain itself in a world that had such shining examples of freedom, namely, America and Great Britain.

The Moral Foundations of Capitalism

It is important to understand that the moral foundations of a society do not extend only to its political system; they must extend to its economic system as well. America’s commitment to capitalism is unquestionably the best example of this principle. Capitalism is not, contrary to what those on the Left have tried to argue, an amoral system based on selfishness, greed, and exploitation. It is a moral system based on a Biblical ethic. There is no other comparable system that has raised the standard of living of millions of people, created vast new wealth and resources, or inspired so many beneficial innovations and technologies.

The wonderful thing about capitalism is that it does not discriminate against the poor, as has been so often charged; indeed, it is the only economic system that raises the poor out of poverty. Capitalism also allows nations that are not rich in natural resources to prosper. If resources were the key to wealth, the richest country in the world would be Russia, because it has abundant supplies of everything from oil, gas, platinum, gold, silver, aluminum, and copper to timber, water, wildlife, and fertile soil.

Why isn’t Russia the wealthiest country in the world? Why aren’t other resource-rich countries in the Third World at the top of the list? It is because their governments deny citizens the liberty to use their God-given talents. Man’s greatest resource is himself, but he must be free to use that resource.

In his recent encyclical, Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul I1 addressed this issue. He wrote that the collapse of communism is not merely to be considered as a “technical problem.” It is a consequence of the violation of human rights. He specifically referred to such human rights as the right to private initiative, to own property, and to act in the marketplace. Remember the “Parable of the Talents” in the New Testament? Christ exhorts us to be the best we can be by developing our skills and abilities, by succeeding in all our tasks and endeavors. What better description can there be of capitalism? In creating new products, new services, and new jobs, we create a vibrant community of work. And that community of work serves as the basis of peace and good will among all men.

The Pope also acknowledged that capitalism encourages important virtues, like diligence, industriousness, prudence, reliability, fidelity, conscientiousness, and a tendency to save in order to invest in the future. It is not material goods but all of these great virtues, exhibited by individuals working together, that constitute what we call the “marketplace.”

The Moral Foundations of the Law

Freedom, whether it is the freedom of the marketplace or any other kind, must exist within the framework of law. 0thenvise it means only freedom for the strong to oppress the weak. Whenever I visit the former Soviet Union, I stress this point with students, scholars, politicians, and businessmen—in short, with everyone I meet. Over and over again, I repeat: Freedom must be informed by the principle of justice in order to make it work between people. A system of laws based on solid moral foundations must regulate the entire life of a nation.

But this is an extremely difficult point to get across to people with little or no experience with laws except those based on force. The concept of justice is entirely foreign to communism. So, too, is the concept of equality. For over seventy years, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had no system of common law. There were only the arbitrary and often contradictory dictates of the Communist Party. There was no independent judiciary There was no such thing as truth in the communist system.

And what is freedom without truth? I have been a scientist, a lawyer, and a politician, and from my own experience I can testify that it is nothing. The third century Roman jurist Julius Paulus said, “What is right is not derived from the rule, but the rule arises from our knowledge of what is right.” In other words, the law is founded on what we believe to be true and just. It has moral foundations. Once again, it is important to note that the free societies of America and Great Britain derive such foundations from a Biblical ethic.

The Moral Foundations of Democracy

Democracy is never mentioned in the Bible. When people are gathered together, whether as families, communities or nations, their purpose is not to ascertain the will of the majority, but the will of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I am an enthusiast of democracy because it is about more than the will of the majority. If it were only about the will of the majority, it would be the right of the majority to oppress the minority. The American Declaration of Independence and Constitution make it clear that this is not the case. There are certain rights which are human rights and which no government can displace. And when it comes to how you Americans exercise your rights under democracy, your hearts seem to be touched by something greater than yourselves. Your role in democracy does not end when you cast your vote in an election. It applies daily; the standards and values that are the moral foundations of society are also the foundations of your lives.

Democracy is essential to preserving freedom. As Lord Acton reminded us, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If no individual can be trusted with power indefinitely, it is even more true that no government can be. It has to be checked, and the best way of doing so is through the will of the majority, bearing in mind that this will can never be a substitute for individual human rights.

I am often asked whether I think there will be a single international democracy, known as a “new world order.” Though many of us may yearn for one, I do not believe it will ever arrive. We are misleading ourselves about human nature when we say, “Surely we’re too civilized, too reasonable, ever to go to war again,” or, “We can rely on our governments to get together and reconcile our differences.” Tyrants are not moved by idealism. They are moved by naked ambition. Idealism did not stop Hitler; it did not stop Stalin. Our best hope as sovereign nations is to maintain strong defenses. Indeed, that has been one of the most important moral as well as geopolitical lessons of the 20th century. Dictators are encouraged by weakness; they are stopped by strength. By strength, of course, I do not merely mean military might but the resolve to use that might against evil.

The West did show sufficient resolve against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. But we failed bitterly in Bosnia. In this case, instead of showing resolve, we preferred “diplomacy” and “consensus.” As a result, a quarter of a million people were massacred. This was a horror that I, for one, never expected to see again in my lifetime. But it happened. Who knows what tragedies the future holds if we do not learn from the repeated lessons of histoy? The price of freedom is still, and always will be, eternal vigilance.

Free societies demand more care and devotion than any others. They are, moreover, the only societies with moral foundations, and those foundations are evident in their political, economic, legal, cultural, and, most importantly, spiritual life.

We who are living in the West today are fortunate. Freedom has been bequeathed to us. We have not had to carve it out of nothing; we have not had to pay for it with our lives. Others before us have done so. But it would be a grave mistake to think that freedom requires nothing of us. Each of us has to earn freedom anew in order to possess it. We do so not just for our own sake, but for the sake of our children, so that they may build a better future that will sustain over the wider world the responsibilities and blessings of freedom.

November 1994

Ode to greed: Down to 6 deadly sins

By William Safire

January 5, 1986

William Safire

O Greed! You have never had a decent press. For centuries -yea, millennia – you have been blacklisted as one of the seven sins, usually under the names of Avarice or Covetousness, that lead to the death of the spirit. I hold no brief for Anger, Envy, Lust, Gluttony, Pride, Envy or Sloth – certainly not Sloth – all worthy objects of St. Gregory’s wrath when he jotted down the list in 600 A.D. However, in the light of a strange new turn the world is taking, the time has come for a re-examination of the case against Greed with a view toward its delisting. Greed is a hunger for ”more.” Moral philosophers have characterized this natural human urge to accumulate the accoutrements of the good life, or at least the comfortable life, as a slavering grasp for more than one’s share. Implicit in this derogation of Greed is the idea that everyone should have the same portion of worldly goods and it is morally corrupt to want to snatch away the other guy’s little pile.

Along came Karl Marx, exploiting the universal knock put on Greed by promising to divvy everything up so that nobody would have more than the next guy. But wherever his followers have put this anti-Greed notion into practice, most people’s little pile of food dwindled.

For 75  years, commissars in Moscow have been blaming the weather for the need to import food from countries where Greed is the driving force of the economic system. But Nature is not to blame: the fault lies in denying human nature.

As a result of the repeated failures of the Greed-bashers, consider what is happening in the world:

IN CHINA, where the redistribution schemes of Mao led to famine and depression and misdirected energies, a hundred flowers of prosperity are beginning to bloom. The reason is that peasants have been permitted to let Greed determine their work output, and this self-serving idea – apologized for as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” by Deng – will, if there is no Great Leap Backward, allow a billion individuals to support themselves.

In Britain, where a powerful socialist labor movement led the nation into the Welfare State and near-bankruptcy, union members from the coal mines to Fleet Street are undercutting their ideological leaders. State-owned companies and utilities are going private again, as the man in the street has come to understand that it is more blessed to produce than to distribute.

IN FRANCE, the Socialists came to power, nationalized the banks, and put the controlled economy through a wringer. In a few years, the Socialists had to backtrack madly in hopes of staying in power, and now the nouveaux economistes are demanding abolishment of state ownership, reduction of taxes and state services, and a realization that a Frenchman coined the term laissez faire.

Even in Russia, where enforced equality is still espoused at least in theory (while a New Class has risen to ride herd on the avarice of the worker) talk of reform is in the air. In Tbilisi, where the state buses run few and far between, the buses are being sold to the bus drivers; if such an experiment in enterprise works in Georgia, a great many card-carrying party members freezing in lonely bus stops are going to be glad to let avaricious drivers make a profit.

IN THIS CAULDRON of boiling change, what cooks?

Greed is finally being recognized as a virtue. Dressed in euphemism – “the profit motive” or “growth incentives” or “the entrepreneurial spirit” – our not-so-deadly sin turns out to be the best engine of betterment known to man.

The world has learned that to concentrate on divvying-up diminishes us all, while scrambling to help ourselves helps others; without Greed, there is no wherewithal for Generosity.

By hustling to improve our station, by indulging the desire for necessities that becomes a lust for luxuries, by competing to make our pile bigger, we engage in the great invisible handshake that enlarges pies, lifts all boats and enriches us without impoverishing our neighbor.

THE ROOT of the word greed is “hunger,” and the cure for world hunger is the driving force of Greed. Yes, governments can enforce limits and moralists can urge moderation – I recognize there can be too much of a good thing – but only a hearty welcome to the demands of the truly greedy can insure ample supply for the truly needy.

Okay, we’re down to six deadly sins. In a world in which so many suffer from lack of self-esteem, anybody want to take a crack at Pride?

Battle of Evil Empire by Frank Warner

President Reagan’s Evil Empire Speech, often credited with hastening the end of Soviet totalitarianism, almost didn’t happen.

According to presidential papers obtained by The Morning Call, Reagan was thwarted on at least one earlier occasion from using the same blunt, anti-communist phrases he spoke from the bully pulpit 17 years ago this week.

And former Reagan aides now say it was their furtive effort in the winter of 1983 that slipped the boldest of words past a timid bureaucracy.

With clever calculation, the Evil Empire Speech eluded U.S. censors to score a direct hit on the Soviet Union.

“It was the stealth speech,” said one Reagan aide.

In the spring of 1982, the president felt the reins on his rhetoric. The first draft of his address to the British Parliament labeled the Soviet Union the world’s “focus of evil.” He liked the text. But Parliament never heard those words.

U.S. diplomats and cautious Reagan advisers sanitized the text of the speech, removing its harshest terms, according to documents from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.

But nine months later, Reagan spoke in Orlando, Fla., and delivered many of the passages deleted from the London address. His Orlando speech is known as the Evil Empire Speech.

The speech alarmed moderates of the West, delighted millions living under Soviet oppression and set off a global chain reaction that many believe led inexorably to the fall of the Berlin Wall and to freedom for most of Eastern Europe.

The Reagan Library papers provide fascinating insights into the drafting of what may have been the most important presidential statement of the Cold War. They also reveal that, despite the unremitting influences on him, the president himself decided what he would say.
“Let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, predict its eventual domination of all peoples of the Earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world,” Reagan told the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983.

An audience of 1,200 was first to hear the words “focus of evil” in the Citrus Crown Ballroom at the Sheraton Twin Towers Hotel in Orlando.

And other phrases slashed from the Parliament speech were resurrected in the Evil Empire Speech.

» The 1982 first draft said, “Those cliches of conquest we have heard so often from the East are … part of a sad, bizarre, dreadfully evil episode in history, but an episode that is dying, a chapter whose last pages even now are being written.” The sentence was censored in London, but in Orlando Reagan said, “I believe that Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written.”

» The London first draft included the words of the late British novelist C.S. Lewis: “The greatest evil is not in those sordid dens of crime that Dickens loved to paint. … It is conceived and ordered … in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men.” The words were held until Orlando.

» The British were to be told that appeasement is “the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.” The phrase was cut. In Orlando then, Reagan said, “But if history teaches anything, it teaches: simple-minded appeasement or wishful thinking about our adversaries is folly — it means the betrayal of our past, the squandering of our freedom.”

» Also eliminated from the London speech was the reference to the Soviet Union as a “militaristic empire” whose ideology justifies any wrongdoing. In the Evil Empire Speech, the empire concept returned in a more powerful form.

Anthony R. Dolan, Reagan’s chief speechwriter at the time, said he doesn’t remember exactly which excised parts of the Parliament speech, often called the Westminster Address, resurfaced in the Evil Empire Speech. But he said it wasn’t unusual for a White House writer to try the same words twice.

“You mean, was I recycling? Yes,” Dolan said in a phone interview. “Sure, we did that all the time.”

Dolan, now a Washington, D.C., consultant to Republican politicians, was principal author of both the Westminster Address and the Evil Empire Speech, but he doesn’t claim either speech as his own.

“They’re the president’s phrases,” he said of the Evil Empire Speech. “I wrote a draft. The president gave a speech.”

But Dolan did write the paragraph that gave the Evil Empire Speech its name. In it, Reagan called on the evangelical ministers to oppose a “nuclear freeze,” which would have prevented deployment of nuclear-tipped missiles in Western Europe to counter Soviet missiles in Eastern Europe.

The “evil empire” paragraph was never part of the Westminster Address. But in the 32-minute Orlando speech, it was the centerpiece. It was the longest sentence — so long that, on the day of the speech, only one television network, CBS, let viewers hear all 72 words:

“So in your discussions of the nuclear freeze proposals I urge you to beware the temptation of pride — the temptation to blithely declare yourselves above it all and label both sides equally at fault, to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.”

Energized by a sentence that wrapped the entire Cold War around two radioactive words, the Evil Empire Speech defined the Reagan presidency. The words are forever linked to the man, who today is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s Disease at his home in Bel-Air, Calif.

And as the Reagan papers show and former Reagan aides confirm, the speech was the climax of a continuing debate, in and outside the White House, about how the president should talk about the Soviet Union.

At his first news conference on Jan. 29, 1981, Reagan said of Soviet leaders, “They reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime; to lie; to cheat.” There was ample evidence of Soviet misdeeds then, but Reagan’s critics accused him of choosing fighting words when the world’s other superpower deserved a respectful tone.

By 1982, as Reagan prepared for a trip to Europe, the White House staff was divided over how he should approach East-West relations in the speech before Parliament. Various speechwriters submitted proposals.

But Reagan was not impressed until National Security Adviser William P. Clark Jr., his horse-riding friend from California, showed him the dauntless draft that Dolan had written on his own. Five times, the draft branded the Soviets “evil.”

Because this was to be Reagan’s first major address on foreign policy, the draft would pass through the State Department, other executive agencies and senior White House staffers before Reagan could complete it.

Reagan Library documents do not reveal what Secretary of State Alexander Haig, his State Department, or Reagan’s staff said about Dolan’s draft, but all but one reference to evil in the Soviet Union vanished from the final text. The reference that survived was not a statement, but a question: “Must freedom wither — in a quiet deadening accommodation with totalitarian evil?”

Of the written comments available on Dolan’s Westminster draft, Clark’s are the most candid and complete. Next to an introductory joke, he wrote, “Not funny.” Next to another joke, he wrote, “Too many jokes.”

And beside a proposed conclusion — not written by Dolan — reminding Britain of “the dark days of the Second World War when this place — like an island — was incandescent with courage,” Clark noted, “It is an island.” “This place — like an island” eventually was changed to “this island.”

Reagan wanted the Westminster Address to echo the themes of Winston Churchill’s March 5, 1946, “Iron Curtain” speech in Fulton, Mo. So Dolan borrowed Churchill’s phrase, “from Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic,” for an update on Communism.

Clark checked a map and objected to “Trieste on the Adriatic.” As the southern point of the Iron Curtain, Trieste was too far west to suit him. “Avoid lumping Yugoslavia in with the Soviet bloc,” he wrote. There were Austria and Greece to keep in the Free World, too. In the end, Churchill was rewritten.

“From Stettin on the Baltic to Varna on the Black Sea,” Reagan told Parliament, “the regimes planted by totalitarianism have had more than 30 years to establish their legitimacy. But none — not one regime — has yet been able to risk free elections. Regimes planted by bayonets do not take root.”

The president was accompanied to London by Clark, Haig, Chief of Staff James A. Baker and aides David R. Gergen, Michael R. Deaver and Richard Darman. Dolan flew out, too.

“They called me at the last minute, probably because they thought I was angry at the changes made,” he said.

Dolan said he believes a few senior advisers muffled the sterner words of his first draft. The problem, he said, was that “the pragmatists” in the White House were afraid to let Reagan be Reagan while they steered “the true believers” away from the president.

“The speechwriters were looked at as true believers,” he recalled. “Now Jim Baker and Gergen and Dick Darman and Mike Deaver — that group was thought of as people who wanted him to tone down his anti-Soviet rhetoric and raise taxes and sort of go back on the Reagan Revolution.”

The true believers resented the influence of the pragmatists. They saw the pragmatists as trying to remake and restrain the leader they helped elect. The true believers wanted a chance to set Reagan loose.

In early 1983, the National Association of Evangelicals invited the president to speak before its convention. “We suggested a topic: generally, religious freedom and the Cold War,” said Richard Cizik, then a legislative researcher for the NAE’s Washington office.

Tensions were building over the planned deployment of Pershing II and cruise missiles in Western Europe. President Carter had agreed to ship the intermediate-range missiles to counter the Soviets’ SS-20 missiles, but Carter’s decision was left to his successor to implement.

Reagan offered the Soviet Union a “zero-zero option” on the missiles. If the Soviets dismantled their SS-20s, he said, he would cancel deployment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization missiles.

At the arms negotiations in Geneva, the Soviets were not taking the offer. Instead, they encouraged the nuclear freeze movement, whose leaders in America and Europe were arguing persuasively that the world already had so many nuclear weapons it would be immoral to deploy even one more.

U.S. religious leaders joined the debate. The National Conference of Catholic Bishops was considering a resolution in favor of the freeze, and the National Council of Churches, a Protestant organization, and the Synagogue Council of America already supported it.

The National Association of Evangelicals, long known for its social conservatism, nevertheless discovered increasing numbers of its membership opposed deploying the NATO missiles, even if the Soviets did not remove theirs. Many of its members were pacifists, most notably the Quakers and Evangelical Mennonites.

The association’s leaders decided a presidential speech might clarify the stakes.

Cizik wrote Reagan, asking him to speak at the NAE convention in Orlando. The invitation went out over the signature of Cizik’s boss, Robert P. Dugan, director of NAE public affairs in the capital. Reagan accepted.

At the White House, Aram Bakshian Jr., director of speechwriting, assigned Dolan, then 34 and a former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, to write a draft. Other White House aides didn’t pay much attention.

“They thought it was a routine speech,” said Dolan, a Catholic and a Reagan fan since he was 13. “It was a group of conservative ministers, and since I was the staff conservative they’d give it to me.”

At a steakhouse across the street from the White House, Dolan and fellow presidential speechwriter — and future California congressman — Dana Rohrabacher sat down in a booth with Cizik and Dugan.

“I told the speechwriters that day, ‘Look, the freezeniks are making real inroads into the evangelical heartland, and the president needs to address this issue,'” remembered Cizik.

“I told them, ‘You’ve got to understand our crowd. If you think you’re going to come down there and encounter an entirely receptive audience, no.’ I was pitching sort of a theological content.”

Dolan and other speechwriters met with Reagan on Feb. 18, 1983. They might have commented on the coming NAE speech then, but Dolan does not recall for certain. According to Reagan Library records, Gergen, Baker, Darman and Deaver also were at the meeting.

Reagan had other speeches to discuss. That night, he would speak before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. On Feb. 22, he would talk to the American Legion. And there were many smaller toasts, talking points and Rose Garden statements in between.

The president also was planning a six-day trip to California, where on March 1 he would greet Queen Elizabeth II at his mountaintop ranch near Santa Barbara. After stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oregon, he would return to Washington on March 5, three days before speaking to the evangelicals in Florida.

In the meantime, Dolan wrote his first draft at his office in the Old Executive Office Building, next to the White House. “It took a few days, maybe half a week” to write the 16 pages, he said.

The first half of the draft was on domestic policy, including abortion and school prayer. The second half was on world affairs, principally the nuclear freeze and the “evil empire.”

The “evil empire” paragraph was in the first draft, the Reagan papers show.

“Beware the temptation of pride — the temptation to blithely declare yourselves above it all,” he wrote.

Dolan now explains that, in denouncing pride, he was thinking about elitists who regularly soft-pedaled the repressions, invasions and mass killings of totalitarian regimes.

“You always had the New York Times trying to strike a neutral position and advise both sides of its lofty and higher perspective editorially,” he said. “That’s just people who are puffed up.

“Pride causes foolishness — pride in the sense of one of the deadly sins.”

In his draft, he also wrote that in the debate over the nuclear freeze, religious leaders ought not “label both sides equally at fault.” He says now he was rejecting an oft-repeated argument that Soviet totalitarianism was just another system, no worse than free and democratic systems.

“This is moral equivalence, remember?” he said. “The Left saved its real moral indignation for middle America, rather than Soviet aggression and oppression of others. It was blame America first, that was their first instinct.”

Then Dolan wrote of “an evil empire.” Today he denies the term was inspired by the 1977 hit movie “Star Wars,” in which an alliance of good guys battles the “evil Galactic Empire.” Nevertheless, the words conjured that mainstream image.

The term “evil empire” also was a form of psychological warfare.

“People who are involved in evil enterprises fear the truth,” said Dolan. “That’s why the mafioso fears the newspaper account of his wrongdoing more than jail time.”

Dolan used the word “evil” seven more times in the draft.

Two references to evil were applied to the United States: to its past denials of equal rights to minority citizens and to “hate groups preaching bigotry and prejudice.”

Dolan submitted his draft on March 3, while the president still was in California. James Baker, William Clark and other senior advisers were with Reagan.

At the White House, Aram Bakshian, the speechwriting director, went over the draft. Bakshian saw four references to the Soviet Union as evil. He particularly liked the term “evil empire.”

Bakshian and a small group of like-minded White House staffers remembered how similarly candid words disappeared from earlier Reagan speeches. They set out to save “evil empire.”

The draft began with churchly pronouncements on parental rights, school prayer and “pulpits aflame with righteousness.” As a result, Bakshian said, it didn’t appear at first glance to be anything the State Department or other senior officials would want to review.

“This was not a major speech on the schedule,” he said. “It looked like a speech for a prayer breakfast. It would have seemed like one of the lowest priority speeches.”

The Office of Speechwriting regularly placed drafts of presidential speeches in piles for circulation throughout the bureaucracy. Certain White House staffers were responsible for looking over the texts and routing them to the agencies that might want to comment. If the staffers didn’t notice the subject matter, the drafts might not go far.

“I made a point of not flagging it,” said Bakshian. “It was the stealth speech.

“If anyone in the State Department read it, they just read the first few paragraphs and set it aside. They didn’t know it was going to be a foreign policy speech. On the face of it, it wasn’t a foreign policy speech.”

Sven Kraemer, arms control director on the president’s National Security Council, was asked to review the draft, giving special attention to the section on the nuclear freeze debate.

Kraemer gave Dolan a few minor written suggestions on March 4, the Reagan Library papers show. Kraemer said he had even more to say out loud.

“Not everything that is said between friends is put on paper,” he said. He said he urged Dolan to mention Russian dissident Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s 1975 description of the Soviet Union as “the concentration of World Evil.”

“A suggestion that I made was that the phrase ‘evil empire’ be correlated with Solzhenitsyn’s phrase, so that the location of those two words be linked.”

Solzhenitsyn was not added to the speech, but Kraemer joined the team dedicated to preserving Dolan’s draft.

“Relatively few people saw it (the draft), and some of the senior people saw it late in the process,” he remembered. “It got to be a pretty narrow circle, and it got to be pretty late in the day, and some of us agreed that this is wonderful that some others were not there.”

Reagan returned from his West Coast trip on March 5. His wife, Nancy, stayed in California to see her daughter, Patti Davis, and to tape a special anti-drug-abuse episode on the “Dif’rent Strokes” TV show.

By now, three days before the scheduled speech in Orlando, the West Wing “pragmatists” —David Gergen and others — had discovered Dolan’s draft and were raising objections, according to Dolan.

Memories are unclear here, but Dolan recalls his text came back with “a lot of green ink” crossing out the “evil empire” section.

“It’s not a vivid memory,” he said. “It’s just a recollection. It was not the phrase itself. It was the whole section in which all this was included.”

Whoever crossed out the section expected it to be deleted before the president saw the draft, but Dolan would not allow it.

“I said, ‘I just won’t go along with those. In this case, let’s just let the president decide on this.’ I rarely took a stand like this, but I was disgusted because this stuff was crossed out.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we just send the draft in as it is?'”

Reagan would see all the words, Dolan said, “but he was going to get the draft with people telling him, look, we don’t like this section, that section, the other section.”

Reagan received the draft, and probably worked on it the evening of March 5 and then again on March 6.

He wrote another page and a half on his opposition to providing birth control pills and devices to underage girls without the knowledge of their parents. He removed a section on organized crime. And on the foreign policy side of the speech, he added a further defense of his earlier comment that the Soviets lie and cheat.

“Somehow this was translated to be accusations by me rather than a quote of their own words,” he wrote.

After a paragraph proposing the reduction of U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles, he scribbled in three sentences guaranteed to fire up a standing ovation: “At the same time, however, they must be made to understand we will never compromise our principles & standards. We will never give away our freedom. We will never abandon our belief in God.”

He also wrote two paragraphs about the faith of conservative actor-singer Pat Boone, whom Reagan did not refer to by name. And he tightened and edited other parts of the text.

When Reagan was done writing and rewriting, the Soviet Union still was “the focus of evil in the modern world.” It still was “an evil empire.”

David Gergen said six years later that he and Deputy National Security Adviser Robert “Bud” McFarlane toned down the “outrageous statements” in the draft, according to Reagan biographer Lou Cannon.

The Reagan Library documents show that the president — possibly with advice — removed parenthetical putdowns of the “intelligentsia,” the “glitter set,” the “unilateral disarmers,” the “old liberalism” and the anti-religious sectors of the news media in the United States.

“The fact of the matter is, the important stuff on the Soviet Union got in,” Dolan pointed out.

Gergen, now editor-at-large of U.S. News & World Report, could not be reached for comment for this story, either at his office at Harvard University or through U.S. News.

As the final draft of the Evil Empire Speech was typed on March 7, 1983, Reagan asked for a list of specific reasons to oppose a nuclear freeze.

The NSC’s Kraemer wrote up a two- or three-page memo, which the president boiled down to four paragraphs. Reagan also wrote out his position in a nutshell: “I would agree to a freeze if only we could freeze the Soviets’ global desires.”

The four new paragraphs were typed onto two index cards and clipped to the main text, with a note reminding him when to pull out the cards.

March 8, 1983, was a busy day for the 72-year-old president, the Reagan Library papers show. After breakfast at 7:45 a.m., he met with 22 members of the Senate and the House to discuss the bloody conflict in El Salvador. At 10:13 his helicopter lifted off from the White House lawn for Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

As he left, 5,000 supporters of a nuclear freeze were rallying in a cold rain at the Capitol.

“Do you want to freeze the arms race?” Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., asked.

“Yeah!” yelled the crowd.

“Do you think President Reagan is going to freeze the arms race?”

“No!”

And the protesters cheered when U.S. Rep. Jim Leech, R-Iowa, announced that the House Foreign Affairs Committee had just voted 27 to 9 in favor of sending a nuclear freeze resolution to the full House.

At 10:38, Reagan left on Air Force One for sunny Orlando, where he arrived at 12:14 p.m. Chief of Staff James Baker was with him, but not Dolan and not one member of Reagan’s cabinet.

Walt Disney World was the president’s first stop in Orlando. At Epcot Center, he saw a program — in film and audioanimatronics — on 300 years of American history. And after meeting at Epcot with foreign exchange students, he moved to an amphitheater to talk with outstanding math and science students.

At 2:33, the president arrived by motorcade at the Sheraton Twin Towers Hotel. At 3 p.m., Arthur E. Gay Jr., president of the National Association of Evangelicals, introduced Reagan to the 1,200 attending the NAE convention.

As the evangelicals applauded, the smiling president in a dark blue suit rose from his chair, his speech papers in his left hand. He shook hands with Gay, thanked him and set his 17 pages and two index cards on the lecturn. “Evil empire” was on page 15.

Sunday, March 5, 2000

Getting “just-war” straight by George Weigel

George Weigel, Rome 2011

Catholic commentary on the grave moral issues involved in responding to the attack on the United States on September 11, and in taking effective measures to rid the world of terrorism and its capacity for mass violence, has been burdened by a shift in just-war thinking. The shift began decades ago, but its full import is only now coming into clear focus.

It’s important, at the outset, to understand what the just-war tradition is, and isn’t. The just-war tradition is not an algebra that provides custom-made, clear-cut answers under all circumstances. Rather, it is a kind of ethical calculus, in which moral reasoning and rigorous empirical analysis are meant to work together, in order to provide guidance to public authorities on whom the responsibilities of decision-making fall.

From its beginnings in St. Augustine, just-war thinking has been based on the presumption – better, the classic moral judgment – that rightly-constituted public authorities have the moral duty to pursue justice – even at risk to themselves and those for whom they are responsible. That is why, for example, St. Thomas Aquinas discussed just war under the broader subject of the meaning of “charity,” and why the eminent Protestant theologian Paul Ramsey argued that the just-war tradition is an attempt to think through the public meaning of the commandment of love-of-neighbor. In today’s international context, “justice” includes the defense of freedom (especially religious freedom), and the defense of a minimum of order in international affairs. For these are the crucial components of the peace that is possible in a fallen world.

This presumption – that the pursuit of justice is a moral obligation of statecraft – shapes the first set of moral criteria in the just-war tradition, which scholars call the “ius ad bellum” or “war-decision law:” Is the cause a just one? Will the war be conducted by a responsible public authority? Is there a “right intention” (which, among other things, precludes acts of vengeance or reprisal)? Is the contemplated action “proportionate:” is it appropriate to the goal (or just cause); is the good to be accomplished likely to be greater than the evil that would be suffered if nothing were done, or if the use of armed force were avoided for the sake of other types of measures? Have other remedies been tried and found wanting or are other remedies prima facie unlikely to be effective? Is there a reasonable chance of success?

It is only when these prior moral questions have been answered that the second set of just-war criteria – what scholars call the “ius in bello” or “war-conduct law” – come into play, logically. The positive answers to the first set of questions, the “war-decision” questions, create the moral framework for addressing the two great “war-conduct” issues: “proportionality,” which requires the use of no more force than necessary to vindicate the just cause; and “discrimination,” or what we today call “non-combatant immunity.”

Under the moral pressures created by the threat of nuclear war, Catholic attention focused almost exclusively on “war-conduct” questions in the decades after World War II. This, in turn, led to what can only be described as an inversion of the just-war tradition: the claim, frequently encountered in both official and scholarly Catholic commentary today, that the just-war tradition “begins with a presumption against violence.”

It does not. It did not begin with such a presumption historically, and it cannot begin with such a presumption theologically. For as one of America’s most distinguished just-war theorists, James Turner Johnson has put it, to do this – to effectively reduce the tradition to “war-conduct” questions – is to put virtually the entire weight of the tradition on what are inevitably contingent judgments. This error, in turn, distorts our moral and political vision, as it did when it led many Catholic thinkers to conclude, in the 1980s, that nuclear weapons, not communist regimes, were the primary threat to peace – a conclusion falsified by history in 1989.

That just war-fighting must observe the moral principle of non-combatant immunity goes without saying. That this is the place to begin the moral analysis is theologically muddled and unlikely to lead to wise statecraft. If “war-conduct” judgments drive the analysis, the moral foundations are knocked out from under the entire edifice.

* * *

Exclusive ZENIT interview with George Weigel

ZENIT: To what extent is it valid to apply the just-war principles to a fight against terrorism? There are a number of significant differences compared to a war between states: a foe that blends in with the civilian population, no army-to-army fight, a drawn-out struggle over years conducted mainly away from the battlefield, etc.

Weigel: The just-war tradition is a way of thinking rooted in Christian moral realism. Because of that, thinking through the prism of the just-war tradition about world politics and the pursuit of justice, order and freedom (the components of the peace that is possible in this world) should help us see things more clearly.

For example: Thinking in the categories of the just-war tradition should help us see that dealing with what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York and Washington cannot be properly understood by analogy to the criminal justice system. The perpetrators of these acts of mass murder understood themselves to be involved in a war – against the United States and, more broadly, the West. Had that fourth plane destroyed the White House or the U.S. Capitol, it would have been unmistakably clear that these attacks were aimed at the destruction of the United States government – just as the previous attacks on the Khobar Barracks in Saudi Arabia, the USS Cole, and the U.S. embassies in East Africa were attacks on the United States, every bit as much as the attack on Pearl Harbor.

That the adversary is not an army in the conventional sense does not change the reality of the situation. Guerrilla warfare involves, as you say, a foe that deliberately blends in with the civilian population, no army-to-army fight, a long struggle, etc.; no one suggests that guerrilla warfare is anything other than warfare.

It is true that the just-war tradition is accustomed to thinking of states as the only “unit-of-count” in world politics. The new situation demands a development of the just-war tradition, as many of us have been arguing for over a decade. As a method of moral reasoning about politics, the just-war tradition emerged long before the state system; the tradition developed to deal with the realities of a world in which states were the primary actors, and now it must develop to help us think through our moral obligations in a world in which non-state actors, like terrorist organizations and networks (often allied with states), are crucial, and intentionally lethal, actors.

2. How can we apply the principle of a proportionate response to terrorism, and avoid falling into seeking vengeance, given the horrific nature of the targeting of civilians?

Weigel: The just-war tradition begins with the assumption – better, the classic moral judgment – that rightly constituted public authorities have the moral obligation to pursue justice, order and freedom as the components of peace, even when doing so requires public authorities to put their own lives at risk. That is why St. Thomas Aquinas locates his discussion of “bellum iustum” within his broader analysis of charity.

So the first questions the tradition asks us to answer are what scholars call “ad bellum” questions or “war-decision” questions: Is the cause just? Will the use of military force be authorized and controlled by a legitimate public authority? Is that authority operating with a “right intention” (i.e., not raw revenge, but the restoration of justice and order and the defense of freedom)? Is there a reasonable chance of success? Will the good that may come out of the use of military force outweigh the evil that would result if nothing were done? Have other means of resolving the conflict been tried and found wanting, or are such other means simply unavailable?

Only when these questions are answered does the just-war tradition turn to “in bello” or “war-conduct” questions: What use of military force is “proportionate” to the just goal being sought? Are steps being taken to protect noncombatants? The just-war tradition, in other words, does not (and logically cannot) begin with a “presumption against violence,” on the assumption that any use of armed force in the modern world is inherently disproportionate and indiscriminate. To begin this way is to empty the just-war tradition of its moral power.

The questions of proportion and discrimination in the conduct of war come into clearer moral focus once the “war-decision” questions have been answered and it becomes clear that the public authorities have a moral duty to use armed force to vindicate justice, defend freedom and establish a minimum of order in world politics. That, in more theologically focused language, is what President Bush proposed that the United States would do, in his address to the Congress on Sept. 20.

Permit me to say, as an American citizen, that I am amazed and insulted by what seems to be the assumption in much of the European secular press, and even among some European religious leaders, that the United States would deliberately target civilians in acts of reprisal against terrorism.

I am personally acquainted with many of the leading figures in the Department of Defense, and I am confident that they are men and women of honor and prudence.

3. There has been some talk about giving the CIA the go-ahead to conduct assassinations. Is this type of action morally legitimate? And if so in what circumstances: targeting the authors of terrorism, or also the heads of their organizations? Would pre-emptive assassinations to prevent terrorist attacks also be legitimate?

Weigel: I am quite convinced that pre-emptive military action against terrorists is morally legitimate under the principles of the just-war tradition. It makes no sense to say, as some moral theologians have suggested, that a “just cause” is only established when an attack is under way.

In a world of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, I don’t think it makes much moral sense to argue that we have to wait until the nuclear-tipped missile or the biological or chemical weapon is launched until we can do something about it. Indeed, the nature of certain regimes makes their mere possession of weapons of mass destruction (or their attempt to acquire such weapons and the means to launch them) an imminent danger toward which a military response is not only possible but morally imperative, for the protection of innocents and the defense of world order. Here, too, is another example of an area in which the just-war tradition needs to be stretched or developed to meet new realities.

The question of “assassinations” is perhaps a bit confused by the terminology. If terrorists are conducting what both they and we recognize as a war – i.e., the deliberate use of mass violence to achieve political ends – then they are not civilians in the classic sense of the term, they are combatants. The moral analysis follows accordingly.

The masterminds of terrorist organizations seem to me to be combatants, too. I would probably draw the line there, not including, for example, the terrorists’ bankers as combatants – although I would certainly deal with them through all available criminal means, just as I would have dealt with such “merchants of death” through the criminal justice system during the world wars of the 20th century.

4. What principles can we apply to action against a state that is sheltering a terrorist group, for example, the situation of Afghanistan?

Weigel: They bear responsibility for the attacks insofar as they shelter and support the terrorists, but without having themselves committed the actual attacks.

To provide direct assistance, in the form of sanctuary, to a terrorist group is to become morally implicit in its actions, of which the “host” government cannot be in much doubt (at least as to intentions). If such a “host” government refuses to acknowledge that complicity and end it, then it seems to me that it has become an ally of terrorism and another combatant, albeit of a somewhat different sort.

If a regime that has been harboring and abetting terrorists can be convinced to cease doing so, the calculus changes. This may, in the future, help clarify policy toward the Taliban and the present regime in Iraq, on the one hand, and Syria, on the other. No student of world politics can doubt that Syria has aided and abetted terrorism. But the Syrian regime is not irrational and might change, under sufficient pressure or threat. That seems very unlikely with either the Taliban or the Saddam Hussein regime.

If military action is taken against the Taliban, then simultaneously the U.S.-led coalition should lead a massive humanitarian assistance campaign in Afghanistan. The war is not against the Afghan people, themselves the victims of the Taliban. Vigorous action against terrorists and their supporters, combined with a large-scale humanitarian relief effort, seems to me what a just-war analysis of this particular situation would require.

5. Some call for the United States to seek redress through the United Nations, or an international tribunal rather than take unilateral action or limit itself to seeking a selected group of allies. The U.N. system has many defects, but there is an ever-growing tendency toward the creation of systems of international tribunals to resolve inter-state conflicts. To what extent is a nation’s sovereignty limited today by the need to submit its acts to international approval?

Weigel: The question of sovereignty is another one where the just-war tradition needs development or “stretching.” The U.N. system is, in the main, not very successful at all in dealing with world order and security issues. And a country certainly does not need the approval of the U.N. for self-defense, which is recognized as a basic right of states in the U.N. Charter.

So at this juncture, the just-war principle of “proper authority” does not require U.N. sanction of the use of military force, although prudence, one of the primary political virtues, may well dictate seeking such support.

The question of international tribunals is a very complex one. I am concerned about the tendency of some international juridical bodies to assert rather pre-emptively a jurisdiction that overrides national laws, legislatures and courts. Some of these exercises have been arguably defensible; others have been exercises in international political correctness. The entire issue needs a lot more careful reflection than it has been given to date. Not every move toward a higher level of political integration in the world serves the classic political ends of justice, order and freedom as the components of peace.

აკაკი წერეთელი: დამეხსენი, ჩრდილოელო!

აკაკი წერეთელი

აკაკი წერეთელი

დამეხსენი, ჩრდილოელო!
რა მაქვს შენთან საზიარო?
თვით ოხერო, მოუვლელო,
როგორ გინდა მომიარო?
ბუნებისგან დაჩაგრული
განა შესძლებ მეგობრობას?
მოშხამული, ცივი გული
სხვას რას გასწევს, თუ არ მტრობას.
წლიდან წლამდე უცნაურად
გეყინება ტვინი თავში!
უნდა ძალაუნებურად
ეხვეოდე დათვის ტყავში!
-დამეხსენი, ჩრდილოელო!
რა მაქვს შენთან საზიარო?
ნუ, ნუ ჰფიქრობ, ჩემო მწველო,
რომ მფლობელად აღგიარო.

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი: ჩახშული ფიქრი

ფილოსოფიის ადგილი საბჭოთა სისტემაში

La pensée empêchée

Merab Mamardachvili. La pensee empechee (Entretiens avec Annie Epelboin)

ანი ეპელბუან – თქვენი წარდგენისას მე უნდა მეთქვა: “მერაბ მამარდაშვილი, ქართველი ფილოსოფოსი”, მაგრამ ცოტაოდენ ვყოყმანობ, რადგან ამ ორი სიტყვის-ფილოსოფოსი და ქართველი-გვერდი გვერდ დასმა ცოტა უცნაურად ჟღერს. ან ის ქართველი მოგვაგონდება, თავი გენიალურ მოაზროვნედ რომ მიაჩნია, ხოლო იმათ, ვინც საქართველოს იცნობს, თვალწინ წარმოუდგება ის ლაღი მხიარულება, რომელიც ერთი შეხედვით ფილოსოფიისადმი არ განგაწყობთ. და ბოლოს, ბოლო ათწლეულების მანძილზე სსრკ-ში “ფილოსოფიად” აღიარებულ მეცნიერებას ღირებული არაფერი შეუქმნია. თუმცაღა გავიხსენოთ თქვენი წიგნების სათაურები: “ცნობიერების ანალიზი”, “კარტეზიული მედიტაციები”, “რაციონალიზმის კლასიკური და არაკლასიკური იდეალები”, “ვარიაციები კანტის თემაზე”… მართალია, ყველა თქვენი ნაშრომი სსრკ-ში არ გამოცემულა, რაც უდაოდ მათ ღირსებაზე მეტყველებს, მაგრამ სათაურები ყოველ შემთხვევაში ძალიან კლასიკურად ჟღერს; მით უფრო გვინდა უპირველეს ყოვლისა ვიცოდეთ და გავიგოთ როგორ მიხვედით აზროვნებამდე იმ ქვეყანაში, რომელიც სრულიად არ განგაწყობს ფიქრისა და აზროვნებისადმი.

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – უნდა აღვნიშნო, რომ მეც იმავე ქალაქში დავიბადე, რომელშიც სტალინი დაიბადა. 1930 წლის სექტემბერში. ამაში შესაძლოა მონანიება ან ღვთიური სიმეტრია დავინახოთ… გორში შეიძლება სხვა საქმეების მკეთებელი ადამიანებიც დაიბადონ… ამის თქმით , დიდ სითამამედ და გაბედულებად მეჩვენება ვთქვა როგორ მივედი აზროვნებამდე.
ვინაიდან უფრო მორიდებული ვარ, ვიტყვი მხოლოდ, რომ მე ვცდილობ ვიაზროვნო; ადამიანმა არასოდეს იცის აზროვნებს იგი თუ არა. აზროვნება თითქმის ზეადამიანურ ძალაზეა დამოკიდებული და იგი ბუნებრივად არ ეძლება ადამიანს. ის შეიძლება გამოვლინდეს, როგორც ერთგვარი გაღვიძება ან წინარე მოგონება ადამიანისა და სიმბოლოს შორის დაჭიმულ ველში. ეს უნდა აეხსნას ფრანგულ აუდიტორიას, რადგან იგი არ იცნობს იმ ქვეყანას, რომელშიც მე ვცხოვრობ…ჩვენ ამჟამად განსაკუთრებულ მომენტში ვცხოვრობთ- აზრთან მჭიდროდ დაკავშირებულ მომენტში-რომელშიც იმ უშველებელ ქვეყანას, რომელსაც საბჭოთა კავშირი ჰქვია თუ რუსეთი (იგი, ჩემს ქვეყანას, საქართველოსაც მოიცავს), სურს, ან უნდა დაუბრუნდეს ცხოვრებას, ისტორიის, დროისა და ცხოვრების ხანგძლივი უქონლობის შემდეგ. იმას, რაც მოხდა 17 წელს, ოქტომბრის რევოლუციის მწვერვალზე, ჩემთვის ის მნიშვნელობა აქვს, რომ ეს იყო სსრკ-ს თუ რუსეთის გასვლა დროიდან, ისტორიიდან და ცხოვრებიდან; გასვლა იმ მეტეორივით, გრავიტაციის ველიდან რომ ვარდება და ჩათრეულია უტოპიით, რომლის დამახასიათებელი ნიშანია-ისევე როგორც ყველა უტოპიისთვის-საკუთარი თავის რეალიზაცია: უტოპიები ხომ ყოველთვის ხორციელდება. ამჟამინდელი პრობლემა კი ისაა, რომ “ცხოვრებას დაუბრუნდე”… როცა უტოპიის დევნაში ისტორიიდან და დროიდან ამოვარდები. იკარგება სასიცოცხლო ძალების ნორმალური ურთიერთგაცვლის გრძნობა, ადამიანთა შორის “ურთიერთობის” (commerece) შეგრძნება. რაც ადამიანისა და მისი ბუნების ისტორიულ სტრუქტურას ქმნის. რევოლუციის შემდეგ ყველაფერი არანორმალური გახდა; ეს იყო საზოგადოებისა და სახელმწიფოს ერთგვარი კოლექტიური თვითმკვლელობა. ქვეყანა აღმოჩნდა “ცხოვრების მიღმა” და ყოველივე ამან დაღი დაასვა ლიტერატურას, სოციალურ მოვლენებს, ყველაფერს და ყველას, თუ ყურადღებით დავაკვირდებით და თუ დასავლური აზროვნების რაციონალისტური ტერმინების უბრალო ტრანსპოზიციას არ მოვახდენთ, უწყვეტად გამოვიყენებთ იგივე მეტყველებას, იგივე აზროვნებას სსრკ-ს თუ რუსეთის მაშტაბით, თუ დავუმატებთ რაღაცას, რაც უნდა სპეციპიკურად რუსული ან საჭოთა გამოცდილებიდან იყოს ამოღებული და იმას, რაც ამ მეტყველების უკან იმალება-მაშინ ამ ეპოქაში ჩანს სიკვდილის კვალი, მიღმა სამყაროს ცხოვრების კვალი. მასში მოსჩანს-და ეს იყო ჩემი პირველი გამოცდილება, რაც საკუთარ თავზე შევძელი შემემოწმებინა -უსიცოცხლო ხატების ცხოვრება, ანუ უსხეულო ხატები, ფრანსუა ვიიონის მსგავსად, რომელიც რეალურად ცხოვრობდა. არ დაკარგო იმის შეგრძნება, რომ ცოცხალი ხარ (და ამასთან ერთად ამ გრძნობის ტრადიცია) საკუთარი ყოფიერების ყველა გამოვლინებაში, იმაში, რასაც ამბობ, რასაც ფიქრობ, რასაც აკეთებ,-ეს ნიშნავს შენ თვითონ ერთგვარი ფუნდამეტური კავშირი შეინარჩუნო. მაგრამ ის ვისაც სიცოცხლისადმი გემო არ გააჩნია, ამას ვერ გაიგებს. შესაძლოა ისიც, რომ ეს გემო დაიკარგოს, მაგრამ ამ შემთხვევაში იმათ, ვინც ეს შეგრძნება დაკარგა, ვეღარაფერს აუხსნი. ჩვენ ისეთ ვითარებაში ვიმყოფებით, რომ ვინც ცხოვრებისადმი გემო დაკარგა, კვლავ უნდა იპოვოს იგი,ხოლო ის, ვისაც იგი შერჩენილი ჰქონდა, მაგრამ ტოტალიტარულმა რეჟიმმა დააბეჩავა (როგორც აზროვნებაში ასევე მეტყველებაში; ტოტალიტარიზმი უპირველეს ყოვლისა ლინგვისტური დაბეჩავებაა), ხელმეორედ უნდა ისწავლოს ცხოვრება, დღეს ჩვენ ვსწავლობთ, რადგან ადვილი როდია ცხოვრებას დაუბრუნდე…….

ანი ეპელბუან – სულ დასაწყისი გახსოვთ? თქვენი აზროვნების დასაწყისი? გახსოვთ როგორ შეაჯერეთ სიცოცხლე და სიკვდილი იმ ხატებში, რომელსაც აღიქვამდით? როგორ გადაწყვიტეთ ეს წინააღმდეგობა?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – არანაირად არ ვისურვებდი ეს გზა ხელმეორედ გამევლო, სულაც არ მინდა ახალგაზრდობა დამიბრუნდეს, 16 წლისა ვიყო, ამბობენ რა მშვენიერიაო ახალგაზრდობა! არა, სრულებითაც არაა ასე! სრულებითაც არ ვიცურვებდი კიდევ გამევლო არყოფნის ის რისკი, რომელიც ასე ემუქრება ახალგაზრდებს, როცა დღევანდელი ახალგაზრდა იღვიძებს თავის თავის, ცნობიერებისა და აზროვნების მიმართ, ის ფეხზე მდგომი გვამების ტყეში აღმოჩნდება. სწორედ ამ გრძნობას, რომელიც დღევანდელ ახალგაზრდობაში ზის, 40 წლის წინათ განვიცდიდი. ამის გამოა, რომ უშველებელი თანაგრძნობა მაქვს მათ მიმართ და სულაც არ ვისურვებდი ახალგაზრდა ვიყო, ჩემთვის-თვითგამორკვევა განისაზღვრებოდა ცხოვრების არქონის მიმართ დაპირისპირებით, დაპირისპირებით იმ შავი გვირაბის მიმართ რომელშიც მოგვებივით, იძულებული ვიყავი მეცხოვრა ცხოვრების გარეშე- და ჩემთვის ახალგაზრდობა წარმოადგენდა ტრადიციის აღდგენას ამ სიტყვის სრული მნიშვნელობით; საქმე რომელიღაც კონკრეტულ ტრადიციას კი არ ეხება, არამედ უკვდავების ტრადიციას (იცინის). ეს ალბათ უცნაურად ჟღერს, რადგან კონფესიანალური აზრით მორწმუნე არა ვარ, მე ფილოსოფოსი ვარ. ფილოსოფია სულ სხვა რამ არის, ვიდრე თეოლოგია, მაგრამ ხშირად მივმართავ რელიგიურ სიმბოლოებს, რადგან ისინი უფრო მეტყველნი მეჩვენებიან და ადაიანური სულის შესაძლებლობათა, პოტენციათა და კონსტანტების ჩამოყალიბებით, ისინი უფრო გასაგებს და ამოსაცნობს ხდიან ამ კრიტერიუმებს. ამიტომაც ხანდახან სასარგებლოა ამ სიმბოლოების გამოყენება.
მაშასადამე უკვადავება ეს არის სიტყვა, ანუ ადამიანში მკვდარი დროის აღდგენის ნაპერწკალი; ეს არის ფაქტი და აქტი, რომელიც დღემდე გრძელდება, სიტყვა არის მარადიულობის აქტი,რომელშიც ჩვენ ვმონაწილეობთ ვითარცა ადამიანები. რას ვგულისხმობ გამოთქმაში “ვითარცა ადამიანი”. მე ვცდილობ გამოვხატო არსება, რომელიც ბუნების პროდუქტი არ არის; ბუნება არ ქმნის ადამიანებს. ნამდვილად ჩვენ მხოლოდ მეორე დაბადებისას ვიბადებით. ეს დაბადება კი იმყოფება იმ ველში, რომელშიც შესაძლო ადამიანი სიმბოლოს უერთდება და ამას შეერთების დაძაბულობისგან ანუ თავის თავზე ძალისხმევის შედეგად ადამიანში ადამიანი იბადება. დანტემ ერთ ლამაზ გამოთქმაში თქვა, დაბადებულს როგორც ასეთი სული არა აქვსო.

ანი ეპელბუან – რა იძლევა სულს? რა აძლევს მას სულს?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – სიტყვა.

ანი ეპელბუან – ჩემი ვარაუდით, ადამიანის ბუნების შესახებ თქვენთვის არ უსწავლებიათ სკოლაში.

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – სკოლაში საერთოდ არაფერი მასწავლეს. არც ეს და არც ამის საწინააღმდეგო, მაგ. მარქსიზმ-ლენინიზმის იდეოლოგია ვერ შეისწავლება, რადგან მეტყველებას, ადამიანის ტვინს, არაფერი საერთო არა აქვს მარქსისტულ-ლენინურ იდეოლოგიასთან. ამ ცნებებს ვერ დაისწავლი, ისინი გაუგებარია. თუ მაგ. ავიღებთ მარქსისტულ-ლენინურ ფილოსოფიის სახელმძღვანელოს (ასეთები კი არსებობს), იძულებული ხარ იგი მექანიკურად დაიზეპირო და ასევე ზეპირად გაიმეორო გამოცდაზე. მისი შესწავლა აზროვნებით, გონებით შეუძლებელია, რადგან სიტყვებს არავითარი აზრი არა აქვთ.

ანი ეპელბუან – თქვენ იზეპირებდით?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – ჩემთვის ცოტა სხვანაირად მოხდა. საკუთარი ბედის ზოგიერთი შემთხვევითობა ერთგვარ ექსტრა-ტერიტორიულობას ქმნის ხოლმე; შემთხვევითობის ინერცია, შენს უკან რომ დგას, გაგრიყავს კუნძულძე, სადაც შენ ექსტერიტორიული აღმოჩნდები; ამგვარი იყო ჩემი შემთხვევა. მე გამიტაცა კითხვის ნაკადმა, რომელიც შემთხვევით ფრანგული საკითხავი მასალა აღმოჩნდა; მონტენი, ლაბოესი, მონტესკიე, რუსო,სწორედ მათ ჩამოაყალიბეს ჩემი სიჭაბუკე.

ანი ეპელბუან – სად პოულობდით ამ წიგნებს?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – ისევ და ისევ შემთხვევის წყალობით: ჩემი უბნის ბიბლიოთეკაში, თბილისში. ამ ნაშრომებს ცენზურა არ შეეხო, არც განადგურებულ წიგნების სიაში მოხვდნენ; შეიძლება იმიტომ, რომ ბიბლიოთეკა პატარა იყო. თქვენ უთუოდ იცით, რომ 1918 წლის “უკაზით” ბიბლიოთეკიდან ამოიღეს რელიგიურად და ფილოსოფიურად მიჩნეული ლიტერატურა. მაგალითად პასკალი, პლატონი, დეკარტი და სხვა. ლენინის მიერ შედგენილ სიაში ჩამოთვლილი იყო ამოსაღები ნაწარმოებები და იმდროინდელი განათლების სამინისტროს ოფიციალურმა ინსტრუქციამ ეს სია გააფართოვა; მასში სახელდობრ შეიტანა სოკრატე, რომელსაც არასოდეს არაფერი დაუწერია. ეს ინსტრუქცია საჯარო არ ყოფილა, მაგრა მას მაინც ყველგან ავრცელებდნენ…

ანი ეპელბუან – იმ დროს მოსკოვში რომ ყოფილიყავით, ამ წიგნების ბიბლიოთეკაში წაკითხვას შეძლებდით?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – არა, საჯარო ბიბლიოთეკებში ვერ შევძლებდი. მაგრა იცით, რომ ის ხანა, როცა მოსკოვში სწავლა დავიწყე, პარადოქსებით სავსე ეპოქა იყო. 49 წელი მოსკოვში რომ ჩავედი, წავედი უნივერსიტეტში. ეს იყო ომის შემდგომი გაჭირვების პერიოდი. მოსკოვი ერთდროულად დაძაბული, დინამიური, საცოდავი და საინტერესო ქალაქი იყო. ამასთან საშიში ქალაქიც. ადამიანური ურთიერთობებიც ძალიან ინტენსიური, რადგან ადამიანების დიდი ნაწილი ომგამოვლილი იყო. ომში მათ ინიციატივის, რისკის და სიკვდილის პირისპირ დგომის გამოცდილება მიიღეს. ამგვარი ინდივიდები რეჟიმისთვის ერთგვარ საშიშროებას წარმოადგენდნენ, და ომის ყველა ტყვე საბჭოთა კონცენტრაციულ ბანაკებში გაასახლეს. რეპრესიები არმიაშიც დაიწყო, ლიტერატურაშიც; აუცილებელი იყო დაემუხრუჭებინათ იმ ადამიანთა გაღვიძება, ვინც ომი გამოსცადა. იმათთვის, ვინც ევროპა, სხვა ცხოვრება ნახა ხელი უნდა შეეშალათ საკუთარი აზრი გამოეთქვათ. ისე რომ ამ ადამიანების გაქრობა მთლად უაზრო წამოწყება არ იყო (მე სახელმწიფოს ინტერესების თვალსაზრისიდან ამოვდივარ); ეს სრულიად გონიუვრული ნაბიჯი იყო.

ანი ეპელბუან – მაგრამ ამ ხალხს უნივერსიტეტში ხომ მაინც შეხვდით?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – დიახ, ისინი უნივერსიტეტში ვნახე, რადგან იმ წლებში საზოგადოება რამდენიმე “ფენისაგან” შედგებოდა: იყო ჩემსავით ახაგაზრდების ფენა (მე 19 წლისა ვიყავი, ე.ი. არც თუ ისე ახალგაზრდა; უმრავლესობა 17 წლისა იყო); იმავე წელსფილოსოფიის ფაკულტეტზე იყვნენ 30, 35 წლის ომის ვეტერანები. მუდმივ საფრთხესა და სიღატაკეში კი “ნაპერწკლები” გამოკრთებოდნენ ხოლმე: ბუკინისტებთან შეიძლებოდა (ფულის საშოვნელად ხალხს მათთან გასაყიდად წიგნები მიჰქონდათ) ერთი ორ მანეთად გეშოვნათ ბერდიაევის, შესტოვის, საუკუნის დამლევის რუსი იდეალისტი ფილოსოფოსების წიგნები. ახლა მოსკოველ ბუკინისტებთან ბერდიაევის ერთი ტომი 150 მან. ღირს. იმ დროს შემეძლო ბრწყინვალე ბიბლიოთეკა შემექმნა, საცხოვრებელი რომ მქონოდა (მაგრამ იგი არ მქონდა). შეიძლებოდა მეშოვა როზანოვის, ბერდიაევის, ნიცშესა და ფროიდის რუსული თარგმანები და სხვა.

ანი ეპელბუან – მაშასადამე, ამ წიგნების წყალობით, რომელთა წაკითხვა მოახერხეთ, თქვენ შესძელით თითქმის უნივერსალური განათლება მიგეღოთ, თანაც კლასიკურ ტრადიციაში.

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – სწორედ ამის თქმა მინდოდა. რადგან გარეშე ინფორმაციის წყაროების არავითარი საშუალება არ გაგვაჩნდა, უიმედობით მოცულნი და ბნელი ღამის გარემოცვაში , მივხვდი , ისევე, როგორც ბევრი სხვა, რომ საჭირო იყო თვითონ შეგვექმნა ინფორმაციის საკუთარი წყაროები, თვითონ შეგვექმნა საკუთარი თავი, გავმხდარიყავით self-made, როგორც ამბობენ ინგლისელები (ინგლისურად ნიშნავს ადამიანს, ვინც თავისი თავი შექმნა) და მეც ამ გზას დავადექი. ნამდვილად არ მაკლდა არც საკითხავი მასალა და არც ის ფარული ინტელექტუალური ცხოვრება, რომელიც ჩემსა და წიგნს შორის იქმნებოდა, ჩემსა და სიტყვას შორის, რომელიც შორიდან მოდიოდა. მაგრამ თქვენ იცით, რომ ადამიანი არის არსება, რომელიც შორიდან მოდის. ადამიანი არის ძალიან გრძელი არსება, ანუ ადამიანი თავის თავს დროში სჭედავს; ცხოვრება არის დროში განხორციელებული ძალისხმევა. ძალისხმევა თავი შეიმაგრო ისტორიულ, ადამიანურ წერტილში, რაც უძრავ წერტილს წარმოადგენს მრუდეზე, რომელიც გაგიჟდა. ჩემი ახალგაზრდობის ფილოსოფიურ სწრაფვას მოკლედ შემდეგი იდეით შეიძლება გავუკეთო რეზიუმე: იესო ქრისტე შეიძლება ათასჯერ დაბადებულიყო ბეთლემში, მაგრამ თუ ის ერთ დღეს შენში არ მოგევლინა შენ დაიღუპებოდი. (გენიალური სიტყვებია. giorgia80) ეს არის ტრადიციული ხატი. იცით, ასეა თუ ისე, სიცოცხლის მოკვლა არ შეიძლება. ყველაზე საშინელი რეჟიმი, ყველაზე ტოტალიტარულიც კი როგორც საბჭოთა რეჟიმი იყო, თავისი საშინელებებით ნაცისტურ რეჟიმსაც რომ ვერ შეედრება, მანაც კი ვერ შეძლო სიცოცხლის განადგურება, რადგან სიცოცხლე ტროტუარს ამოხეთქავს, როგორც ზოგიერთი ყვავილი…

ანი ეპელბუან – მაინც როგორ უნდა ავხსნათ ის ფაქტი, რომ ჩვენ საბჭოთა კავშირში ფილოსოფოსებს თითქმის არ ვიცნობთ? თქვენ რომ პირობები აგვიწერეთ, ისინი თითქოს ხელს უწყობდა ფიქრსა და აზრის გაღვიძებას; ეტყობა სერიოზული დაბრკოლება შემოგხვდათ გზაზე, თორემ თქვენს თაობაში და სწორედ მოსკოვში უნდა შექმნილიყო შესანიშნავი ფილოსოფიური სკოლა.

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – იცით, პარადოქსი სწორედ იმაშია. უდაოდ არსებობდა ხელშემწყობი პირობები; მაგრამ ფილოსოფოსები არ ჩანდნენ, რადგან ამ პირობების გვერდით იყო სისტემა, რომელიც მხოლოდ დამთრგუნველი სისტემა არ იყო. თქვენ ვერ წარმოიდგენთ, (თუმცა უნდა წარმოიდგინოთ, რადგან ახალი ევროპული აზროვნება სოციალისტურ, თუ კომუნისტურ ცთუნების მკლავებშია მოქცეული), თქვენ ალბათ ვერ წარმოიდგენთ, რა მიმზიდველი და დამარწმუნებელია ტოტალიტარული აზროვნების სიმარტივე. ის თხევადი საწამლავივითაა, რომელიც ბევრად უფრო ეფექტურად მოქმედებს, ვიდრე ცენზურა თუ ავტორების დევნა. ის შიგნიდან გღრნის. ის შიგნიდან იჭრება ტვინში და ეს ძალზე მომხიბლავია. რეალურად გიზიდავს. საიდან მოდის ეს ხიბლი? იქიდან რომ ასეთი აზროვნება ნებას იძლევა თავი ჭკვიანი გეგონოს, დაიჯერო, რომ ყველაფერი გესმის, თავზე ყოველგვარი ძალდატანების გარეშე. ზოგადად ადამიანი ზარმაცია, ამიტომ ის სპონტანურად უერთდება იმას, რაც მას ჰპირდება რაღაცად გაგხდიო, ყოველგვარი მუშაობისა და მუყაითობის გარეშე. ამ ცდუნებამ კარგი ნაყოფი გამოიღო, როგორც საბჭოთა კავშირში, ასევე სხვაგანაც. ინტელექტუალურ ტრადიციაში არა ერთ სამარცხვინო ეპიზოდს ვხვდებით. მაგონდება ბერნარდ შოუ და აგრეთვე ისიც, რაც ყოველგვარ საზღვრებს სცილდება-საფრანგეთი. საფრანგეთი რომელიც ჩემთვის სინათლისა და აზრის სითამამის ქვეყანა იყო – ყველაფრის საწინააღმდეგო და საკუთარი თავის საწინააღმდეღო ფიქრისაც კი მუშაობასა და ძალისხმევაში. ჩემთვის რ. როლანის, ბ. შოუს და მათგვარი ინტელექტუალების კოჰორთის უზენაესი შედეგი არის ფილბის პიროვნება, რომელიც ინგლისის ჯაშუში იყო თავისი მრწამსით.

ანი ეპელბუან – მივუბრუნდეთ ომის შემდგომ მოსკოვის საზოგადოებას. უნივერსიტეტის პერიოდიდან თუ შემოგრჩათ თანამოაზრეები? თქვენნაირად ბევრი ფიქრობდა თუ განმარტოებული იყავით?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – მეგონა მარტო ვიყავი მეთქი, მაგრამ უნივერსიტეტის მე-5 კურსზე აღმოვაჩინე, რომ ჩემს გარშემო მყოფი ადამიანები იგივეს აკეთებდნენ, რასაც მე (იმ დროს “კაპიტალის” ეპისტემოლოგიაზე ვმუშაობდი). 52-53 წწ. რაღაც დუღდა. შეიძლება პარადოქსულიც მოგეჩვენოთ, რადგან ეს სტალინის სიკვდილამდე და პარტიის მე-20 ყრილობამდე იყო. მაგ. მე დაახლოებით ვიყავი ალექსანდრე ზისმონოვიევთან, რომელიც ჩემზე სამი წლით “უფროსი” იყო (უნივერსიტეტში კურსის მიხედვით, თორემ ის ჩემზე ბევრად უფროსია), ბორის გრიშინთან, იური ლევადასთან, სოციოლოგებთან, ერიკ სოლოვიოვთან, რომელიც ფილოსოფიის ბრწყინვალე მკვლევარიცაა; მას მხოლოდ ენის ბარიერის გამო არ იცნობს ფრანგული საზოგადოება. მეც ასეთ პირობებში ვარ, რადგან რუსულად ან ქართულად ვწერ, ისე რომ სანამ მთარგმნიან, არავის ეცოდინება რაზე ვწერ. მაგრამ ჩემი უპირატესობა ისაა, რომ კავშირები და მეგობრული ურთიერთობები მაქვს საფრანგეთსა და იტალიაში, თანაც ფრანგულად და იტალიურად ვლაპარაკობ. ისე, რომ ის ადამიანები, ვინც მიცნობენ და ვისთანაც ვლაპარაკობ, ხელს მიწყობენ ჩემი აზრების გავრცელებაში. სხვა მხრივ საბჭოთა კავშირსა და ევროპას შორის ფილოსოფიაში ლინგვისტურ-კულტურული ბარიერი არსებობს.

ანი ეპელბუან – კი მაგრა თქვენი წიგნები არც საბჭოთა კავშირში გამოქვეყნებულა?

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი – მართალია მხოლოდ რამდენიმე ჩემი წიგნი გამოიცა. ეს წიგნები, რომლებიც “არაფერს ეხებოდნენ” და ძალიან აბსტრაქტულები იყვნენ-ძირითადად წიგნები ეპისტემოლოგიაში. ეს ის სფეროა, რომელშიც არავის არაფერი ესმის. თანაც ჩემი მძიმე და ცუდი სტილი უფრო გაუგებარს ხდიდა ნაშრომებს. მაგრამ გამოცემისათვის ეს უფრო ხელსაყრელი იყო, რადგან ცენზურა იბნეოდა (იცინის). ეს სტილი ჩემს ნებაზე არ არის დამოკიდებული; უბრალოდ ცუდად ვწერ. ესაა და ეს. მე უკეთესად ვლაპარაკობ; თუ შეიძლება ასე ითქვას აუდიტორიასთან ურთიერთობაში ერთგვარი “არტისტიზმი” მაქვს. ვიცი, როგორ ავიყოლიო აუდიტორია; როცა ლექციას ვატარებ ან მოხსენებას ვაკეთებ, მოხსენებისას ჩემს ცხოვრებას ვთამაშობ, აუდიტორიის წინაშე ვდგევარ ჩემი პრობლემებით, პირად რისკს ვწევ და ვინც მისმენს ეს მისთვის ნათელია. ამიტომ ისინი მომყვებიან და იმ ფილოსოფიურ ტერმინოლოგიაში მე რომ ვხმარობ, თავიანთ პირად გამოცდილებას ამოიცნობენ. ხოლო ამ ტერმინოლოგიის ხმარება მჭიდრო კავშირშია ჩემი საკუთარი ცხოვრების ეგზისტენციასთან…

ფრანგულიდან თარგმნა მზია ბაქრაძემ

Serio-Comic War Map for the year 1877

Serio-Comic War Map for the year 1877

This map of 1877 visualises Russian foreign policy as the tentacles of an octopus. The creature threatens the enfeebled Ottoman Empire, and throttles Poland and Finland, then parts of the Russian Empire. The map’s author, Fred Rose, was the first person to conceive the idea of the octopus, though the idea of representing counties as figures or animals has a far older history. Following Rose, ‘Serio-comic’ maps used black humour to visualise European and world political tensions in visual form.

Dictatorships and Double Standards by Jeane Kirkpatrick

Jeane Kirkpatrick

The failure of the Carter administration’s foreign policy is now clear to everyone except its architects, and even they must entertain private doubts, from time to time, about a policy whose crowning achievement has been to lay the groundwork for a transfer of the Panama Canal from the United States to a swaggering Latin dictator of Castroite bent. In the thirty-odd months since the inauguration of Jimmy Carter as President there has occurred a dramatic Soviet military build-up, matched by the stagnation of American armed forces, and a dramatic extension of Soviet influence in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Southern Africa, and the Caribbean, matched by a declining American position in all these areas. The U.S. has never tried so hard and failed so utterly to make and keep friends in the Third World.

As if this were not bad enough, in the current year the United States has suffered two other major blows-in Iran and Nicaragua-of large and strategic significance. In each country, the Carter administration not only failed to prevent the undesired outcome, it actively collaborated in the replacement of moderate autocrats friendly to American interests with less friendly autocrats of extremist persuasion. It is too soon to be certain about what kind of regime will ultimately emerge in either Iran or Nicaragua, but accumulating evidence suggests that things are as likely to get worse as to get better in both countries. The Sandinistas in Nicaragua appear to be as skillful in consolidating power as the Ayatollah Khomeini is inept, and leaders of both revolutions display an intolerance and arrogance that do not bode well for the peaceful sharing of power or the establishment of constitutional governments, especially since those leaders have made clear that they have no intention of seeking either.

It is at least possible that the SALT debate may stimulate new scrutiny of the nation’s strategic position and defense policy, but there are no signs that anyone is giving serious attention to this nation’s role in Iranian and Nicaraguan developments – despite clear warnings that the U.S. is con­ fronted with similar situations and options in El Salvador, Guatemala, Morocco, Zaire, and else­ where. Yet no problem of American foreign policy is more urgent than that of formulating a morally and strategically acceptable, and politically realistic, program for dealing with non-democratic governments who are threatened by Soviet-sponsored subversion. In the absence of such a policy, we can expect that the same reflexes that guided Washing­ ton in Iran and Nicaragua will be permitted to determine American actions from Korea to Mexico – with the same disastrous effects on the U.S. strategic position. (That the administration has not called its policies in Iran and Nicaragua a failure-and probably does not consider them such­ complicates the problem without changing its nature.)

There were, of course, significant differences in the relations between the United States and each of these countries during the past two or three decades. Oil, size, and proximity to the Soviet Union gave Iran greater economic and strategic import than any Central American “republic,” and closer relations were cultivated with the Shah, his counselors, and family than with President Somoza, his advisers, and family. Relations with the Shah were probably also enhanced by our approval of his manifest determination to modernize Iran regardless of the effects of modernization on traditional social and cultural patterns (including those which enhanced his own authority and legitimacy). And, of course, the Shah was much better looking and altogether more dashing than Somoza; his private life was much more romantic, more interesting to the media, popular and other­ wise. Therefore, more Americans were more aware of the Shah than of the equally tenacious Somoza.

But even though Iran was rich, blessed with a product the U.S. and its allies needed badly, and Jed by a handsome king, while Nicaragua was poor and rocked along under a long-tenure president of less striking aspect, there were many similarities between the two countries and our relations with them. Both these small nations were led by men who had not been selected by free elections, who recognized no duty to submit them­ selves to searching tests of popular acceptability. Both did tolerate limited opposition, including· opposition newspapers and political parties, but both were also confronted by radical, violent opponents bent on social and political revolution. Both rulers, therefore, sometimes invoked martial law to arrest, imprison, exile, and occasionally, it was alleged, torture their opponents. Both relied for public order on police forces whose personnel were said to be too harsh, too arbitrary, and too powerful. Each had what the American press termed “private armies,” which is to say, armies pledging their allegiance to the ruler rather than the “constitution” or the “nation” or some other impersonal entity.

In short, both Somoza and the Shah were, in central ways, traditional rulers of semi-traditional societies. Although the Shah very badly wanted to create a technologically modern and powerful nation and Somoza tried hard to introduce modern agricultural methods, neither sought to reform his society in the light of any abstract idea of social justice or political virtue. Neither attempted to alter significantly the distribution of goods, status, or power (though the democratization of education and skills that accompanied modernization in Iran did result in some redistribution of money and power there).

Both Somoza and the Shah enjoyed long tenure, large personal fortunes (much of which were no doubt appropriated from general revenues), and good relations with the United States. The Shah and Somoza were not only anti-Communist, they were positively friendly to the U.S., sending their sons and others to be educated in our universities, voting with us in the United Nations, and regularly supporting American interests and positions even when these entailed personal and political cost. The embassies of both governments were active in Washington social life, and were frequented by powerful Americans who occupied major roles in this nation’s diplomatic, military, and political life. And the Shah and Somoza them· selves were both welcome in Washington, and had many American friends.

Though each of the rulers was from time to time criticized by American officials for violating civil and human rights, the fact that the people of Iran and Nicaragua only intermittently enjoyed the rights accorded to citizens in the Western democracies did not prevent successive administrations from granting-with the necessary approval of successive Congresses­ both military and economic aid. In the case of both Iran and Nicaragua, tangible and intangible tokens of U.S. support continued until the regime became the object of a major attack by forces explicitly hostile to the United States.

But once an attack was launched by opponents bent on destruction, everything changed. The rise of serious, violent opposition in Iran and Nicaragua set in motion a succession of events which bore a suggestive resemblance to one another and a suggestive similarity to our behavior in China before the fail of Chiang Kai-shek, in Cuba before the triumph of Castro, in certain crucial periods of the Vietnamese war, and, more recently, in Angola. In each of these countries, the American effort to impose liberalization and democratization on a government confronted with violent internal opposition not only failed, but actually assisted the coming to power of new regimes in which ordinary people enjoy fewer freedoms and less personal security than under the previous autocracy-regimes, moreover, hostile to American interests and policies.

The pattern is familiar enough: an established autocracy with a record of friendship with the U.S. is attacked by insurgents, some of whose leaders have long· ties to the Communist movement, and most of whose arms are of Soviet, Chinese, or Czechoslovak origin. The “Marxist” presence is ignored and for minimized by American officials and by the elite media on the ground that U.S. sup­ port for the dictator gives the rebels little choice but to seek aid “elsewhere.” Violence spreads and American officials wonder aloud about the viability of a regime that “lacks the support of its own people.” The absence of an opposition party is deplored and civil-rights violations are reviewed. Liberal columnists question the morality of continuing aid to a “rightist dictatorship” and pro­ vide assurances concerning the essential moderation of some insurgent leaders who “hope” for some sign that the U.S. will remember its own revolutionary origins. Requests for help from the beleaguered autocrat go unheeded, and the argument is increasingly voiced that ties should be established with rebel leaders “before it is too late.” The President, delaying U.S. aid, appoints a special emissary who confirms the deterioration of the government position and its diminished capacity to control the situation and recommends various measures for “strengthening” and “liberalizing” the regime, all of which involve diluting its power.

The emissary’s recommendations are presented in the context of a growing clamor for American disengagement on grounds that continued involvement confirms our status as an agent of imperialism, racism, and reaction; is inconsistent with support for human rights; alienates us from the “forces of democracy”; and threatens to put the U.S. once more on the side of history’s “losers.” This chorus is supplemented daily by interviews with returning missionaries and “reasonable” rebels.

As the situation worsens, the President assures the world that the U.S. desires only that the “people choose their own form of government”; he blocks delivery of all arms to the government and undertakes negotiations to establish a “broadly based” coalition headed by a “moderate” critic of the regime who, once elevated, will move quickly to seek a “political” settlement to the conflict. Should the incumbent autocrat prove resistant to American demands that he step aside, he will be readily overwhelmed by the military strength of his opponents, whose patrons will have continued to provide sophisticated arms and advisers at the same time the U.S. cuts off military sales. Should the incumbent be so demoralized as to agree to yield power, he will be replaced by a “moderate” of American selection. Only after the insurgents have refused the proffered political solution and anarchy has spread throughout the nation will it be noticed that the new head of government has no significant following, no experience at governing, and no talent for leadership. By then, military commanders, no longer bound by loyalty to the chief of state, will depose the faltering “moderate'” in favor of a fanatic of their own choosing.

In either case, the U.S. will have been led by its own misunderstanding of the situation to assist actively in deposing an erstwhile friend and ally and installing a government hostile to American interests and policies in the world. At best we will have lost access to friendly territory. At worst the Soviets will have gained a new base. And everywhere our friends will have noted that the U.S. cannot be counted on in times of difficulty and our enemies will have observed that American support provides no security against the forward march of history.

No particular crisis conforms exactly with the sequence of events described above; there are always variations on the theme. In Iran, for example, the Carter administration-and the President himself-offered the ruler support for a longer time, though by December 1978 the President was acknowledging that he did not know if the Shah would survive, adding that the U.S. would not get “directly involved.”

Neither did the U.S. ever call publicly for the Shah’s resignation. However, the President’s special emissary, George Ball, “reportedly concluded that the Shah cannot hope to maintain total power and must now bargain with a moderate segment of the opposition …” and was “known to have discussed various alternatives that would effectively ease the Shah out of total power” (Washington Post, December 15, 1978). There is, furthermore, not much doubt that the U.S. assisted the Shah’s departure and helped arrange the succession of Bakhtiar. In Iran, the Carter administration’s commitment to nonintervention proved stronger than strategic considerations or national pride. What the rest of the world regarded as a stinging American defeat, the U.S. government saw as a matter to be settled by Iranians. “We personally prefer that the Shah maintain a major role in the government,” the President acknowledged, “but that is a decision for the Iranian people to make.”

Events in Nicaragua also departed from the scenario presented above both because the Cuban and Soviet roles were clearer and because U.S. officials were more intensely and publicly working against Somoza. After the Somoza regime had defeated the first wave of Sandinista violence, the U.S. ceased aid, imposed sanctions, and took other steps which undermined the status and the credibility of the government in domestic and foreign affairs. Between the murder of ABC correspondent Bill Stewart by a National Guardsman in early June and the Sandinista victory in late July, the U.S. State Department assigned a new ambassador who refused to submit his credentials to Somoza even though Somoza was still chief of state, and called for replacing the government with a “broadly based provisional government that would in· elude representatives of Sandinista guerillas.” Americans were assured by Assistant Secretary of State Viron Vaky that “Nicaraguans and our democratic friends in Latin America have no intention of seeing Nicaragua turned into a second Cuba,” even though the State Department knew that the top Sandinista leaders had close personal ties and were in continuing contact with Havana, and, more specifically, that a Cuban secret-police official, Julian Lopez, was frequently present in the Sandinista headquarters and that Cuban military advisers were present in Sandinista ranks.

In a manner uncharacteristic of the Carter ad­ ministration, which generally seems willing to negotiate anything with anyone anywhere, the U.S. government adopted an oddly uncompromising posture in dealing with Somoza. “No end to the crisis is possible,” said Vaky, “that does not start with the departure of Somoza from power and the end of his regime. No negotiation, mediation, or compromise can be achieved any longer with a Somoza government. The solution can only begin with a sharp break from the past.” Trying hard, we not only banned all American arms sales to the government of Nicaragua but pressured Israel, Guatemala, and others to do likewise-all in the name of insuring a “democratic” outcome. Finally, as the Sandinista leaders consolidated control over weapons and communications, banned opposition, and took off for Cuba, President Carter warned us against attributing this “evolutionary change” to “Cuban machinations” and assured the world that the U.S. desired only to “let the people of Nicaragua choose their own form of government.”

Yet despite all the variations, the Carter administration brought to the crises in Iran and Nicaragua several common assumptions each of which played a major role in hastening the victory of even more repressive dictatorships than had been in place before. These were, first, the belief that there existed at the moment of crisis a democratic alternative to the incumbent government: second, the belief that the continuation of the status quo was not possible; third, the belief that any change, including the establishment of a government headed by self-styled Marxist revolutionaries, was preferable to the present government. Each of these beliefs was (and is) widely shared in the liberal community generally. Not one of them can withstand close scrutiny.

Although most governments in the world are, as they always have been, autocracies of one kind or another, no idea holds greater sway in the mind of educated Americans than the belief that it is possible to democratize governments, anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances. This notion is belied by an enormous body of evidence based on the experience of dozens of countries which have attempted with more or less (usually less) success to move from autocratic to democratic government. Many of the wisest political scientists of this and previous centuries agree that democratic institutions are especially difficult to establish and maintain – because they make heavy demands on all portions of a population and because they depend on complex social, cultural, and economic conditions.

Two or three decades ago, when Marxism enjoyed its greatest prestige among American intellectuals, it was the economic prerequisites of democracy that were emphasized by social scientists. Democracy, they argued, could function only in relatively rich societies with an advanced economy, a substantial middle class, and a literate population, but it could be expected to emerge more or less automatically whenever these conditions prevailed. Today, this picture seems grossly over­ simplified. While it surely helps to have an economy strong enough to provide decent levels of well-being for all, and “open” enough to provide mobility and encourage achievement, a pluralistic society and the right kind of political culture ­ and time-are even more essential.

In his essay on Representative Govemment, John Stuart Mill identified three fundamental conditions which the Carter administration would do well to ponder. These are: “One, that the people should be willing to receive it [representative government]; two, that they should be willing and able to do what is necessary for its preservation; three, that they should be willing and able to fulfill the duties and discharge the functions which it imposes on them.”

Fulfilling the duties and discharging the functions of representative government make heavy demands on leaders and citizens, demands for participation and restraint, for consensus and compromise. It is not necessary for all citizens to be avidly interested in politics or well-informed about public affairs-although far more widespread interest and mobilization are needed than in autocracies. What is necessary is that a substantial number of citizens think of themselves as participants in society’s decision-making and not simply as subjects bound by its laws. Moreover, leaders of all major sectors of the society must agree to pursue power only by legal means, must eschew (at least in principle) violence, theft, and fraud, and must accept defeat when necessary. They must also be skilled at finding and creating common ground among diverse points of view and interests, and correlatively willing to compromise on all but the most basic values.

In addition to an appropriate political culture, democratic government requires institutions strong enough to channel and contain conflict. Voluntary, non-official institutions are needed to articulate and aggregate diverse interests and opinions present in the society. Otherwise, the formal governmental institutions will not be able to translate popular demands into public policy.

In the relatively few places where they exist, democratic governments have come into being slowly, after extended prior experience with more limited forms of participation during which leaders have reluctantly grown accustomed to tolerating dissent and opposition, opponents have accepted the notion that they may defeat but not destroy incumbents, and people have become aware of government’s effects on their lives and of their own possible effects on government. Decades, if not centuries, are normally required for people to acquire the necessary disciplines and habits. In Britain, the road from the Magna Carta to the Act of Settlement, to the great Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1885, took seven centuries to traverse.

American history gives no better grounds for believing that democracy comes easily, quickly, or for the asking. A war of independence, an unsuccessful constitution, a civil war, a long process of gradual enfranchisement marked our progress to­ ward constitutional democratic government. The French path was still more difficult. Terror, dictatorship, monarchy, instability, and incompetence followed on the revolution that was to usher in a millennium of brotherhood. Only in the 20th century did the democratic principle finally gain wide acceptance in France and not until after World War II were the principles of order and democracy, popular sovereignty and authority, finally reconciled in institutions strong enough to contain conflicting currents of public opinion.

Although there is no instance of a revolutionary “socialist” or Communist society being democratized, right-wing autocracies do sometimes evolve into democracies-given time, propitious economic, social, and political circumstances, talented leaders, and a strong indigenous demand for representative government. Something of the kind is in progress on the Iberian peninsula and the first steps have been taken in Brazil. Something similar could conceivably have also occurred in Iran and Nicaragua if contestation and participation had been more gradually expanded.

But it seems clear that the architects of contemporary American foreign policy have little idea of how to go about encouraging the liberalization of an autocracy. In neither Nicaragua nor Iran did they realize that the only likely result of an effort replace an incumbent autocrat with one of his moderate critics or a “broad-based coalition” would be to sap the foundations of the existing regime without moving the nation any closer to democracy. Yet this outcome was entirely predictable. Authority in traditional autocracies is transmitted through personal relations: from the ruler to his close associates (relatives, household members, personal friends) and from them to people to whom the associates are related by personal ties resembling their own relation to the ruler. The fabric of authority unravels quickly when the power and status of the man at the top are undermined or eliminated. The longer the autocrat has held power, end the more pervasive his personal influence, the more dependent a nation’s institutions will be on him. Without him, the organized life of the society will collapse, like an arch from which the keystone has been removed. The blend of qualities that bound the Iranian army to the Shah or the national guard to Somoza is typical of the relationships-personal, hierarchical, non-transferable – that support a traditional autocracy. The speed with which armies collapse, bureaucracies abdicate, and social structures dissolve once the autocrat is removed frequently surprises American policy-makers and journalists accustomed to public institutions based on universalistic norms rather than particularistic relations.

The failure to understand these relations is one source of the failure of U.S. policy in this and previous administrations. There are others. In Iran and Nicaragua (as previously in Vietnam, Cuba, and China) Washington overestimated the political diversity of the op­ position-especially the strength of “moderates” and “democrats” in the opposition movement; underestimated the strength and intransigence of radicals in the movement; and misestimated the nature and extent of American influence on both the government and the opposition.

Confusion concerning the character of the opposition, especially its intransigence and will to power, leads regularly to downplaying the amount of force required to counteract its violence. In neither Iran nor Nicaragua did the U.S. adequately appreciate the government’s problem in maintaining order in a society confronted with an ideologically extreme opposition. Yet the presence of such groups was well known. The State Department’s 1977 report on human rights described an Iran “confronted with a small number of extreme rightist and leftist terrorists operating within the country. There is evidence that they have received substantial foreign support and training … [and] have been responsible for the murder of Iranian government officials and Americans….”

The same report characterized Somoza’s opponents in the following terms: “A guerrilla organization known as the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) seeks the violent overthrow of the government, and has received limited support from Cuba. The FSLN carried out an operation in Managua in December 1974, killing four people, taking several officials hostage, … Since then, it continues to challenge civil authority in certain isolated regions.”

In 1978, the State Department’s report said that Sandinista violence was continuing – after the state of siege had been lifted by the Somoza government.

When U.S. policy-makers and large portions of the liberal press interpret insurgency as evidence of widespread popular discontent and a will to democracy, the scene is set for disaster. For if civil strife reflects a popular demand for democracy, it follows that a “liberalized” government will be more acceptable to “public opinion.”

Thus, in the hope of strengthening a government, U.S. policy-makers are led, mistake after mistake, to impose measures almost certain to weaken its authority. Hurried efforts to force complex and unfamiliar political practices on societies lacking the requisite political culture, tradition, and social structures not only fail to produce desired outcomes; if they arc undertaken at a time when the traditional regime is under attack, they actually facilitate the job of the insurgents.

Vietnam presumably taught us that the United States could not serve as the world’s policeman; it should also have taught us the dangers of trying to be the world’s midwife to democracy when the birth is scheduled to take place under conditions of guerrilla war.

If the administration’s actions in Iran and Nicaragua reflect the pervasive and mistaken assumption that one can easily locate and impose democratic alternatives to incumbent autocracies, they also reflect the equally pervasive and equally flawed belief that change per se in such autocracies is inevitable, desirable,and in the American interest. It is this belief which induces the Carter administration to participate actively in the toppling of non-Communist autocracies while remaining passive in the face of Communist expansion.

At the time the Carter administration came into office it was widely reported that the President had assembled a team who shared a new approach to foreign policy and a new conception of the national interest. The principal elements of this new approach were said to be two: the conviction that the cold war was over, and the conviction that, this being the case, the U.S. should give priority to North-South problems and help less developed nations achieve their own destiny.

More is involved in these changes than originally meets the eye. For, unlikely as it may seem, the foreign policy of the Carter administration is guided by a relatively full-blown philosophy of history which includes, as philosophies of history always do, a theory of social change, or, as it is currently called, a doctrine of modernization. Like most other philosophies of history that have appeared in the West since the 18th century, the Carter administration’s doctrine predicts progress (in the form of modernization for all societies) and a happy ending (in the form of a world com­ munity of developed, autonomous nations).

The administration’s approach to foreign affairs was clearly foreshadowed in Zbigniew Brzezinski’s 1970 book on the U.S. role in the “technetronic era,”‘ Between Two Ages. In that book, Brzezinski showed that he had the imagination to look be­ yond the cold war to a brave new world of global politics and interdependence. To deal with that new world a new approach was said to be “evolving,” which Brzezinski designated “rational humanism.'” In the new approach, the “preoccupation”‘ with “national supremacy” would give way to “global” perspectives, and international problems would be viewed as “human issues” rather than as “political confrontations.” The traditional intellectual framework for dealing with foreign policy would have to be scrapped:

“Today, the old framework of international politics … With their spheres of influence, military alliances between nation states, the fiction of sovereignty, doctrinal conflicts arising from 19th-century crisis-is clearly no longer compatible with reality.”

[Concerning Latin America, Brzezinski observed: “Latin American nationalism, more and more radical as it widens its popular base, will be directed with increasing animosity against the United States unless the United States rapidly shifts its own posture. Accordingly, it would be wise for the United States to make an explicit move to abandon the Monroe Doctrine and to concede that in the new global age geographic or hemispheric contiguity no longer need be politically decisive. Nothing could be healthier for Pan-American relations than for the United States to place them on the same level as its relations with the rest of the world confining itself to emphasis on cultural-political affinities (as it does with Western Europe) and economic-social obligations (as it does with less developed countries).”]

Only the “delayed development” of the Soviet Union, “an archaic religious community that experiences modernity existentially but not quite yet normatively,” prevented wider realization of the fact that the end of ideology was already here. For the U.S., Brzezinski recommended “a great deal of patience,” a more detached attitude toward world revolutionary processes, and a less anxious preoccupation with the Soviet Union. Instead of engaging in ancient diplomatic pastimes, we should make “a broader effort to contain the global tendencies toward chaos,” while assisting the processes of change that will move the world toward the “community of developed nations.”

The central concern of Brzezinski’s book, as of the Carter administration’s foreign policy, is with the modernization of the Third World. From the beginning, the administration has manifested a special, intense interest in the problems of the so­ called Third World. But instead of viewing international developments in terms of the American national interest, as national interest is historically conceived, the architects of administration policy have viewed them in terms of a contemporary version of the same idea of progress that has traumatized Western imaginations since the Enlightenment.

In its current form, the concept of modernization involves more than industrialization, more than “political development” (whatever that is). It is used instead to designate “… The process through which a traditional or pre-technological society passes as it is transformed into a society characterized by machine technology, rational and secular attitudes, and highly differentiated social structures.” Condorcet, Comte, Hegel, Marx, and Weber are all present in this view of history as the working out of the idea of modernity.

The crucial elements of the modernization concept have been clearly explicated by Samuel P. Huntington (who, despite a period at the National Security Council, was assuredly not the architect of the administration’s policy). The modernization paradigm, Huntington has observed, postulates an ongoing process of change: complex, because it involves all dimensions of human life in society; systemic, because its elements interact in predictable, necessary ways; global, because all societies will, necessarily, pass through the transition from traditional to modern; lengthy, because time is required to modernize economic and social organization, character, and culture; phased, because each modernizing society must pass through essentially the same stages; homogenizing, because it tends toward the convergence and interdependence of societies; irreversible, because the direction of change is “given” in the relation of the elements of the process; progressive, in the sense that it is desirable, and in the long run provides significant benefits to the affiliated people.

Although the modernization paradigm has proved a sometimes useful as well as influential tool in social science, it has become the object of searching critiques that have challenged one after another of its central assumptions. Its shortcomings as an analytical tool pale, however, when compared to its inadequacies as a framework for thinking about foreign policy, where its principal effects are to encourage the view that events are manifestations of deep historical forces which cannot be controlled and that the best any government can do is to serve as a “mid­ wife” to history, helping events to move where they are already headed.

This perspective on contemporary events is optimistic in the sense that it foresees continuing human progress; deterministic in the sense that it perceives events as fixed by processes over which persons and policies can have but little influence; moralistic in the sense that it perceives his­ tory and U.S. policy as having moral ends; cosmopolitan in the sense that it attempts to view the world not from the perspective of American interests or intentions but from the perspective of the modernizing nation and the “end” of history. It identifies modernization with both revolution and morality, and U.S. policy with all three.

The idea that it is “forces” rather than people which shape events recurs each time an administration spokesman articulates or explains policy. The President, for example, assured us in February of this year:

“The revolution in Iran is a product of deep social, political, religious, and economic factors growing out of the history of Iran itself.”

And of Asia he said:

“At this moment there is turmoil or change in various countries from one end of the Indian Ocean to the other; some turmoil as in Indo­ china is the product of age-old enmities, in­ flamed by rivalries for influence by conflicting forces. Stability in some other countries is being shaken by the process of modernization, the search for national significance, or the desire to fulfill legitimate human hopes and human aspirations.”

Harold Saunders, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, commenting on “instability”in Iran and the Horn of Africa, states:

“We, of course, recognize that fundamental changes are taking place across this area of western Asia and northeastern Africa – economic modernization, social change, a revival of religion, resurgent nationalism, demands for broader popular participation in the political process. These changes arc generated by forces within each country.”

Or here is Anthony Lake, chief of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff, on South Africa:

“Change will come in South Africa. The welfare of the people there, and American interests, will be profoundly affected by the way in which it comes. The question is whether it will be peaceful or not.”

Brzezinski makes the point still clearer. Speaking as chief of the National Security Council, he has assured us that the struggles for power in Asia and Africa are really only incidents along the route to modernization:

“. . . All the developing countries in the arc from northeast Asia to southern Africa continue to search for viable forms of government capable of managing the process of modernization.”

No matter that the invasions, coups, civil wars, and political struggles of less violent kinds that one sees all around do not seem to be incidents in a global personnel search for someone to manage the modernization process. Neither Brzezinski nor anyone else seems bothered by the fact that the political participants in that are from northeast Asia to southern Africa do not know that they are “searching for viable forms of government capable of managing the process of modernization.” The motives and intentions of real persons are no more relevant to the modernization paradigm than they arc to the Marxist view of history. Viewed from this level of abstraction, it is the “forces” rather than the people that count.

So what if the “deep historical forces” at work in such diverse places as Iran, the Horn of Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, and the United Nations look a lot like Russians or Cubans? Having moved past what the President calls our “inordinate fear of Communism,” identified by him with the cold war, we should, we are told, now be capable of distinguishing Soviet and Cuban “machinations,” which anyway exist mainly in the minds of cold warriors and others guilty of over­ simplifying the world, from evolutionary changes, which seem to be the only kind that actually occur.

What can a U.S. President laced with such complicated, inexorable, impersonal processes do? The answer, offered again and again by the President and his top officials, is, not much. Since events are not caused by human decisions, they cannot be stopped or altered by them. Brzezinski, for example, has said: “Werecognize that the world is changing under the influence of forces no government can control. …” And Cyrus Vance has cautioned: “The fact is that we can no more slop change than Canute could still the waters.”

The Carter administration’s essentially deterministic and apolitical view of contemporary events discourages an active American response and encourages passivity. The American inability to influence events in Iran became the President’s theme song:

“Those who argue that the U.S. should or could intervene directly to thwart [the revolution in Iran] arc wrong about the realities of Iran…. We have encouraged to the limited extent of our own ability the public support for the Bakhtiar government…. How long [the Shah] will be out of Iran, we have no way to deter­ mine. Future events and his own desires will determine that. … It is impossible for anyone to anticipate all future political events…. Even if we had been able to anticipate events that were going to take place in Iran or in other countries, obviously our ability to determine those events is very limited [emphasis added].”

Vance made the same point:

“In Iran our policy throughout the current crisis has been based on the fact that only Iranians can resolve the fundamental political issues which they now confront.”

Where once upon a time an American President might have sent Marines to assure the protection of American strategic interests, there is no room for force in this world of progress and self-determination. Force, the President told us at Notre Dame, does not work; that is the lesson he extracted from Vietnam. It offers only “superficial” solutions. Concerning Iran, he said:

Certainly we have no desire or ability to intrude massive forces into Iran or any other country to determine the outcome of domestic political is­ sues. This is something that we have no inten­ tion of ever doing in another country. We’ve tried this once in Vietnam. It didn’t work, as you well know.

There was nothing unique about Iran. In Nicaragua, the climate and language were different but the “historical forces” and the U.S. response were the same. Military intervention was out of the question. Assistant Secretary of State Viron Vaky described as “unthinkable” the “use of U.S. military power to intervene in the internal affairs of another American republic.” Vance provided parallel assurances for Africa, asserting that we would not try to match Cuban and Soviet activities there.

What is the function of foreign policy under these conditions? It is to understand the processes of change and then, like Marxists, to align ourselves with history, hoping to contribute a bit of stability along the way. And this, administration spokesmen assure us, is precisely what we are doing. The Carter administration has defined the U.S. national interest in the Third World as identical with the putative end of the modernization process. Vance put this with characteristic candor in a recent statement when he explained that U.S. policy vis-a-vis the Third World is “grounded in the conviction that we best serve our interest there by supporting the efforts of developing nations to advance their economic well-being and preserve their political independence.” Our “commitment to the promotion of constructive change worldwide” (Brzezinski’s words) has been vouchsafed in every conceivable context.

But there is a problem. The conceivable contexts turn out to be mainly those in which non­Communist autocracies are under pressure from revolutionary guerrillas. Since Moscow is the aggressive, expansionist power today, it is more often than not insurgents, encouraged and armed by the Soviet Union, who challenge the status quo. The American commitment to “change” in the abstract ends up by aligning us tacitly with Soviet clients and irresponsible extremists like the Ayatollah Khomeini or, in the end, Yasir Arafat.

So far, assisting “change” has not led the Carter administration to undertake the destabilization of aCommunist country. The principles of self-determination and nonintervention are thus both selectively applied. We seem to accept the status quo in Communist nations (in the name of “diversity” and national autonomy), but not in nations ruled by “right-wing” dictators or white oligarchies. Concerning China, for example, Brzezinski has observed: “We recognize that the PRC and we have different ideologies and economic and political systems…. We harbor neither the hope nor the desire that through extensive contacts with China we can remake that nation into the American image. Indeed, we accept our differences.” Of Southeast Asia, the President noted in February:

Our interest is to promote peace and the withdrawal of outside forces and not to become embroiled in the conflict among Asian nations. And, in general, our interest is to promote the health and the development of individual societies, not to a pattern cut exactly like ours in the United States but tailored rather to the hopes and the needs and desires of the peoples involved.

But the administration’s position shifts sharply when South Africa is discussed. For example, Anthony Lake asserted in late 1978:

“… We have indicated to South Africa the fact that if it does not make significant progress toward racial equality, its relations with the international community, including the United States, are bound to deteriorate.

Over the years, we have tried through a series of progressive steps to demonstrate that the U.S. cannot and will not be associated with the continued practice of apartheid.”

As to Nicaragua, Hodding Carter III said in February 1979:

“The unwillingness of the Nicaraguan government to accept the [OAS] group’s proposal, the resulting prospects for renewal and polarization, and the human-rights situation in Nicaragua … Unavoidably affect the kind of relationships we can maintain with that government….

And Carter commented on Latin American autocracies:

“My government will not be deterred from protecting human rights, including economic and social rights, in whatever ways we can. We prefer to take actions that are positive, but where nations persist in serious violations of human rights, we will continue to demonstrate that there are costs to the flagrant disregard of inter­ national standards.”

Something very odd is going on here. How does an administration that desires Lo let people work out their own destinies get involved in determined efforts at reform in South Africa, Zaire, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere? How can an administration committed to nonintervention in Cambodia and Vietnam announce that it “will not be deterred” from righting wrongs in South Africa? What should be made of an administration that sees the U.S. interest as identical with economic modernization and political independence and yet heedlessly endangers the political independence of Taiwan, a country whose success in economic modernization and egalitarian distribution of wealth is unequaled in Asia? The contrast is as striking as that between the administration’s frenzied speed in recognizing the new dictatorship in Nicaragua and its continuing refusal to recognize the elected government of Zimbabwe Rhodesia, or its refusal to maintain any presence in Zimbabwe Rhodesia while stalling a U.S. Information Office in Cuba. Not only are there ideology and a double standard at work here, the ideology neither fits nor explains reality, and the double standard involves the administration in the wholesale contradiction of its own principles.

Inconsistencies are a familiar part of politics in most societies. Usually, however, governments behave hypocritically when their principles conflict with the national interest. What makes the inconsistencies of the Carter administration noteworthy are, first, the administration’s moralism – which renders it especially vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy; and, second, the administration’s predilection for policies that violate the strategic and economic interests of the United States. The administration’s conception of national interest borders on doublethink: it finds friendly powers to be guilty representatives of the status quo and views the triumph of unfriendly groups as beneficial to America’s “true interests.”

This logic is quite obviously reinforced by the prejudices and preferences of many administration officials. Traditional autocracies are, in general and in their very nature, deeply offensive to modern American sensibilities. The notion that public affairs should be ordered on the basis of kinship, friendship, and other personal relations rather than on the basis of objective “rational”‘ standards violates our conception of justice and efficiency. The preference for stability rather than change is also disturbing to Americans whose whole national experience rests on the principles of change, growth, and progress. The extremes of wealth and poverty characteristic of traditional societies also offend us, the more so since the poor are usually verypoor and bound to their squalor by a hereditary allocation of role. Moreover, the relative lack of concern of rich, comfortable rulers for the poverty, ignorance, and disease of “their” people is likely to be interpreted by Americans as moral dereliction pure and simple. The truth is that Americans can hardly bear such societies and such rulers. Confronted with them, our vaunted cultural relativism evaporates and we become as censorious as Cotton Mather confronting sin in New England.

But if the politics of traditional and semi-traditional autocracy is nearly antithetical to our own – at both the symbolic and the operational level – the rhetoric of progressive revolutionaries sounds much better to us; their symbols are much more acceptable. One reason that some modern Americans prefer “socialist” to traditional autocracies is that the former have embraced modernity and have adopted modern modes and perspectives, including an instrumental, manipulative, functional orientation toward most social, cultural, and personal affairs; a profession of universalistic norms; an emphasis on reason, science, education, and progress; a deemphasis of the sacred; and “rational,” bureaucratic organizations. They speak our language.

Because socialism of the Soviet/Chinese/Cuban variety is an ideology rooted in a version of the same values that sparked the Enlightenment and the democratic revolutions of the 18th century; because it is modern and not traditional; because it postulates goals that appeal to Christian as well as to secular values (brotherhood of man, elimination of power as a mode of human relations), it is highly congenial to many Americans at the symbolic level. Marxist revolutionaries speak the language of a hopeful future while traditional autocrats speak the language of an unattractive past. Because left-wing revolutionaries invoke the symbols and values of democracy-emphasizing egalitarianism rather than hierarchy and privilege, liberty rather than order, activity rather than passivity – they are again and again accepted as partisans in the cause of freedom and democracy.

Nowhere is the affinity of liberalism, Christianity, and Marxist socialism more apparent than among liberals who are “duped” time after time into supporting “liberators” who turn out to be totalitarians, and among Left-leaning clerics whose attraction to a secular style of “redemptive community” is stronger than their outrage at the hostility of socialist regimes to religion. In jimmy Carter-egalitarian, optimist, liberal, Christian–the tendency to be repelled by frankly non-democratic rulers and hierarchical societies is almost as strong as the tendency to be attracted to the idea of popular revolution, liberation, and progress. Carter is, par excellence, the kind of liberal most likely to confound revolution with idealism, change with progress, optimism with virtue.

Where concern about “socialist encirclement,” Soviet expansion, and traditional conceptions of the national interest inoculated his predecessors against such easy equations, Carter’s doctrine of national interest and modernization encourages support for all change that takes place in the name of “the people,” regardless of its “superficial” Marxist or anti-American content. Any lingering doubt about whether the U.S. should, in case of conflict, support a “tested friend” such as the Shah or a friendly power such as Zimbabwe Rhodesia against an opponent who despises us is resolved by reference to our “true,” our “long-range” interests.

Stephen Rosenfeld of the Washington Post de­ scribed the commitment of the Carter administration to this sort of “progressive liberalism”:

“The Carter administration came to power, after all, committed precisely to reducing the centrality of strategic competition with Moscow in American foreign policy, and to extending the United States’ association with what it was pre­ pared to accept as legitimate wave-of-the-future popular movements around the world-first of all with the victorious movement in Vietnam.

… Indochina was supposed to be the state on which Americans could demonstrate their “post-Vietnam” intent to come to terms with the progressive popular element that Kissinger, the villain, had denied.”

In other words, the Carter administration, Rosenfeld tells us, came to power resolved not to assess international developments in the light of “cold-war” perspectives but to accept at face value the claim of revolutionary groups to represent “popular” aspirations and “progressive” forces – regardless of the ties of these revolutionaries to the Soviet Union. To this end, overtures were made looking to the “normalization” of relations with Vietnam, Cuba, and the Chinese People’s Republic, and steps were taken to cool relations with South Korea, South Africa, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and others. These moves followed naturally from the conviction that the U.S. had, as our enemies said, been on the wrong side of his­ tory in supporting the status quo and opposing revolution.

One might have thought that this perspective would have been undermined by events in Southeast Asia since the triumph of “progressive” forces there over the “agents of reaction.” To cite Rosenfeld again:

“In this administrations’ time, Vietnam has been transformed for much of American public opinion, from a country wronged by the U.S. to one revealing- a brutal essence of its own.”

This has been a quiet but major trauma to the Carter people (as to all liberals) scarring their self-confidence and their claim on public trust alike.

Presumably, however, the barbarity of the “progressive” governments in Cambodia and Vietnam has been less traumatic for the President and his chief advisers than for Rosenfeld, since there is little evidence of changed predispositions at crucial levels of the ‘White House and the State Department. The President continues to behave as before – not like a man who abhors autocrats but like one who abhors only right-wing autocrats.

In fact, high officials in the Carter administration understand better than they seem to the aggressive, expansionist character of con temporary Soviet behavior in Africa, the Middle East, South-East Asia, the Indian Ocean, Central America, and the Caribbean. But although the Soviet/Cuban role in Grenada, Nicaragua, and El Salvador (plus the transfer of MIG-23’s to Cuba) had already prompted resumption of surveillance of Cuba (which in turn confirmed the presence of a Soviet combat brigade), the President’s eagerness not to “heat up” the climate of public opinion remains stronger than his commitment to speak the truth to the American people. His statement on Nicaragua clearly reflects these priorities:

“It’s a mistake for Americans to assume or to claim that every time an evolutionary change takes place in this hemisphere that somehow it’s a result of secret, massive Cuban intervention. The fact in Nicaragua is that the Somoza regime lost the confidence of the people. To bring about an orderly transition there, our effort was to let the people of Nicaragua ultimately make the decision on who would be their leader­ what form of government they should have.”

This statement, which presumably represents the President’s best thinking on the matter, is illuminating. Carter’s effort to dismiss concern about military events in this specific country as a manifestation of a national proclivity for seeing “Cuban machinations” under every bed constitutes a shocking effort to falsify reality. There was no question in Nicaragua of “evolutionary change” or of attributing such change to Castro’s agents. There was only a question about the appropriate U.S. response to a military struggle in a country whose location gives it strategic importance out of proportion to its size or strength.

But that is not all. The rest of the President’s statement graphically illustrates the blinding power of ideology on his interpretation of events.

When he says that “the Somoza regime lost the confidence of the people,” the President implies that the regime had previously rested on the confidence of “the people,” but that the situation had now changed. In fact, the Somoza regime had never rested on popular will (but instead on manipulation, force, and habit), and was not being ousted by it. It was instead succumbing to arms and soldiers. However, the assumption that the armed conflict of Sandinistas and Somozistas was the military equivalent of a national referendum enabled the President to imagine that it could be, and should be, settled by the people of Nicaragua. For this pious sentiment even to seem true the President would have had to be unaware that insurgents were receiving a great many arms from other non-Nicaraguans; and that the U.S. had played a significant role in disarming the Somoza regime.

The President’s mistakes and distortions are all fashionable ones. His assumptions are those of people who want badly to be on the progressive side in conflicts between “rightist” autocracy and “leftist” challenges, and to prefer the latter, almost regardless of the probable consequences.

To be sure, neither the President, nor Vance, nor Brzezinski desires the proliferation of Soviet-supported regimes. Each has asserted his disapproval of Soviet “interference” in the modernization process. But each, nevertheless, remains willing to “destabilize” friendly or neutral autocracies without any assurance that they will not be replaced by reactionary totalitarian theocracies, totalitarian Soviet client states, or worst of all, by murderous fanatics of the Pol Pot variety.

The foreign policy of the Carter administration fails not for lack of good intentions but for lack of realism about the nature of traditional versus revolutionary autocracies and the relation of each to the American national interest. Only intellectual fashion and the tyranny of Right/Left thinking prevent intelligent men of good will from perceiving the facts that traditional authoritarian governments are less repressive than revolutionary autocracies, that they are more susceptible of liberalization, and that they are more compatible with U.S. interests. The evidence on all these points is clear enough.

Surely it is now beyond reasonable doubt that the present governments of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos are much more repressive than those of the despised previous rulers; that the government of the People’s Republic of China is more repressive than that of Taiwan, that North Korea is more repressive than South Korea, and so forth. This is the most important lesson of Vietnam and Cambodia. It is not new but it is a gruesome reminder of harsh facts.

From time to time a truly bestial ruler can come to power in either type of autocracy – Idi Amin, Papa Doc Duvalier, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot are examples – but neither type regularly produces such moral monsters (though democracy regularly pre· vents their accession to power). There are, how· ever, systemicdifferences between traditional and revolutionary autocracies that have a predictable effect on their degree of repressiveness. Generally speaking, traditional autocrats tolerate social in· equities, brutality, and poverty while revolutionary autocracies create them.

Traditional autocrats leave in place existing allocations of wealth, power, status, and other resources which in most traditional societies favor an affluent few and maintain masses in poverty. But they worship traditional gods and observe traditional taboos. They do not disturb the habitual rhythms of work and leisure, habitual places of residence, habitual patterns of family and personal relations. Because the miseries of traditional life are familiar, they are bearable to ordinary people who, growing up in the society, learn to cope, as children born to untouchables in India acquire the skills and attitudes necessary for survival in the miserable roles they are destined to fill. Such societies create no refugees.

Precisely the opposite is true of revolutionary Communist regimes. They create refugees by the million because they claim jurisdiction over the whole life of the society and make demands for change that so violate internalized values and habits that inhabitants flee by the tens of thousands in the remarkable expectation that their attitudes, values, and goals will “fit” better in a foreign country than in their native land.

The former deputy chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly from 1976 to his defection early in August 1979, Hoang Van Hoan, described recently the impact of Vietnam’s ongoing revolution on that country’s more than one million Chinese inhabitants:

“They have been expelled from places they have lived in for generations. They have been dispossessed of virtually all possessions-their lands, their houses. They have been driven into areas called new economic zones, but they have not been given any aid.

How can they eke out a living in such conditions reclaiming new land? They gradually die for a number of reasons-diseases, the hard life.

They also die of humiliation.”

It is not only the Chinese who have suffered in Southeast Asia since the “liberation,” and it is not only in Vietnam that the Chinese suffer. By the end of 1978 more than six million refugees had fled countries ruled by Marxist governments. In spite of walls, fences, guns, and sharks, the steady stream of people fleeing revolutionary utopias continues.

There is a damning contrast between the number of refugees created by Marxist regimes and those created by other autocracies: more than a million Cubans have left their homeland since Castro’s rise (one refugee for every nine inhabitants) as compared to about 35,000 each from Argentina, Brazil, and Chile. In Africa more than five times as many refugees have fled Guinea and Guinea Bissau as have left Zimbabwe Rhodesia, suggesting that civil war and racial discrimination are easier for most people to bear than Marxist· style liberation.

Moreover, the history of this century provides no grounds for expecting that radical totalitarian regimes will transform themselves. At the moment there is a far greater likelihood of progressive liberalization and democratization in the governments of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile than in the government of Cuba; in Taiwan than in the People’s Republic of China; in South Korea than in North Korea; in Zaire than in Angola; and so forth.

Since many traditional autocracies permit limited contestation and participation, it is not impossible that U.S. policy could effectively encourage this process of liberalization and democratization, provided that the effort is not made at a time when the incumbent government is fighting for its life against violent adversaries, and that proposed reforms are aimed at producing gradual change rather than perfect democracy overnight. To accomplish this, policy-makers are needed who understand how actual democracies have actually come into being. History is a better guide than good intentions.

A realistic policy which aims at protecting our own interest and assisting the capacities for self-determination of less developed nations will need to face the unpleasant fact that, if victorious, violent insurgency headed by Marxist revolutionaries is unlikely to lead to anything but totalitarian tyranny. Armed intellectuals citing Marx and supported by Soviet-bloc arms and advisers will almost surely not turn out to be agrarian reformers, or simple nationalists, or democratic socialists. However in­ comprehensible it may be to some, Marxist revolutionaries are not contemporary embodiments of the Americans who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and they will not be content with establishing a broad-based coalition in which they have only one voice among many.

It may not always be easy to distinguish between democratic and totalitarian agents of change, but it is also not too difficult. Authentic democratic revolutionaries aim at securing governments based on the consent of the governed and believe that ordinary men are capable of using freedom, knowing their own interest, choosing rulers. They do not like the current leaders in Nicaragua, assume that it will be necessary to postpone elections for three to five years during which time they can “cure” the false consciousness of almost everyone.

If, moreover, revolutionary leaders describe the United States as the scourge of the 20th century, the enemy of freedom-loving people, the perpetrator of imperialism, racism, colonialism, genocide, war, then they are not authentic democrats or, to put it mildly, friends. Groups which define them­ selves as enemies should be treated as enemies. The United States is not in fact a racist, colonial power, it does not practice genocide, it does not threaten world peace with expansionist activities. In the last decade especially we have practiced remarkable forbearance everywhere and undertaken the “unilateral restraints on defense spending” recommended by Brzezinski as appropriate for the technetronic era. ·we have also moved further, faster, in eliminating domestic racism than any multiracial society in the world or in history.

For these reasons and more, a posture of continuous self-abasement and apology vis·a-vis the Third World is neither morally necessary nor politically appropriate. No more is it necessary or appropriate to support vocal enemies of the United States because they invoke the rhetoric of popular liberation. It is not even necessary or appropriate for our leaders to forswear unilaterally the use of military force to counter military force. Liberal idealism need not be identical with masochism, and need not be incompatible with the defense of freedom and the national interest.

(Commentary, 68:5 (1979:Nov) P. 34)

სიკვდილით მოხიბლულნი – მერაბ მამარდაშვილი

მერაბ მამარდაშვილი, 1977 წელი. მოსკოვის სახელმწიფო უნივერსიტეტის ფსიქოლოგიის ფაკულტეტი

ჩვენი ტოტალიტარული კოლექტივიზმი, რაც, სინამდვილეში, ერთმანეთისგან გათიშული, ეგოიზმით განმსჭვალული ადამიანების მგლური თამაშია და სხვა არაფერი, ჩვენსავე წინააღმდეგ მომართული ყველაზე მსახვრელი იარაღი აღმოჩნდა, როგორც კი შინაგანად სავსე, გულღია და აზრიანი ცხოვრება მოვინდომეთ. ყველას უკვე ძვალსა და რბილში აქვს გამჯდარი არსებულის გადანაწილებისა და არა ახლის ქმნის პრინციპები. და აი, დრომოჭმული კვლავ ცდილობს დათრგუნოს ცოცხალი აზრი – „მკვდრები სამარიდან გვებღაუჭებიან“. ახლა საჭიროა ჩამოვიხსნათ ცრუ ერთობის ნიღაბი და აღვადგინოთ ჭეშმარიტი რეალობა, ავაღორძინოთ დამოუკიდებელი საზოგადოებრივი კავშირები და ძალები. დიახ, სახელმწიფო მონობის ხუნდები დაწყვეტილია, მაგრამ ჩვენი საზოგადოებრივი ცნობიერების ნანგრევები ჯერ კიდევ, ჩვენდა უნებურად, ტოტალიტარულ მსოფლმხედველობას ეყრდნობა. მოსკოვშიც და თბილისშიც, როგორც აქამდე გვჩვეოდა, არანორმალური, ფსიქიკურად არასრულფასოვანი და გაველურებული ადამიანებივით ვიქცევით. როგორ გავაცნობიეროთ, რომ ეშმაკის მსხვერპლნი ვართ და არა ცოცხალი იესოები და ღვთისმშობლები? გონების ძილს თავი დავაღწიეთ თუ არა, მაშინვე ერთმანეთის შეგვეშინდა: ქართველს – ოსის, აფხაზს – ქართველის, რუსებს კი – ყველასი ერთად. ერთა შორის გაჩაღებული შიდაომები, დღითიდღე რომ მწვავდება, ბრმა შემთხვევითობათა ჯაჭვი კი არ არის, არამედ სტიქიური გამოვლინებაა ჩვენში დაგროვილი სისასტიკის და იმ ძალმომრეობისა, რომელსაც წლების განმავლობაში განვიცდილით და თავად შევისისხლხორცეთ. ეს შიდაომები იმ ცხოვრების საპასუხო სასჯელია, რა ცხოვრებითაც აქამდე ვცხოვრობდით. გაუგებარი მხოლოდ ერთი რამ არის: რატომ უნდა გვეფიქრა, რომ ღვთის სასჯელს ავცდებოდით? ეს სასჯელი უსათოუდ უნდა მივიღოთ და სულიერ განახლებას მივაღწიოთ იმით, რომ სარკე წინ დავიდგათ და შიგ ჩავიხედოთ.

ახლა ბევრი ჩვენგანის შინაგან პროტესტს იწვევს ქუჩის ქცევა – ქუჩისა, რომელიც ემოციებითა და გულის სიღრმიდან აღმომხდარი კივილით ცდილობს გადაწყვიტოს როგორც პოლიტიკური, ასევე სოციალური საკითხები. ქუჩა ცდილობს ახლის ქმნის პროცესს მარცხნიდან გადაუსწროს. ეს კი სხვა არაფერია, თუ არა განმეორება ბოლშევიზმის ისტორიული არსისა: აკი ბოლშევიზმი გვპირდებოდა, რომ უმოკლეს ვადაში განახორციელებდა განუხორციელებელ მოთხოვნებს, ეწეოდა დამკვრელურ წითელგვარდიულ შანტაჟს, მძევლად აჰყავდა მთელი ხალხი და ა.შ. ეს ყოველივე, აუცილებელია, გვახსოვდეს. მაგრამ, აი, კვლავ გამოჩნდნენ კომისრები, რომლებიც მოითხოვენ ან ბოიკოტს მომავალი არჩევნებისადმი ან „ნაციონალურ“ სწორებასა და რანჟირს, ამ კიდევ რაღაც ამის მსგავს. ისევე, როგორც აქამდე, მე მართმევენ მოქმედების თავისუფლებას, არჩევის თავისუფლებას. და ჩვენ ისევ ახალი მონოპოლიისა და ბოლშევიკური შემპარავი სქემების სათამაშოები ვხდებით. კვლავ ცდილობენ გვაიძულონ, ვიფიქროთ ერთნაირად და არა ისე, როგორც ვფიქრობთ. ეს ხომ ნამდვილი პოლიციაა, რომელსაც არაფრის გაგონება არ სურს და მხოლოდ პატრიოტულ გრძნობას ზომავს გრადუსობით.

მე უარეს დროშიც არ მშინებია და ახლა რატოღა შემეშინდება „წითელგვარდიელი“ მოიერიშეებისა. მაგრამ, სამწუხაროდ, ყველა მიმდინინარე პროცესი ჩვენს გამბედაობასა და შიშზე არ არის დამოკიდებული. უწინარეს ყოვლისა, საკუთარ თავს უნდა ვკითხოთ: რატომ გააქვთ სოციალური და პოლიტიკური საკითხები მიტინგებზე, სადაც ზოგჯერ არც საღი გონება იგრძნობა, არც ზნეობა და არც ღრმა ფიქრის შედეგად დაბადებული აზრი? გააქვთ მხოლოდ იმიტომ, რომ ეს საკითხები მეტისმეტად ნელა წყდება იქ, სადაც უნდა წყდებოდეს ნორმალურ ცივილიზებულ საზოგადოებაში. ასეთი საზოგადოება ჩვენში ჯერ კიდევ შესაქმნელია.

ძალიან დიდი ხნის განმავლობაში წინ უსინათლონი მიგვიძღოდნენ. ისინი არა მხოლოდ თავად იყვნენ ბრმები, არამედ იმათაც აბრმავებდნენ, ვინც ცდილობდა, თვალხილული ყოფილიყო. სამწუხაროდ, დღეს ჩვენ არა გვყავს განვითარებული ინტელიგენცია თავისი მყარი იდეალებით, კრისტალურად წმინდად განვლილი გზით, არაშემთანხმებლური პოლიტიკური ინტერესებით, იმგვარი აზროვნებით, რომ რამდენიმე სვლით მაინც წინ უსწრებდეს მოვლენებს.

არაფერი ცუდი არ მინდა ვთქვა ახალ ლიდერებზე – ერთადერთ ძალაზე, რომელსაც დღეს უნარი აქვს, ათასობით კაცი გაიყვანოს საპროტესტო მიტინგებსა და ხალხის ნების გამომხატველ დემონსტრაციებზე. მაგრამ თავისუფალია კი ამ ლიდერების სული და გონება ჩვენს მიერ შერისხული ტოტალიტარული მემკვიდრეობისგან? მათში ახალი გენეტიკური კოდია ჩადებული თუ გაუცნობიერებლად ძველის აღდგენისკენ მიისწრაფვიან? – მეფე მოკვდა! გაუმარჯოს მეფეს!

სიჩქარის თვალსაზრისით, ქუჩის ყიჟინა ხომ საღ განსჯაზე ბევრად უფრო სწრაფია. ამიტომაც შეიძლება ბევრს ეგონოს, თითქოს ქუჩას მეტი ძალა შესწევს, დაიწყოს ჩვენთვის, ყველასთვის ესოდენ სანუკვარი განახლება. ცხოვრებისთვის მარცნიდან გადასწრება მეტისმეტად მაცდუნებელია…მაგრამ ამგვარი გადასწრების შედეგად ყოველთვის ისეთი ცხოვრება მიიღება, რომელსაც ცხოვრება არც ჰქვია.

დღეს სწორედ ის დროა, გავიხსენოთ ძველი არაკი, რომელიც ჩვენს შინაგან სინამდვილეს ასახავს. ერთმა კაცმა მეგობარს საწოლების დამამზადებელი ფაბრიკიდან ცალკეული დეტალების გამოტანა სთხოვა, რომ ვაჟიშვილისთვის საკუთარი ხელით საწოლი აეწყო. ბევრი ეცადა, მაგრამ რაც უნდოდა, ვერა და ვერ ააწყო: საწოლის ნაცვლად, ყოველ ჯერობაზე ტყვიამფრქვევი გამოსდიოდა.

რისგან, რომელი დეტალებისგან ვაპირებთ „ავაწყოთ“ ახალი აზროვნება, ახალი მომავლისკენ მომწოდებელი ახალი ლიდერები“? თუ „აწყობას“ ძველი წარმოდგენებისგან ვაპირებთ, მაშინ ჩვენ კვლავ ილუზიების ქიმერულ კოშკებსა და რეალობის ახალ ციხეებს ავაგებთ. ასლის სიზუსტით გავიმეორებთ ტოტალიტარული სისტემის ყველა სტრუქტურას და ბრმები კვლავ წინ წარუძღვებიან ბრმებს, წელში მოხრილებს, საყოველთაო და ერთობლივი მორჩილების ნიშნად. ხომ არ დადგა დრო, ვერტიკალური მდგომარეობა მივიღოთ და თვალი გავუსწოროთ წარსულს, აწმყოსა და მომავალს? ხომ არ დადგა ჟამი, დავძლიოთ მიტინგის ისტერია, ავირჩიოთ ერთი ღვთაება – აზრი, ღირსება და სულგრძელობა ადამიანისა, რომელიც დარწმუნებულია თავის შინაგან სიმყარესა და ძალაში?

მაგრამ ამისთვის საჭიროა არა დატუქსვა, არა ზევიდან ბრძანება, არამედ – მოთმინება. ადამიანებს უნდა მიეცეთ საშუალება, თავად გაირბინონ აზრის დასაწყისსა და დასასრულს შორის არსებული შინაგანი სივრცე. გრძნობები უნდა დაკრისტალდეს ზოგადკაცობრიულობამდე. უნდა გარდავიქმნათ შიგნიდან და არა გარედან. არ შეიძლება ადამიანს გარედან მიენიჭოს ღირსების, სინდისისა და პატიოსნების გრძნობა. ჩვენ გვჭირდება ადამიანის და არა სახელმწიფოს კანონები. კანონით დაცული ადამიანები ყოველთვის დაიცავენ სახელმწიფოს. მანამდე კი, ვიდრე არსებობას განაგრძობს ( და კიდე უფრო იზრდება) ის სიცარიელე, რომელსაც სახელმწიფოებრიობა ჰქვია ანუ ვიდრე ისტორიულად არალეგიტიმურ პარტიულ ხელისუფლებას არ სურს და არც შეუძლია, რეალურად, საქმით დაამტკიცოს თავისი უნარი, იცავდეს მოქალაქეთა სიცოცხლესა და ინტერესებს, მათთან ერთად მონაწილეობდეს ახალი დამოუკიდებელი საზოგადოებრივი ძალების, ცხოვრებისა და მართვის ახალი ფორმებისა და სტრუქტურების განვითარებაში და არაფერ იმას არ აკეთებს, რასაც, უკვე დიდი ხანია, აუცილებლად უნდა აკეთებდეს, მე არ შემიძლია სოლიდარული არ ვიყო მაქსიმალისტებთან, ჩემს თანამემამულეებთან, რომლებიც დღეს ქუჩაში გამოდიან სამართლის საძიებლად.

არა მხოლოდ ჩვენ, არამედ დედამიწაზე მცხოვრებმა თითოეულმა ადამიანმა უნდა შეიგნოს, რომ ყველანი ერთი ხომალდის მგზავრები ვართ. ხომალდს კი არ შეუძლია მშვიდად იცუროს, თუ მის ტრიუმში აქეთ-იქით ეხეთქება დაუმაგრებელი ტვირთი, როგორიც დღეს საბჭოთა კავშირია. სულ მციდე ღელვის დროსაც კი ტვირთი კედელს გაანგრევს და ხომალდი გადაბრუნდება.

ჩვენი ინტელიგენციის ამოცანაა, საზოგადოებას წინ დაუდგას ნორნალური და არა მრუდე სარკე, რათა ამ სარკეში დავინახოთ ჩვენი დაბადების ისტორია, ტოტალიტარიზმის ნარჩენები, და ბოლოს, დავრწმუნდეთ, რომ ყველაზე საშიში მტერი ჩვენს გარეთ კი არ არის, არამედ ჩვენშია ჩაბუდებული.

მხოლოდ მაშინ ვიგრძნობთ კვლავ ცხოვრების გემოს და სამუდამოდ გავთავისუფლდებით სიკვდილის ხიბლისგან.

1990 წელი