February 15, 2005


Why Millions Say, Softly, God Bless America (Paul Johnson, 02.28.05, Forbes)

Democracy has many enemies, and the terrorist is only one of them. It also has many hypocritical and humbugging pseudosupporters, which is one of numerous lessons to be drawn from the situation in Iraq.

When America--having smashed Iraq's 40-year-old Baathist tyranny and captured its blood-soaked leader, Saddam Hussein--promised to hold democratic elections with all deliberate speed so that Iraqis could decide their own future, the hope and expectation was that democratic nations and peoples the world over would come and help. But that did not happen. With the notable exceptions of Australia, Poland and Britain (whose prime minister, Tony Blair, has taken huge political risks to back America 100%), most other democratic nations have looked the other way.

Folk have mistakenly viewed the End of History as a triumphalist and idealistic notion, but the example of Europe amply demonstrates that though liberal democracy appears to be the inevitable last stage of political society it may be just the last stop on a society's way to the grave, unless tempered with the kind of moral/religious spirit that animates America.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 15, 2005 7:24 PM

Doesn't mention Canada, but it should have. This article should be on billboards. GBUSA, and especially the men and women of the United States Armed Forces.

(BTW, I count my real education to have started about 1989 the day I picked up a copy of Johnson's Modern Times on sale in the remainder bin of an outlet shopping mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C.)

Posted by: Peter B at February 15, 2005 7:44 PM

All closed systems generate entropy, or death. Only a system that is open and receptive to energy it can't itself produce, can stay ahead of entropy. Democratic secularism produces a closed and self-referencing system. America's religious character positions its democracy in relation to God, opens it to grace, and provides the power to go on.

Posted by: Luciferous at February 16, 2005 5:01 PM

Peter B:

An excellent book. President Bush once mentioned it when asked to name books that had affected his thinking.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 16, 2005 5:44 PM
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