Some American commentators close to the Obama administration are touting the coup in Kiev as a successful tit for tat for Russia’s obstruction of U.S. war plans against Syria and its broader imperialist agenda. However, the Europeans, who get a lot of their gas from Russia, are split over joining ‘a coalition of the willing’. At the NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels on Feb. 26, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen insisted that a solution could be found through cooperation with Moscow. She was echoed by the German business community.
In contrast, as reported Feb. 26 by the European Policy Centre in Brussels, British neoconservative policy advisor Amanda Paul demanded the EU adopt a tougher line against Putin. The conservative daily Die Zeit agreed, noting that “although reason, caution and compromise are good virtues, Europe have to learn power politics. We believe that the world is rational, with lots of compromise and consideration. In reality, Man is not a moral animal, but an animal of power.”
It is no coincidence that this quote should come from the German business community, for it expresses an ideology that is deeply rooted in that country, and which has gained significant influence, albeit under the radar, in the U.S., although it constituted the philosophical basis of the Nazi state.
To make this point I will turn to a surprising source: British former diplomat Alastair Crooke’s 2009 book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution. Unlike NY Times bestsellers that deal with Islam, it introduces the reader to analyses of Western ideology by Islamist scholars, revealing knowledge ignored by most American college graduates.
During the Vietnam War, the well-known conservative philosopher Alan Bloom accused liberalism of undermining American values and in particular patriotism. He claimed that one of liberalism’s founders, John Locke, who influenced both the French and American revolutions, extended Hobbes’ ideas about liberal government, rights, the ‘self-aware Self’ and innate human goodness. Bloom and other Chicago School philosophers and economists, starting with Leo Strauss, were convinced that liberalism had thus led to nihilism, a ‘defining modern disorder’ that discourages citizens from sacrificing themselves for the State. The idea of nihilism had been laid out by Heidegger and Nietzsche, and led to the path taken by Nazi Germany. It was elaborated by their disciple, Carl Schmitt, who was none other than Leo Strauss’s friend and mentor.
The ‘Chicago School’, as it is widely known, is presented as being concerned strictly with economics, it’s best-known representative being Milton Friedman. In fact, it has been a major player in the development of the overall Neo-Conservative philosophy. From here I will simply cut and paste a slighted edited version of Crooke’s analysis of Neo-Conservatism’s philosophical background as it appears starting on page 248 of “RESISTANCE”:
The Chicago School and the Essence of Power Read the rest of this entry →