America’s Coup D’État in the Making: Deception and Self-Deception
by Claes G. Ryn
A hard-hitting a clear statement of our current dilemma.
QUOTE The handwriting is all over the wall. It is becoming clearer with each passing day that neo-Jacobinism and related currents, which may have seemed innocuous and "merely academic" to some, have provided ideological cover for an ever more grasping and ruthless pursuit of power. People of great ambition who want to exercise the power being abdicated by Americans are trying to make us accept and even welcome the final disappearance of American constitutionalism and its culture of modesty and self-restraint.
As already mentioned, some earlier assaults on traditional Western civilization were launched by openly radical agitators who saw themselves as on the outside of their societies. Their justifications for seizing power were revolutionary doctrines like those of Marx and Trotsky. Today’s rolling, gradual coup is engineered by already powerful people who want to consolidate and expand their power.
Wishing not to antagonize too much those who still identify with an older America and still wield some power, they try not to appear too radical and so often present themselves as "neoconservatives" or even "conservatives." As should be clear from their own words, that does not make them friends of traditional America.
Needless to say, neo-Jacobin ideology, though long a potent force, is not the only way of justifying the coup from within. Those working to centralize power are strongly entrenched in both major parties and in other influential American institutions, and they employ different ideas and symbols to woo and co-opt different constituencies.
Given the growing problems of the United States, why not welcome these efforts to rethink the ways of traditional America? Because they are inspired by highly dubious motives that color the proposals for change. Though those trying to impose a new power structure often speak in the name of America and their rhetoric is sometimes faintly conservative, they are not inspired by a desire to protect and reconstitute the best of the Western tradition.
By changing the meaning of words, they are rather trying to reconcile us to the demise of that heritage and its replacement with their own enlightened and virtuous regime. Their response to the crisis is aggravating the crumbling of the American constitutional order. Their prescriptions contain the outlines of tyranny and must fill the friends of traditional American and Western civilization with trepidation.
What is ominous about these, our purported saviors, to repeat, is not that they want power. It is that they represent a conceited and self-absorbed special interest and have an obsessive desire to rule others – a desire that cannot be concealed by feigned benevolence toward Americans and all mankind. It is necessary to expose their false solutions to what are real problems and to explore by what measures the best of our civilization might, despite daunting odds, be given a new lease on life. UNQUOTE
October 16, 2008
Claes G. Ryn [send him mail], professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, is chairman of the National Humanities Institute and editor of Humanitas. He also is president of the Academy of Philosophy and Letters. He is the author of America the Virtuous.