Sunday, March 20, 2016
If the answer is not "the people" that society is not made up of free people and that society has a Ruling Class every bit as much as a Kingdom.
Do the French, British, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Americans and Australians have the right to decide for themselves whether or not to perpetuate their cultures, institutions and ways of life? Or will these questions be decided for them (and against their will) by transnational elites (through ideologically partisan interpretations of global human rights) and/or by millions of migrants from the developing world “voting with their feet” and arriving without the consent of the host nation’s citizens? The American conservative thinker Willmoore Kendall once wrote that the greatest political “right” of all was not any individual right, but the right of a free people to rule themselves.Whatever one’s political viewpoint, it is clear that we are facing, not pragmatism, but a question of ideology par excellence. Put otherwise, we are facing a capital W, capital H, World Historical question: Does Western-style government by consent of the governed have the moral right of societal reproduction in the twenty-first century? The immediate migration issue and the continuing immigration-assimilation question tells us that the contemporary West is not living in a Kojevian post-historical world with “pragmatic” civil servants adjusting bureaucratic post-national rules because all the big questions have been settled (Francis Fukuyama) or because “the ideological age has ended” in the West (Daniel Bell). Instead we are still addressing Hegelian big issues, specifically, the most important question of political philosophy: Who should govern, and by what moral authority?Ideas have consequences. Ideology, whether democratic or non-democratic, Western or non-Western, positive or negative, continues to shape history as much as so-called material factors.