In past blog postings for AltRight, I have discussed the phenomenon of what I call “totalitarian humanism,” a particular worldview that I regard as being at the heart of the most serious political and cultural problems currently facing the modern West. Specifically, I consider totalitarian humanism to be an intellectual and ideological movement among contemporary Western elites that serves as a replacement for older worldviews such as Christianity, nationalism, cultural traditionalism, Eurocentrism, or even Marxism. Such features of modern life as political correctness and victimology serve as a representation of the totalitarian humanist approach to domestic policy. The present war against the Libyan state provides an illustration of what the totalitarian humanist approach to foreign policy and international relations involves.
The regime of Colonel Qaddafi poses no conceivable threat to Western nations. Allegations of Qaddafi’s insanity not withstanding, his substantive efforts over the past two decades to ease tensions between Libya and the West have shown his capabilities for behaving as a rational actor and practicing realpolitik. As recently as August of 2009, Qaddafi was described by David Blair of the Daily Telegraphas having “gone from being the epitome of revolutionary chic to an eccentric statesman with entirely benign relations with the West.” These benign relations ended with the outbreak of the present civil war between Qaddafi and opponents of his regime. Richard Spencer has pointed out the nearly identical parallels between Western intervention in Kosovo in 1999 and the current intervention in Libya. Both interventions serve as prototypes for the vision for the world that our contemporary elites possess. An interesting discussion that aired earlier today on ABC’s This Weekcuts to the chase of the matter. Former Congresswoman Jane Harman, now of the aptly named Woodrow Wilson Center, monster neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz, and Wilson Center scholar Robin Wright provided rationales for the intervention that involved no consideration whatsoever of national interests, geopolitical questions, or legitimate defensive concerns. Essentially, their rationales amount to little more than “Qadaffi runs an illiberal regime.”
Libya under Qadaffi represents everything Western elites despise: a conservative, religious, nationalistic, traditional, patriarchal, tribal society that has resisted the penetration of its own culture by the norms of Western, secular, liberal, humanism and globalism. According to the religion of Western elites, Qaddafi is an infidel and must be punished or destroyed. The intervention in Libya is essentially about spreading the Jacobin revolution to the Middle East (a plausible argument of a comparable nature could be made concerning the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq). The role of the United Nations and the participation of certain usually rather pacific European nations in the assault on Libya is rather telling. The vision of the elites is one where a global super-state maintains an international army whose purpose is the eradication of political institutions and cultural values that fail to conform to the standards of totalitarian humanism. Kosovo and Libya are essentially pilot programs for this future vision.