Saturday, September 03, 2005

"These people are strange..."

The following words come from an ongoing series of articles by Bernard-Henri Levy, entitled In the Footsteps of Tocqueville. Tocqueville was a Frenchman who traveled the United States early in her life and offered some amazingly astute commentary. Anyway, Levy has traced Tocqueville's steps and has written these articles from The Atlantic Monthly. In the paragraph that follows, he is writing about the neo-cons who currently hold so much political power:

These people are strange, is the gist of what he (someone Levy is interviewing) says to me. They've spent their whole lives preacing against giving too much power to the government. They told us to beware of the naivete of the social-engineering specialists who purported to be able to eradicate American poverty with one wave of their political wand. And then they lost all perspective as soon as it was a question of eradicating such poverty, along with the roots of despotism, 6,000 miles away. And they have complete faith in a political decision when it's an issue -- as a nation and a government are being constructed -- of winning not just the war but also the peace. And they adopt the same "messianic" tone for which they've so often reproached their progressive adversaries as soon as it's a matter of building a Western-style democracy, ex nihilo, in a country that's never harbored such a concept!

Interesting stuff huh?