Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Chesterton wisely advised would-be reformers to know what a fence is for before tearing it down. You never know what it might be keeping out. This morning On the Square, R.R. Reno considers the worth of the American Empire and comes to the conclusion—contra Julian Assange—that it should not be torn down:

Nonetheless, I’m against Assange and other would-be radicals who see empire and think evil, for they are also in the grip of a false view. American global predominance is evil compared to what? As compared to increased global conflict? As compared to a corrupt and inept United Nations? As compared to the cold, amoral, calculating self-interest of an ascendant China? Assange talks a great deal about the virtue of transparency. But this entirely abstract and formal idea has no capacity to restrain the perennial human impulse toward violence, chaos, and destruction.

In other words, I’m in favor of defending the American empire, such as it is, because I’m an Establishmentarian. While not inclined to romanticize current arrangements, which are undoubtedly unjust and cruel and riddled with human sinfulness, I very much oppose revolutionary attitudes that make the terrible error, all too common among progressives, of imagining that nothing could be worse than the status quo.

00 Days
00 Hours
00 Minutes
00 Seconds
Dear Reader,

Your charitable support for First Things is urgently needed before the clock above hits zero.

First Things is proud to be a reader-supported enterprise, and the Spring Campaign is one of only two major reader giving drives each year. It ends on June 30 at 11:59 p.m.

Your gift will fortify First Things to speak boldly on behalf of religious voices in the public square ahead of a pivotal season for our nation and the church.

Please give now.

Make My Gift

Tags

Loading...

Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles