The New Breed: Julian Assange's Tea Partying Side

The on-going Julian Asssssange case continues to surprise. A sharp-eyed RS McCain found this surprising sound bite from the Hacker Conscience of the World's interview with Time:
The United States has some immutable traditions, which, to be fair, are based on the French Revolution and the European Enlightenment. The United States' Founding Fathers took those further, and the federalism of the United States also, of relatively powerful states trying to constrain federal government from becoming too centralized. Also added some important democratic controls and understandings. So there is a lot of good that has historically come from the United States.

But after World War II, during World War II, the federal government of the United States started sucking the resources to the center, and the power of states started to diminish. Interestingly, the First Amendment started overriding states' laws around that time, which I see as a function of increasing central power in the United States. I think the problems with the United States as a foreign power stem from, simply, its economic success, whereby it's, historically at least, a very rich country with a number of people and the desire left over as a result of

Let me explain this a bit better. The U.S. saw the French Revolution and it also saw the behavior of the U.K. and the other kings and dictatorships, so it intentionally produced a very weak President. The President was, however, given a lot of power for external relations, so as time has gone by, the presidency has managed to exercise its power through its foreign affairs function.
As McCain jokingly wonders, has Asssssange been reading Lew Rockwell or watching Glenn Beck? Or, volunteering for Ron Paul?

More likely he has been incubating in the works of Chalmers Johnson and Andrew Bacevich, the leading proponents of the "American Empire" theory of history. Johnson is a familiar figure among the nose-ringed poli-sci crowd on the Left, often sharing the stage with Noam Chomsky and other worthies. But, Bacevich is more unusual: a pro-military college professor best known for an outraged anti-Iraq War essay he wrote after his son was killed in action there. His books are worth reading if you are a conservative, even if he reaches shocking conclusions along the way, such as his claim that Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech was actually a misunderstood bit of visionary statecraft. Anyway, Bacevich is a big proponent of the "empire of military bases" critique of the US, but without the off-putting anti-American rhetoric that usually accompanies such analyses.

What people like him - and Asssssange - conveniently elide over is that the "empire of bases" was built with the goal of communist containment. You can argue whether these bases are necessary 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but I don't think there's much of a argument as to their historic necessity, worries about the "military-industrial complex" notwithstanding.

BTW, McCain came across the above soundbite in a post by Bill Weinberg, who says "enough with the Julian Assange worship" and further declares that Assange's vision of constitutional history has a distinctly "teabagger" flavor and is racist to boot. Apparently, Weinberg actively supports a strong central government lording over the US, rather than a federal government with limited powers. That's nice to know, but I wish his fellow travelers on the left could be equally forthright as to their vision of DC's role in our lives.

Best Retirement Invesments Auto Search