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Kesler on R2P Hypocrisy

Nice catch by Bruce Kesler who goes en fuego on the weirdly discordant note Anne-Marie Slaughter strikes in her latest New York Times op-ed:

Majority Rule Over Minorities: Ironic R2P Hypocrisy

The extremism of R2P’s leading proponent is exhibited in Anne-Marie Slaughter’s op-ed in today’s New York Times. Slaughter likens the Wall Street protesters to those demonstrating against oppressive regimes in the Middle East and recommends removal of the US system of checks and balances that protect minority views and avoid poorly developed political stampedes. (Slaughter doesn’t mention or give credence to the more numerous, mature citizenry participating in or supporting the Tea Parties more peaceful protests for more limited government intrusions into Americans’ private lives and earnings.)

R2P’s leading proponent, Anne-Marie Slaughter of Harvard, believes that US foreign policies and military interventions should prioritize the Right To Protect severely repressed peoples through US obeisance to liberal internationalist elites’ sentiments in favor of some they like regardless of the US Constitution or laws or national or security interests.

In today’s New York Times, Slaughter takes her R2P home to the US, advocating that majorities rule regardless of the formal and informal checks and balances of our political system and overriding the rights of political minorities. Again, it is the majorities that liberals like who should be given more powers.

Without any sense of proportionality or of core differences between the US and Middle East satrapies, Slaughter says, “Indeed, the twin drivers of America’s nascent protest movement against the financial sector are injustice and invisibility, the very grievances that drove the Arab Spring.” Slaughter then concludes, “The only effective response is a political response, of a nature and magnitude that convinces protesters on the streets that they can in fact secure the change they seek within, rather than outside, the system.”

Slaughter’s system, however, would reduce the ability of permanent or transitory political minorities to protect their interests. They would, also, further factionalize the US and make compromises more difficult as the power of centrists is reduced….

Read the rest here.

Good grief. Anne Marie Slaughter opining on the need for greater democracy and accountability to the people is somewhat akin to Ayn Rand calling for more welfare programs.

My suspicion here, since this rhetoric runs counter to Slaughter’s most influential ideas, is that Slaughter is just carrying water as part of the current Democratic political strategy of trying to co-opt the Occupy Wall Street movement. Perhaps the Axelrods and Podestas see that open-source protest movement to potentially be “their tea party”. Whatever. I will take her op-ed more seriously when she is marching against the Hedge fundies and Wall Streeters who are top donors to her Party, her administration and her university.

You can put a three corned hat on a Princeton theorist of global governance by transnational “governmental networks” but even if you adjust the hat at a suitably jaunty angle for maximum populist effect, the agenda underneath is still neither democratic nor popular.

7 Responses to “Kesler on R2P Hypocrisy”

  1. Mercutio Says:

    For the record, I’m a Princeton graduate who has a collection of Aussie hats ( as well as various Borsolino’s and my prize Panama ) all of which I jauntily wear. 

    Nevertheless, I would like to know WTF Kesler means by  "Slaughter doesn’t mention or give credence to the more numerous, mature citizenry participating in or supporting the Tea Parties more peaceful protests for more limited government intrusions into Americans’ private lives and earnings."  We have photos of those guys showing up at political rallies armed with guns. 

  2. zen Says:

    Hi Mercutio,
    You can wear both your Princeton sweater and  panama hat with extreme jauntiness here anytime as long as you do not pen NYT op-eds that contradict all your previous comments 🙂
    Bruce is a movement conservative, tempered by stints in journalism and think tanks and he writes from that perspective on a more political blog. Tea Party types ( I am not one) have mostly become another faction of the GOP, though not entirely. Most of the Tea Partiers I have seen are older, mild and suburban, though in different regions of the country like Arizona or parts of Texas, where gun-rights issues are paramount, I can imagine some Charlton Heston overhead gun-waving taking place ( incidently, I like guns and I’m a crack shot, but I wouldn’t go waving firearms at a rally where protestors and counterprotestors are jacked-up and police are tense. Seems like that could go awry somewhere)

  3. Cheryl Rofer Says:

    Hi Mark –
    I suspect that, in AMS’s mind, this op-ed is not as discordant as you think. I suspect that she believes that the networks she has written about are fundamentally democratic. And here are some protesters in the name of democracy using the means that all would-be complexity theorists believe indicate networks – namely smartphones etc. So clearly they are doing the right thing.
    Of course, it’s incredibly naive to base similarities on technologies as common as this, and she does draw some comparisons related to policy. And I think she didn’t use the word network in this piece.
    I’ll agree with Mercutio that the Tea Party thing in Bruce’s post is extreme, and I’ll go further and say that he’s not quoting her recommendations toward the end of her piece quite right. OTOH, I don’t blame him for being jumpy after some of the other things she’s said.
    All in all, I don’t find some of the problems with this op-ed that I find in other of AMS’s writing. And the inconsistencies you describe may not exist as such in her mind.

  4. Bruce Kesler Says:

    Mercutio/Cherly: I remove my yarmulke hat for a moment between Yom Kippur services to note that my depiction of the Tea Parties is accurate, including as to any guns as Mark makes clear. Any violence that occasionally occurred at a Tea Party rally was from leftists or union thugs attacking Tea Partiers.
    Cheryl: The quotes from Slaughter are exactly accurate quotes and representative.
    Mark: The leftist Sourcewatch defines/labels/libels? "movement conservative" as follows: "Movement Conservatism is a self-serving and socially malevolent cabal of mega-corporations, right-wing think tanks in Washington, their archconservative foundation benefactors, and an intricate nationwide network of linkages in the communications media, religion, higher education, and law. It has been called the "conservative labyrinth," and common to all its elements is a theology of "free markets," an ideology coming to full bloom in the Administration of George W. Bush. Today, the G.O.P. seeks to impose it at every turn." I’m not sure what a "movement conservative" is but I don’t fit any of Sourcewatches criteria. I am not part of any corporation nor any Washington think-tank nor benefator to any nor part of any network of linkages nor an idolotor of free markets. My upbringing is in the social democracy that sought to protect the rights of individuals against overweening big businesses and government. I’ve been true to that in lambasting corporations (esp. when feeding at the taxpayer teet) and those in government profiteering from such alliances, as well as George Bush when placing multinational corporations’ trade above human rights of those oppressed. I do not surrender my critical thinking to any ideology or movement. Except that I am a Marxian, Grouch Marx that is, not joining any organization that would have me. In addition, my published preference among the Republican candidates for president is not any of those identified as most conservative.
    That all said, A-MS is the epitome of the remote from reality and alienated from American values intellectual that I abhor, from her early defense of the Sandinistas to now. Cheryl, we all should be "jumpy" at her utterances, and its mirrors among some in the Obama administration. 

  5. zen Says:

    Hi Cheryl
    Excellent point! You may very well be correct. AMS may see her previous advocacy for "governmental networks" and OWS as cut being from the same cloth. She may be believe that in all sincerity.
    However, powerful elite insiders intentionally forming "networks" to make important policy decisions amongst themselves, outside of the normal legal and legislative process and in a manner opaque to the citizenry cannot be considered "democratic"at all. It’s autocratic, technocratic and oligarchic, regardless of what AMS personally believes.

  6. zen Says:

    Hi Bruce,
    You are free to define yourself here as you like, of course.
    I am not a reader of Sourcewatch. "Movement conservative" in my view is not perjorative, as I have always understood and used the term since the late 80’s; it is someone who is an activist on conservative principles and policy issues and places that above affiliation to the regular GOP party machinery, often being a member of particular groups like YAF, Americans for Tax Reform, the ACU and so on. In our interactions, I have always thought of you as principled and issue oriented, so I used the term as a fast descriptor rather than an effort to pigeonhole you.
    Agree with you on AMS.

  7. Bruce Kesler Says:

    Not a member of any of those groups, or any others, Mark. (Unless Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts counts :>? ).
    Not an activist on "conservative principles" either, unless defense of individual freedoms and its protections is only IDd with conservatives and not liberals or non-ideologues. I don’t think so.

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