Monday, August 28, 2006

God speed

Should we be worried about the increasing influence of evangelical Christians in US foreign policy? Foreign Affairs Magazine says No. Walter Russel Mead argues that the fundamentalists tend to stay out of world affairs, while the people that are getting involved are evangelicals, who see foreign policy as a means to increase religious freedoms and aleviate poverty throughout the world. So, think of Bush not as some wild-eyed holy crusader, but a great ethical thinker in the model of (cough-cough!) 'greats' like Woodrow Wilson.

The evangelists do have a temperment that I can deal with a lot more easily than the fundamentalists. However, they seem to share a belief with Schelling, Hegel and Quinet that the unfolding of history is the progressive revelation of the Absolute. So how will they respond if History turns out to have other ideas? The French idealists turned pretty quickly to moaning about the mal de siecle after the 1848 commune, and pretty much gave up on the unfolding of history. Not to mention how many starry-eyed Communists eventually gave up on the idea of the end of history and the withering away of the state. If Bush is Woodrow Wilson, will Iraq be his Weimar Republic?

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