Chesterton quote of the day

A patriotism that does not allow other people to be patriots is not a morality but an immorality. [The Catholic Church and Conversion, chapter 3]

This is a frustrating thing to me about US foreign policy. We behave as though others ought to welcome our interventions and presence. Would we be so sanguine about the Russians or Chinese or Indians butting in on our internal affairs? Why then do we think that we have the right to interfere in other states’ business when it suits us?

We think that our government and our way of life is the best, but others clearly disagree about what is best for themselves. What right, then, have we to meddle in their political affairs or to try and impose democracy where it is not wanted? A lot of Russians look back with fondness for the days of Stalin, for example. Whatever we might think about it, it is clear that the Russian people like strong authoritarian rule. It is madness for us to pretend that they should share our preferences. Justice and defense are the primary business of governments (along with advancing the common good of their citizens), and there is flatly no reason to pretend that these ends cannot be achieved by an authoritarian government any less than by a democratic one.

I like living in America, but I think we need to learn to butt out of others’ business.

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Posted in Natural Law, Veritatis Splendor
2 comments on “Chesterton quote of the day
  1. blueskygrannie says:

    Totally agree with your post. “Making the world safe for democracy” seems to become in reality, the conquest of other nations by the US military-industrial complex in order make these nations safe business at the tragic expense of the conquered people and American soldiers. Sadly, what can be done?

    “The consolidation of the states into one vast republic, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of that ruin which has overwhelmed all those that have preceded it.” Robert E. Lee

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

  2. aquinasetc says:

    Yep. I agree. It is exasperating and sad and needless that we actively make ourselves odious to so many people by our stubborn clinging to American exceptionalism. :-(

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