America the Virtuous: The Crisis of Democracy and the Quest for Empire

Review of Metaphysics 58 (3):682-684 (2005)
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In America the Virtuous Claes G. Ryn alerts us to the danger of an imperialistic universalism, whose advocates he designates “neo-Jacobins” after their kinship to the French Jacobins, who wished to spread their gospel of equality to all of Europe; similarly, the neo-Jacobins wish to impose their utopian ideals of equality, democracy, and capitalism upon the whole world by means of the military might of the United States. Since the neo-Jacobins believe in one set of values that apply to all human beings, they propose to bring this good to others, whether they want it or not, through a centralized government, and they propose to bring it to the whole world through the United States, that nation which most perfectly realizes their ideal.



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