Foreign Policy and the Popular Willrnby Erik von Kuehnelt-LeddihnrnIs the foreign policy of the United States her Achilles’ heelrnand the cause of endless dissatisfaction? Without doubt, ifrnwe remember the words of Clausewitz: wars are nothing butrnthe continuation of diplomacy by other means. Yet wars arernvery costly because they involve not only money but, above all,rnhuman lives. Foreign relations are especially painful for Americansrnbecause America was born on the flight from the OldrnWorld, from which, to their discomfort and grief, Americansrncould never wholly dissociate themselves. This is evident notrnonly from the Monroe Doctrine (designed to remove the WesternrnHemisphere from its global context), but also from the ambiguousrntitle of “Secretary of State” given to the Minister of ForeignrnAffairs, whose role is so very different from those in thernvarious states of the Union. Perhaps the elimination of geographyrnfrom the American curriculum also has something to dornwith it. This educational lacuna had led all too many Americansrnto study the Old World merely by nibbling at its Atlanticrnseaboard. Yet the geographic heart of Europe is in Belarus.rnThe Founding Fathers wanted the United States to embodyrna novus ordo seclorum in the spirit of an unrealistic Edenism,rnand, not surprisingly, Utopian dreamers have been attracted tornthe shores of this “Island of the Blessed.” Even today there arernAmericans who speak of the “American Experiment,” thoughrnthe United States are by no means an “experiment” to be continuedrnor called off but a solid piece of reality in this world,rnwhich according to Catholic tradition is a vale of tears, and inrnthe words of Martin Luther, “the Devil’s Inn.” No wonder thatrnthe American heart is isolationist, but—to complicate mattersrn—it is also inclined to refashion the rest of tlie world in itsrnown image.rnStill, owing to its origins, America has always been exposedrnto European influences. The word “democracy” appears neitherrnin the Declaration of Independence nor in the Constitution,rnand the same can be said about the noun “republic.” AsrnHenry Adams argued, the year 1828 must be considered a wa-rnErik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn is the author of a dozen books,rnamong them Leftism Revisited: From de Sade and Marx tornHitler and Pol Pot (Regnery).rntershed in American history. From then on, state and societyrnhave been increasingly democratized under the influence of arnEuropean ideology, the same process which took place in thernOld World. We arc all, to quote Melville, living in “the DarkrnAges of Democracy,” and this affects not only the inner life ofrnthe nations but also the relationships between them. Yet, contrar’rnto some pious hopes, this will not lead us to the “end of history.”rnDevising a constructive, not merely political, but historicallyrnoriented foreign policy is therefore an acute problem for thernUnited States, for what happens to it affects all “democracies.”rnThese are ruled mostly by parliaments composed of electedrnparties. Elections are held periodically, either according to therncalendar or due to the termination of a parliamentary majority.rnThus Italy has had, since the end of World War II, more thanrn50 different governments. Democracy in general and parliamentarianismrnin particular do not represent rule by “the people,”rnbut by tlie (temporary) majority over the (equally temporary)rnminority. In other words, instability is one of manyrncharacteristics of our “Western” political system.rnModern democracies are also ignorant, and they refuse tornlearn from experience. A person wanting to drive a car mustrnprove his or her qualification, but neither the voter nor evenrnthose voted into power are subject to such scrutiny. Directrndemocracy (as practiced, for instance, in some cantons of thernSwiss Federation) deals only with very simple local problems.rnBut foreign policy, especially for world powers, requires enormousrnknowledge and experience. How can an average Americanrncitizen assess the necessity of the last two “foreign wars”rnfought by his country? And a simple French citizen the militar)’rnintervention of his country in Bosnia? And what does HerrrnMiiller understand about the necessity for the European Communityrnto be properly armed at huge expense?rnIn a democracy, such “questions” are decided by popularlyrnelected governments consisting of parties, and parties, as we allrnknow, have the burning desire to be elected or reelected at allrncosts and to increase the number of their representatives. Nornmajority, no power! In other words, voters blackmail their parties,rnand parties in turn bribe the voters with the promise to ful-rn30/CHRONICLESrnrnrn