LOPEZ: Is global governance all bad for human rights? Couldn’t a world government help some? Keep this pastor facing death for apostasy in Iran alive, perhaps? Surely most of us in the world think that’s crazy wrong?
FONTE: I’m all for the promotion and protection of universal human rights. However, the current advocates of the global-governance movement, exemplified by partisan activist groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International (which spend an inordinate amount of time savaging the United States and Israel), have done little to promote genuine human rights. Those who speak in the name of “global governance” will not protect the Iranian pastor. The liberal democratic nation-state and one of its prime institutions, the armed forces of the United States, have done much more good for human rights (think World War II) than the global-governance project has ever done or ever will do.
LOPEZ: How is sovereignty a moral issue?
FONTE: It is a moral issue in the political sense. An original National Review senior editor, Willmoore Kendall, talked about our “constitutional morality,” meaning the political morality that emerged from our founding documents and the authoritative commentary of the Federalist Papers. This constitutional morality, Kendall noted, teaches us that the only moral basis of legitimate government is the consent of the governed and that the first political right is the right of the people to govern themselves.
LOPEZ: What does Dante have to do with any of this?
FONTE: Dante advocated a world government under the control of the Holy Roman Empire. James Burnham, another original National Review senior editor, wrote a scathing critique of Dante’s globalism in his famous work The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom. Dante appears in my chapter on the history of the perennial conflict between advocates of global governance and supporters of the independent state going back to the disagreement between Alexander the Great and his teacher Aristotle.
LOPEZ: What’s wrong with Fukuyama?
FONTE: Fukuyama argued that after the fall of Communism there would be no serious future ideological rivals to liberal democracy with universal appeal. My book maintains that the global-governance project and its ideological spearhead — transnational progressivism — has widespread appeal among Western and Westernized elites throughout the globe and challenges the moral legitimacy of the nation-state, including the liberal democratic nation-state.
LOPEZ: Who is this Anne-Marie Slaughter person you keep quoting, and why do you?
FONTE: Anne-Marie Slaughter is a leading theorist of global governance and a major actor in American foreign-policy circles. Under Obama, she served as head of the State Department’s Policy Planning Office (the in-house think tank, once headed by Cold War architect George Kennan). I call her the “John Bolton of the Left,” or of the transnational progressives. She could be secretary of state someday in a future Democratic administration.