Thursday, February 23, 2006

One Less Neocon Makes The World A Better Place

Hat tip to the Rational Review and

Fukuyama Sues for Divorce
by Jim Lobe

"The Washington foreign policy elite finds itself on pins and needles this week awaiting a response from the neoconservative heavyweights at the Weekly Standard magazine to a scorching denunciation by one of their most venerable fellow travelers, Francis Fukuyama, in Sunday's New York Times Magazine. Fukuyama, best known for his post-Cold War essay proclaiming the historic inevitability of liberal democracy, 'The End of History,' argued in the Times article that neoconservatives so badly miscalculated the myriad costs of the Iraq war that they may have empowered their two foreign policy nemeses -- realists, who disdain democracy-promotion; and isolationists, who oppose foreign entanglements of almost any kind. Even more provocatively, Fukuyama called the Standard's editor, William Kristol, his ideological sidekick, Robert Kagan, and their neoconservative comrades who led the drive to war in Iraq 'Leninist' in their conviction that liberal democracy can be achieved through 'coercive regime change' or imposed by military means." (02/23/06)

The irony here is that Fukuyama’s signature piece, "The End of History", itself shares certain commonalities with Marxist interpretations of history. Marx believed in the Hegelian construct that the whole purpose of history was an unstoppable evolution to a certain and final stage of human societal development, "historical inevitabilities", if you will. In Marx's case, it was socialism. Fukuyama argued the opposite, as apparently, the end of the Cold War proved the final “historical inevitability” of the triumph of western capitalism.

But hey...if he's coming to his senses about the Neoconservative movement, who am I to judge?

There is one portion of this author’s analysis that stood out to me:

In his view, the way in which the Cold War ended created among neoconservatives like Kristol and Kagan "an expectation that all totalitarian regimes were hollow at the core and would crumble with a small push from outside" – and that Hussein's Iraq would be no different.

"The war's supporters seemed to think that democracy was a kind of default condition to which societies reverted once the heavy lifting of coercive regime change occurred, rather than a long-term process of institution-building and reform," according to Fukuyama.

I’m reminded how often I hear - usually from Conservatives - that it was through the single-handed efforts of Ronald Reagan that Soviet Communism came crashing down. Absent Reagan, Communism would be thriving and threatening us for the next 2000 years.

This just goes to show how ignorant of economics in general, and specifically the works of Ludwig von Mises, Conservatives are. As the argument goes, Communism didn’t fail because it’s a completely incoherent and internally contradictory economic system…no, it failed because we defeated it. It took a courageous and vibrant executive with the moral clarity to confront Communism and send it scurrying to history’s trash heap. Nowadays, Neocons like Sean "Conservatives Believe In Welfare" Hannity verbally ejaculate in their praise of Dubya for much of the same reasons as he continues his Jihad for Democracy.

Freedom, according to Conservatives, is just another Government program. All hail the Politicians!

So it makes sense that the current War on Iraq follows in the same misguided impulses that plagues the instincts of most Conservatives. When you have no real understanding about how civilization flourishes, then the solutions offered to advance civilization are going to be flawed. If we put our uncritical faith in “The Leader” to do great things, we can remake the world into a bold, new Utopia...right?

And I thought Conservatives were suspicious of the nature of man…..


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