February 25, 2006
-- by Thomas Leavitt
See this article in the Scotsman online, which states that Fukuyama has declared neoconservatism discredited and a failure, that "it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention [in Iraq] itself or the ideas animating it kindly", and that the movements' advocates are Leninists who "believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will.." Among other bon mots of note.
It appears that not all right wingers are completely immune to reality.
UPDATE: Just found an op ed in the New York Times authored by Fukuyama himself, entitled: After Neoconservatism.
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Professor Fukuyama makes some good points in his exhaustive Op Ed piece, as one would expect. Professor Fukuyama is a widely respected author and intellectual. The piece does reveal it's fundamental weakness when it relys on referencing Pat Buchanan as it's only "traditional conservative" that believes the effort to promote democracy around the world is an illegitimate activity. It is well known that Pat Buchanan is an isolationist first, and a conservative second.
What is really happeing here is that Professor Fukuyama is experiencing the difficulties of applying theoretical tactics to the real world. As an academic and intellectual, Professor Fukuyama is not accustomed to difficulties of any type. Wanting to quit when the going gets tough is a common trait. Professor Fukuyama was not hired to teach or lecture because of his toughness, and that's OK. It doesn't make it wrong to promote democracy as a weapon against terrorism just because Professor Fukuyama has gotten cold feet.
His glossing over of the difficulties in re-establishing democracy in Europe after WWII made this current stance predictable. He has never really had an appreciation of the difficulties of carrying out this task on the ground.
In his Op Ed he carefully avoids telling us where he stood when Ronald Reagan confronted Gorbachev with the demand to "tear down this wall", but my bet was he thought winning the cold war through confrontation would be "too hard", or "impossible".
He was wrong then, and he's wrong now.
I fon't think Fukuyama is quite so ready to despair as one would have us believe. Here's what Fukuyama ctually said:
"If we are serious about the good governance agenda, we have to shift our focus to the reform, reorganization and proper financing of those institutions of the United States government that actually promote democracy, development and the rule of law around the world, organizations like the State Department, U.S.A.I.D., the National Endowment for Democracy and the like."
Don't believe anything this guy says. He's full of shit. Keep in mind that the hallmark of the neocons is lies and deception, which they believe is necessary to keep the "masses" under control and perfectly OK. If you don't believe me, read up on them. They also believe that any text should be full of double meanings and hidden messages. As for this Op Ed piece, I'm not going to bother to try to translate it. As for democracy, Leo Strauss believed that democracy was a miserable failure, dangerous, and won't work. The neocon hero is Louie XIV.
Do I detect an altered mood? Also, I'm puzzled at the reference to Louis XIV. It appears to be flattery, but I'm sure I'm missing the point. Would you be so kind as to offer an explanation? Thanks, Happy
Happy, if you want an explanation, go read Leo Strauss.
In researching Strauss I was unable to find where he described democracy as a miserable failure. Although I found many references to his belief that liberalism was a failure. If you could give me a quote from Strauss, with the source, I would be glad to discuss it with you. Feel free to use this format:
"Liberal relativism has its roots in the . . . tradition of tolerance . . . ; but in itself it is a seminary of intolerance." (Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), 6.)
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