Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fukuyama's Moral Dilemna

In the latest online Slate piece by Jacob Weisberg, we are treated to an assessment of why neoconservative architect Francis Fukuyama has made a turnaround on the ideology he once held so dear.
Neoconservatives, [Fukuyama] contends, have abandoned their fundamental political insight, namely that ambitious schemes to remake societies are doomed to disappointment, failure, and unintended consequences.
The thing that is wrong, of course, with Fukuyama's assessment of the neoconservative movement and where it went wrong is that it's full of shit.


He has this romanticized view of neoconservatism in his head, which he's using to try and justify his disillusionment. Fukuyama obviously hasn't read George Orwell's 1984.

Neoconservatism is about, and has always been about, the acquisition of absolute power at any cost--as long as someone else pays the bill. That's it. That's the single, undeviating goal of neoconservatives: to obtain power by any means necessary, and keep it by any means necessary. Want to control the nation, but can't do it because too many people know what you're really about? Get your buddies to position themselves to where they can unduly influence electoral outcomes, and rig your way into office. Want to hide a truth that would destroy any chance of you getting what you want? Lie your ass off until people begin to believe it. Want to control the world? Take over the region that produces the bulk of its primary fuel source. Want to launch your invasion of that region? Sit back and let a major attack happen on U.S. soil, and use that attack as an excuse to invade. Want to stamp out any and all dissent? Turn the nation into a totalitarian state, a dictatorship, where freedom of the press and to protest are systematically eroded and eventually outlawed altogether. Circumvent the law, break it, pass new laws to make the illegal fuckery you're doing legal.

That is what the neoconservatives are about. It's got nothing to do with spreading democracy, or protecting us from terrorism; those are simply red herrings and fancy rhetoric, used to sway the increasingly ignorant and apathetic masses. Neoconservatism never went wrong; it was never right to begin with. The movement's stated ideals are a mask for its real intentions. As Orwell wrote, in the persona of O'Brian, the real purpose of Big Brother was the consolidation of power, and its infinite maintenance. The perpetual boot stomping down on the face of the masses.

If you're a neoconservative, once you begin to realize this fundamental truth you have two options; embrace it, as O'Brian and his victim Winston did (through torture, by the way, the preferred hobby of the Bush regime against prisoners). Or reject it. I'll give you three guesses as to what this architect of the neoconservative movement is doing, and the first two don't count.

Fukuyama is experiencing a similar dilemna to what Huckleberry Finn faced when he helped free a slave. Finn feels guilt initially, mistaking the guilt for his conscience, when in reality it was the societal programming he'd been raised under telling him that slavery was good and right, and to help a slave escape was wrong. In fact, it is ultimately Finn's human conscience that wins out, forcing him to do what's right and to renounce his social programming. Fukuyama is experiencing pangs of human conscience, having witnessed the price others have paid for the dreams he once harbored (even if he never actually admitted them to himself). But, his earlier ideology is still telling him, from the depths of his weakening depravity, that neoconservatism wasn't bad; in his mind, it just "lost its way." I believe it's really that Fukuyama is simply coming to realize what neoconservatism truly is, and what the ultimate costs of it truly are.

Next Entry: Taking Back America, Part 2


Buck Laser said...

Andrew Sullivan has some comments in this week's TIME about why so many neo-cons thought Iraq was going to be a walk. He cited overconfidence following the easy end of the cold war and excessive faith in the competence of the administration.

But what truly annoys me is that too many neo-cons simply accept a new Manifest Destiny--that it's the divine right of the US to be THE Superpower. It ain't gonna happen, and the sooner we get used to being one of the frogs in the pond, the better off we and the world will be.

dos4ever said...

Did Buck take a blow to the head? That ain't the Buck I know!
But it's true. Maybe not in our lifetime but someday the American empire will fall. That's when international relations will become extremely important. We can't be burning our bridges.

Michael Keith said...

Once the Cold War ended, America had a choice: Lead the world by taking a proactive and cooperative approach, using mutual respect and understanding; or take the road of conquest. Under Clinton, we had largely chosen the former, and it made the imperialists bust every vein in their foreheads. Now, under the Shrub and his gang of criminals, we're on the latter--and darker--path. And it's unsustainable. That's the painful realization many conservatives are coming to.