Sunday, February 3, 2008
The End of History
Francis Fukuyama (in)famously proposed an "End of History" in a 1989 essay later expanded in a 1992 book titled "The End of History and the Last Man."
His thesis was stark recognition that with the fall of the Soviet Union, the cause of Progress had come to an end in the sense we had known it. History itself had in a sense come to an end. There was no clear path forward, no comprehensive motive for further developments on the Progressive model. Some form of Western Democracy and Market Capitalism had come to dominate the political and economic life of the whole world; it would only expand its reach in the future. "Progress" on the models previously understood simply had no ideological basis any more. Modernism itself was no longer necessary or possible.
Our Future would be Post Modern, unpredictable in the short term, but consistently expanding the practice of Western Democracy and Market Capitalism over the long term.
This reading of Fukuyama's thesis may not comport with the generally held belief that he was simply being a Hegelian/Straussian NeoConman tool, advocating a Neo-Imperialist expansion of the West, particularly the United States, by force and theft. In fact, that isn't what he advocated. It is instead the consequence of the Triumph of the End-of-the-20th-Century Western World View.
That world view was until relatively recently dominated by the principles of the Progressive Operating System (as modified) that has been nearly universally applied to governments and NGOs throughout the Civilized World. Now, with the "end" of History, that Operating System seemed more and more an anachronism and an impediment.
What to do?
The answer seems to be to plow forward willy-nilly, in a strange and bloody version of Dickensian Darwinism, let the survivors rule, and that, as they say, is that. So far, we don't have a serious counter movement, an effective ideological counter.
While we have candidates claiming a Progressive mantle, the term no longer has any meaning -- except as a formless "opposition" to Bushevism that really hasn't been an effective opposition at all. In some sense, Bushevism is as Progressive as the Progressives -- who seem incapable of doing anything in any case.
One by one, government agencies are being openly purged of lingering Progressive operations, replaced with purely ignorant, crony and political hackery such as hasn't been seen in government since the end of the 19th Century. So-called Progressive legislators do little or nothing about it, some even helping to undermine what's left of Progressive operations by reflexively approving Bushevik nominees to cabinet and judicial appointments.
They are pledged to dismantle what's left of Progressivism in the Federal government, and as that happens, State and local governments must follow suit in order to coordinate their operations with those of the Federal government -- which holds enormous power of the purse (among other things) over the domestic dependent governments.
So we've seen at first a gradual and then precipitous decline of objective and rational governmental operations at all levels, replaced with a corrupt and very personalized, often irrational and arbitrary operation.
To be continued...