Although he’s attempted to distance himself from it in recent years, there is little doubt about the role American political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, has played in popularizing the cancerous ideology know as neo-conservatism.
In case you harbor any doubts, he was one of the signatories to Bill Kristol’s infamous open letter to George W. Bush on September 20, 2001, which amongst other things, argued for military involvement in Iraq. A move that ultimately manifested in 2003, and represents one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in U.S. history. Here’s the Iraq section from that letter, signed by Mr. Fukuyama:
We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.
Of course, what Mr. Fukuyama is most famous for, is the ridiculous assertion in his book, The End of History and the Last Man, that the worldwide spread of liberal democracies and free market capitalism of the West and its lifestyle may signal the end point of humanity’s sociocultural evolution and become the final form of human government.
Not only is such a concept infantile on it’s face, but it has already been proven completely wrong. Not only have all Western liberal democracies morphed into grotesque neo-feudal, surveillance state panopticon oligarchies since he wrote the book, but we are seeing a dramatic spread of ISIS throughout the Middle East, ironically birthed from the unnecessary war he encouraged.
I still don’t know why Mr. Fukuyama is celebrated, other than perhaps to serve as some flimsy celebrity-intellectual backing for the status quo’s favorite pastimes — war mongering and authoritarianism.
In case you still harbor any doubts about who this guy is, and where he is coming from, he recently wrote an Op-ed in the Financial Times arguing that too much government transparency is a bad thing.
It is clear that there are vast areas in which modern governments should reveal more. Edward Snowden’s revelations of eavesdropping by the National Security Agency has encouraged belief that the US government has been not nearly transparent enough. But is it possible to have too much transparency? The answer is clearly yes: demands for certain kinds of transparency have hurt government effectiveness, particularly with regard to its ability to deliberate.
The problem with the Freedom of Information Act is different. It was meant to serve investigative journalists looking into abuses of power. But today a large number of FOIA requests are filed by corporate sleuths trying to ferret out secrets for competitive advantage, or simply by individuals curious to find out what the government knows about them. The FOIA can be “weaponised”, as when the activist group Judicial Watch used it to obtain email documents on the Obama administration’s response to the 2012 attack on the US compound in Benghazi.
In Europe, where there is no equivalent to the FACA or the Sunshine Act, governments can consult citizens’ groups more flexibly. There is, of course, a large and growing distrust of European institutions by citizens. But America’s experience suggests that greater transparency requirements do not necessarily lead to more trust in government.
Oh yes Francis, and look how well Europe has turned out.
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