You know things are truly unprecedented when History forecloses on the Subprime Loan of Big Ideas: “the end of history” thesis, the idea that the U.S. model of political and economic domination has made “the West” invincible before the forces of history.
Whatever your read on it, this article from Newsweek should be bookmarked “must read”-and then actually read. In it the author, Francis Fukuyama, explores how the current economic implosion has made a fact of U.S. life tragicomically obvious to the rest of the recession-racked planet: the intellectual bankruptcy of the United States. Fukuyama declares that the crumbling of the twin towers of Ronald Reagan’s brand of neoliberalism – economic neoliberalism and liberal democracy- has taken a devastating toll not just on the economy , but on “brand America”, which the conservative Fukuyama tells us is dropping in value in quotes like this one
“Yet even as Americans ask why they’re having to pay such mind-bending sums to prevent the economy from imploding, few are discussing a more intangible, yet potentially much greater cost to the United States—the damage that the financial meltdown is doing to America’s “brand.
Coming from a dyed-in-the-Marxist wool lefty or even from an ever-limp liberal, these statements would not generally garner much attention; But, coming from Fukuyama, the author of the infamous and now absolutely disredited “The End of History” thesis, such statements startle. Not long after the fall of the Soviet Union and the “Reagan revolution” (sic) (sick??), Fukuyama was the darling of the neo-liberalati who dazzled many (not me) with his talk in 1992 of “an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism”; So did the Valhalla-like oratorical heights of his pronouncements of how Reaganism brought about “The triumph of the West, of the Western idea,” that is, in his words, “evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.” (That is, before President George W. Bush ushered in a new era of socialism, top-down socialism.)
In the, for some, halcyon days of the 1990s, “New Democrat” Bill Clinton seemed to put himself and us to sleep by reading Ayn Rand and then swallowing the Blue Pill of neoliberalism as he re-fashioned his party in Reagan’s image. The beauty of the moment shines against the ashen glare of the Gipper; But the threat of the current political and economic moment is that Obama may continue the Clinton tradition of praising -and emulating- Reagan and his policies as he (Obama) says he’ll do in this clip:
Before we start feeling the crush of new Democratic Party “Hope” come down on our Dreams, let us celebrate the true and definite death of Reaganism and America, Inc. all the while celebrating the rise of the a country that’s now part of the insurgent continent Of América, a land where the future has to be defined. As I’ve said and will continue saying for as long as I breathe, regardless of who wins, the true measure of future political and economic change-and social justice- will be how deeply we bury the core components of the Reagan legacy. And, along the way, we may also want to excavate the stinking, abysmal wells of lies, the countless skeletons of nefariousness that lie therein.
So, looks like it’s finally time to set freedom and imagination free from the fetters of false idols and crumbling gods dressed up as “Historic Leaders” and Big Ideas.