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news & opinion with no titillating non-news from the major non-news channels.


I am: progressive, not a wild-eyed Progressive; liberal, but shun liberals and Liberals; conservative, but some Conservatives worry me; absolutely NOT a libertarian. I am: an idealist, but no utopian; a pragmatist, but no Machiavellian. I am a realist who dreams.


I welcome all opinions.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Under the influence:
   Teutonic Dreams

reedited 03/17/06, "pudding" quote, with gratitude to mvanburen

Updated @ 4:40

I am a good German.

I love beer.

The Greeks can call whatever they want "ambrosia", but there is nothing like liquid gold. It invigorates. It refreshens. It emboldens. It frees. It makes everything fuzzy and warm with soft highlights and gives good buzzes. It makes you mellow.

Liquid Gold makes the world right.

Do not misunderstand. I appreciate the qualities of a fine wine, of a bracing shot. My favorite wine is a good Riesling, a Beren-Auslese. And nothing beats a Black Russian, except maybe a Long Island on a hot day. But the Germans have given us something unique. Ales. Laagers. Pilsners. Stouts. Ah, such grand full-bodied words.

It is ironic then that I should find so much disdain for Utopians, then. They both offer the same grandiose illusions. That sense and aura of Gemuetlichtkeit that lasts a generation. Muenchen. Spring of 1977. But a good brew rarely disappoints, even ones that I brew myself.

Utopian Fantasies have an unerring capacity to consistently disappoint.

And to those who would espouse such feelings, I have nothing but contempt. More so than mere arrogant fools. Marx. Plato. To name two.

Francis Fukuyama rises to the head of the contemporary class of Utopian Fools. Fine. Ok. Whatever. I am sure he is a real nice guy. And smart too. In fact, I know he is smart. I am very smart (just ask me) and I can recognize and sniff out ivory tower smartness in others' writings at a hundred paces. And admittedly, until today, I have read nothing of Fukuyama's works. But his "end of times" tagline has always been sufficient to draw my ire. How many fools have we suffered, proclaiming, "But now things are different"? Neville Chamberlain comes to mind. So do a crass plethora of stock market prognosticators.

And Presidential wanna-bes.


I have finally read some of Fukuyama's work. All I can say is that I am not at all disappointed with my initial disappointment.

As he breaks with the conventional neo-con crowd with his new magazine The American Interest (there's an oxymoron, given the context), Fukuyama promises a serial killer's series on global governance.

Yeah. We are talking New World Order here.

Now, don't misunderstand me. I grew up on, and ate up, libertarian science fiction proclaiming the need for a single world governance. When you are dealing with empires spanning the galaxy, it only makes sense that each world be governed from a single source. And I firmly believe that one day a One World Government will ultimately happen, if the human race is to survive.

Just not in my lifetime. Too much flotsam.

At the time, I didn't understand that as being a contradiction, libertarians calling for a One World Government. Nor did I understand that life was all about unresolvable contradictions.


Fukuyama presents a rationale for new international organizations to balance legitimacy of state actions with effectiveness of those actions. I am not going to "legitimize" his criticisms of the ISO and ICAAN as ancillary proof that legitimacy is as important as effectiveness in international organizations. That argument is just silly. And he has his facts profoundly wrong. There is nothing wrong or controversial about those organizations. It is just they don't fit Fukuyama's need to hedgehog everything (or was the fox the one that saw the forest?)

But, of course, we are talking the Iraq War here. Very effective. I am glad Fukuyama was able to acknowledge that, as backhanded a compliment as he offers. But not legitimate? In whose eyes?

Aye, there's the rub. To a One World Internationalist (or merely a good international lawyer), I can understand the need to legitimize the act before I could truly acknowledge the effectiveness of that act.

As if effectiveness ever followed legitimacy. If there is one reason why the EU has, is, will fail, it is that mistaken assumption that once you have graced something with the King's Sword, it just is. Even the American Experiment took decades after its Founding Instruments to become viable. But I digress.

I don't mean to argue the "ends justify the means" argument. But I would argue that failure, no matter how legitimately recognized, is still failure. The success, and rightness, of the Iraqi War is simple Darwinian logic. We have succeeded. We have brought democracy to Iraq. We have brought democracy to Afghanistan. We have shut down al Qaeda. That is not ends justifying the means. That is called empirical proof that the policy is right.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Where the rubber meets the pavement, as it were.

I do agree that we need global institutions that do in fact legitimize right and proper actions. And I do agree with Fukuyama's not-so-original call for an Alliance of Democracies to replace the failed UN. And that the UN cannot possibly be reformed to be that organization, given that it allows full governance membership to countries like Syria and Libya.

The inconsequential fact that the UN could not legitimize the actions of the Iraqi War does not make the actions illegitimate. What it has proven is that the UN is merely and profoundly ineffective and does not have the mandate to accord legitimacy.

I just get peeved when somebody tries to agree with me using outdated, obsolete and disproven theories and worldviews.

Fukuyama ultimately believes that we need to work toward that One World Government. And that we need to do it now. But, in the words of one of my wiser colleagues,

"Can't get there from here. Need to start from somewhere else."

The goal is noble. But the end, folks, does not justify the means.

If you can't accept the inevitability of natural contradictions, you jest ain't gonna git it. Deal with it.

Disclaimer: This analysis may have been unduly influenced by a few rounds of German-inspired Ambrosia recently consumed, and a proclivity to listening to the soulful sojourns of Bad Boy George.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting sleepy.

Play it, George.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

3/16/2006 5:43 PM  
Blogger Jay Cline said...


Perhaps I should have stopped before I had that last brew....

I will correct the source immediately, and give credit where credit is due.

Many thanks!

3/17/2006 9:40 AM  

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