Long after Francis Fukuyama’s well-nigh unreadable but nonetheless grandiosely titled tome, “The End of History and the Last Man” landed with a thud in remainder piles across America, his predictions therein have pretty much come true, but in about the opposite way he imagined. The neoliberal paradise he predicted, something of a Wall Street Spring, has indeed happened, but the glorious outcome (surprise!) has utterly failed to materialize.
The values he proudly declared to be universal: untrammeled economic “liberty” and the paramount sanctity of the “free market” have indeed covered the world, much in the way the Plague once covered Europe, but the benefits thereof have been devilishly hard to locate. Even as the former Soviet Union has devolved into a cesspit of crony capitalism, “free” Europe has been hoodwinked into addlepated austerity, and the US, once the Leader of the Free World, has become a lawless, class-divided police state, a disturbingly large number of ostensibly thinking people still think Fukuyama was right.
Note to self: the Bozo was about as wrong as, say, Bill Kristol is on any given topic. Once a society, country, or world adopts, all together, a single governing philosophy, you can quite reliably count on it to be a shitty one, for all but the Chosen Few, natch.
A fine example of this phenomenon in action popped up this week, in fact, when the mop-topped teabagger from Kentucky, Rand Paul, attempted to throw sand in the gears of our new “consensus.” Now, you’d think (if you hadn’t been paying attention, anyway) that a Senate filibuster over some once-controversial things, like f*cking assassinating US citizens, wherever, with no due process, might tease out some opposition from those who took a dim view of such practices under Bush, but you’d come up snake eyes with that assumption.
Not snake eyes, exactly, but close. A lone Democratic Senator, from here in Oregon, no less, joined Paul and a few teabaggers in demanding, if nothing else, a wee bit of disclosure about the whole thing, but was as roundly dismissed as the rest of them. With a few notable exceptions, most of which were here (h/t Kevin Gosztola and others), the “liberal” media languidly emitted a barely suppressed yawn.
So now, it’s officially bipartisan consensus that American Presidents, of either party, can just run around killing anybody they choose, anywhere, and for whatever reason, and anyone who questions that is some kind of aberrant outlier.
If so, we really have reached the end of history. The book might have been boring, but I doubt the full experience will be.