Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Room for Prudence

One would have expected Francis Fukuyama, heir to Hegel and Kojeve, chronicler and (uneasy) proponent of the end of history, to have favored the U.S.'s attempt to liberalize Iraq. After all, why shouldn't the Middle East arrive at the end of history too? And what's wrong with giving it a little shove in that direction? However, citing the prudence of Aristotle over the hieroglyphics of history as interpreted by Hegel, Fukuyama expressed doubts about the Bush administration's Iraqi expedition from the outset. What's more, Fukuyama considers himself a "neoconservative," despite (or perhaps because of) his more careful approach, leading one to wonder about that term's use in the popular press. All of this, of course, also assumes the questionable premise that going into Iraq was imprudent.

This piece begins to spell out Fukuyama's position.


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