Francis Fukuyama At The Times Online: The Damage To Brand USA Needs Repair

Full article here.

Maybe Fukuyama’s focusing on a more international audience here…

He further distances himself from the Bush administration’s failures and excesses in Iraq:

“Once Saddam Hussein was proved not to have weapons of mass destruction, the Bush Administration sought to justify the Iraq war by linking it to a broader “freedom agenda”; suddenly promotion of democracy was a chief weapon in the war against terrorism.”


“Guantanamo Bay and the hooded prisoner at Abu Ghraib have replaced the Statue of Liberty as symbols of America in the eyes of many non-Americans.”

How did we get here, if in fact we are here?  Because we found success in the great conservative, pragmatic movement of the Reagan-Thatcher years…which has since devolved into a musty set of articles of faith not suited to the times:

“The Reagan-Thatcher revolution caused a huge amount of pain as industries shrank or shut down. But it also laid the groundwork for three decades of growth…”

“Like all transformative movements, however, the revolution lost its way because it became an unimpeachable ideology,”

And we are still locked into that thinking.  Acutally, it seems like Fukuyama is distancing himself from current U.S. conservatism altogether…

“The biggest change that America must make is in its politics. The Reagan revolution broke the 50-year dominance of liberals and Democrats in US politics but what were once fresh ideas have hardened into dogmas. The ultimate test for the US model will be its capacity to reinvent itself.”

Linking deep thought and philosophy with current politics can be risky game, and Fukuyama’s one of the deeper thinkers and clearer, most pragmatic moral realists.

See Also:  Francis Fukuyama At The Washington Post: They Can Only Go So FarFrancis Fukuyama in The L.A. Times: China’s Powerful Weakness

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