Honeymoon in Mecca

(August 2011)    

League or the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The road to tolerant democracy is still, in spite of decades, if not centuries, of European diffidence, a one-way street. Infidels and apostates might wed in Rome or Jerusalem; but, they do not honeymoon in Mecca.

madrassas, Pakistan and Afghanistan have little to offer the West but body bags and bigger budget deficits.

Agnotology than they are at facilitating democracy.

RAND Corporation, but you can’t take Santa Monica out of the man.

National Interest entitled The End of History, an argument which claimed that the collapse of Communism was a prelude to:


Diamond. Fukuyama’s political philosophy is unique or obscure; a smear of moral Darwinism on a slice of Hegelian determinism. He speaks of evolved consciousness and evolved ideology. And he claims that “… people sense dimly that there is some larger process at work, a process that gives coherence and order …” to a place where liberal democracy will someday reign.  Almost sounds religious or utopian, doesn’t it?

Salafi activism and the later would cover the contemporary Shia movement. Arguments are made by what’s included – and undone by what’s left out.

interview with Lyndon Johnson, you pretty much know how the book would read. And akin to politicians, political scientists often change the subject when the questions get too tough.  Fukuyama, like national security advisor John Brennan, appears to have such a dilemma. When Brennan is confronted with the nastier dimensions of jihad bis saif; he prefers to speak of moral “purification” or Islamic hygiene.

What is to be Done? Although there’s no evidence that Lenin got a book deal out of his pamphlet. Still, the intellectual architect of Soviet Communism argued:

This is not to suggest that Fukuyama and Lenin are fellow travelers. Nonetheless, there are more than a few echoes. Francis, like Vladimir clearly rejects Marx, yet like Lenin, Fukuyama continues to milk a vision of social Shangri-La.

global village) captures the spirit if not the reality of the one-world chimera today. 

rape may soon replace soccer as the favorite UN sport on the subcontinent. The “global village” crowd argues that the world would be worse without trans-nationals, but unfortunately there are no measures of effectiveness for what doesn’t happen. As the Honorable Donald Rumsfeld has observed; “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

This is not to suggest that the debate which Fukuyama began has not been useful. If nothing else, he has helped illuminate the common ground shared by progressives and recidivists. Clearly both seek a kind of ideological utopia at different ends of the political spectrum. And both may be equally unrealistic for any number of reasons.

argument: The Origins of Political Order.

experiment– tolerant religious pluralism.

Magnus and Thomas Aquinas centuries ago, long before Christophor Hitchens opened a salon in Georgetown.

Spirituality in every culture is as real as any science and probably not half as dangerous. And religion, like science, requires continuous renewal, if not periodic reformation. No amount of ecumenical Esperanto is likely to compensate for reform deficits.

Jarred Diamond eloquently captures the rewards of true pluralism:

And yet, presumptions about democracy, like those of Fukuyama, are similar to those about monotheism, impractical supposals that one ideology might fit all. Capital Communism might be the appropriate political model for Beijing and market oligarchy might be the best for Moscow. If fiscal prudence and solvency are measures of merit, new political arrangements in Russia and Asia are giving American and European democratic capitalism a run for its money.

And there is little evidence that democratic collectives, like the Euro-basket, are any more efficient or effective than individual liberal nation states in this regard. Neither democracies nor global political condominiums have proven themselves as social safety nets.

Hobbes and Malthus look like cub scouts. Diamond speaks of “ends” also. Yet, his ends have biological or scientific roots. For the ecological determinist, Armageddon comes with a whimper or a bang; some unmanageable pathogen or a nuclear conflagration. Guns, Germs, and Steel indeed!

theofacism” are still part of our nightmares. A second worry is the obvious bias towards some kind of one-world pattern, a political theory or model which might be thought to have universal application. Such political moulds might look a lot like a Comintern or a caliphate.

protecting the American people.” Comically then, the masses are admonished to “see something, say something” about terrorists; while national moguls can’t bring themselves to name or describe the enemy with any specificity. Generals in the field talk of “soft” tactics and strategy while excluding “kinetic” solutions. If there are no kinetic solutions why are NATO armies deployed on four remote battle fronts? And analysis has raised debt and deficits to national security concerns, yet more spending is still the perennial response.  Political candor might be our most pervasive deficit.

Esposito or Islamists like Tariq Ramadan, you could conclude that progressive democrats and orthodox theocrats are about to post their china pattern on Facebook. Nonetheless, a honeymoon in Mecca is still out of the question – today or anytime in the foreseeable future.

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica.

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