We are fascists as much as Hitler was a painter.On the one hand, I know that Francis Fukuyama's "end of history" had something to do with Hegel or some shit, and it wasn't supposed to signify the literal conclusion of the accumulation of events or the cessation of the forward movement of time as perceived by human consciousness, but nonetheless I axe you: was ever so infelicitous a phrase so woefully misapplied? I mean, the guy got Hegel as interpreted by Strauss by way of that gloriously reactionary faggot, Allan Bloom, which is really the intellectual equivalent of putting a Cum Dump sign outside of one's private room at the bathhouse. You're certain to catch something, and whatever it is, it's not going to be good. Liberal Democracy has triumphed! Except where it hasn't! And when it hasn't! And it may decline again! But it's still triumphed! Also, something about genetic engineering. This was the sort of utter bullshit that used to have the decency to get passed around with a bong. One of the best things about 9/11 was that it put a modest kibosh on such talk.
Well, he's back, making the same warmed-over argument, with which details I won't bore you. Except:
Today's autocrats can also prove surprisingly weak when it comes to ideas and ideologies. Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and Mao's China were particularly dangerous because they were built on powerful ideas with potentially universal appeal, which is why we found Soviet arms and advisers showing up in places such as Nicaragua and Angola.At least it's an ethos. But let me just say this about that: the notion that any of those tyrannies was built on some sort of universal ideology is a notion you can only maintain if you don't actually know anything about them. Nazism, to take one example, was an incoherent mixture of pseudo-scientific racialist pan-Germanism, Norse mythology, Christian mysticism, crackpot Wagnerianism, eugenic anti-Semitism, ad inf. Hitler really was looking for the Spear of Destiny; he really dispatched embassies to Tibet to discover the mystical-magical Aryan powers of a gang of decrepit monks. Soviet Communism? Seriously? Maoism? Has Fukuyama ever read the little red book? Goofball ante hoc rationalizations for monstrous crimes make for good horror stories, but the mundane truth is that the scale of 20th century terror and death had far less to do with ideology than it did with mechanization. Thomas Newcomen, Samuel Cold, and Henry Ford as much as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.