Sunday, March 27, 2005

State Building Follies

Here is a letter submitted to the NY Times on the "Calvinist Manifesto" by Francis Fukuyama.

Copyright 2005

Democracy or F.D.Rs Nuclear World Oligarchy?

Thank you for publishing the essay by Francis Fukuyama entitled "The Calvinist Manifesto" on March 13, 2005. This essay describes one of the biggest problems of today's free and democratic society - the "iron cage".

In his book State Building, Francis Fukuyama favors small "strong states" in a global world of modern rationalism. His perspective has been countered by Charles A. Kupchan in The End of the American Era. There, Charles Kupchan makes the case for strong alliances between countries to guide the world order. The most important point that Fukuyama fails to make in his essay is that the success of the "Protestant Ethic" in the world was largely due to the new availability of substantial natural resources. For example, England was largely deforested by the 1630s. These resources then again became "limited" as the East met the West in America. The limitation of these resources with the concurrent increase in speed of communication can explain the freedom of the slaves, the rise of communism, and the emergence of the digital era. When upward mobility was needed after all natural resources were accounted for, human resources were made available for profit. Millions of people have been slaughtered for no other reason than for being affiliated with the wrong political party or religion. In this century, genocide has been performed on a scale never before seen in human history. Even in the "iron cage" of the nuclear world, it happens. Would the majority of Protestants support this? - Certainly not. Would they support an "iron cage" that mined resources from the disenfranchised? - the answer is clearly, yes.

An "iron cage" is created when migration is no longer an answer when disagreements come up and small states do not support their democratic voters when they are seduced by a superpower. It is a highly relevant issue today that small countries in the EU have backed the only remaining superpower in the invasion of Iraq. One superpower has empowered the leaders of those small states to ignore their electorate. Can we then view this new world order as "F.D.R.s Nuclear World Oligarchy"? Isn't this a power based on rank rather than equality?

In the last sentence of Dr. Fukuyama's essay he asks "whether living in the iron cage of modern rationalism is such a terrible thing after all." The "iron cage" has clearly been discredited. The genocides of this century are not the only reason. For example, one small country was able to slaughter 3000 innocent Americans on 9/11/01 using the resources of this "iron cage." At the same time, the one remaining superpower of this "iron cage," the United States, has invaded an oil rich foreign nation against the recommendations of the United Nations with false information. We live in an age when physicians can declare the President of the United States incompetent. Are they likely to declare a president incompetent for invading other countries against their electorate's wishes? A president who invades a country with false intelligence? A president that goes against the American Medical Association? If Francis Fukuyama has his way, are we to all to be doing "calisthenics" for psychiatrists and their high ranked friends in an "iron cage"?


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