May 08, 2005

Hegel and Fukuyama Would Be Proud

From Bush's excellent speech yesterday given in Latvia:

    Eventually, communism began to collapse under external pressure, and under the weight of its own contradictions.
Hegel advanced the dialectic (thesis-antithesis-synthesis) and Fukuyama advanced it in his work The End of History and the Last Man. Since Hegel is winding, abstract and germanic (hence wordy and obtuse) my experience is with Fukuyama's book. As Fukuyama explains it, ultimately liberal democracy is the best form of government because it offers few or no substantive internal contradictions and because it respects the dignity of everybody.

Other systems fail due to internal contradictions, especially disrespecting some for the benefit of others. People, recognizing their own worth and dignity, rise up against the systems that deny them their just due. Liberal democracy lets everybody live freely and prosperously without exploiting or debasing others (no matter what socialists will argue). Hence it's best and has the fewest contradictions.

Of course, it's more complex than that and he gets into Platonic timos but that's the gist of it.

I've been saying for years that the President OBVIOUSLY has seasoned classical liberalists writing his foreign policy stuff, because he hits all the main points:

- freedom is universal and not a cultural construct
- freedom is intrisically valuable for peace
- freedom is an engine of the market
- freedom is self-feeding, in that a small amount of freedom breeds a strong desire to obtain more and greater liberty
- and now free systems are demonstrably superior also in light of their contradictionless state

There are other points of course, and he's hit most of the minor and intermediate ones, as well. But he's hit all the major philosophical points. I'm not sure what's he's said about weapons, but I know Reagan (who Bush-43 clearly models himself on) held a Wilsonian view of weapons, especially nuclear weapons, as something that must one day be greatly reduced for the betterment of all - which was his motivating factor behind missile defense. But Bush hits the other ones - movement across borders, commerce between nations, emphasis on representative government, etc.

It's a moron or a partisan who can't see that George W. Bush is a dyed-in-the-wool classical liberalist. He's not a realist, but rather an idealist.

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