We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Modern liberal societies have weak collective identities. Postmodern elites, especially in Europe, feel that they have evolved beyond identities defined by religion and nation. But if our societies cannot assert positive liberal values, they may be challenged by migrants who are more sure of who they are.
Modern identity politics springs from a hole in the political theory underlying liberal democracy. That hole is liberalism's silence about the place and significance of groups. The line of modern political theory that begins with Machiavelli and continues through Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and the American founding fathers understands the issue of political freedom as one that pits the state against individuals rather than groups. Hobbes and Locke, for example, argue that human beings possess natural rights as individuals in the state of natureŚrights that can only be secured through a social contract that prevents one individual's pursuit of self-interest from harming others.
Thank you for posting a brilliant piece. It takes some concentration and a background in political theory to fully appreciate what is said. However it is not so esoteric as to be unintellible to anyone.
I now feel vindicated that I majored in Political Science with a concentration in ancient, medieval, and modern political theory.
You get a yellow sheet and are on your way to Hollywood!!!
Great article! I don't know how I got to Wizbang.... I think from here, but some commenter there posted a list of quotations from such notables as Schopenauer, Einstein, Volatiare, Russell - all of whom mocked nationalism.
Fukuyama basically comes down to saying - if you don't have a sense of belonging, pride, loyalty to your nation, no one else will; and therein is the problem of immigration/Muslim assimilation in countries like the EU where nationalism is an 'embarrassment'. I also liked his clear delineation of the Muslim religion and culture. I have had many a fight over comments such as Michael Graham's "Islam is a terrorist organization." It simply cannot be, and I felt exonerated for my persistence in challenging that kind of obtuse thinking by Fukuyama's explanation of jihadism. I do recall in the last two years his turning against the war in Iraq after being for it. i noticed he did not address that other than to make vague references to how 'impossible' it is to change cultures that allow for religion and politics to work as one.
Very good. Now I am going to put ice cubes in my eyes.