Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is it the End of History for Neonservatives?

As Heather writes below, Peter Beinart has a very interesting piece up at the Daily Beast on the death of neoconservativism. His basic argument is that the Obama administration’s success at decimating al Qaeda leadership through counterterrorism operations rather than democracy promotion and nation building is evidence that the ideology is broken. Combine this with the culture of limits that is dominating Washington and the national debate, the ideology that rejects limits is not likely to survive. While, I wish this were the case, I think Beinart’s focus on post-9/11 neoconservatives ignores the movement’s ability to hype threats and reinvent the boogeyman.

Beinart writes:

“Today, by contrast, it is increasingly obvious that the real successor to German fascism and Soviet communism is not Al Qaeda, whose mud-hut totalitarianism repels the vast majority of Muslims. It is China’s authoritarian capitalism, the first nondemocratic ideology since the 1930s to challenge the idea that democracy is the political system best able to promote shared prosperity. And not only is Al Qaeda sliding into irrelevance, its demise is being hastened by exactly the narrowly targeted policies that neoconservatives derided.”

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