It took the best part of a decade for Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History” to be chewed up and spit out by a resurgent Islam. His latest tome may get upended somewhat quicker. The new thesis attempts to explain why the old thesis didn’t quite turn out as planned:
At the heart of this remarkable book is the idea of “getting to Denmark.” By this, Fukuyama means creating stable, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and honest societies (like Denmark). As in his “End of History” essay, Fukuyama treats this as the logical endpoint of social development, and suggests that Denmarkness requires three things: functioning states, rule of law, and accountable government.
Fascinating. Speaking of that second category (“rule of law”), has he been to Denmark lately? I was there a couple of months back as the guest of the Danish Free Press Society. Its president, Lars Hedegaard, has just been fined 5,000 kroner under the Danish penal code for “[issuing] a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.” This was over some remarks he made about Islam’s treatment of women in a private conversation that was, unbeknown to him, recorded and then uploaded to the Internet.
The Muslim world is certainly “getting to Denmark.” It’s also getting to the Netherlands, to Austria, to France, and beyond. In Scandinavia and in other advanced Western societies, the state grows ever bolder in constraining freedom of expression and other core Western liberties. In the interests of enforcing the state religion of a hollow and delusional “multiculturalism,” basic tenets of Fukuyama’s “rule of law” — including due process, the truth as defense, and equality before the law — are tossed aside in the multiculti version of heresy trials. As recent decisions in Michigan suggest, America is not immune to this trend.
(via Kathy Shaidle)
(DISCREET PLUG ALERT: I’ll be speaking about this, and about bin Laden and the big picture, at Oberlin College tomorrow night, if you’re in the Greater Ohio region.)