February 20, 2006

Someone to Blame

Grabbing lines from the New York Times:


Glazer, Moynihan and, later, Glenn Loury argued that ambitious efforts to seek social justice often left societies worse off than before because they either required massive state intervention that disrupted pre-existing social relations (for example, forced busing) or else produced unanticipated consequences (like an increase in single-parent families as a result of welfare).


The way the cold war ended shaped the thinking of supporters of the Iraq war, including younger neoconservatives like William Kristol and Robert Kagan, in two ways. First, it seems to have created an expectation that all totalitarian regimes were hollow at the core and would crumble with a small push from outside.

The [Iraq] war's supporters seemed to think that democracy was a kind of default condition to which societies reverted once the heavy lifting of coercive regime change occurred, rather than a long-term process of institution-building and reform.

Even benevolent hegemons sometimes have to act ruthlessly, and they need a staying power that does not come easily to people who are reasonably content with their own lives and society.

By definition, outsiders can't "impose" democracy on a country that doesn't want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.


I think that hits so many points that are hard to argue with. Generally though I think it could be summed up as:

The above quote comes from a NYT article which comes from a part of a book named America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy

Posted at February 20, 2006 11:13 PM
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