Monday, February 18, 2008


Fukayama's book was a much denser affair than Cockburn's. I actually stopped reading early on so that I could start again only this time taking notes. I have 4 pages of notes that I took while reading the book.

The truth is I really enjoyed the book, although I'd never read such a theoretical political book before. I actually would have enjoyed arguing with an enthusiast because I didn't agree with a lot of what Fukuyama had to say.

The gist of the book is that America needs to adopt proper neoconservativism, not the bastardized version that we've had under President Bush. Realistic Wilsonianism, he calls it. More idealistic guff is how it seems to me. Fukuyama is an interventionist and idealist. He argues that taking a hands off approach to how states are run would be bad for America, but no matter how often he made this point I found myself asking: "How does this approach hurt China"?

The Chinese don't seem too worried about how any other state is run, but all over the world they're making deals that benefit the Chinese. Every day you can find new stories about how China is beating America with deals in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Chinese don't seem too concerned with what goes on inside each state. They apparently take no interest in the affairs of other sovereign states.

Throughout the second half of this book I kept wondering how such an approach would be bad for America. Maybe it would be disastrous, but Fukuyama doesn't make that case.