Francis Fukuyama returns to the ground he stomped over a decade ago in The End of History to announce, in The New York Times, the failure of the neoconservative project. Fukuyama’s editorial asks all the right questions and supplies many of the wrong answers. To wit: ‘the overarching lesson that emerges from these cases is that the United States does not get to decide when and where democracy comes about. By definition, outsiders can’t “impose” democracy on a country that doesn’t want it; demand for democracy and reform must be domestic.’
The truth of “democracy promotion” is that often a sudden application of power in a “hostile” environment tips the scales. Indeed, Fukuyama’s “process” frequently crosses over into what he might call outright meddling — think about Georgia or Ukraine. What was Radio Free Europe but an attack of ideas that countries didn’t want? Fukuyama struggles on the horns of this dilemma. Discussion extended here.