Francis Fukuyama became famous writing about the end of history (didn’t happen, folks), and now he has turned his attention to the beginning. Fukuyama, Michael Barone notes, establishes the necessary elements for a liberal democracy:
In his new book “The Origins of Political Order,” Francis Fukuyama identifies the chief building blocks of liberal democracy as a strong central state, a society strong enough to hold the state accountable and — equally crucial — the rule of law.
One basic principle of the rule of law is that laws apply to everybody. If the sign says “No Parking,” you’re not supposed to park there even if you’re a pal of the alderman.
Another principle of the rule of law is that government can’t make up new rules to help its cronies and hurt its adversaries except through due process, such as getting a legislature to pass a new law.
Barone offers this précis of the latest Fukuyama book in a column on what Barone has called gangster government–a term coined, I regret to inform you, to characterize the manner in which our current administration conducts business. This modus operandi is inimical to the principles of liberal democracy.
Barone cites the 1,372 businesses and 3,095,593 families or individuals that received obamacare waivers, often, ironically, supporters of Obamacare (for others). Although only about 12 percent of American workers belong to a union, about half the 3 million plus family and individual waivers were granted to those on plans administered by a union. Unions and fervent pro-Obamacare organizations such as AARP are a big chunk of the other waivers. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to live in Nancy Pelosi’s district.
Other examples of gangster government: The Obama National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to prevent Boeing from doing business where it wants to (right-to-work state South Carolina, as opposed to union-racked Illinois) and a plan to levy a gift tax on donations to 501 (c ) 4 organizations that lean conservative. These are truly manifestations of gangster government.
Francis Fukuyama became famous for a book entitled The End of History that was published in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union. It argued that the nations of the world were moving towards liberal democracy and that this would eliminate much of the conflict we call history. Obviously, that never came to pass. I fear that, if we have eight more years of gangster government the principles of liberal democracy in the U.S. could be fatally undermined. Mr. Fukuyama (an Obama supporter in 2008) may get to witness, if not the end of history, the tragic weakening of the world’s greatest liberal democracy.