[Vision2020] Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Jun 3 04:11:12 PDT 2008


>From URL above:

Gray opines that when communism collapsed, utopianism migrated to the right.
Francis Fukuyama declared the "end of history" and the birth of an era of
worldwide "democratic capitalism". Gray retorted that history would resume
as ethno-nationalist, religious and resource-based wars. He advised a
pragmatic and non-ideological approach to post-Cold War conflicts.

Instead, the right followed Fukuyama by envisaging global market capitalism
as an unstoppable force of nature and panacea. "The characteristics which
had been features of communist thinking came about on the right – the
militant progressivism, indifference to the casualties of progress, and the
belief that the whole world was moving towards some single model and that it
should be accelerated by force," says Gray.


The attempt to bring democracy to Iraq was utopian, Gray believes, because
even with better planning it would still have failed. "The Kurds would still
have broken away. There would still have been a conflict between the Sunni,
who had been ruling the country, and the Shia – and a fairly strong Islamist
force emerging through the Shia."


Gray thinks war should be only a last resort for self-defence. "The Second
World War was justified. But war shouldn't be used as an instrument for
improving the human condition. That's where I differ from the theories of
pre-emptive war and revolution from the neoconservative right, which to me
exhibits the same kind of thinking as communism did."

He conjectures that the invasion of Iraq sounded the death knell for secular
utopianism. "Iraq practically precludes another large-scale experiment along
those lines. No one now, except a few post-Trotskyite neoconservatives in
bunkers, talks about overturning all the regimes in the Middle East and
replacing them with democracy."


Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett
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