June 28, 2007
Down With Values
Props to Ezra Klein for coming out swinging:
I have a confession to make: I am not a values voter. I do not want a foreign policy based upon “the idea that is America.” I do not think we should be guided in all things by such glittering concepts as liberty, democracy, equality, justice, tolerance, humility, and faith.
In fact, I’m fed up with values. Entirely. They’ve failed this country. As a lodestar, there is none worse.
His column is keyed to a new foreign policy book by Anne-Marie Slaughter. It’s all about the responsible application of American values to world affairs; but Klein says:
The problem with Slaughter’s vision, which I generally found myself in enthusiastic agreement with, is that the only one I trust to carry it out is, well, Slaughter. And possibly me.
What Klein wants is foreign policy proposals that focus on material outcomes — not moral origins. We’ve had enough of the latter lately.
What timing! I’m going to see Francis Fukuyama speak tonight. He’s going to revisit and re-appraise his argument from The End of History and the Last Man — parts of which formed some of the deepest framework for the neocon misadventure. Expect a full report.