Friday, March 03, 2006

There Is No Buck


American critics of the Bush 'administration' - Democratic politicians, particularly - have long had a conceptual problem in their quest to effectively counter it, politically. It's been fairly clear for a while now that what we face is not mere incompetence in a traditional context, but an entirely different organizational context - unaccountability (and its product, incompetence) is a feature, not a bug. Sweating bloggers and reporters have done much to fathom, to 'reverse engineer', a model of what we're up against. But luckily, there are also earnest True Believers on the neocon side, like Francis Fukuyama, who have hidden keys to understanding in plain sight.

In 1999, Fukuyama and Abram Shulsky wrote an essay called "Military Organization in the Information Age: Lessons from the World of Business" (warning: pdf) which, while ostensibly and literally about reorganization of the military, presaged the organization of Bush's government overall, and to a remarkable degree. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense from a president-elect who said, in a 2001 Barbara Walters interview (sorry, no link): "In 24 hours, I have the highest honor, and that's to become the commander in chief of the greatest nation in the world". That's right, you read right: commander in chief of the entire nation, not just the military. Astounding how Bush sensed we were entering a 'post 9/11 world' a year before the attack on the WTC and Pentagon.

If you haven't seen it, Professor Leila Hudson reviewed the Fukuyama/Shulsky essay in the summer '04 issue of the Mideast Policy Journal, and helps us understand - among other things - why the President, and a few other high officials, never seem to shoulder responsibility for anything, notwithstanding disaster after disaster. The model is corporate. Reductionist and simplistic as it may sound, Bush really is the Ken Lay of American politics. The 'buck' never stops There because there is no 'buck'. Because there is no 'there'. There's another name for a decentralized Technocracy with a titular head....what was that again? Tip of my tounge....

Anyway, this isn't exactly 'news' at this point, but it's interesting to see it in schematic form from now-supposed apostate Fukuyama. More proof that it takes a lot of brains, education and study to become a truly stupendous fool. A movement founded to fight tyranny (neocon-ism) evidently has at its core the idea that tyranny is actually unavoidable, so let's have tyranny on-purpose, a 'homeopathic' tyranny, perhaps. At least it will be 'ours'.

It would be an insult to girls to call these people 'girly-men'. Their revolution is a loss of nerve writ large.

[hat tip to peanutgallery, commenter at TNH, for the link. See also: The New Ivory Towers: Think Tanks, Strategic Studies and “Counterrealism”.]

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