Once again, David Brooks clocks in with a column that makes me ask, “what planet do you live on?” Visiting the countryside in China that was recently traumatized by earthquake, he comments:
We’d visited the village without warning and selected our interview subjects at random, but some of the answers were probably crafted to please the government. Still, there was no disguising the emotional resilience and intense mutual support in that village. And there was no avoiding the baffling sense of equanimity. Where was the trauma and grief?
For someone who bills himself as a libertarian-leaning conservative Republican, and a “pop” sociologist, his response is remarkable. Does he not read the newspaper that publishes his drivel? He hasn’t heard of the protests by grieving parents, their children crushed to death in shoddily built schools, that were broken up by police, the parents beaten? He is not aware of the concerted effort by the Party to buy silence with a hush money policy? It never occurs to him that the vast network of Party officials throughout the country has made it perfectly clear what sort of statements are acceptable? Does he think that these people are as stupid as he is? Does he really think that the Chinese collectivist spirit, as he calls it in his superficial maunderings of the last week or so, precludes grief over the death of a child, especially when such mind boggling political corruption is involved?
And speaking of ideas that are so stupid only an educated person could believe them (to use George Orwell’s phrase here for the umpteenth time), what about that “End of History,” eh? People like Francis Fukuyama are why the word “intellectual” is, for some, a slur. Just add the pointy headed… How could anyone take this idea seriously? Well, it seems that Vladimir Putin didn’t. Fellow neo-con Robert Kagan gets a jab in at FF with his new article, “The End of the End of History,” commenting on the return of 19th century history as Russia pursues the “Great Game” with renewed vigor.
Yeah, every movement is supposed to end history. The same thing in art – we had Modernism…then Post-Modernism. In the end, all we have are styles and fads.