Monsters from the Id

When the Soviet Union finally collapsed of its own rotten weight in 1991, some scholars were quick to proclaim the end of the ideological struggle that had gripped the West (and therefore, by extension, the whole world) since the mid-19th century. Emblematic of that period was Francis Fukuyama's book The End of History and the Last Man, based on an earlier essay, which stated:

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Would that it had been so; a year later, the European Union was born and the socialist project began anew, this time speaking French and German instead of Russian. True, the EU was socialism with a human face, instead of a Soviet jack boot, but the impulses -- economic control, rule-by-regulation and an increasing centralization of power in Brussels -- remained the same, and will end about as well as its Czech forerunner did.

American elections had, since the abandonment of the bipartisan "containment" consensus in 1972, been fought largely on ideological grounds: McGovern vs. Nixon, Carter vs. Reagan, Clinton vs. Bush I, Gore vs. Bush II, even Obama vs. McCain/Romney. The genius of Obama and his team was to present the most ideological candidate since Reagan as the smiling African-American liberals wished lived next door, and so the extremity of his anti-American agenda was masked by the smile and the shoeshine.

We now arrive at what -- at this moment, anyway -- is likely to be the 2016 choice. Obama, like Bush II, did not provide for a plausible successor, and the GOP, against its usual dynastic practice, chose not to hand the baton to multiple-loser Mitt Romney. Instead, the Democrats will likely nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton, a woman of no accomplishment, but whose scary mug has been thrust into American faces since the campaign of 1992, and just won't go away. In a just world, of course, she would have been long ago indicted on any of her multiple scandals, but -- with the evidence of the Clintons, cockroaches and the Kardashians before us -- we do not live in a just world.