Belmont Club

The last nation 2

Some thoughts from a friend about the Last Nation:

-I think the link to Bobbitt’s piece is off — it points elsewhere (I’ve fixed)

-here’s a good contrarian view to Fukuyama’s end of history thesis, by Robert Kagan. I read this in Iraq:

-I think you may be imputing a couple of assumptions about Bobbitt’s thesis that he does not state: while he does argue that we have entered the era of globalization, I don’t think he argues that it is an era in which old values no longer bind. This is based on my reading of SOA and the dinner conversation with Bobbitt that I was privy to.

-I think instead, the big shift he proposes that makes sense to me is a shift form governments promising to provide for welfare to governments promising to maximize opportunity.

-I think he views organizations such as Al Qaeda not as throwbacks to an earlier time, but he has instead referred to them as “proto-market states” because they are not tied to territory.

-Having said all of this, his ideas are complex enough that I often find it difficult to pin down things within them. I’m not sure he does accurately forecast how things will play out in terms of international order, and if he were here with me now, I imagine he would dodge any absolute statements.

I think these criticisms are fair and in truth, I should be more careful about making assertions.