When Intellectuals Are Wrong, They Do Not Fade Away

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Brian Dunaway wonders how Francis Fukuyama can still show his face in public after his 1989 essay “The End of History“. He wonders why that essay wasn’t the end of Fukuyama.

It was in that essay that Fukuyama referred to “an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism”. LOL. He didn’t even understand that liberalism had been on a course of decline for 200 years, as Arthur E. Ekirch, Jr. had documented in his 1955 book “The Decline of American Liberalism”. America has neither economic nor political liberalism.

One might wonder the opposite, why genuine intellectual geniuses and scholars like Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises have been almost entirely ignored while being so accurate and innovative in so much of their analyses.

Once an intellectual makes it into the establishment or is accorded celebrity status therein, with proper credentials as a person whose ideas support the empire and do not challenge it, as a person who basically accepts the empire’s dogma, he won’t be thrown off the team unless he becomes a whistleblower and tells some uncomfortable and threatening truths. Being right or wrong in analyses and predictions makes no difference. Truth is not the criterion for admission to the elite, which is why Mises and Rothbard were never admitted, even within academia. Playing along is what matters. Being a team player. By all means, what establishment intellectuals do is talk and write, write and talk, while maintaining the presumptions of the State and empire through every word they speak or pen. Lately, for example, Fukuyama has been writing about how to make bureaucracy in goverment work better (so-called good government vs. bad government). He’s finally woken up to the existence of principal-agent problems, but he is fast asleep on the kinds of issues raised by Mises and Rothbard that challenge government root and branch.

Most intellectuals who write on politics, like Fukuyama, or who sometimes take on government posts where they have the power to implement their ideas, like McFaul, have no incentive to change their basic outlook or even question it. They have every incentive to maintain the core political ideas that they absorbed when they got their degrees. This is how they get grants, how they become known and respected, how their travel opportunities multiply, and how their opportunities for better pay and jobs come from. This is how they gain access to those in office or to powerful members of the government’s bureaucracies. If they become critical of government, they will be cut off. They will be marginalized and viewed as rebellious kooks or radicals.

2:12 pm on October 6, 2013