Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Letter to New York Times Magazine

I read Francis Fukuyama's essay http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/magazine/neo.html?_r=1&oref=slogin with great interest, and great irritation. As a member of the perpetually ignored Generation X, I am constantly frustrated by the refusal of the Baby Boomer Generation, which controls the publishing, academic and think tank industries, to make room for us to participate meaningfully in intellectual and policy debates about American foreign policy and the broader, more significant global issues confronting all of humanity - most significantly the imminent collapse of the natural world.

Instead, we are regularly treated to decrees from the likes of Fukuyama and Condoleezza Rice about how our generation and several more to follow are doomed to carry out the wishes and follow the paths chosen by Bush & Co. For example, from Fukuyama's essay: "...creating new organizations that will better balance the dual requirements of legitimacy and effectiveness will be the primary task for the coming generation." These ideologues are given loud platforms from which to spout their views on what we youngsters should be working on, despite the fact that the entire neocon agenda they espoused and have now seen enacted is morally and practically bankrupt.

America and the world would be better served by circulating the actual views held by Generation X thinkers, this author included (essay attached). The fact is, those new organizations have already been created, through movements like the World Social Forum, the World Tribunal on Iraq, and the hundreds of loosely affiliated, small, local organizations who regularly come together to oppose war, corporate-led globalization, environmental destruction and exploitation of the world's workers, and to promote policies explicitly placing human rights - outlined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights - at the center of local, national and global policy-making.

"People over profit" more or less sums up our position, and packs a great deal of meaning to boot. Capitalist "democracy" via the IMF, WTO, World Bank and American missiles is killing people and inflaming hatred, not spreading freedom or providing a decent standard of living for most of the world's people. The problem is, our new organizations - although powerful, global, effective, and growing - are apparently unrecognizable to the prior generation, because we have explicitly rejected the hierarchical, authoritarian, border-defined structures Baby Boomers and Greatest Generation members regard as legitimate. We derive our legitimacy from the energy of each participant at each street demonstration, and it's high time our views be spread further than the earshot of our fellow marchers.

If you want to move the debates beyond the stale platitudes of the neocons, publish our work. If not, quit whining about how difficult it is to see the way forward and out of the terrible mess the neocons have landed us in.


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