Writing in the World Affairs Journal, Michael Zantovsky, the former Czech ambassador to the U.S. and longtime former wingman to Vaclav Havel, has an interesting and hard-to-define essay that ruminates on the collapse of communism, Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, evolutionary biology, Sept. 11, Hayek, and much else besides. Any excerpt will be an injustice; here’s the closing paragraph:
I suggest you take the time to read the whole essay, and not just the closing paragraph. It will be worth your while. I agree with Matt’s caution about excerpts, but, just in case you’re too lazy to follow the link, here’s a nugget to whet your appetite. It refers back to a previous paragraph about the failed theories of Communism:
Based on the known record, history is more likely a complex stochastic process in which each event is to a larger, smaller, or infinitesimal extent the result of everything that has happened before combined with a healthy dose of randomness. As such, it carries forward and perpetuates, at least for a time, not only human growth and human achievements but also our weaknesses, fallacies, inconsistencies, and failures. That is why it comes back to haunt us so often. One can only ask whether the post–Cold War world would be any different if Communism was smashed to dust and eradicated the way Nazism was. In the event, to the vast relief of people in the West and East alike, it imploded peacefully. But perhaps in doing so, it was also allowed to scatter tiny bits of its tyrannical self, its messianic arrogance, its ignorance of human nature, and its fundamental immorality to the ends of the earth. It is gone but not dead. In any case, democracies seem to have been much more aware of their fundamental values and the price of liberty when the totalitarian threat was still around.
Can you imagine an American ambassador writing anything like that? Neither can I. Sad, isn’t it?