Ten years ago democracy was on the march, and its progress seemed more or less inevitable. Political freedom was assumed to expand with economic prosperity, and international relations were expected to grow smoother as the number of democratic nations swelled.
Uh, sorry, white man, but this won’t fly. Many, many people rejected this crude determinism–the flipside to Marx at his silliest–when the “end of history” thesis emerged, and these arguments were often made prior to the Iraq War, even if your op-ed page ignored them to join the War on Straw. It’s a good technique, though: pretend that everybody believed in a plainly ridiculous theory, and thus make it less embarrassing for yourself when your theory is predictably falsified.