Francis Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

American Political Scientist, Political Economist and Author

Author Quotes

The main problem facing immigrant communities was to change the sort of sociability they practiced from an ascriptive to a voluntary form. That is, the traditional social structures they brought with them were based on family, ethnicity, geographic origin, or some other characteristic with which they were born. For the first generation that landed in the United States, they created the trust necessary for revolving credit associations, family restaurants, laundries, and grocery stores. But in subsequent generations they could become a constraint, narrowing the range of business opportunities and keeping descendants in ethnic ghettoes. For the most successful ethnic groups, the sons and daughters of first-generation immigrants had to learn a broader kind of sociability that would get them jobs in the mainstream business world or in the professions. The speed with which immigrants could make the transition from a member of an ethnic enclave to assimilated mainstream American explains how the United States could be both ethnically diverse and strongly disposed to community at the same time. In many other societies, the descendants of immigrants were never permitted to leave their ethnic ghetto. Although solidarity within the ethnic enclave remained high, the society as a whole was Balkanized and conflicted. Diversity can have clear benefits for a society, but is better taken in small sips than in large gulps. It is easily possible to have too diverse a society, in which people not only fail to share higher values and aspirations but even fail to speak the same language. The possibilities for spontaneous sociability then begin to flow only within the cleavage lines established by race, ethnicity, language, and the like. Assimilation through language policy and education must balance ethnicity if broader community is to be possible. The United States presents a mixed and changing picture. If we take into account factors like America?s religious culture and ethnicity, there are ample grounds for categorizing it simultaneously as both an individualistic and a group-oriented society. Those who see only the individualism are ignoring a critical part of American social history. Yet the balance has been shifting toward individualism rapidly in the last couple of decades, so it is perhaps no accident that Asians and others see it as the epitome of an individualistic society. This shift has created numerous problems for the United States, many of which will play themselves out in the economic sphere.

The rule of law is critical for economic development; without clear property rights and contract enforcement, it is difficult for businesses to break out of small circles of trust.

There were, however, countervailing forces. The independence of the Italian judiciary had been reinforced by the recruitment of a generation of idealistic lawyers in the wake of the global uprisings of 1968.

We are taking the time to consider the Hungarian case for a simple reason: to show that constitutional limits on a central government?s power do not by themselves necessarily produce political accountability. The freedom sought by the Hungarian noble class was the freedom to exploit their own peasants more thoroughly, and the absence of a strong central state allowed them to do just that. Everyone understands the Chinese form of tyranny, one perpetrated by a centralized dictatorship. But tyranny can result from decentralized oligarchic domination as well. True freedom tends to emerge in the interstices of a balance of power among a society?s elite actors, something that Hungary never succeeded in achieving.

Whether he was conscious of it or not, Deng was restoring much of the institutional legacy of traditional Chinese government. Only this time, it was the Communist Party that played the role of the emperor with his eunuch cadres supervising a vast bureaucracy.

The fact that you are not sure means that it is possible that there is another way someday.

The nation will continue to be a central pole of identification, even if more and more nations come to share common economic and political forms of organization.

The same process is unfolding in the early twenty-first century with passage of the Dodd-Frank bill regulating the financial sector: Congress delegated to the regulators the responsibility of writing many of the detailed provisions, which will inevitably be challenged in the courts. Ironically, excessive delegation and vetocracy are intertwined.

These aren't two separate problems. In many instances the responses are the same.

We can say in confidence that the twentieth century has been instilling in all of us profoundly historically pessimistic perspective.

While Koreans also are relatively group-oriented, they also have a strong individualistic streak like most Westerners. Koreans frequently joke that an individual Korean can beat an individual Japanese, but that a group of Koreans are certain to be beaten by a group of Japanese.36 The rate of employee turnover, raiding of other companies? skilled labor, and the like are all higher in Korea than in Japan. Anecdotally, there would seem to be a lower level of informal work-oriented socializing in Korea than in Japan, with employees heading home to their families at the end of the day rather than staying on to drink in the evenings with their workmates.

The failure of democracy to consolidate itself in many parts of the world may be due less to the appeal of the idea itself than to the absence of those material and social conditions that make it possible for accountable government to emerge in the first place. That is, successful liberal democracy requires both a state that is strong, unified, and able to enforce laws on its own territory, and a society that is strong and cohesive and able to impose accountability on the state. It is the balance between a strong state and a strong society that makes democracy work, not just in seventeenth-century England but in contemporary developed democracies as well.

The one curious thing - I don't know quite where he stands right now is - he really was not a neoconservative in a way, and in fact I think he's tried to deny he was a neoconservative, if you go back to all the debates of the 1990's.

The story of political development from this point in European history is the story of the interaction between these centralizing states and the social groups resisting them. Absolutist governments arose where the resisting groups were either weak and poorly organized, or else were co-opted by the state to help in extracting resources from other social groups that weren?t co-opted. Weak absolutist governments arose where the resisting groups were so strongly organized that the central government couldn?t dominate them. And accountable government arose when the state and the resisting groups were better balanced. The resisting groups were able to impose on the state the principle of no taxation without representation: they would supply it with substantial resources, but only if they had a say in how those resources were used.

These cases illustrate the way institutional arrangements can become self-reinforcing: once the principle of electoral politics is established under a limited franchise, incumbent parties can attempt to stay in power by seeking new voters, shifting to new issues, and reaching out across class lines.

We might label this the Hobbesean fallacy: the idea that human beings were primordially individualistic and that they entered into society at a later stage in their development only as a result of a rational calculation that social cooperation was the best way for them to achieve their individual ends. This premise of primordial individualism underpins the understanding of rights contained in the American Declaration of Independence and thus of the democratic political community that springs from it. This premise also underlies contemporary neoclassical economics, which builds its models on the assumption that human beings are rational beings who want to maximize their individual utility or incomes. But it is in fact individualism and not sociability that developed over the course of human history. That individualism seems today like a solid core of our economic and political behavior is only because we have developed institutions that override our more naturally communal instincts.

With justice and moderation the people will produce more, tax revenues will increase, and the state will grow rich and powerful. Justice is the foundation of a powerful state.

The failure to find adequate funds to finance deficits caused the Spanish Crown to declare bankruptcy in 1557, 1560, 1575, 1596, 1607, 1627, 1647, 1652, 1660, and 1662.14 These bankruptcies were not full debt repudiations, but more like what today would be called debt reschedulings or workouts. The Crown would declare a moratorium on the payment of interest on short-term and floating debt on the grounds that it was usurious and then enter into a prolonged and rancorous negotiation with its creditors.

The opinion that the survival of Islam itself depended on the use of military slavery was shared by the great Arab historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun, who lived in North Africa in the fourteenth century, contemporaneously with the Mamluk sultanate in Egypt.

The sudden demise of the dinosaurs do not destabilize the validity of the special theory of biological evolution

These groups began agitating against corruption through reports and publicity about the backgrounds of candidates published in sympathetic newspapers; they sought to professionalize government by making it nonpartisan. Ironically, while this group spoke in the name of democracy, it actually represented the upper crust of Chicago society, an overwhelmingly Protestant group that looked down on the way that Lorimer was empowering the city?s new Catholic and Jewish immigrants.

We need to be familiar with standard whole history so that we can judge the gift on the democratic society, and to the concept of human being as a human being ?allows us to see the inherent shortcomings. And this is the reason why we have to study the first man? when Hobbes and Locke and Rousseau and Hegel.

World history does not need to justify every autocratic system and every war until illustrates a larger pattern da meaning and purpose in human evolution.

The father of communism, Karl Marx, famously predicted the withering away of the state once the proletarian revolution had achieved power and abolished private property. Left-wing revolutionaries from the nineteenth-century anarchists on thought it sufficient to destroy old power structures without giving serious thought to what would take their place. This tradition continues up through the present, with the suggestion by anti-globalization authors like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri that economic injustice could be abolished by undermining the sovereignty of states and replacing it with a networked multitude. Real-world Communist regimes of course did exactly the opposite of what Marx predicted, building large and tyrannical state structures to force people to act collectively when they failed to do so spontaneously. This in turn led a generation of democracy activists in Eastern Europe to envision their own form of statelessness, where a mobilized civil society would take the place of traditional political parties and centralized governments. These activists were subsequently disillusioned by the realization that their societies could not be governed without institutions, and when they encountered the messy compromises required to build them. In the decades since the fall of communism, Eastern Europe is democratic, but it is not thereby necessarily happy with its politics or politicians. The fantasy of statelessness

The opinion that the survival of Islam itself depended on the use of military slavery was shared by the great Arab historian and philosopher Ibn Khaldun, who lived in North Africa in the fourteenth century, contemporaneously with the Mamluk sultanate in Egypt. In the Muqadimmah, Ibn Khaldun says the following: When the [Abbasid] state was drowned in decadence and luxury and donned the garments of calamity and impotence and was overthrown by the heathen Tatars, who abolished the seat of the Caliphate and obliterated the splendor of the lands and made unbelief prevail in place of belief, because the people of the faith, sunk in self-indulgence, preoccupied with pleasure and abandoned to luxury, had become deficient in energy and reluctant to rally in defense, and had stripped off the skin of courage and the emblem of manhood?then, it was God?s benevolence that He rescued the faith by reviving its dying breath and restoring the unity of the Muslims in the Egyptian realms, preserving the order and defending the walls of Islam. He did this by sending to the Muslims, from this Turkish nation and from among its great and numerous tribes, rulers to defend them and utterly loyal helpers, who were brought from the House of War to the House of Islam under the rule of slavery, which hides in itself a divine blessing. By means of slavery they learn glory and blessing and are exposed to divine providence; cured by slavery, they enter the Muslim religion with the firm resolve of true believers and yet with nomadic virtues unsullied by debased nature, unadulterated with the filth of pleasure, undefiled by the ways of civilized living, and with their ardor unbroken by the profusion of luxury.

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Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama
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American Political Scientist, Political Economist and Author