Francis Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

American Political Scientist, Political Economist and Author

Author Quotes

There is intense populist distrust of elite institutions and demand either to abolish them (as in the case of the Federal Reserve) or to open up their internal deliberations to television and public scrutiny. Ironically, however, Americans when polled show the highest degree of approval precisely for those institutions?the military, NASA, the CDC?that are the least subject to immediate democratic oversight. Part of the reason they are admired is that they actually get things done. By contrast, the institution most directly accountable to the people, the U.S. Congress, receives disastrously low levels of approval. Congress is typically regarded as a talking shop where only lobbyist influence produces results and partisanship prevents commonsense solutions.

Under these circumstances, revenue from the New World in the form of exports of gold and silver was critical. The Spanish government, however, imposed strict rules limiting economic exchange?a system known as mercantilism?under the mistaken belief that this would maximize its income from the colonies. Exports from the New World could go only to Spain, indeed, to a single port in Spain; they were required to travel in Spanish ships; and the colonies were not permitted to compete with Spanish producers of manufactured goods. Mercantilism, as Adam Smith was to demonstrate in The Wealth of Nations, created huge inefficiencies and was highly detrimental to economic growth. It also had very significant political consequences: access to markets and the right to make productive economic investments were limited to individuals or corporations favored by the state. This meant that the route to personal wealth lay through the state and through gaining political influence. This then led to a rentier rather than an entrepreneurial mentality, in which energy was spent seeking political favor rather than initiating new enterprises that would create wealth. The landowning and merchant classes that emerged under this system grew rich because of the political protection they received from the state.

When testifying before a senate committee investigating his behavior, he said, I got that patronage from the sheriff, the county clerk, the county treasurer, all the clerks of the different courts, the State administration ? It rarely happened ? that any appointments of any kind, big or little, were made in the section of the city in which I lived without my recommendation. Lorimer also owned a number of businesses that did contracting for the city, and through a process of what he suggested was honest graft managed to accumulate considerable wealth. His machine, like those in other cities, catered to the interests of the huge number of immigrants and working-class voters who were flocking into the city to work in its new industries.

The inhabitants of warm countries are, like old men, timorous ? the people in cold countries are, like young men, brave.

The resulting Rechtsstaat has been described as a liberal autocracy. It provided strong protections of the rights of its citizens in an impersonal manner, even though these citizens did not have the political right to hold their rulers accountable through elections.

There is no doubt that the American who grew up on the ideas of Hobbes and Locke and Jefferson and other founding fathers of Americans will see in maximizing Hegel the master who risks his life in the battle for the status concept expresses the Germanic culture.

Unfortunately, the trading of political influence for money has come back in a big way in American politics, this time in a form that is perfectly legal and much harder to eradicate. Criminalized bribery is narrowly defined in American law as a transaction in which a politician and a private party explicitly agree upon a specific quid pro quo exchange. What is not covered by the law is what biologists call reciprocal altruism, or what an anthropologist might label a gift exchange. In a relationship of reciprocal altruism, one person confers a benefit on another with no explicit expectation that it will immediately buy a return favor, unlike an impersonal market transaction.

When the middle class constitutes only 20?30 percent of the population, it may side with antidemocratic forces because it fears the intentions of the large mass of poor people below it and the populist policies they may pursue.

A middle-class voter could equally well take a proffered government job, or be persuaded that his or her family?s long-term interests are better served by a system that recruits the best possible people on an impersonal basis. The choice actually made often depends on how these ideas are publically articulated.

At the end of history, it is not necessary that all societies become successful liberal societies, merely that they end their ideological pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society.

China is never going to be a global model. Western system is really broken in some fundamental ways, but the Chinese system is not going to work either. It is a deeply unfair and immoral system where everything can be taken away from anyone in a split second.

For Hegel, freedom was not just a psychological phenomenon, but the essence of what was distinctively human. In this sense, freedom and nature are diametrically opposed. Freedom does not mean the freedom to live in nature or according to nature; rather, freedom begins only where nature ends. Human freedom emerges only when man is able to transcend his natural, animal existence, and to create a new self for himself. The emblematic starting point for this process of self-creation is the struggle to the death for pure prestige.

Human beings cooperate in order to compete, and compete to cooperate.

In my view, Greek distrust is rooted in politics, particularly in the absence of a strong, impartial state, but over the years it has perpetuated itself as a cultural habit. Distrust has been pervasive in both traditional rural Greek society and in the bitter political struggles of the twentieth century. Greeks have been divided by family, kinship, region, class, and ideology, despite the fact that Greece is one of the world?s most ethnically homogeneous societies. Feeding these social and political cleavages is the fact that the state has never been seen as the protector of an abstract public interest, in the manner of the German and French states. Rather, it is seen as an asset to be grabbed and exploited for narrow partisan benefit. Hence, no contemporary Greek political party has made reform of the state itself part of its agenda. When the European Union and the IMF demanded structural reforms in return for a restructuring of Greek debt, the Greek government was willing to consider virtually any form of austerity before agreeing to end party control over patronage.

It is true that Islam is an ideology, consistent and coherent like liberalism and communism, and that he has the moral standards of its own theory and related political and social justice. As well as the attractiveness of Islam can be global, calling him all human beings as human beings , not just members of an ethnic group or a particular nationality. Islam has been able to actually victory over liberal democracy in many parts of the Muslim world, and forms a significant threat to liberal practices even in countries that were not up to the political power directly. The end of the Cold War was followed in Europe immediately Iraq 's defiance of the West, which is what was said (rightly or wrongly) that Islam was one of the elements

Mental models and rules are intimately intertwined, since the models often suggest clear rules for societies to follow. Religions are more than theories; they are prescriptive moral codes that seek to enforce rules on their followers. They, like the rules they enjoin, are invested with considerable emotional meaning and therefore are believed for intrinsic reasons and not simply because they are accurate or useful. While religious beliefs cannot be verified, they are also difficult to falsify. All of this reinforces the fundamental conservatism of human societies, because mental models of reality once adopted are hard to change in the light of new evidence that they are not working.

Perhaps when you're young you think that something must be profound just because it is difficult and you don't have the self-confidence to say 'this is just nonsense

Societies are not trapped by their pasts and freely borrow ideas and institutions from each other.

The End of History was never linked to a specifically American model of social or political organization. Following Alexandre KojŠve, the Russian-French philosopher who inspired my original argument, I believe that the European Union more accurately reflects what the world will look like at the end of history than the contemporary United States. The EU's attempt to transcend sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law is much more in line with a "post-historical" world than the Americans' continuing belief in God, national sovereignty, and their military.

A political system that is all checks and balances is potentially no more successful than one with no checks, because governments periodically need strong and decisive action.

At the root of the problems of Greece and Italy is the fact that both countries have used public employment as a source of political patronage, leading to bloated and inefficient public services and ballooning budget deficits. Germany, as we saw in chapter 4, inherited an autonomous, merit-based, modern bureaucracy from absolutist times. Modernization of the state occurred prior to the arrival of full democratic participation. Political parties when they appeared were based on ideology and programmatic agendas; clientelism was never a source of political power. Greece and Italy, by contrast, did not develop modern bureaucracies before they became electoral democracies, and for much of their recent history used public employment as a means of mobilizing voters. The result has been a chronic inability to control public-sector employment and hence the wage bill up until the present day. Greece and Italy followed a sequence closer to that of the United States in the nineteenth century than to their Northern European counterparts: democracy arrived before the modern state, making the latter subservient to the interests of party politicians.

Chinese family businesses instinctively thought of ways of hiding income from the tax collector. The situation is quite different in Japan, where the family is weaker and individuals are pulled in different directions by the various vertical authority structures standing above them. The entire Japanese nation, with the emperor at the top, is, in a sense, the lie of all lies, and calls forth a degree of moral obligation and emotional attachment that the Chinese emperor never enjoyed. Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese have had less of a we-against-them attitude toward outsiders and are much more likely to identify with family, lineage, or region as with nation. The dark side to the Japanese sense of nationalism and proclivity to trust one another is their lack of trust for people who are not Japanese. The problems faced by non-Japanese living in Japan, such as the sizable Korean community, have been widely noted. Distrust of non-Japanese is also evident in the practices of many Japanese multinationals operating in other countries. While aspects of the Japanese lean manufacturing system have been imported with great success into the United States, Japanese transplants have been much less successful integrating into local American supplier networks. Japanese auto companies building assembly plants in the United States, for example, have tended to bring over with them the suppliers in their network organizations from Japan. According to one study, some ninety percent of the parts for Japanese cars assembled in America come from Japan or from subsidiaries of Japanese companies in America. This is perhaps predictable given the cultural differences between the Japanese assembler and the American subcontractor but has understandably led to hard feelings between the two. To take another example, while Japanese multinationals have hired a great number of native executives to run their overseas businesses, these people are seldom treated like executives at the same level in Japan. An American working for a subdivision of a Japanese company in the United States might aspire to rise within that organization but is very unlikely to be asked to move to Tokyo or even to a higher post outside the United States. There are exceptions. Sony America, for example, with its largely American staff, is highly autonomous and often influences its parent in Japan. But by and large, the Japanese radius of trust can be fully extended only to other Japanese.

Foreigners seldom have enough local knowledge to understand how to construct durable states. When their efforts at institution building are halfhearted and under-resourced, they often do more damage than good.

Humans ring is, in essence , when Nietzsche 's slave victorious, and is entirely consistent with Hegel in saying that Christianity is the ideology of the slaves, and that democracy represents the civic image of Christianity. And the equality of all people before the law, but to achieve your Christian example of the equality of all believers in the kingdom of heaven. However, the Christian faith and human equality before God if not more intolerance stems from the weak for the strong hatred of them. And Christianity has stemmed from the realization that the weak can overcome the mighty when gathered together in a herd, and used my weapon of guilt and conscience. And this idea has become in modern times widespread and difficult to resist, not because it has been proven correct, but rather for the large number of vulnerable people.

In opting for large scale, Korean state planners got much of what they bargained for. Korean companies today compete globally with the Americans and Japanese in highly capital-intensive sectors like semiconductors, aerospace, consumer electronics, and automobiles, where they are far ahead of most Taiwanese or Hong Kong companies. Unlike Southeast Asia, the Koreans have moved into these sectors not primarily through joint ventures where the foreign partner has provided a turnkey assembly plant but through their own indigenous organizations. So successful have the Koreans been that many Japanese companies feel relentlessly dogged by Korean competitors in areas like semiconductors and steel. The chief advantage that large-scale chaebol organizations would appear to provide is the ability of the group to enter new industries and to ramp up to efficient production quickly through the exploitation of economies of scope. Does this mean, then, that cultural factors like social capital and spontaneous sociability are not, in the end, all that important, since a state can intervene to fill the gap left by culture? The answer is no, for several reasons. In the first place, not every state is culturally competent to run as effective an industrial policy as Korea is. The massive subsidies and benefits handed out to Korean corporations over the years could instead have led to enormous abuse, corruption, and misallocation of investment funds. Had President Park and his economic bureaucrats been subject to political pressures to do what was expedient rather than what they believed was economically beneficial, if they had not been as export oriented, or if they had simply been more consumption oriented and corrupt, Korea today would probably look much more like the Philippines. The Korean economic and political scene was in fact closer to that of the Philippines under Syngman Rhee in the 1950s. Park Chung Hee, for all his faults, led a disciplined and spartan personal lifestyle and had a clear vision of where he wanted the country to go economically. He played favorites and tolerated a considerable degree of corruption, but all within reasonable bounds by the standards of other developing countries. He did not waste money personally and kept the business elite from putting their resources into Swiss villas and long vacations on the Riviera. Park was a dictator who established a nasty authoritarian political system, but as an economic leader he did much better. The same power over the economy in different hands could have led to disaster. There are other economic drawbacks to state promotion of large-scale industry. The most common critique made by market-oriented economists is that because the investment was government rather than market driven, South Korea has acquired a series of white elephant industries such as shipbuilding, petrochemicals, and heavy manufacturing. In an age that rewards downsizing and nimbleness, the Koreans have created a series of centralized and inflexible corporations that will gradually lose their low-wage competitive edge. Some cite Taiwan?s somewhat higher overall rate of economic growth in the postwar period as evidence of the superior efficiency of a smaller, more competitive industrial structure.

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