Francis Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

Francis
Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama
1952

American Political Scientist, Political Economist and Author

Author Quotes

As a result of their own experience in a country with historical social mobility, American policy makers are often blind to deeply embedded social stratifications that characterize other societies. The only successful political revolution in the western hemisphere that also resulted in a social revolution was that of Fidel Castro?s Cuba in 1959, a revolution that the United States spent the next fifty-plus years trying to contain or reverse.

But the late seventeenth century does provide an important model of how patrimonialism can be reversed that has some relevance to present-day anticorruption efforts. All of the elements that came together to produce the late Stuart reforms are still critical: an external environment that puts fiscal pressure on the government to improve its performance; a chief executive who, if not personally leading the reform effort, is at least not blocking it; reform champions within the government who have sufficient political support to carry out their program; and finally, strong political pressure from below on the part of those who are paying taxes to the government and don?t want to see their money wasted.

Fixing the Middle East is only part of the problem. It is a West European problem, too.

How the new Chinese middle class behaves in the coming years will be the most important test of the universality of liberal democracy. If it continues to grow in absolute and relative size, and yet remains content to live under the benevolent tutelage of a single-party dictatorship, one would have to say that China is culturally different from other societies around the world in its support for authoritarian government. If, however, it generates demands for participation that cannot be accommodated within the existing political system, then it is simply behaving in a manner similar to middle classes in other parts of the world. The real test of the legitimacy of the Chinese system will come not when the economy is expanding and jobs are abundant but when growth slows and the system faces crisis, as it inevitably will.

Imagination is a very scarce resource, and also a highly imperfect one, because thinking about things that have not happened is inherently more difficult than thinking about things that have.

Interest groups exercise influence way out of proportion to their place in society, distort both taxes and spending, and raise overall deficit levels through their ability to manipulate the budget in their favor. They also undermine the quality of public administration as a result of the multiple and often contradictory mandates they induce Congress to support. All of this has led to a crisis of representation, in which ordinary people feel their supposedly democratic government no longer truly reflects their interests but is under the control of a variety of shadowy elites. What is ironic and peculiar is that this crisis in representativeness has occurred in part because of reforms designed to make the system more democratic.

Marx?s original definition of bourgeoisie referred to ownership of the means of production. One of the characteristics of the modern world is that this form of property has become vastly democratized through stock ownership and pension plans. Even if one does not possess large amounts of capital, working in a managerial capacity or profession often grants one a very different kind of social status and outlook from a wage earner or low-skilled worker.

Not a democracy able to play only on the basis of the division of the state to national and smaller units. It does not necessarily become more effective the more times the community complex and diverse in its composition, but it is to fail while beyond the diversity certain limit.

So why did strong, modern states not emerge in Latin America as they did in Europe? If there is a single factor that explains this outcome, it is the relative absence of interstate war in the New World. We have seen how central war and preparation for war were in the creation of modern states in China, Prussia, and France. Even in the United States, state building has been driven by national security concerns throughout the twentieth century. Though Europe has been remarkably peaceful since 1945, the prior centuries were characterized by high and endemic levels of interstate violence. Over the past two centuries, the major political acts that reconfigured the map of Europe?the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and the wars of unification of Italy and Germany?all involved high levels of violence, culminating in the two world wars of the twentieth century. There has been plenty of violence in Latin America, of course: today the region is infested with drug cartels, street gangs, and a few remaining guerrilla groups, all of which inflict enormous sufferings on local populations. But in comparison with Europe, Latin America has been a peaceful place in terms of interstate war. This has been a blessing for the region, but it has also left a problematic institutional legacy.

The displacement of class politics by identity politics has been very confusing to older Marxists, who for many years clung to the old industrial working class as their preferred category of the underprivileged. They tried to explain this shift in terms of what Ernest Gellner labeled the Wrong Address Theory: Just as extreme Shi?ite Muslims hold that Archangel Gabriel made a mistake, delivering the Message to Mohamed when it was intended for Ali, so Marxists basically like to think that the spirit of history or human consciousness made a terrible boob. The awakening message was intended for classes, but by some terrible postal error was delivered to nations.

A high degree of autonomy is what permits innovation, experimentation and risk taking in a bureaucracy. If the slightest mistake can end a career, then no one will ever take risks.

As Sunil Khilnani demonstrates in The Idea of India, the notion of India as a nation-state was something that was invented under British rule.4 Prior to Britain?s arrival, the subcontinent was a hodgepodge of princely states, languages, ethnic groups, and religions, with the Mogul Empire?s writ limited only to parts of northern India. Under the British, India got a sense of itself as a single, unified political space (even if that space was carved into Muslim and Hindu areas at Partition) and acquired a common language, a civil service and bureaucratic tradition, an army, and other institutions that would be critical to the emergence of a democratic India in 1947.

But we forget that government was also created to act and make decisions.

For capitalism flourishes best in a mobile and egalitarian society

However, the communications technology in itself has value neutral. Ideas of Ayatollah Khomeini 's reactionary crept into Iran before the 1978 revolution by recording devices , which provided large - scale modernization of the economy during the reign of the Shah.

In cold countries they have very little sensibility for pleasure; in temperate countries, they have more; in warm countries, their sensibility is exquisite.

Interstate wars in Latin America have been so infrequent and politically unimportant that many major surveys of Latin American history barely cover them. Compared to Europe and ancient China, or indeed North America, war had a marginal effect on state building. Charles Tilly?s aphorism war made the state, and the state made war remains true, but begs the question of why wars are more prevalent in some regions than in others.

Maximize the material, short-run advantage of the nuclear family; assume that all others will do likewise.

On the other hand, there are a number of cases where economic growth did not produce better governance, but where, to the contrary, it was good governance that was responsible for growth. Consider South Korea and Nigeria. In 1954, following the Korean War, South Korea?s per capita GDP was lower than that of Nigeria, which was to win its independence from Britain in 1960. Over the following fifty years, Nigeria took in more than $300 billion in oil revenues, and yet its per capita income declined in the years between 1975 and 1995. In contrast, South Korea grew at rates ranging from 7 to 9 percent per year over this same period, to the point that it became the world?s twelfth-largest economy by the time of the Asian financial crisis in 1997. The reason for this difference in performance is almost entirely attributable to the far superior government that presided over South Korea compared to Nigeria.

Social capital is a capability that arises from the prevalence of trust in a society or in certain parts of it. It can be embodied in the smallest and most basic social group, the family, as well as the largest of all groups, the nation, and in all the other groups in between. Social capital differs from other forms of human capital insofar as it is usually created and transmitted through cultural mechanisms like religion, tradition, or historical habit. Economists typically argue that the formation of social groups can be explained as the result of voluntary contract between individuals who have made the rational calculation that cooperation is in their long-term self-interest. By this account, trust is not necessary for cooperation: enlightened self-interest, together with legal mechanisms like contracts, can compensate for an absence of trust and allow strangers jointly to create an organization that will work for a common purpose. Groups can be formed at any time based on self-interest, and group formation is not culture-dependent. But while contract and self-interest are important sources of association, the most effective organizations are based on communities of shared ethical values. These communities do not require extensive contract and legal regulation of their relations because prior moral consensus gives members of the group a basis for mutual trust. The social capital needed to create this kind of moral community cannot be acquired, as in the case of other forms of human capital, through a rational investment decision. That is, an individual can decide to invest in conventional human capital like a college education, or training to become a machinist or computer programmer, simply by going to the appropriate school. Acquisition of social capital, by contrast, requires habituation to the moral norms of a community and, in its context, the acquisition of virtues like loyalty, honesty, and dependability. The group, moreover, has to adopt common norms as a whole before trust can become generalized among its members. In other words, social capital cannot be acquired simply by individuals acting on their own. It is based on the prevalence of social, rather than individual virtues. The proclivity for sociability is much harder to acquire than other forms of human capital, but because it is based on ethical habit, it is also harder to modify or destroy. Another term that I will use widely throughout this book is spontaneous sociability, which constitutes a subset of social capital. In any modern society, organizations are being constantly created, destroyed, and modified. The most useful kind of social capital is often not the ability to work under the authority of a traditional community or group, but the capacity to form new associations and to cooperate within the terms of reference they establish. This type of group, spawned by industrial society?s complex division of labor and yet based on shared values rather than contract, falls under the general rubric of what Durkheim labeled organic solidarity. Spontaneous sociability, moreover, refers to that wide range of intermediate communities distinct from the family or those deliberately established by governments. Governments often have to step in to promote community when there is a deficit of spontaneous sociability. But state intervention poses distinct risks, since it can all too easily undermine the spontaneous communities established in civil society.

The doctrine as a whole needs to be... revised.

A lot of historical writing has been characterized as ODTAA?one damn thing after another?without an effort to extract general rules or causal theories that can be applied in other circumstances.

As with Japanese keiretsu, the member firms in a Korean chaebol own shares in each other and tend to collaborate with each other on what is often a non-price basis. The Korean chaebol differs from the Japanese prewar zaibatsu or postwar keiretsu, however, in a number of significant ways. First and perhaps most important, Korean network organizations were not centered around a private bank or other financial institution in the way the Japanese keiretsu are. This is because Korean commercial banks were all state owned until their privatization in the early 1970s, while Korean industrial firms were prohibited by law from acquiring more than an eight percent equity stake in any bank. The large Japanese city banks that were at the core of the postwar keiretsu worked closely with the Finance Ministry, of course, through the process of over-loaning (i.e., providing subsidized credit), but the Korean chaebol were controlled by the government in a much more direct way through the latter?s ownership of the banking system. Thus, the networks that emerged more or less spontaneously in Japan were created much more deliberately as the result of government policy in Korea. A second difference is that the Korean chaebol resemble the Japanese intermarket keiretsu more than the vertical ones. That is, each of the large chaebol groups has holdings in very different sectors, from heavy manufacturing and electronics to textiles, insurance, and retail. As Korean manufacturers grew and branched out into related businesses, they started to pull suppliers and subcontractors into their networks. But these relationships resembled simple vertical integration more than the relational contracting that links Japanese suppliers with assemblers. The elaborate multi-tiered supplier networks of a Japanese parent firm like Toyota do not have ready counterparts in Korea.

By contrast, people who do not trust one another will end up cooperating only under a system of formal rules and regulations, which have to be negotiated, agreed to, litigated, and enforced, sometimes by coercive means. This legal apparatus, serving as a substitute for trust, entails what economists call transaction costs. Widespread distrust in a society, in other words, imposes a kind of tax on all forms of economic activity, a tax that high-trust societies do not have to pay.

For Hegel, by contrast, liberal society is a reciprocal and equal agreement among citizens to mutually recognize each other.

Author Picture
First Name
Francis
Last Name
Fukuyama, fully Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama
Birth Date
1952
Bio

American Political Scientist, Political Economist and Author