Francis Fukuyama

American political scientist, political economist, and author

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born October 27, 1952) is an American philosopher, political economist, and author best known for his 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man.

[A]ttempts to impose a single way of life on an entire population is a formula for dictatorship.

QuotesEdit

 
[I]f men cannot struggle on behalf of a just cause because that just cause was victorious in an earlier generation, then they will struggle against the just cause. They will struggle for the sake of struggle. They will struggle, in other words, out of a certain boredom: for they cannot imagine living in a world without struggle. And if the greater part of the world in which they live is characterized by peaceful and prosperous liberal democracy, then they will struggle against that peace and prosperity, and against democracy.
 
Liberal values like tolerance and individual freedom are prized most intensely when they are denied: People who live in brutal dictatorships want the simple freedom to speak, associate, and worship as they choose. But over time life in a liberal society comes to be taken for granted and its sense of shared community seems thin.
 
[I]t is hard to see how the discarding of liberal values is going to lead to anything in the long term other than increasing social conflict and ultimately a return to violence as a means of resolving differences.

1990sEdit

The End of History and the Last Man (1992)Edit

  • Experience suggests that if men cannot struggle on behalf of a just cause because that just cause was victorious in an earlier generation, then they will struggle against the just cause. They will struggle for the sake of struggle. They will struggle, in other words, out of a certain boredom: for they cannot imagine living in a world without struggle. And if the greater part of the world in which they live is characterized by peaceful and prosperous liberal democracy, then they will struggle against that peace and prosperity, and against democracy.
    • p. 330

2000sEdit

  • Neoconservatives believed that history can be pushed along with the right application of power and will. Leninism was a tragedy in its Bolshevik version, and it has returned as farce when practiced by the United States. Neoconservatism, as both a political symbol and a body of thought, has evolved into something I can no longer support. …

    "[W]ar" is the wrong metaphor for the broader struggle, since wars are fought at full intensity and have clear beginnings and endings. Meeting the jihadist challenge is more of a "long, twilight struggle" whose core is not a military campaign but a political contest for the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims around the world.

2010sEdit

  • The Left’s identity politics poses a threat to free speech and to the kind of rational discourse needed to sustain a democracy... The focus on lived experience by identity groups prioritizes the emotional world of the inner self over the rational examination of issues in the outside world and privileges sincerely held opinions over a process of reasoned deliberation that may force one to abandon prior opinions.

Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment (2018)Edit

  • The limits of this strategy were evident as the century drew to a close. The Marxist left had to confront the fact that actual Communist societies in the Soviet Union and China had turned into grotesque and oppressive dictatorships.
    • p. 112

2020sEdit

Liberalism and its Discontents (2020)Edit

"Liberalism and its Discontents: The challenges from the left and the right" (5 October 2020), American Purpose
  • The more progress that has been made toward eradicating social injustices, the more intolerable the remaining injustices seem, and thus the moral imperative to mobilizing to correct them.
  • Liberal values like tolerance and individual freedom are prized most intensely when they are denied: People who live in brutal dictatorships want the simple freedom to speak, associate, and worship as they choose. But over time life in a liberal society comes to be taken for granted and its sense of shared community seems thin.
  • Putin told the Financial Times that liberalism has become an “obsolete” doctrine. While it may be under attack from many quarters today, it is in fact more necessary than ever. It is more necessary because it is fundamentally a means of governing over diversity, and the world is more diverse than it ever has been. Democracy disconnected from liberalism will not protect diversity, because majorities will use their power to repress minorities.
    • Emphasis in original.
  • In situations of de facto diversity, attempts to impose a single way of life on an entire population is a formula for dictatorship.
  • [P]rogressives on the left have shown themselves willing to abandon liberal values in pursuit of social justice objectives. There has been a sustained intellectual attack on liberal principles over the past three decades coming out of academic pursuits like gender studies, critical race theory, postcolonial studies, and queer theory, that deny the universalistic premises underlying modern liberalism. The challenge is not simply one of intolerance of other views or “cancel culture” in the academy or the arts. Rather, the challenge is to basic principles that all human beings were born equal in a fundamental sense, or that a liberal society should strive to be color-blind.
  • [I]t is hard to see how the discarding of liberal values is going to lead to anything in the long term other than increasing social conflict and ultimately a return to violence as a means of resolving differences.

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