Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Lindberg on Fukuyama

Tod Lindberg elegantly nails the point about Fukuyama’s current line of argument that I made in a fumbling fashion here. A snippet:

He described democratic capitalism as the system that best satisfies people’s desire for mutual recognition as free and equal human beings, a desire Mr. Fukuyama described as fundamental.


As far as I am able to make out (without yet having read his new book), Mr. Fukuyama now regards the first element of his explanation as decisive and the second as problematic. In reviewing his previous work, he has characterized "The End of History" as essentially a thesis about globalization. The element of psychic satisfaction is much diminished.

Bingo!

The book, by the way, is much better than the NYT Magazine sample. I’m halfway through, and will offer some account of my thoughts somewhere after I finish. At the moment, I’ll only say that I don’t think that
Louis Menand has got it right. FF, according to Menand, is "sliding back toward sixties liberalism," emphasizing soft power. That strikes me as a triumphalistic and wishful simplification.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Fukuyama’s new book stinks, but his old books were mighty confused. Surely nobody really believes that liberal democracy satisfies the human desire for recognition. (On this point St. Augustine, Tocqueville, and Mansfield’s MANLINESS agree.)

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