Nicholas Wade, March 7, 2011, the head of the Science Section of the NY Times, has written a particular good review of Francis Fukuyama’s book. His latest book which I have just downloaded for my Kindle, The Origins of Political Order, after his talk at Politics & Prose Book Store on C-Span 2. Marvelous! When I heard his talk at UCLA on his book about biotechnology and his statement that perhaps we should not try to find a way to prolong our lives forever, I became an instant fan spite of his radical view of politics. Since that period he said he has evolved after a few years as a professor at John Hopkins which tends to error on the side of conservative thought. Fukuyama is now at Stanford as a research fellow.
Unlike many neocons educated at Harvard under Huntington, I saw that he had a flexible mind, and has since evolved into a better thinker than he was in the past. Zakaria was also educated under Huntington at Harvard. Keep that in mind when you listen to what he thinks. http://www.booktv.org/search.aspx?For=Fukuyama It is not on video. It will be aired next Saturday.
Francis Fukuyama Origins of Political Order European Model Better Form of Democracy, NY Times, Nicolas Wade, March 7, 2011, ... Dr. Fukuyama, a political scientist, is concerned mostly with the cultural, not biological, aspects of human society. But he explicitly assumes that human social nature is universal and is built around certain evolved behaviors like favoring relatives, reciprocal altruism, creating and following rules, and a propensity for warfare.
Because of this shared human nature, with its biological foundation, “human politics is subject to certain recurring patterns of behavior across time and across cultures,” he writes. It is these worldwide patterns he seeks to describe in an analysis that stretches from prehistoric times to the French Revolution.
Previous attempts to write grand analyses of human development have tended to focus on a single causal explanation, like economics or warfare, or, as with Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel,” on geography. Dr. Fukuyama’s is unusual in that he considers several factors, including warfare, religion, and in particular human social behaviors like favoring kin.
Few people have yet read the book, but it has created a considerable stir in universities where he has talked about it. “You have to be bowled over by the extraordinary breadth of approach,” said Arthur Melzer, a political scientist at Michigan State University who invited Dr. Fukuyama to give lectures on the book. “It’s definitely a magnum opus.”
Dr. Melzer praised Dr. Fukuyama’s view that societies develop politically in several different ways, followed by selection of the more successful, rather than marching along a single road to political development. “It’s the kind of theory situated between the hyper-theory of Marx or Hegel and the thick description that certain anthropologists and historians aim at,” he said.
Georg Sorensen, a political scientist at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, also called the book a magnum opus, saying that it provides “a new foundation for understanding political development.” It is neither Eurocentric nor monocausal, but provides a complex, multifactor explanation of political development, Dr. Sorensen said. “In terms of discussing political order this will be a new classic,” he said. … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/science/08fukuyama.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&hpw
Jim Kawakami, May 7, 2011, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com