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vendredi, 26 octobre 2018

Eh, Fukuyama : tout ça pour ça ?

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Eh, Fukuyama : tout ça pour ça ?

Ex: http://www.dedefensa.org

En avril 1989, un haut-fonctionnaire du département d’État, Francis Fukuyama, donna à Washington une conférence (quelques mois après, figurant comme un article dans Foreign Affairs) où il présenta une thèse que tout le monde, aux USA et particulièrement à Washington même, ne demandait qu’à accepter : la “Fin de l’Histoire”, grâce au triomphe de la “démocratie libérale” dont les USA étaient absolument les concepteurs, les propriétaires exclusifs, les producteurs et les laudateurs extasiés. L’intervention de Fukuyama tombait à pic pour relever le statut de communication des USA car, à cette époque-là, contrairement à ce que nous rapportent les petits soldats de l’histoire-courante-récrite, la plus extraordinaire popularité du monde, y compris et même surtout en Occident, allait à Gorbatchev et à l’évolution de son pays. Toute la gloire absolument justifiée allait à un processus, qui était celui de la fin de la Guerre froide et de l’équilibre de la terreur avec menace d’anéantissement réciproque, et nullement à “la victoire de l’un sur l’autre”. C’est alors (mai 1988) qu’Arbatov, le conseiller de Gorbatchev, disait justement à un intervieweur de Time : « Nous allons vous faire une chose terrible, nous allons vous priver d’Ennemi. »

(Arbatov aurait dû lui dire : “Nous allons vous faire une chose terrible, nous allons vous priver de vrai ennemi” dans le sens d’“ennemi crédible”. L’URSS était la seule capable de tenir ce rôle, le reste de l’aventure jusqu’à nous le démontre absolument.)

C’est après, justement avec l’aide de “la Fin de l’Histoire” comme structure de philo-communication, qu’on pourrait rapprocher de philo-nikos (amour de la victoire) selon Platon, faisant office d’une doctrine qui ne se distinguait nullement par sa sagesse mais par son hybris opérationnel, qu’apparut la narrative qui a depuis servi d’histoire récrite : l’affaire Gorbatchev était devenue simplement un effet résiduel d’une “victoire” écrasante du capitalisme (de la démocratie libérale) sur le communisme. Les arguments “opérationnels” développés depuis et offerts à notre connaissance sont complètement fabriqués, sinon faussaires et de toutes les façons hors contexte, mais la trouvaille de Fukuyama clouait le bec par la fortune de l’expression autant que par sa prétention philosophique. Elle fut (la trouvaille) rapidement sanctionnée, trois ans plus tard, par un livre utilisant le même titre, en le complétant par une expression nietzschéenne invertie(La fin de l’Histoire, ou le dernier homme).

Quoi qu’il en soit des mises au point, des contestations, des précisions, etc., le slogan tint bon largement jusqu’au milieu de la décennie 2000. C’est au nom de “la Fin de l’Histoire” et en application d’une stratégie affectiviste (“droitsdelhommisme”) utilisées l’une et l’autre comme feuille de vigne, que les USA pulvérisèrent l’ancienne URSS et l’Occident l’ex-Yougoslavie en organisant la formation de divers États-gangsters contre la Russie et la Serbie ; que les USA envahirent l'Afghanistan et l’Irak et lancèrent leur grand programme de “démocratisation” du Moyen-Orient ; et la suite sans fin (Libye, Syrie, etc.) depuis. Entretemps, le concept avait commencé à subir les outrages d’un temps très rapide et ceux des événements eux-mêmes, tout aussi rapides à la mesure du temps. C’est ce qu’acte aujourd’hui le philosophe lui-même, Fukuyama, en adoubant la montée irrésistible, non du populisme comme disent avec un hoquet de dégoût les élites-Système qui se targuent d’une vertu antiSystème, mais de la “démocratie illibérale”.

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Dans The New Stateman du 17 octobre 2018, George Eaton publie un article décrivant une rencontre qu’il vient d’avoir avec Fukuyama. Le philosophe reconnaît la nécessaire révision de son concept tout en avertissant qu’il avait annoncé cette révision en présentant les caractères extrêmement conditionnels et les limites très importantes du modèle de la “démocratie libérale” :

« Vingt-six ans plus tard, des États-Unis à la Russie, de la Turquie à la Pologne et de la Hongrie à l'Italie, une Internationale illibérale se développe. Le nouveau[et neuvième] livre de Fukuyama,[The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment]entend chercher à apprécier et à définir cette nouvelle dynamique. Lorsque j'ai rencontré l’universitaire de Stanford âgé de 65 ans, dans nos bureaux de Londres, il a pris soin de souligner la continuité de sa pensée. “Ce que j’ai dit à l’époque[1992], c’est que l’un des problèmes de la démocratie moderne est qu’elle assure la paix et la prospérité, mais que les gens veulent plus que cela… Les démocraties libérales n’essaient même pas de définir ce qu’est une bonne vie, ils laissent cette quête aux individus qui, dès lors, se sentent aliénés, sans but. C’est la raison pour laquelle ils forment et rejoindre ces groupes identitaires qui leur donnent donne le cadre et le sens d’une communauté”. [...] [Mes critiques] n’ont sans doute pas lu le livre jusqu’à la fin, la partie “Le dernier homme”, qui concernait certaines des menaces potentielles contre la démocratie... »

Il n’empêche que la carrière elle-même de Fukuyama, et les engagements qui vont avec, expliquent que la conception hâtive que recouvre l’expression “la fin de l’Histoire” puisse avoir été prise pour du comptant, comme fondant et illustrant parfaitement cette portion historique allant de la fin de la Guerre froide à la guerre en Irak (et le resdte). Lui-même, Fukuyama, a développé sa carrière officielle dans le gouvernement, avant de bifurquer vers une carrière universitaire, d’une façon parfaitement conforme à ce qu’on a fait de cette conception : il eut l’archi-neocon Paul Wolfowitz comme mentor dans les années 1980, poursuivit en s’inscrivant nettement dans le courant néoconservateur et se proclamant partisan de la guerre de 2003 contre l’Irak, avant de la juger catastrophique une fois la catastrophe accomplie. C’est alors qu’il commença à modifier son attitude politique, puis de plus en plus nettement avec la crise de 2008... « Ces politiques développées par les élites se sont avérées absolument désastreuses et il y a bien des raisons justifiant que les gens se soient de plus en plus opposés à elles. [...] S’il y a un enseignement à retenir de la crise financière [de 2008], c’est que ce secteur [de la finance] doit être radicalement réglementé parce que [le système en place] oblige tous les autres à payer pour ses erreurs. Toute cette idéologie s’est profondément enracinée dans la zone euro, et de ce fait l’austérité imposée par l’Allemagne a été désastreuse, notamment pour le Sud de l’Europe a été désastreuse. »

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Aujourd’hui, Fukuyama qui était apparu comme l’étendard de la liquidation historique et définitive du marxisme, trouve à la grande surprise de Eaton un certain charme à Marx et au socialisme, – de même qu’il juge que le retour d’une gauche marxiste au Royaume-Uni et aux USA n’est pas injustifié...

« Si [par socialisme] vous voulez parler de programmes de redistribution des richesses qui tentent de remédier à ce déséquilibre important qui existe entre les revenus, alors oui je pense que non seulement il [le socialisme] pourrait revenir, mais il devrait revenir. Cette longue période, qui a commencé avec Reagan et Thatcher, a donné lieu à une série de développement des marchés non réglementés qui ont eu à bien des égards des effets désastreux. [...] À ce stade, il me semble que certaines choses dites par Karl Marx se révèlent vraies. Il a parlé justement de la crise de surproduction… [Il a prévu justement] que les travailleurs seraient appauvris et que la demande serait insuffisante... »

Notons encore quelques remarques de Fukuyama :

• Pour lui, le “modèle chinois”, avec un gouvernement autoritaire encadrant une économie libérale et se portant garant de sa stabilité, a une certaine vertu. Si ce cadre politique parvient à rester en place lors de crises économiques, et s’il est encore là dans trente ans, il aura prouvé sa validité et, d’une certaine façon, sa capacité à prétendre être une alternative à la “démocratie libérale”. Manifestement, Fukuyama juge le “modèle chinois” comme pouvant être considéré comme proche, dans tous les cas dans l’esprit de la chose, de ce qu’il nomme “démocratie illibérale”.

• L’une de ses préoccupations majeures est par ailleurs ce qu’il juge être la probabilité d’un conflit entre la Chine et les USA, nullement du fait d’une attaque-surprise et/ou massive mais plutôt à la suite d’un incident annexe et mineur, à propos de Taïwan ou de la Corée du Nord par exemple. Il estime ce conflit comme étant le modèle du “piège de Thucydide” (“the Thucydides trap”), comme le nomme le professeur de Harvard Graham Allison, l’affrontement entre une puissance en place et une puissance en pleine ascension.

• Pour autant, il ne faut pas se précipiter... « Fukuyama avertit les libéraux qu’il ne faut pas trop sur-réagir et conclure que la démocratie illibérale est la nouvelle ‘fin de l’histoire’. “Je pense que les gens devrait tempérer un peu leurs réactions”. »

... En un sens, et en nous gardant de “sur-réagir”, nous sommes conduits à observer que si Fukuyama n’était pas selon lui-même si affirmatif qu’on l’a dit dans sa thèse de “la fin de l’Histoire”, et bien qu’il se soit engagé politiquement avec ceux qui adoptaient manifestement cette thèses (les neocons), il est aujourd’hui aussi peu affirmatif quant à la définition de ce qu’il juge apte à remplacer le “modèle” actuel de “démocratie libérale”... Car il est bien question d’un Grand Remplacement à cet égard, car s’il y a une seule chose dont il soit lui-même assuré pouvons-nous juger sans “sur-réagir”,c’est bien l’échec complet sinon catastrophique de ce modèle de la “démocratie libérale”.

51qBsdU6PuL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgUn autre aspect de cette réflexion à noter, c’est la propension bienvenue et justifiée qu’a Fukuyama à écarter tous les clivages qui continuent pourtant à être proclamés par les idéologues à prétention antiSystème, ceux-là semblant prendre grand plaisir à se déchirer au nom de références extrêmement vieillottes (la gauche essentiellement, avec son obsession pathologique du fascisme). Comme on l’a signalé, Fukuyama répugne à employer le terme de “populisme” bien que l’on puisse parler de “populisme de droite” et de “populisme de gauche”, pour pouvoir mieux mettre dans le même sac d’une réaction anti-libérale tout à fait justifiée sinon absolument nécessaire des exemples aussi différents formant une “internationale illibérale”, « des États-Unis à la Russie, de la Turquie à la Pologne et de la Hongrie à l'Italie... », – auxquels on ajouterait la Chine si l’on comprend bien. Il mélange donc allégrement, sans les différencier comme tels même s’il les identifie, les mouvements populistes venus de la droite, et la “renaissance” du socialisme venue de la gauche. Certains exemples sont d’ailleurs ambigus sinon énigmatiques : faut-il mettre dans le même sac le populisme qui a mené Trump au pouvoir et le soi-disant “marxisme culturel” qui s’oppose à Trump ? Le point d’interrogation restera en suspens au terme de l’entretien avec le philosophe.

Même s’il y a beau temps que Fukuyama a viré sa cuti, cette prise de position dans un livre qui adoube et justifie absolument la protestation globale de l’“internationale illibérale” (c’est-à-dire notre “internationale populiste”, question de mots) a une fonction symbolique très forte tant l’époque commencée en 1989-1991 avait cru trouver comme symbole irrésistible de sa légitimité paradoxalement historique l'expression “la fin de l’Histoire”. Pour le reste, il faut bien constater que “la suite de l’Histoire”, quant à la vision qu’on peut en avoir, est en panne ; tout comme le philosophe lui-même, car s’il y a une chose que Fukuyama nous avoue in fine, c’est qu’il ne sait rien de précis de ce qui nous attend. Nous nous contentons de vivre dans les restes infâmes de ce qui est désormais une imposture infamante, une contre-civilisation qui ne parvient plus à dissimuler sa condition d’imposture infâme.

 

mardi, 18 novembre 2014

On Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order

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Cohesive Societies Check State Power:
On Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order

By Jack Donovan

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com


The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution [2]
New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012

FukuyamaOrder-219x300.jpgThere’s so much meat in Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order that someone could teach a college class on it, and someone should. It’s an expansive study of different political systems that attempts to develop a general theory of political development, and explain why different societies have formed different kinds of states — or none at all. The author also offers some explanations for why state-building efforts in the developing world have produced mixed results.

Fukuyama intended The Origins of Political Order to build on his mentor Samuel Huntington’s Political Order in Changing Societies, but it would be just as comfortable on a shelf beside Spengler’s Decline of the West or something like Toynbee’s A Study of History. It’s engagingly written and lacks the kind of obsessive moralizing or contemporary political obsessions that would make it tedious. Fukuyama does have the academic’s habit of giving us more than we need — probably to ward off academic critics. The Origins of Political Order has also been recently followed by second volume, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy [3].

While clearly an advocate of modern liberal democracies — or what people call modern liberal democracies — Fukuyama is no chauvinist in this regard and does not present political development as a linear, inevitable path to the revelation of modern, liberal democracy. Rather, he sees modern political systems as having three main features — state formation, rule of law, and accountability — that may or may not be present in many reasonably successful political orders. He argues repeatedly that while China formed the first true state, the Chinese have never had true rule of law or downward accountability.

Fukuyama begins by looking at pre-state societies and addressing what he calls the “Hobbesian fallacy” — something I also touched on in The Way of Men. Humans have always lived in groups. We were not “primordially individualistic” creatures who evolved alone in a brutish world and then entered into society as the result of rational calculation at some later date — trading freedom for safety. We’ve always been social animals, and our pre-human ancestors were, too. Yet this idea of primordial individualism “underpins the understanding of rights contained in the American Declaration of Independence and thus of the democratic political community that springs from it.” To truly understand human political behavior, it’s important to correct mistaken notions about human nature and how the most basic political orders form.

The most basic human society, according to Fukuyama, is the “band.” A band society is a small collection of nuclear families, typically exogamous and patrilocal, meaning that, as with chimpanzees, females tend to marry outside the band and males tend to remain with their fathers, brothers, and cousins. This band — or perhaps, “gang” — is the default social order for humans, and the exogamous arrangement with women increases genetic diversity, encourages intergroup contact and trade, and even allows groups of men to resolve intergroup conflicts by simply trading women.

Band-level societies are also fairly egalitarian, and do a lot of sharing. Fukuyama adds that, “many of the moral rules in this type of society are not directed at individuals who steal each other’s property but rather against those who refuse to share food or other necessities.”

Leadership in this kind of society is not inherited — it is earned both through a combination of demonstrating strength, earning trust, and building a coalition of supporters. You can strong-arm a small group for a while, but sooner or later, someone’s gonna cut you down. A betrayal of trust or a stronger contender can elevate a new “alpha,” or “big man,” so decision-making in a band-level society tends to be consensus-based.

The natural tendency to return to band-level thinking is the basis for the phenomenon Fukuyama calls “patrimonialism,” defined as the preference for one’s kin or “friends.” The human tendency toward patrimonialism is fundamental to Fukuyama’s theory of political order, because he pits it against the kinds of systems that are purely meritocratic or impersonal, as modern states say they attempt to be. In a patrimonial society, “we” are more equal than “them,” and this results in the accumulation of wealth and power into fewer hands, as well as all sorts of favoritism and unearned privileges. In a modern state that is functioning more or less as it’s supposed to, everyone has to play by the same rules.

The majority of The Origins of Political Order is devoted to exploring the complicated ways in which elements of modern states developed to check patrimonialism, and how those checks can decay as circumstances change. As I mentioned, he covers a lot of ground — too much to cover here — so I’ll simply recommend the book and focus on a relevant point.

Fukuyama doesn’t say it in so many words, but modern, socially constructed identity groups seem able to replace kin-based groups in terms of inspiring this kind of favoritism. A member of the “party” or “union” or “community” is preferred over a pure outsider. Ideology has many features of religion, and religion is one of the factors that Fukuyama believes separates the tribal society from the band-level society. Religion and ideology create a broader understanding of family — of who is “us” and who is “them.”

In the final pages of The Origins of Political Order, Fukuyama concludes that the doctrine of universal recognition makes liberal democracies attractive because it is a throwback to the shared participation and shared decision-making common to early tribal and band-level societies. “Once the principle of equal respect or dignity is articulated,” he writes, “it is hard to prevent human beings from demanding it for themselves.”

However, he follows this evident truth by stating that, “successful liberal democracy requires both a state that is strong, unified, and able to enforce laws on its own territory, and a society that is strong and cohesive and able to impose accountability on the state.” This also seems reasonably true, but the idea of a “cohesive” society conflicts with the “diversity is strength” mantras of First World governments, global corporations, and globalist organizations like the United Nations. The cohesive societies with shared backgrounds, religious beliefs, and values that created liberal democracies have in recent history been consistently undermined by attempts by elites to import and integrate foreign groups and ideologies into their states — Muslims in Europe being a particularly corrosive example.

The promise of “intratribal” egalitarianism to everyone everywhere, and anyone anywhere, has in practice created opportunities for the development of what Fukuyama would have to characterize as the kinds of interest groups that engage in zero-sum rent-seeking.

In America, the triumph of this doctrine of absolute inclusiveness has created a social environment in which identity groups actually end up vilifying any kind of overall cohesiveness, homogeneity or social order. Instead of promoting a cohesive society that mobilizes to check the power of the state, Americans have broken themselves out into racial and sexual identity groups — including the 51% minority group known as “women” — that are increasingly focused on using power to secure rents, privileges, “affirmative actions,” hard quotas, soft quotas, special protections, and impunities from both the state and private businesses. And while — unlike [4] in Europe [5] — freedoms of speech and press remain more or less intact in the US, these racial and sexual identity groups are successfully using social media, traditional media, predatory legal challenges, and economic leverage (by harassing companies who hire even the most benign, milquetoast dissenters and questioners) to silence any discussion or criticism of their ideas or collective behaviors.

These social actors, along with the trade unions, business groups, student organizations, nongovernmental organizations and religious organizations that Fukuyama identifies, have created an increasingly stagnant, inflexible system that is failing to respond efficiently or effectively to new challenges. While he sees much to like about liberal democracy, he admits that, “If the institution fails to adapt, the society will face crisis or collapse, and may be forced to adopt another one. This is no less true of a liberal democracy than of a nondemocratic political system.”

Fukuyama doesn’t directly address the problem of social fragmentation in his conclusion to The Origins of Political Order, but it if a cohesive, mobilized society is required to impose accountability on the state, then it seems to follow that a fragmented society of rent and privilege-seeking special interest groups will be unable to impose that accountability effectively — and Americans will be left with a powerful, authoritarian bureaucracy accountable only to interest groups and the wealthy stakeholders who fund them.

Every so often I see this smug little infographic [6] about the superiority of public education in Nordic countries, and the failings of the American system. In the early chapters of The Origins of Political Order, Fukuyama calls the problem of modern state-building “getting to Denmark,” because, “for people in developed countries, ‘Denmark’ is a mythical place that is known to have good political and economic institutions: it is stable, democratic, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive, and has extremely low levels of political corruption.”

In addition to the unique factors Fukuyama identifies that made the development of European states possible, it also seems likely that the relative size and homogenous composition of these nations contributed to their mythical perfection. Denmark is less than one quarter of the size of the state of Oregon where I live, and Fukuyama points out early in the book that even the American Founding Fathers were aware that classical republicanism “did not scale well.” The democratic ideals of early Greece and Rome were developed by homogenous societies. In the case of Rome, expansion and growth eventually gave way to Caesarism, and the Greek city-states were eventually conquered by monarchies.

Part of the magic of Denmark is that it is small, and it was created by the Danes, for the Danes. Danish magic may only last as long as those things remain true, and there is clearly trouble in Denmark. Over half of the convicted rapists in Denmark are immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, or Somalia [7]. Many Danes are concerned [8] that their culture is being subverted by Muslim influence. Danish birth rates are so low (1.7) that the government recently sponsored a “Do it for Denmark [9]” ad campaign. Denmark without Danish culture and the Danish people will not be the Denmark that everyone else in the West is “trying to get to,” and it seems likely that their political order will decay.

 

 


 

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

 

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2014/11/the-origins-of-political-order/

 

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/FukuyamaOrder.jpg

[2] The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374533229/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0374533229&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20&linkId=IX6KEZWALWOURG3Y

[3] Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0374227357/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0374227357&linkCode=as2&tag=countecurrenp-20&linkId=C2E3VUHP33OFZLC2

[4] unlike: http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/08/britain-poised-to-silence-extremist-spee

[5] Europe: http://www.friatider.se/nya-lagen-nu-lattare-atala-svenskar2-for-att-forolampa-invandrare-och-myndighetesrepresentanter

[6] smug little infographic: http://owsposters.tumblr.com/post/25869010098/silhouette-man-wonders-wtf-is-wrong-with

[7] Over half of the convicted rapists in Denmark are immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Turkey, or Somalia: http://www.amren.com/news/2012/07/rape-jihad-in-denmark-more-than-half-of-all-convicted-rapists-have-immigrant-backgrounds/

[8] are concerned: http://cphpost.dk/news/danes-we-are-too-tolerant-of-muslims.7324.html

[9] Do it for Denmark: http://rt.com/news/denmark-low-birthrate-sex-425/

 

dimanche, 09 novembre 2014

Elementos N°79, 80 y 81

ELEMENTOS Nº 81.

¿FIN DE LA HISTORIA O DE LA CIVILIZACIÓN? HUNTINGTON Y FUKUYAMA (II)

 
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Sumario


Quién es Francis Fukuyama?, por Israel Sanmartín


Huntington, Fukuyama y el Eurasismo, por Alexander Dugin


Francis Fukuyama: una presentación, por Ramón Alcoberro


Kondylis, el anti-Fukuyama. La política planetaria tras la "Guerra Fría", por Armin Mohler


El neoconservadurismo en el final de la Guerra Fría: Fukuyama y Huntington, por Joan Antón Mellón y Joan Lara Amat y León


Las tesis de Fukuyama sobre el fin de la historia, por Andrés Huguet Polo


El “fin de la historia” como mito de la sociedad consumista/capitalista, por Pedro A. Honrubia Hurtado


El error antropológico de Fukuyama, por Alfredo Sáenz


Francis Fukuyama y la Hegemonía del Liberalismo: Desafíos a "El Fin de la Historia", por Graciano Gaillard


Fukuyama. Un réquiem por el neoconservadurismo, por Kenneth Anderson


Fukuyama y Huntington, en la picota, por Fernando Rodríguez Genovés


Francis Fukuyama: ¿el fin de la historia o de un fraude intelectual?, por Alberto J. Franzoia


El profesor Fukuyama y la enseñanza de la economía, por José F. Bellod Redondo


Un ejemplo de post-modernidad tecnológica: Francis Fukuyama, por Fernando R. García Hernández


¿El Fin de la Historia? Notas sobre el espejismo de Fukuyama, por Luis R. Oro Tapia


Trust: ¿qué tanta confianza conceder a Francis Fukuyama?, por Eduardo A. Bohórquez


Los motivos de la resistencia a la tesis del «Fin de la historia» en el sentido de Fukuyama, por Gustavo Bueno

 

ELEMENTOS Nº 80.

¿FIN DE LA HISTORIA O DE LA CIVILIZACIÓN? HUNTINGTON Y FUKUYAMA (I)

 
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Sumario.-


El Nuevo Orden Mundial: entre Fukuyama y Huntington, por José Javier Esparza


De Fukuyama a Huntington o la legitimación del etnocidio, por Carlos Caballero


En torno a Samuel Huntington: algunas consideraciones sobre el Choque de Civilizaciones, por Fernando Cacho Canales y Jorge Riquelme Rivera


Una crítica político-antropológica al «choque de civilizaciones» de Samuel P. Huntington, por Anna Quintanas


Crítica al Choque de Civilizaciones de Huntington, por Alejandro Uribarri


Sam Huntington, por Rodolfo A. Díaz


Samuel Huntington, el penúltimo profeta, por Antonio Golmar


La teoría democrática de Huntington, por Roberto García Jurado


La dinámica de la civilización occidental: Huntington a debate, por Raimundo Otero Enríquez


Por qué se equivoca Huntington, por Ulrich Beck


Samuel Huntington, ¿el Spengler americano?, por Carlos Martínez-Cava


La guerra de civilizaciones: plan para extender la hegemonía estadounidense, por Thierry Meyssan


¿Choque de civilizaciones? Una revisión crítica de la teoría de Samuel Huntington, por Joan Manuel Cabezas


Samuel P. Huntington: un intelectual pragmático del “sueño americano”, por María Luisa Parraguez Kobek

ELEMENTOS Nº 79.

CONTRA OCCIDENTE: SALIR DEL SISTEMA OCCIDENTAL

 

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Sumario
 
 
Occidente como decadencia, por Carlos Pinedo
 
¿Existe todavía el mundo occidental?, por Immanuel Wallerstein
 
¿Qué es Occidente?, por Juan Pablo Vitali
 
Romper con la civilización occidental, por Guillaume Faye
 
Sobre Nietzsche y el masoquismo occidental, por Carlos Javier Blanco Martín
 
Hispanoamérica contra Occidente, por Alberto Buela
 
El paradigma occidental, por H.C.F. Mansilla
 
El decadentismo occidental, por Jesús J. Sebastián
 
Critica del sistema occidental, por Guillaume Faye
 
¿El ascenso de Occidente?, por Immanuel Wallerstein
 
René Guénon, ¿profeta del fin de Occidente?, por Antonio Martínez
 
Más allá de Oriente y Occidente, por María Teresa Román López
 
Civilización y hegemonía de Occidente, por Jaime Parra
 
Apogeo y decadencia de Occidente, por Mario Vargas Llosa
 
Europa vs. Occidente, por Claudi Finzi
 
Occidente contra Occidente. Brecha intelectual francesa, por José Andrés Fernández Leost
 
Civilización e Ideología occidentales, por Guillaume Faye
 
Occidente como destino. Una lectura weberiana, por Jacobo Muñoz

lundi, 22 septembre 2014

The End of American History

The End of American History

By Alexander Jacob

Lecture delivered at the IV Encontro Internacional Evoliano, Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 10, 2014.

francis-fukuyama-end-history.jpgFrancis Fukuyuma, the Japanese-American intellectual spokesman for the Jewish American Neoconservative movement, proclaimed in his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man that liberal democracy was the final socio-political form since earlier alternatives such as Fascism and Communism had proven to be ideological failures, and liberty and equality had now been established as universal norms. 

Fukuyama’s view of history moving in progressive political phases was of course first popularized in the nineteenth century by German thinkers like Hegel, Marx, and their followers, who sought to discern historiographical patterns in the vagaries of military and economic fortune and to either celebrate or revolt against the current political status of their own nation, in their case Germany.

To be sure, Hegel was somewhat more elevated than Marx in supposing the course of history to be the varying manifestations of a developing Weltgeist, or world-spirit, whereas Marx’s historiography was ruled by mere economic alterations. Nevertheless, the falsehood of even Hegel’s philosophy of history is made clear to anyone who considers the history of the country which is actually promoting liberal democracy now as a universal norm, America.

In America there has been, from its inception as an independent nation, hardly any deviation from liberal democratic goals, and Communism and Fascism have not only been absent there in their European forms but are, if ever they emerge, quickly absorbed into the unchanging liberal democratic framework of the nation. Actually what American society represents is a sort of ahistoric, shadow-communist utopia, where private individuals strive ever more strenuously to possess the means of production and to resist the interference of the state in public affairs. There is little also to distinguish the Communist ideal of equality from the Liberal.

When Fukuyama suggests that we have come to the “end of history,” therefore, what he means is that the world that has undergone genuine historical changes has now been conquered by a country that began and continues as a utopia that is as little capable of historical change as of real progress, that is, progress understood not in the technological but in the traditional sense of the development of the spiritual, intellectual and social attitudes of a people.

The “end of history” is indeed a phenomenon that is peculiar to America as a British colony that has had tenuous connections with the naturally developing history of the Old World. While most countries founded by colonial settlement manage to maintain and develop the culture of their mother nation to a certain extent — as Australia, for example, has done — America began and developed at a time of Protestant and Puritan revolt against the ancient Catholic monarchical traditions of Britain.

It is important therefore to consider the phenomenon of Puritanism which provoked the English Civil War during which America was settled and to notice also the close connection between Christian Puritanism and Judaism. We may recall in this context that the Jews, who had been officially expelled from England in 1290 by Edward I, were allowed by the Puritan dictator Cromwell in the 1650s to return from Holland, where they had been conducting a flourishing financial business, and throughout the Commonwealth the Jews were held in high esteem by the Puritans.

The similarity of the capitalist ethics developed by the Puritans and that of the Jews was noted already in 1911 by the German sociologist Werner Sombart in his work Die Juden und das Wirtschaftsleben. Sombart maintained that the “Protestant” ethic that Max Weber had focused on in his 1905 work, Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus, was indeed to be identified specifically as a Puritan one that should be equated to Judaism. For, as Sombart explained, “In both will be found . . . the close relationship between religion and business, the arithmetical conception of sin, and, above all, the rationalization of life.”

With the American Civil War of 1861-65, the last links with monarchical England that had persisted in the pro-English Confederate South were cut by the victory of the Federalist North. Then, in the aftermath of the Civil War, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Christian religious aspect of the original Puritan work-ethic of the Americans was seriously damaged by the large-scale influx of Jews from Central and Eastern Europe who succeeded in modulating the philo-Semitic Puritan character of American capitalism into a fully Jewish one.

As Sombart pointed out, the Jews had indeed been active in American economic life already from the seventeenth century and had gradually come to monopolize many branches of American commerce such as the wheat, tobacco, and cotton trade. But we must note that with the increased immigration of eastern Jews at the end of the nineteenth century and the promotion of Jewish finance capitalism, what remained of the original Puritan work-ethic and concomitant frugality in the American economy was soon dissipated, while the only vestige of the dissident Puritanical religiosity that survived was its stubborn anti-clericalism.

With the replacement of the Puritan veneration of industry by the parasitical reign of finance, the Jewish tendency to economic utopianism which manifested itself in the twentieth century as totalitarian Communism in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Far East was transformed in the new “promised land” of the Jews into the totalitarian liberalism of the “American Dream.” The capitalism promoted by the Jews steadily strengthened the nation’s commitment to individualistic freedom and material aggrandizement rather than to the civilizational aims of the old monarchies and empires. Such a nation could naturally not evolve or even acquire a human history. Instead of producing examples of human greatness it could only boast of a certain number of tycoons and millionaire entertainers, and instead of historical development it could only experience periodic economic booms and recessions.

Fukuyama himself attempts, in his book, to introduce a Nietzschean question into his glorification of liberal democracy by raising the specter of the “last man,” or the average American-like man whose life is materially sated and spiritually meaningless. But with naïve optimism he maintains that such an intolerably vacuous life will certainly be mastered in a liberal democracy by man’s spiritedness, a human characteristic that will inevitably rebel against such a monotonous existence. This spiritedness is the same as what Plato called the middle part of the tripartite soul, between the rational and the animal parts of it. In Fukuyama’s view, in the liberal democratic system, instead of its reappearance in violent strife, as in the case of nationalist or imperialistic states, there will be an absorption of this passionate energy into sports, business and political shows like election campaigns.

Fukuyama’s belief in such social engineering as liberal democracy universally aims at ignores the vast difference between the states of the Old World and the American. Indeed, the Neoconservative enterprise propagated by Fukuyama serves as a timely reminder of the incompatibility of American with genuinely European systems of political thought. The American social values that are being imposed on Europe and the rest of the world through economic and military means are essentially alien ones and are neither likely to take root easily nor endure. For, unlike the American nation, European and other older nations have a historical vitality that cannot be suffocated by American avarice. In order to illustrate this fact I shall survey here the characteristic political traditions of the Indo-Europeans and the contradictory intellectual movements that have distorted these traditions in the course of modern history.

To understand the traditional Indo-European social ethos, I may begin with the paradigmatic Āryan conception of society discernible in ancient India. The famous ‘caste system’ of the Indians is, unlike the modern western ‘class system’, an entirely spiritual one and men are recognized not by their economic status but by their hereditary spiritual capacity. The four Indian social orders are represented symbolically as the head, arms, thighs and feet of the primordial cosmic anthropomorphic form of the divine Soul. This Cosmic Man, or Purusha, was itself formed, first ideally and then manifestly, through the spiritual desire, the Soul, of the godhead, or the One.

The manifestation of the Soul in Indian religious philosophy is said to be due to its three inherent forms of energy, sattva, rajas and tamas, the first  representing pure existence, the second  motion and the third inertia (Brahmānda Purāna I,i,3,12). Since there is an intimate and unavoidable correspondence between the macrocosm and the human microcosm, these three energies appear embodied in differing degrees among humans too, the sattvic element most fully in the brāhmans, the rājasic in the warriors or kshatriyas,  and the tāmasic in the vaisyas and shudras, particularly the latter. This is the original spiritual and psychological basis of all hierarchy. The brāhman owes his preeminent position in society to his superhuman spiritual power. The name “Brahman” of the deity who represents the Intellectual light of the cosmos, itself derives from a word denoting creative power and it is the privilege and duty of the brāhman to represent this creative power while the kshatriyas, or political rulers and warriors, only serve to maintain this creative power both within the land and also in the universe. The brāhman and kshatriya thus constitute the paradigmatic Indo-European polity centered on the dual organs of what in European politics are called Church and State.

If we turn to the Greek philosophers, we find that in Plato and Aristotle the state is again constantly conceived of in terms of the constitution of the universal and individual soul. According to Plato, the soul is “that which moves itself” (Phaedrus 246a) and is naturally prior to body since it “is what governs all the changes and modifications of bodies” (Laws 892a).

Just as in ancient India, the soul, or psyche, in Plato’s Republic, Bk.IV, is divided into three parts, a higher rational or spiritual part (called logistikon) corresponding to the Indian sattva, a middle passionate one (called thymoeides) correspondng to rajas, and a lower sensual part (called epithymetikon) corresponding to tamas. Since society is as organic a phenomenon as the individuals of which it is composed, in a state too the more the rational aspect predominates over the passionate the closer it approximates to the ideal political form. But the discipline of the lower desires by the dictates of reason is to be found only in a few and these are the “best born and the best educated” men (Republic, IV), whereas the untrained and untamed passions are to be found in abundance among children, women and the lower classes, which form the most numerous section of society. The aristocratic “guardians” of Plato’s ideal republic are therefore required to be true philosophers and will not be drawn from the inferior classes.

Aristotle continues Plato’s spiritually oriented political theory in his Ethica Nichomachea, where he declares that the main aim of politics is the attainment of the good of the nation. The higher classes of a nation will comprise the full citizens who will assume the military and administrative, including priestly, offices of the land. The legislators must govern with a clear knowledge of the spiritual constitution of man, that is, the rational and passionate elements that Plato had discerned in the individual soul. And it is the duty of the legislators to ensure the predominance of the higher aspect of the soul over the lower.

Platonic principles reappear in the European Renaissance in the writings of aristocratic thinkers like Francesco Guicciardini and Jean Bodin. According to Guicciardini — who offered a critique of Machiavelli in one of his works, Considerations on the Discourses of Machiavelli – the chief reason of the superiority of a prince and an aristocracy to the people is that they are not subject to pernicious passions, such as, notably, envy. The French Renaissance philosopher, Jean Bodin — who is notable for his championing of monarchical absolutism — also based his defence of the latter on a similar Platonic basis. For genuine monarchy is, according to him, derived from the Divine Law and the monarch is the earthly image of God. Care should be taken that the religious foundation of the state is never brought into doubt and religious leaders must act as censors of the state in order to maintain moral discipline in it.

It is at this juncture in the history of the world that the revolutionary anti-monarchical ideas of the English Civil War, the American Revolution and the French Revolution appear. If we study the American Bill of Rights of 1789 we realise that it was based largely on the English Bill of Rights of 1689 promulgated by the (originally Puritan) English Parliament after the “Glorious” Protestant Revolution of 1688 in order to curb the powers traditionally invested in the formerly Catholic monarchs of England.

One of the most influential English thinkers of the seventeenth century and one generally considered to be the father of liberal democracy, John Locke, was also a Puritan. Locke was a champion of the separation of the Church and State and had a profound influence on the American ‘Founding Fathers’ such as Thomas Jefferson. The American Bill of Rights, based on the British parliamentarian one, is especially notable for its dissociation (in the First Amendment) of the American state from any official religion. What had begun in England as a rejection of Catholicism was thus turned in America into a rejection of all official religion. Combined with this fear of theocracy was the Puritanical devotion to individual freedom and industry which caused the Americans to view citizenship as a status defined primarily by liberty and citizens as economic units of production not unlike those of the later Communist utopia of Marx.

A little later, in the middle of the eighteenth century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau propagated in France the Lockean conception of government as a social “contract” directed  by the “volonté générale” of the people which would reduce the inequalities springing from subservience to the state. However, a robust answer to Rousseau’s doctrine of the “social contract” was offered immediately after the fateful French Revolution by the English political philosopher Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), where he pointed out that “the state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some such low concern . . .”

And since the people cannot be relied upon to follow any “general will” towards the attainment of the good of the nation, Burke proposed a natural aristocracy as the only viable government of a nation. A strong nation is also necessarily a religious one for, as Burke said, all politicians indeed act on behalf of “the one great Master, Author and Founder of society,” namely God.

This vital role of religion in the conduct of states was reiterated in post-revolutionary France too by the French monarchist Count Joseph de Maistre who noted in his “Essai sur les principes generateurs des constitutions politiques et des autres institutions humaines” (1809) that “the duration of empires has always been proportionate to the degree of influence the religious element gained in the political constitution.” Indeed, the truly political laws of a land are synonymous with the religious feelings of the people and the “instant [man] separates himself from God to act alone . . . he does not lose power . . . but his activity is negative and leads only to destruction.” To follow the doctrines of Enlightenment thinkers like Rousseau and Voltaire would thus result in a return to a state of anarchy and degeneracy.

In Germany around the same time philosophers like Kant and Fichte were beginning to point to the crucial significance of the ‘State’ as the means of enforcing an enlightened government. Kant took as his point of departure the excellence of Divine Law in relation to Natural Law, so that Reason, or the Moral Law, was elevated far above the mindless workings of Nature. To establish this rule of the Moral Law on earth, Kant proposed a supremely powerful state that would control all religious and commercial offices in the land.

The leader of the state can never be a democratic representative of the people since democracy inevitably results in a despotism. While Kant favored a monarchical republic, Johann Fichte advocated a Platonic philosopher-statesman who is at once a political and religious leader of his nation. Like a Platonic “guardian,” such a statesman, “in his estimate of mankind looks beyond that which they are in the actual world to that which they are in the Divine Idea . . .” (The Nature of the Scholar, Lecture VIII). The monarch will bear the responsibility of the realization of the inner freedom of the individuals within his nation. It is important to note in this context Fichte’s emphasis that the aim of all society is “ever-increasing ennoblement of the human race, that is, to set it more and more at liberty from the bondage of Nature,” just as the aim of all culture is “to subject Nature . . . to Reason.” In order to counteract the spurious freedom that especially the young hanker after, Fichte insists that a new system of education must be developed which “essentially destroys the freedom of will . . . and produces on the contrary strict necessity in the decisions of the will” (Addresses to the German Nation, Address II).

The state continues to be glorified in the Idealistic philosophy of Hegel, for whom the state, and especially the Prussian state, is the “embodiment of rational freedom realizing and recognizing itself in an objective form” (Lectures on the Philosophy of History). And in the Prussian nationalism of Heinrich von Treitschke, the state is glorified to an extent that it becomes a sort of substitute for God. Treitschke takes care to stress that “the consciousness of national unity is dependent on a common bond of religion, for religious sentiment is one of the fundamental forces of the human character.” (Politics, I) Unfortunately the interference of Jewish elements in German politics had disturbed the traditional spiritual ordering of society by encouraging “the coexistence of several religions within one nationality, involving an irreconcilable and ultimately intolerable difference of outlook upon life.”

Directly opposed to these several statist doctrines of the German Idealists and nationalists is the doctrine of Communism which was propounded in the middle of the nineteenth century by the Jewish political economist Karl Marx. The radical difference between the Marxist view of the world and the Indo-European is already evident in the fact that Marx’s system was based on an atheistic materialism that totally denied the existence of any spiritual reality whatsoever, and all metaphysics in general, in favour of a dialectical socio-economics that attempted to understand the transformations of society according to its changing modes of production. Unlike Hegel who had justified history as the changing manifestations of a quasi-divine world-spirit, Marx wished to ‘create’ history by focusing on what he considered its essential economic activities. As he put it in The German Ideology (Ch.1):

Morality, religion, metaphysics, all the rest of ideology and their corresponding forms of consciousness . . . have no history, no development; but men, developing their material production and their material intercourse, alter, along with their real existence, their thinking and the products of their thinking.

However, the Communist system, for all its apparent evolutionary aspirations, is an anti-scientific, utopian construct aiming at an anti-human classless and stateless society based on the common ownership of the means of production. In this delusional sociological experiment Marx focused especially on class-struggle, or the conflict between capital and labor, as the primary instrument of historical change. By granting economic, social and political equality to all citizens Marx believed that the social awareness and discipline of every individual would naturally be increased. And, while he tolerated a representative parliamentary political system as a transitional stage, his Communist utopia aimed at a final dissolution of the state apparatus (which is what induces hierarchy and inequality) at the most advanced state of Communism, when the people would become fully self-governing.

Marxism is thus the fullest expression of a world-view that is diametrically opposed to the traditional Indo-European ordering of society according to spiritual character which we have observed in ancient India, Greece and the rest of Europe until the advent of philo-Judaic Puritanism in the middle of the seventeenth century. Marxism is naturally also opposed to the state structure that supports the religious and warrior aristocracy that founded, constitute and preserve the nation. It may be noted here that although modern liberal democracies pretend to abhor the Communist ideology, the arrogation of political authority in the West by the legislature and its prime ministerial or presidential leader represents a major step towards the same dissolution of the concepts of state and sovereignty that Communism too strives for.

Marx’s political economic theories were strongly criticized at the turn of the century by many notable German thinkers like Eugen Dühring and Oswald Spengler, but I should like to highlight here one of the most metaphysically structured political philosophical responses to Marxism – namely, the system of the Italian Fascist philosopher, Giovanni Gentile. According to Gentile, the basis of evil, exactly as in Plato and Plotinus, is Matter, or Nature, which is opposed to Spirit and represents as it were, “not merely moral and absolute nullity [but] the impenetrable chaos of brute nature, mechanism, spiritual darkness, falsehood and evil, all the things that man is forever fighting against” (Genesis and Structure of Society).

Gentile points out that the economic life focused on by Marx is marked by a utilitarianism akin to the instinctual life of animals and is a life of slavery to matter, whereas politics should be a means to spiritual freedom. While Marxism aimed at the worst sort of social organization, “the utilitarian, materialistic and hence egoistic conception of life understood as a realm of rights to be vindicated, instead of as an arena of duties to be performed by sacrificing oneself to an ideal,” Gentile’s own ideal of Fascism is based on a metaphysical understanding of society as emerging from a Kantian ideal of a “transcendent society” which is produced by the interaction of the ego and its pure object, the alter ego. It is this conception of a ‘transcendent society’ which makes man a ‘political animal’, as Aristotle had earlier suggested. The gradual self-realization of an individual necessarily entails the enlightenment of his objective counterparts, the other members of society, so that the nation as a whole begins to approach the ideal “transcendent society.”

Indeed, for Gentile, as for Fichte, the proper intellectual activity of the enlightened individual is the comprehension of the whole of mankind or of the Idea of it. And the ‘State’ is the objective embodiment of the personality of the individuals constituting it or the “universal common aspect” of their will. True political liberty is therefore possible only when the individuals that constitute the state become free through the realization of the universal aspect of their personality.

The State in its universal aspect is indeed an image of the Divine Will and the laws of the State must ever be in consonance with the Divine Law. Religion naturally is not an external aid to the will of the state but the constitutive element of it. The prime task of the state is to foster the dual development of individuals and of the society. Gentile’s project of state education is therefore governed by a keen awareness of the essentially moral nature of all education. Those concerned with culture as the self-development of the individuals constituting a state must, he says, be “critical of all knowledge that man does not need for the actual realization of his human nature and for the growth and health of his moral character” (Genesis and Structure of Society). In short, they must be critical of all knowledge that is not genuinely human.

Gentile interestingly also distinguishes between two kinds of treatment of political history. True history is not that which observes the “brute fact” but rather “the inward act of the spirit” always considered from the point of view of the “transcendent state,” the “higher ideal that operates as an end in the actual life of the state” (Ibid.). This transcendent state is indeed the divine model of an earthly state and therefore a constant unchanging norm to which the temporal changes of a state approximate in varying degrees throughout its history.

In this Fascist view of history and of the philosophical significance of the state we finally obtain a corrective to the historiographical errors of Hegelians like Fukuyama who raise the political status quo to an ideal after superficially surveying the external changes of a state as also to the errors of the Marxists who conjure up utopias from these same changes. All of these thinkers ignore the transcendent or divine aspect of statecraft, which, as we have observed in our initial survey of ancient Indian and Greek philosophy, starts with the constitution of the psyche or soul itself and aims, through a sacred kingship or an enlightened autocracy, at the psychological improvement of the individuals that comprise the state. Materialistic societies governed by economically oriented political doctrines, whether Puritan or Marxist, are incapable of any real historical development because the spiritual element of man which alone is capable of movement and development is either poorly understood or wholly dismissed.

Fukuyama’s historiographic thesis is thus merely a description of the abortive state of America itself, which has through its history gradually substituted materialistic and economic principles of statecraft for the spiritual ones that originally governed all European monarchies, including the British. In considering this American problem, we cannot afford to ignore the fateful role that Jewry have played in the history of the West, for the re-entry of the Jews into England during the Puritan revolution is linked, psychologically, to the capitalist career of the new American state just as the Jewish economic utopia of Karl Marx lurks behind the liberal democratic dreams of contemporary Americans. Indeed, all modern political theories that aim at a dissolution of the state or of the leading religious institution of a nation — whether these theories are called Libertarian or Anarchist — must be recognized as derivatives of the defective Jewish economic mentality.

This mentality can, and should, be fully replaced by genuinely Indo-European political doctrines that begin not with contractual promises to the masses of liberty and equality and plenty but rather with the obligations of the leaders of a nation and of the State to actually improve the human psychological condition, or culture, of these masses. Both the State and its leading religious institution — in the case of the West, the Church — must therefore be strengthened in their national role and their alliance must be consolidated. This will naturally entail the exclusion of all anti-statist and anti-clerical elements from national government and education. The philosophical guidelines for the urgently required regeneration of nations are clearly available in the long tradition of European conservative philosophy that I have pointed to and particularly in the most recent example of Gentile. Of course, I am aware that Monarchism, Fascism and the Church are all equally abhorrent to those who today follow Judaized America in its various utopian adventures, but it is well to bear in mind that the price of utopianism is the end of history.


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