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View Diary: Why No One Should Take Francis Fukuyama Seriously (47 comments)

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  •  I saw him speak in '92 (5+ / 0-)

    McGill University. The mood was electrified. Packed with academics and a smattering of politicians and others from the chattering class. The Q&A was hopping. And he failed to convince me that it wasn't a lot of rubbish.

    Like most world-explaining constructions invented by humanity, Hegel’s dialectic acts as catnip on susceptible souls. Once one is seduced, everything seems marvelously clear and, above all, necessary: all important questions have been answered beforehand and the only real task is to apply the method to clean up the untoward messiness of reality. It is very exiciting. “All of the really big questions,” as Francis Fukuyama puts it in his preface, “had been settled.” But the problem with such constructs is that they insulate their adherents from empirical reality: since everything unfolds “necessarily” according to a preordained plan, nothing that merely happens in the world can alter the itinerary.

    -- Francis Fukuyama and the end of History

    However, i think you're missing his point here a bit.
    Apparently he's never heard of Noam Chomsky, Gar Alperovitz, Michael Albert or Thomas Ferguson
    Those are all freshly-elected members of Congress, right?
    Yes technology, not the free flow of capital which has allowed outsourcing, technology is the reason everyone is losing their jobs and wages are going down.
    Yes, technology makes possible most of the inequity we're seeing. Picture junior or Mitt Romney living in a cave and see how far he gets. And if he gets, why (and with what) he gets.
    [T]he benefits of the most recent waves of technological innovation have accrued disproportionately to the most talented and well-educated members of society.
    Your complaint with this statement seems to be that these people only account for 21.4% of the top 1% of society. Am i reading this right? Because i think the clue here is the word disproportionally. And the fact that, while 99% may make for a nice slogan, it nonetheless still represents a very broad spectrum. I think all that Mr Fukushima is pointing out (and no big revelation here) is that those people lacking in education are getting screwed the worst.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 01:23:34 AM PDT

    •  Very cogent post. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, subtropolis

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 04:06:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  COLOSSAL Error Here: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      native, Marie, subtropolis
      [T]he benefits of the most recent waves of technological innovation have accrued disproportionately to the most talented and well-educated members of society
      I said this 40 years ago when I was a hot local small sailboat racer and already had teaching and coaching experience:

      I could walk into any large Black ghetto in the country and spend 2 weeks recruiting. Within 10 years that squad could sweep the Olympic yacht races.

      There's never been a second I haven't stood by that statement in terms of the sport at the time I first made it.

      Pundits visible in our society are becoming so rare-air that I honestly don't know if he really confuses talent with skills that are the product of luck, privilege and preparation.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 05:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's absolutely true (sorta) (0+ / 0-)

        Though as an academic Fukuyama is referring to those people who have been trained such that they are recognised as being talented—thus accruing a disproportionate share of the benefits. Besides, he's not saying that someone without said training and education cannot "move up" but that those people who do have a significant advantage. Again, no great revelation there.

        And on that topic, have a look at this just in at The Guardian:

        AvTech is run by Mawuli, a fisherman's daughter who implored Porter to train her after she saw his plane fly overhead while cutting trees in the bush.

        "I consider aviation to have a key role to play in a developing nation like Ghana," she says. "I started out cutting trees from the runway with a machete, and today I can tell people I'm a pilot and an aeroplane engineer. That is spectacular, it is exceptional.

        Hitler's pilot helped Ghana's girls to fly

        Terrific story. I want to know more about this.

        All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

        by subtropolis on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:20:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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