Brad DeLong: Council on Foreign Relations: The Future of Democracy Symposium: Session Two: Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession: this political moment—Louis Napoleon mobilized these kinds of sentiments to overthrow the French Second Republic and establish himself as emperor. Francis Fukuyama wrote an excellent article about how really-existing-socialism—public ownership of the means of production, hopefully leading someday to the free society of associated producers—had crashed and burned, and that the only big idea left about how to organize society was that of liberal market democracy. But Fukuyama made a key mistake: there had been a third challenge. That is the basally-Roman idea thateach of us is individually a stick, very weak, but if we can unite ourselves in a big bundle of sticks and if we can tie ourselves together in leather thongs, we then become a powerful force that, in the hands of our strong leaders, could bruise our enemies.
Francis Fukuyama thought that this political movement had been dead and buried by 1945.
It looks like he was wrong.
If you look at Hungary—as we saw before—if you look at India today—where the government seems to be trying National Hinduism, casting the Muslims of India in the role traditionally ascribed to the Jews—if you look at an awful lot of place, the idea of taking people’s attention on the right believe they aren’t getting their fair share from the system and pointing it at internal or external enemies that you can despise or blame: this seems to be a remarkably powerful movement today.
It appears wherever the rapid economic growth needed to guarantee that pretty much everything thinks "well, I’m living significantly better than my parents" fails. We’ve seen this before. We have come out of this before. But that doesn’t mean we should say this is no big deal. It’s always been a big deal. So far, at least, the United States and Britain, at least, have been very lucky whenever such political movements have arisen. But will we always be lucky? Are we being lucky now?
#history #politicaleconomy #fascism #orangehariedbaboons #highlighted