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Monday, December 26, 2016

The IQ delta and the Last Man

As I mentioned in a previous post, reading Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man helped me articulate the difference between the smart and the brilliant, or to use the terms that are less easily confused, the VHIQ and the UHIQ.

The Fukuyama text is in blockquotes, my observations are bullet-pointed.

From By Way of an Introduction:
The distant origins of the present volume lie in an article entitled "The End of History?" which I wrote for the journal The National Interest in the summer of 1989. In it, I argued that a remarkable consensus concerning the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a system of government had emerged throughout the world over the past few years, as it conquered rival ideologies like hereditary monarchy, fascism, and most recently communism. More than that, however, I argued that liberal democracy may constitute the "end point of mankind's ideological evolution" and the "final form of human government," and as such constituted the "end of history." That is, while earlier forms of government were characterized by grave defects and irrationalities that led to their eventual collapse, liberal democracy was arguably free from such fundamental internal contradictions. This was not to say that today's stable democracies, like the United States, France, or Switzerland, were not without injustice or serious social problems. But these problems were ones of incomplete implementation of the twin principles of liberty and equality on which modern democracy is founded, rather than of flaws in the principles themselves. While some present-day countries might fail to achieve stable liberal democracy, and others might lapse back into other, more primitive forms of rule like theocracy or military dictatorship, the ideal of liberal democracy could not be improved on.
  • Remarkable consensuses are reliably incorrect.
  • Liberal democracy absolutely does not constitute the end point of mankind's ideological evolution or the final form of human government. 
  • It would not be unreasonable to use "the end of history" to describe a genuine such end point and final form, given the Hegelian-Marxian context. Fukuyama is clearly using History in the progressive intellectual sense, not the prosaic sense. It's actually a rather clever title in that regard.
  • It's also a ludicrous and anti-historical idea, albeit one certain to prove seductive to men of influence for precisely the same reason that Keynesian economics and Ricardian trade theory have.
After dealing with the midwit critics who have had trouble dealing with the idea of a History that is not wholly synonymous with history, he plants his flag; an act I suspect he has come to regret.
The present book is not a restatement of my original article, nor is it an effort to continue the discussion with that article's many critics and commentators. Least of all is it an account of the end of the Cold War, or any other pressing topic in contemporary politics. While this book is informed by recent world events, its subject returns to a very old question: Whether, at the end of the twentieth century, it makes sense for us once again to speak of a coherent and directional History of mankind that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy? The answer I arrive at is yes, for two separate reasons. One has to do with economics, and the other has to do with what is termed the "struggle for recognition."
  • Fukuyama clearly declares that he believes in a specific, directional Marxian-style History which will eventually come to a predictable end. 
  • Given the context of the article, Fukuyama is definitely declaring that liberal democracy constitutes the "end point of mankind's ideological evolution" and the "final form of human government".
  • He's wrong. I don't know his economic reasoning or his "struggle for recognition" yet, but I know that he is wrong and I know that I will be able to prove it. I can even disprove the first prt to my own satisfaction: given that he is not an economist, his economic argument must be entirely based on 1990s economic orthodoxy, which is already in tatters and was insufficient to support the philosophical case in the first place.
And here is where the tendency towards binary, or at least limited, thinking on the part of the VHIQ betrays itself.
In the course of the original debate over the National Interest article, many people assumed that the possibility of the end of history revolved around the question of whether there were viable alternatives to liberal democracy visible in the world today. There was a great deal of controversy over such questions as whether communism was truly dead, whether religion or ultranationalism might make a comeback, and the like. But the deeper and more profound question concerns the goodness of liberal democracy itself, and not only whether it will succeed against its present-day rivals. Assuming that liberal democracy is, for the moment, safe from external enemies, could we assume that successful democratic societies could remain that way indefnitely? Or is liberal democracy prey to serious internal contradictions, contradictions so serious that they will eventually undermine it as a political system? There is no doubt that contemporary democracies face any number of serious problems, from drugs, homelessness, and crime to environmental damage and the frivolity of consumerism. But these problems are not obviously insoluble on the basis of liberal principles, nor so serious that they would necessarily lead to the collapse of society as a whole, as communism collapsed in the 1980s.
  • A prediction about the future obviously revolves around both currently viable alternatives as well as potentially viable alternatives that are not visible today.
  • The deeper and more profound question does not concern the goodness of liberal democracy, but rather the existence of self-destructive internal contradictions in liberal democracy. Systems fail due to their internal contradictions; communism failed because the impossibility of socialist calculation slowed economic growth vis-a-vis capitalism. SJWism always fails due to the impossibility of social justice convergence preventing the converged organization from performing its original function. Liberal democracy - or as it is more properly termed - limited democracy - fails for much the same reason that communism does; it creates perverse incentive systems.
  • No, we cannot assume that successful democratic societies could remain that way indefnitely.
  • Yes, liberal democracy is not only prey, it is prone to internal contradictions so serious that they will eventually undermine it as a political system. Forget eternity, this is already visible everywhere from California to Switzerland.
  • Yes, these problems these problems are obviously insoluble on the basis of liberal principles. Not only that, but they are so serious that they will necessarily either lead to the collapse of liberal democracy or the collapse of society as a whole.
Keep in mind that these are my initial thoughts about the book by page xxi of the introduction. The clean room, as I have termed it, is already splattered with mud. Fukuyama is an erudite, thoughtful, intelligent and educated man. And yet, his enthusiasm for his potentially significant idea blinded him to its obvious flaws? This is the distinction between the VHIQ and the UHIQ. Compare this with SJWAL or Cuckservative, both of which are considerably more modest in scope.

How many potential errors can you find in either that even begin to compare with the obvious errors in this bestselling work of vast socio-political influence, which is so riddled with flaws that the author has, apparently, felt the need to blatantly lie about his original thesis?

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99 Comments:

Blogger DouglasEdward December 26, 2016 4:08 PM  

It's funny how much Fukuyama's book was(is) loved and adored by the usual mainstream "consensus" elites while "Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel Huntington was lambasted at it's time.

Going back and reading both titles this year the former's predictions have turned out VERY poorly while "Clash" is one of the most prescient titles I've ever read, in fact even specific events like the problems in the Ukraine, the split of the Sudan. The intensification of Islamic violence have all come true.

I think "The End of History" can be put into more of a wishcasting mold than it can actual, serious predictions of the course of history.

Anonymous TheDudeAbides December 26, 2016 4:14 PM  

Hi Vox, I think you'll find Fukuyama's (Plato's) concept of thymos illuminating. I'll leave it at that at for the moment...

Blogger RobertT December 26, 2016 4:16 PM  

Fukuyama is definitely declaring that liberal democracy constitutes the "end point of mankind's ideological evolution" and the "final form of human government".

When will they learn this kind of thinking has never proved fruitful? Remember when the patent office decided everything had been invented?

Blogger Some Dude December 26, 2016 4:18 PM  

"Assuming that liberal democracy is, for the moment, safe from external enemies"

Its the internal enemies: Allen Dulles followers. And later, Zion.

Marx was never wrong. Without redistribution, r on a capital stock leads the elite to do more and more outrageous things to the proletariat - in the past child labour/indentured servitude, slavery, imperialism and legal inequality. In the present open borders, the Blank Slate to integrate non-white coolie workers, outsourcing to child labour and never ending war.

Marx was wrong in his prescription.

Likewise, liberal democracies historically suffer militarily from lack of co-ordination against warfare states.

Zion is a fascist warfare state.

Anonymous TheDudeAbides December 26, 2016 4:18 PM  

*at that for the moment*

Dang it!

Anonymous Tipsy December 26, 2016 4:24 PM  

I heard a VHIQ Bletchley Park mathematician describe the difference between VHIQ and UHIQ this way. He said that when he heard of an idea by another VHIQ, he would think: "That's clever. I could have thought of that!" On the other hand, when he heard of an idea by an UHIQ (in this case, Turing), he would think: "That's clever. I could have never thought of that!"

Blogger Orville December 26, 2016 4:26 PM  

He is one of Taleb's intellectual idiots. As a historian he should be aware of other astounding confluences of consensus that are nearly always the "bridge out" sign for that phase of history. Fabian utopianism at the start of the 20th century for example, or the capitulation of bears at the end of a secular bull market.

Blogger Mighty Lou December 26, 2016 4:26 PM  

Societies and cultures used to be closed off because of natural borders. But as transportation and communication improved those cultures came into more and more frequent contact. This is where the concept of globalism comes in to play, I think, with the assumption that all cultures will merge into one, and that all of our myths or religions will merge as well into one super myth or religion.

Which brings us to two future possibilities, outside of Christian revelation of course (or maybe not), either eventual and inevitable extinction, or contact with yet another culture extra terrestrial in nature. Traditional Christianity reveals that that extra terrestrail contact will be when Christ returns. Others believe it will be species of intellegent beings from other planets, and our one world culture will be primed to merge once again with other world cultures.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 26, 2016 4:27 PM  

final form of human government.

Vox, I never got around to reading The End of History but a question always nagged me about the basic premise. Since you're taking the bullet on this one for us, may I ask you - does Fukuyama address classical theories on the cyclical nature of political forms? Does he offer any explanation for dismissing Cicero and the Greek's Kyklos, or was he simply ignorant of them? TheDudeAbides comment implies Fukuyama is at least partially aware of some Greek philosophy (as I would expect), so I'm... assuming I'll be amused at the logic he invents for dismissing Kyklos.

Blogger Brendan Pronk December 26, 2016 4:29 PM  

An Australian researcher by the name of Jim Penman has written 2 books with the most comprehensive explanation of human societies I have come across.

He takes a biological approach in an effort to bring together science and cultural, with a real focus on religion.

His academic text is called Biohistory and he has a short book called The Science Behind Christianity.

Both are free as ebooks off his website: biohistory.org




Anonymous Fisher December 26, 2016 4:30 PM  

Fukuyama assumes that the movement towards liberal democracy has been a 'progression'. This is axiomatically tremulous.

It further never seems to have dawned on him (IIRC) that 'progress' sometimes - and sometimes necessarily - requires regression (the danger, of course, being retrogression).

Anonymous St. Cecilia December 26, 2016 4:38 PM  

What's been amply proved (perhaps this is what Vox means with his reference to California) is that majority will no longer has any place in liberal democracy. Instead, we have "what you should want" given to us by self-anointed elites. If it had been known in 1992 that majority will would be erased in this way, would his thesis have appeared ridiculous on its face?

Anonymous Fisher December 26, 2016 4:40 PM  

Fisher wrote:Fukuyama assumes that the movement towards liberal democracy has been a 'progression'. This is axiomatically tremulous.

It further never seems to have dawned on him (IIRC) that 'progress' sometimes - and sometimes necessarily - requires regression (the danger, of course, being retrogression).


Man is retrogressing (Nietzsche).

Blogger RobertT December 26, 2016 4:44 PM  

Thank you for disabusing me of the idea that I should be reading Fukuyama. You've also provided more support for the contention that most elite professions top out in the 120's on the IQ scale.

Something else I read recently is that accomplishments like graduating with the highest grades is a better predictor of success than IQ. Fits right in with my belief that Mensa is an organization of cab drivers and rejects.

Blogger Johnny December 26, 2016 4:46 PM  

Authors who find a common theme in history always have a prior opinion as to the theme and then develop it with a historic analysis. (I read the book, and recently Pat Buchanan’s book) Not a bad thing, necessarily. It does give a cohesive analysis, but it is subject to the usual confirmation of theory bias.

Fukuyama makes some good points, but by my lights not that many. Democracy is inherently fragile and has a whole set of preconditions needed to make it work properly. My take is that the most oppressive governments are often durable. Second and maybe better are the mixed democratic and authoritarian ones. That would be Great Britain during its empire period, and Rome early on. Russia would seem to be of that sort right now. That is where we are right now, but unfortunately the elite part is a Washington elite that is disinterested in our country and to a considerable extent, our well being.

Blogger Matthew December 26, 2016 4:49 PM  

https://infogalactic.com/info/The_Poverty_of_Historicism

Blogger Scott6584 December 26, 2016 4:49 PM  

I'm interested in seeing your exposition on the internal contradictions of Liberal Democracy, and on the "perverse incentives" it creates.

Years ago, I wrote a very long article on the problems with mercantilist economics, based in large part on my reading of Frederick Bastiat. I still think those contradictions support to an extent the Ricardian Trade Theory that is based on comparitive theory and specialization.

However, one of the big problems I've always had with Free Trade agreements between multiple nations is the incentive to cheat and get away with it. Many times, the most powerful country (the USA now) ends up sacrificing "for the greater good" on the altar of principle, while the other less powerful countries cheat at will.

The analogy I've always used is the concept of the elementary school playground where a 1st grader picks on a 6th grader. No matter what, the sixth grader is in a no-win situation because of the communal nature of the playground. If he retaliates against the kid, he's punished for picking on a 1st grader; but if he doesn't, he's seen as weak, and other 1st thru 5th graders begin acting out against him also. As long as he's trying to maintain good standing in the playground, he cannot win. The ONLY real path to sanity is to willingly accept being called the bully, and that has it's own pitfalls.

I've been listening to Trump talk about trade since the Reagan Administration, and he has consistently decried the cheating. If you could guarantee all countries would behave properly, then the Ricardian model works. What Trump understands, because of his real world business experience, is that countries will almost never follow the rules, and thus multi-national trade agreements are traps.

The second issue I've had with trade is the off-shoring of manufacturing. It's not just about the jobs - although that is important. It's also about having he production capacity AND INSTITUTIONAL MANUFACTURING KNOWLEDGE AND MEMORY so that in a crisis, the nation can respond to threats. What happens when all our vehicles are made (in part or in whole) by other countries, and we are thrust into war? Are we then reliant on manufacturing now located in enemy countries to produce products of war? Do we even have the organizations or personnel still available that know how to produce products on a mass scale.

And it's not just about the war machine products. This applies to all levels of production in any essential product - of which there are hundreds and thousands.

Getting back to jobs, undermining masculine jobs in production emasculates men, and reduces their power in the home, thus undermining the stability of families, which is the base unit of civilization. Women are (by design) myopic in their viewpoints, both in scale and time. Trusting the country to women is a fools choice, because they will lead the nation down a path to destruction (e.g. Angela Merkel) to gain immediate acclaim or reward. And thus they are willing to destroy manufacturing to get immediate cheaper products, and increase in relative power over men at home, not realizing they are putting dynamite to the very foundations of society.

I'm not sure that liberal democracy cannot be successful in a limited application. I think it can be. The issue is the assumption that the values that support it are not universal. The idea that EVERYONE values freedom and liberty above all is just not true. So, you must necessarily limit the application to populations that share that value set. In Wilsonian or Jeffersonian Theory, that's everyone in the world. In practice, its primarily white, anglo, protestant Christian men. This is why the Anglosphere became so successful. The fatal flaw was assuming Papists, women, and people of other races and cultures share the same fundamental values. It's demonstrably not true.

Blogger kurt9 December 26, 2016 4:53 PM  

I have actually read the book. Fukuyama does clarify a difference between free-market capitalism and what he calls liberal-democracy. Although he believes (as I do) that free market capitalism will win in the end (because there is no effective competitor to it and the universe is inherently "red queen" competitive), Fukuyama is more nuanced that is assumed here about the triumph of "liberal democracy". He cites China and the Muslim Middle East (empires of deference and empires of resentment) as examples of societies that may not ever embrace liberal democracy.

It is also worth noting that Machiavelli himself, in The Discourses, concludes that despite its many flaws, that republics are inherently superior to any kind of monarchy or empire.

Blogger Matthew December 26, 2016 4:59 PM  

"Free market capitalism" will always win, for the same reason that usury used to be a mortal sin.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 26, 2016 5:02 PM  

Court intellectuals always prefer centralizing rationalizations. Optimistic social mood favored rationales for "We Are The World."

Nothing more was needed to see how shallow is this thesis.

Blogger VFM #7634 December 26, 2016 5:04 PM  

I'm personally convinced that God created the sub-Saharan African race, and permitted Islam to hang around since the seventh century, to let themselves be unwittingly used as a drain cleaner against the Enlightenment liberalism that has attempted to compromise and completely extirpate Christianity from Western civilization.

Blogger kurt9 December 26, 2016 5:04 PM  

I think you guys are beating a dead horse with regards to free trade. Long term technological and geopolitical trends are going to bring a lot of manufacturing back to the U.S., even if Trump and the GOP does no protectionism at all.

The key is the fracking/shale energy revolution, with will be augmented with advanced small scale fission (molten salt reactor, thorium, etc.) as well as commercial fusion power (Tri-Alpha Energy, General Fusion, etc.). This energy revolution will lower energy costs such as to make manufacturing more attractive in the U.S. again. The second technological trend is automation, robotics, and 3-D printing, which will make labor costs less significant for manufacturing, even if we had democratic party labor law again (which we won't). The third is demographic and economic trends that make manufacturing in China more expensive. Lastly, for HBD reasons, I do not expect a China-like manufacturing renaissance in any of the "southern" world in the foreseeable future.

It is for these reasons that the "debate" about free trade is rapidly coming to an end.

You guys ought to watch some of Peter Zeihan's videos about the geopolitical changes over the next 25 years or so. Due mainly to our geography and the aforementioned technology revolutions, the U.S. actually has a very bright future ahead.

The main result of Trump will be another "Reagan" economic revolution. I think it is likely to last this time around.

Blogger Esmar Tuek December 26, 2016 5:07 PM  

I just received "origins of political order" for xmas. I hope it's better than his end of history bollocks

Blogger pyrrhus December 26, 2016 5:09 PM  

The notion that history has a direction is exactly as fallacious as the notion that evolution has a direction. Both notions ignore the controlling element of chance in the form of changing natural conditions and random events in human society.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 26, 2016 5:09 PM  

It is also worth noting that Machiavelli himself, in The Discourses, concludes that despite its many flaws, that republics are inherently superior to any kind of monarchy or empire.

It's not a matter of "better" or "worse." I'm quite certain that a liberal democracy of the sort we had circa 1992 is better than almost any other political form we've had in history.

Well, except in one minor area - stability. As events have shown, the liberal democracy we had in 1992 was not able to sustain itself. In a single generation, we went from a prosperous Unipower to a near has-been frustrated at every turn on the world stage and staring into the pit of insolvency.

The advantage of a monarchy is it tends to lead to a republic, meaning an improvement in life for most. The disadvantage of a liberal democracy is it tends to lead to anarchy, meaning a fall in quality of life for most.

It would be nice if we could go Crazy Eddie and find a way to oscillate between monarchy and republic, instead of needing to go through the whole damn cycle, including democracy, anarchy, and autocracy.

Anonymous Ballomar December 26, 2016 5:12 PM  

It is incredible that anyone, Fukuyama, or anyone anywhere could think that "liberal democracy is the end point. It doesn't work in the US and the Podesta emails show clear, (and there should never have been any doubt) that it is a con that the elites run to benefit a few insiders and foreign elites.

How could anyone want to spread this system to other places. It couldn't be because they want to run the same con everywhere, could it?

Blogger VD December 26, 2016 5:13 PM  

If you could guarantee all countries would behave properly, then the Ricardian model works.

No, it doesn't. It is intrinsically flawed and technologically outmoded. It cannot work and mutually benefit multiple societies.

Blogger Mike X December 26, 2016 5:13 PM  

Do you even believe in the existence of any "final form of human government"? To me, it just seems like a silly idea, despite what Hegel and Marx say. Men are very much predisposed towards iconoclasm and challenging the existing political order because that order is established on balancing out the wishes and needs of others. And these very wishes and needs will be recognized as invalid by a fraction of the body politic that will attack/oppose the structure that takes those wishes/needs into account. Politics is always a balancing act. I like the English approach of pragmatic negotiation about laws without worrying about ideals. Hardline logic or some kind of ideological totality is not necessary. Many times, a heuristic solution will be better.

Anonymous Andrew December 26, 2016 5:16 PM  

The second excerpt seems to be focused on whether liberal democracy can last. Which turns a means into an end. "How can we build society?" must be preceded by "What is society for?" (Or, "What is the End of Man?")

Blogger Johnny December 26, 2016 5:23 PM  

It would seem that nobody wants to notice it, but since the ideologies developed during and prior to the French Revolution, empires have been at the expense of, not the benefit, of those societies that put them together. Napoleon’s empire imploded. If Hitler’s empire had made Germany genuinely stronger, I doubt he could have been beaten short of using Nukes. Russia abandoned its Eastern European empire owing to it being a drain, and the USSR all but fell apart completely. Japan if anything became more vulnerable for holding China, not less. It took the genuine nationalist De Gaulle to undo the French overseas territory. Turkey abandoned the Ottoman empire and to its benefit. And perhaps now it is our time to reduce foreign commitments to our own benefit.

Blogger ZhukovG December 26, 2016 5:31 PM  

Vox, is it a common pitfall for the VHIQ to have some epiphany to which they become so enamored that they develop a kind of blindness to potential flaws?

If Fukuyama was UHIQ, would his work have spoken of an era, rather than an end?

Anonymous Aphelion December 26, 2016 5:32 PM  

I was getting my masters in international relations in the late 80s, early 90s. New World Order was the big post Cold War topic. EU integration was driving Brussels to adopt the Euro.

Fukuyama misread what was happening. The EU was not then a liberal democracy as it was dominated by a bureaucratic elite which never conceded authority to the member states. The Euro, a marriage of the Mark, Franc, Lire and Drachma was only good for consolidating EU power in a central bank. This was and is not liberal democracy or free market competition. The whole EU effort has been injurious to the rights of the people in the member states.

The historical theories I have found most rational and satisfying are those that look at the cyclical nature of civilization. In that regard Fukuyama's end isn't, it is just another point along a very visible cycle.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore December 26, 2016 5:40 PM  

This discussion seems above my ability level but I want to attempt adding my two cents.

I am getting the idea that the obituary for liberal democracy is about to be written. If this be the case then I cannot sign on to this. The liberal democratic models of governance that creates my sense are the Constitution and the Articles of Confederation. I am of the belief that the Constitution formed many of the tools and instruments that promoted the perverse incentives that are undermining American polity. Simply put, the Federalists created a central government that was not only too big but possessed the seeds to follow a path of continued growth. It was a document which weighted the power of central authority against regional authority (the States) and in so doing, the power of central authority was weighted against the individual. The Articles, on the other hand, formed a central government that relied upon the States for power and sustenance. The Anti-Federalists, who were federal republicans, issued prophetic critiques about the Constitution; that it promoted the consolidation of the states; that it form a government controlled by elites; that it would threaten and eventually erode natural rights.

I just can't buy into the idea that liberal democracy is approaching the threshold of failure because our idea of it, in an American context, is a form of government that contained elements which were in opposition to liberal democratic principles. The Constitution was a document formed by elites in the mercantile and finance realms. The middling classes were minimally involved in the formation and ratification of that document. The Articles, on the other hand, was a document that best represented the interests of average folks, the middling classes. The failure of the Constitution, in my opinion, is not a failure of liberal democracy. Instead, it was a failure of a form of governance that possessed the seeds to undermine liberal democratic principles.

I said what I had to say. Tell me where I am wrong.

Blogger Some Dude December 26, 2016 5:41 PM  

@30 Johnny - good point. Empires exist for our elites. Not for our nations's benefit. Who do you think pays for the wars/soldiers in money and lives. Us. Not them.

"It is also worth noting that Machiavelli himself, in The Discourses, concludes that despite its many flaws, that republics are inherently superior to any kind of monarchy or empire."

Machiavelli is unfairly maligned as a duplicitous sociopath. If you read the Prince, he endorses a constitutional monarchy, whereby a Senate of elected 'wise elders' aristocrats in the Plato mould and an elected chamber of representatives by the people are there.

The Prince and the senate can propose laws. But the chamber votes on them to give popular legitimacy.

I believe this was an extremely enlightened model for the day as social mobility was even lower than now, so the idea of allowing proles a vote and writing such to his Prince, Medici, was very brave and hard headed.

Without popular legitimacy, the Prince has untold enemies. This is the function of democracy - to provide legitimacy. As soon as people do not see legitimacy, democracy gives way to something else.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor December 26, 2016 5:42 PM  

A couple of observations: Fukuyama has overlooked the simple fact that the "successful democratic societies" attained illusory success by perpetuating the greatest economic fraud known to mankind. You don't even own the electronic credit money in your bank account now; the bank does. Property rights of all kinds have been stripped from the people in these so-called liberal democracies. Industry has been relentlessly shipped overseas; government policy has, for the past 40 years, continually increased the concentration of wealth in the hands of the ultra-rich by slowly destroying the ability of small business to compete with big business, through onerous regulation.

To even a casual observer it should be apparent that "liberal democracies" are engaging in ever more contorted machinations to keep up the appearance that their economies are functioning normally, including desperate efforts to import third-worlders in the insane belief that these invaders will somehow prop up failed pension systems and social safety nets.

Two thousand years later, Cicero's cyclical view of political order has vastly greater relevance than Fukuyama's.

Anonymous B Day December 26, 2016 5:46 PM  

I have often wondered if (to borrow your term) a person with UHIQ might have an enhanced "mammal-brain" rather than an enhanced frontal lobe, or alternatively, an enhanced language center.

I got an idea one evening while I was laying in bed. I often stare into the "darkness behind my eyelids" when I have trouble falling asleep. Usually my mind will conjure scenes until I end up dreaming sound asleep. One evening I was doing this and I became aware of another stream of thought narrating my field of vision in a curious way, waxing a poetic prose of sort about the darkness. As I tried to listen more it "became aware" that I was listening and scattered like a frightened fish.

I thought perhaps that my brain had learned English in more than one area. I understand that Humans have a portion of their brains that have evolved for language. But animals without this portion can understand a limited number of human words.

A dumb dog, for instance, can know under a dozen words while a smart dog could know as many as 700. Perhaps UHIQ people have learned language in more than one area of their brain -- in their "mammal brain" somewhere, for instance. Perhaps this accounts for the ability to sense bullshit even when you can't pinpoint where it's bullshit or how it's bullshit.

Anyway, I guess I believe this, I'm not sure that I'm UHIQ but I believe my brain has learned English in more than one area.

Blogger RobertT December 26, 2016 5:46 PM  

It interests me that you would read a book that you know to be misleading by an author you think is drinking the kool-aid just for the pleasure of ferreting out all the errors, malthinking & missteps. I can see there is value there, especially for a book that is widely celebrated, but quite frankly, I don't have the stomach for it.

Blogger Sam vfm #111 December 26, 2016 5:47 PM  

kurt9 wrote:The key is the fracking/shale energy revolution,

Normal SJW crap.
We have been fracking wells for over 60 years. It is the horizontal drilling that is new.

Anonymous old man in a villa December 26, 2016 5:49 PM  

"successful democratic societies"

Contradiction in terms.

Blogger VD December 26, 2016 5:50 PM  

Vox, is it a common pitfall for the VHIQ to have some epiphany to which they become so enamored that they develop a kind of blindness to potential flaws?

Yes.

If Fukuyama was UHIQ, would his work have spoken of an era, rather than an end?

No, he wouldn't have been so enamored of liberal democracy in the first place. The entire thesis is hopelessly wrong; it's not even remotely credible in only a few decades.

Tell me where I am wrong.

You appear to think your opinion is relevant to what is actually happening. We're not talking about liberal democracy "in an American context". We are talking about the core concept itself being fatally flawed due to its internal contradictions.

Blogger VD December 26, 2016 5:52 PM  

It interests me that you would read a book that you know to be misleading by an author you think is drinking the kool-aid just for the pleasure of ferreting out all the errors, malthinking & missteps.

Why? Have you not seen that I prefer to know the other side's works better than its own adherents do? How else can you understand their thinking and anticipate their actions?

Of course, one doesn't have to bother with feminists. Even the feminists don't read their own works.

Anonymous simplytimothy December 26, 2016 5:55 PM  

This was a fun read. thx.

Blogger Scott6584 December 26, 2016 5:59 PM  

VD wrote:If you could guarantee all countries would behave properly, then the Ricardian model works.

No, it doesn't. It is intrinsically flawed and technologically outmoded. It cannot work and mutually benefit multiple societies.


It's a moot point. All countries will never behave themselves. A theoretical argument over the model is pointless. In practice, it doesn't work. It fails, as does every utopian imagination.

That doesn't mean it doesn't have limited usefulness in bilateral agreements. But even if another country can achieve greater efficiency due to specialization, a nation still MUST retain some ability to produce due to the very real danger of a current friendly nation turning into an enemy at some point in the future - which the bi

Blogger Scott6584 December 26, 2016 6:00 PM  

gger point I was making.

Anonymous Nergol December 26, 2016 6:00 PM  

"What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass." — Lord Melbourne

Blogger bob kek mando ( NABTY ) December 26, 2016 6:01 PM  

you know, at one point in history hereditary monarchy was nearly universal ... and all of his "just so" arguments in favor of the apparent supremacy of liberal democracy would have thence applied to monarchy.

duh.


Fukuyama
One has to do with economics



i wonder what Francis' response is going to be when ( if ) he ever grasps that the current mania for frictionless international trade is a tactic by which Jews displace domestic manufacturing for international commerce ... which the Jews just so happen to be peculiarly well positioned to take advantage of via the Diaspora.



Fukuyama
This was not to say that today's stable democracies, like the United States, France



~200 years is "stable"?

this boy has LOW standards for evidence. you go to a bar and he's going to be hitting on the 3 and unders.

and i'm not sure he doesn't go to Comet Ping Pong so i'm not certain which way i mean that.



Fukuyama
on which modern democracy is founded



the United States was not founded as a Democracy, "liberal" or otherwise.

we may currently have certain aspects of Democracy but it's also undeniable that we have aspects of Socialism, both National and International.

i'm curious, does Francis ignorantly assume that the US has always been a 'liberal Democracy'? if not, when does he consider the transition from the Republic to have taken place?


Fukuyama
its subject returns to a very old question: Whether, at the end of the twentieth century, it makes sense for us once again to speak of a coherent and directional History of mankind that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy?



on the one hand we have Marxist Communism or Francisian muh Libural Democracy.

on the other hand we have the great thinkers of the ages who assert that society is cyclical.

in the battle of appeal-to-authority, i know i'm going to choose the side that's not responsible for murdering +100 million in the 20th Century.


Fukuyama
and the other has to do with what is termed the "struggle for recognition."



when the struggle for recognition involves "normalizing" every deviant and defective behavior under the sun
...
bipolar crazy bitches are no foundation for a society or a family, son.


2. TheDudeAbides December 26, 2016 4:14 PM
I think you'll find Fukuyama's (Plato's) concept of thymos illuminating.



i find his argument unconvincing, given that he dismisses the societal level megalothymatic urge out of hand ... even though we see examples of it every day.



3. RobertT December 26, 2016 4:16 PM
When will they learn this kind of thinking has never proved fruitful?


https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1%3A22&version=KJV


12. St. Cecilia December 26, 2016 4:38 PM
If it had been known in 1992 that majority will would be erased in this way, would his thesis have appeared ridiculous on its face?



Francis is one of the elites who is shoving his opinion down your throat.

he considers your refusal to swallow evidence that you are a reactionary Neanderthal, otherwise you'd agree with him.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 26, 2016 6:09 PM  

All living things (and systems made of them) are dynamic. Stasis is always death. For this reason it is childish to speak of an "end state" for a living system. Life is always dynamic, and if one cannot see yet unknown possibilities one should still be able to infer their eventual existence.

It's always about the journey, not the destination.

Blogger Some Dude December 26, 2016 6:11 PM  

Something that amused me was when the National Review claimed they were 'real conservatives' and Trump and his ilk were not.

In my mind, a publication funded and staffed by Zionist Jews should send a red flag anyway, according to ad hominem sorting.

But if one is to take the arguments at face value that
1. Deregulation of society (and social norms/customs) is warranted for 'liberty'.
2. People should not be allowed to associate with like minded people on social/racial issues or trade unions...which contradicts the 1st. Subsumed under 'free market'
3. Immigration amnesty (and by extension, legalising open borders de facto) is not a threat to conservative christian values. I believe the trigger words they employ here is 'nation of immigrants' or somesuch.

One can even see within the publications (((their))) mischief.

First the money. Then the mind. Then the women.

They are 140+ IQ vikings, complete even with the sacking and pillaging aspect that their lower IQ imported goons implement.

Jonah Goldberg says liberalism is fascism. Because national socialism is liberal redistribution. But national socialism was redistribution from Goldberg's tribe of capitalists, not other gentiles.

He knows this. That's the key.

Anonymous Rover (you know, from the Prisoner) December 26, 2016 6:11 PM  

We can also anticipate Fukuyama likely using of the "no true Scotsman" argument to defend various failures or soon-to-be-failures of liberal democracy: places like California, France, the EU--and some would say the entire USA--are no longer liberal democracies. They've stopped limiting the power and reach of the government.

Thus, Fukuyama might say: "liberal democracy is still a flawless snowflake of a government, these guys are not true liberal democracies any more."

Blogger Some Dude December 26, 2016 6:13 PM  

That's why (((they))) are against redistribution today. And why Hillary is a republican on economic issues.

"If we broke up the big banks...would that end racism. Would that end sexism?"

Yes, because it would make jews less powerful Hilary.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore December 26, 2016 6:14 PM  

@VD I'm gonna take a shot at this. I think the American context, as it exists under the Constitution, created the tools and instruments that would form the internal contradictions. I am of the opinion that the so-called "Founders" and "Framers" created a document that had little to do with the principles described in the Declaration of Independence. These persons opposed a Bill of Rights. Madison's break with Hamilton seems a case of buyers' remorse, and Madison was not alone. The southerners broke with the Federalists. Hamilton engaged in trickery in rationalizing a national bank.

I am of the opinion that that which was formed via the Declaration and the Articles was unique; that it was Locke's ideas which found form in a plan of government created by the Articles. The Articles was a plan of government that was different from anything created which includes but is not limited to the forms of governance created in Europe. It's for this reason that I am hesitant about signing on to the idea that liberal democracy, in its Lockean manifestation, is wheezing and coughing due to elements natural to its design.

I don't know everything and so there is more for me to read. I am just expressing an idea based on a limited understanding of American political history and the little I know about the development of governments in Western Europe.

One of the reasons I come to this blog is to fill in the blanks and deficits insofar as my grasp of history is concerned. Books recommended by this "spot" have been extremely helpful. That is all.

Blogger Derek Kite December 26, 2016 6:17 PM  

I haven't read the book, but by the second sentence when discussing democracy the basic function should be made clear; it is a protection for those in power where they don't get hung, but there is a peaceful and orderly change in power at the top.

I didn't see any hint of that in this, which tells me that the writer misses a very basic point about human beings; we are flawed and will do stupid things unless there is a limit. Democracy, or democratic accountability works to the extent it does because it places a limit on what people in power can do. It isn't about selecting the smartest or wisest or best leaders, it is about getting rid of the dross quickly, and the good ones when they inevitably turn bad.

This is similar to a free market; it doesn't produce wonderful things and ideas, it permits those things to occur because much of the dross and awfulness is cut away quickly. Both systems fail because the accountability and immediacy of consequences get slowed or stopped by institutional lethargy, bureaucracies and monopolies of market and power.

The end of history, even as a slogan, is simply absurd.

This thinking is very common in the academy, where there is some silly notion that with the right institutions and right people things will work just fine.

Blogger plishman December 26, 2016 6:22 PM  

For those in the business of trying to understand reality - even economists - I offer this:

In general, reality uses all of the available phenomena to realize a thing, some of which may be known to science, some not.

Phenomena giving rise to a thing may have feedbacks between them, or be coupled in some way that means that when you control for one, you eliminate all the other coupled causes without meaning to and hence never realize they are there.

Sometimes one phenomenon of several giving rise to a physical thing may attenuate, amplify or otherwise modulate the ones that are most visible, so that, in the absence of the modulating phenomenon, the most visible ones either disappear also or become uncontrolled.

A rule of thumb when investigating reality is: it's not this or that, but both or all.

Anonymous Marvin Boggs December 26, 2016 6:22 PM  

I come at this from a Bible-thumping Christian perspective.

Government exists, and is necessary, because of mankind's fallen sinful state. How well any form of government works is, at least to some extent, dependent upon how well it deals with mankind's fallen state. As a result, communism, socialism (well anything well to the left) fails miserably because they all deny mankind's fallen state and so fail to deal with it at all.

That said, from my admittedly limited knowledge of history, pretty much every established government will eventually crater as less than wonderful people achieve positions of power (i.e. convergence). Predicting, accurately, how or when any given government will crater is, at best, very difficult.

Blogger rumpole5 December 26, 2016 6:27 PM  

I doubt any "end of history" argument because it is impossible to know how evolving technology will affect our political needs and govermental perogatives.
An example: Let's speculate that a perfect personal self defense
system becomes available. Any poison, bullet, knife, fist, heat or damaging light directed at the person is aprehended by the system and deflected or repulsed.
Would that affect our need for government? Would it affect government power over the person?
What if an additional dimension apparatus allows each of us to enter our own personal space. Would that affect territorial disputes? As has been noted in this blog, the internet enabled an end run right around the lamestream dinosaur media -- and
played a part in the Trump revolution. I think that we are on the verge of tech changes much more profound than long bows and Agincourt, gunpowder and castles, or the printing press, the 95 theses/reformation/30 years war. With the tech accelerated pace we face changes like those, times a million.

Blogger seeingsights December 26, 2016 6:30 PM  

The End of History and the Last Man had a negative opionion of Karl Popper. Which is telling for Popper gave an argument--a valid one in my opinion--against historical forecasting (ala Hegel, Marx, Fukuyama, et al). The argument goes something like this: the growth of knowledge is unpredictable; knowledge influences history; therefore, the future course of history is unpredictable.

Anonymous BadThink655321 December 26, 2016 6:35 PM  

I'll take a covenantal monarchy over liberal democracy any day. And that day will come when the lightening flashes from the East.

Anonymous Tipsy December 26, 2016 6:45 PM  

seeingsights wrote:The argument goes something like this: the growth of knowledge is unpredictable; knowledge influences history; therefore, the future course of history is unpredictable.

Chesterton observed: "The world is what the saints and the prophets saw it was: it is not merely getting better or merely getting worse; there is one thing the world does: it wobbles."

Anonymous Jack Amok December 26, 2016 6:54 PM  

Al,

Ben Franklin was probably the smartest of the Founders, and he was pretty clear there was no guarantee the Constitution would last. "If you can keep it" and all that. He understood the ability of a people to aid their own ruin.

Were the Articles better than the Constitution? They lasted barely a dozen years, while the Constitution lasted... well, your choice, 70 or so years (if you think Lincoln killed it), 120+ years (if you think Wilson, Income Tax, Suffrage and the Fed killed it), or 200+ if you think it's still kind of limping along on it's last legs. Regardless, it lasted longer however you look at it. But was that unavoidable? Could the Articles have lasted longer if centralizing forces hasn't connived against them?

Well, that's the kicker - all sorts of things work in theory and fail in practice. The conventional thing to do is claim the thing wasn't tried hard enough, had the wrong people, was sold out by hoarders and wreckers, etc. But that's where you find the line between theory and practice - in practice a system has to be able to protect itself against change - especially that caused by predatory exploitation - or it will fall.

The Articles weren't able to protect themselves against those who wanted more centralized power. The fact they didn't even survive a generation - that roughly the same people who adopted them (during a time of revolt) replaced them (not long after the revolt concluded) implies they didn't work as well as hoped.

Blogger plishman December 26, 2016 7:05 PM  

Civilization, and life itself, rests on the phenomenon of polarization. That is creating a separation of order and disorder, containing and expelling the latter.

For polarization to occur, there must be a boundary created between order and disorder, capable of transmitting disorder more easily outward than inward.

All phenomena that increase order locally exhibit this property and structure: The human gut, the bars of a prison, the borders of a nation.

But the limiting case of polarization is breakdown, when the polarization reaches a point at which the boundary cannot maintain the separation between the two opposite poles.

When this happens, polarons of opposite types begin to mix and annihilate.

What is left after the annihilation completes determines whether one pole or the other becomes dominant when the process resumes.

In human history, order tends to triumph even after setbacks, perhaps because disorder does not produce surplus, and the thieves fall out over the spoils.

Blogger rumpole5 December 26, 2016 7:06 PM  

Yes, exactly!

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot December 26, 2016 7:23 PM  

Homo sacer flees, being pursued by homo faber who chases after him with shovels and pick axes, failing to realise the necessity of continuing to clear the way of debris without distractions ...

Both were working toward compatible ends when they left each other well enough alone.

Blogger Jose December 26, 2016 7:26 PM  

Fukuyama wrote a best-selling book that got him large speaking fees and fat consulting contracts; that's the purpose of the book. Once this is understood, the rest is actually proof of good operational intelligence by Fukuyama. (And Pinker, and Lester Thurow, and etc etc etc; I don't put Malcolm G. in the same group; there are limits to how bad the others are.)

Whether Fukuyama's theory of history, or Pinker's nonsense about liberal values and violence, or Thurow's multiple contradictory theories of what makes a country competitive are right is (a) beside the point for their own purposes ($$ and influence) and (b) quickly forgotten when the next book comes -- as long as they don't make enemies of the real gatekeepers (who don't care for the truth as much as they care for compliance).

Taleb (who by the way has a paper with Phil Tetlock where they show that binary predictions outperform continuous-variable predictions, in general 😎) gets a little money but can't really get into the speaking fees & consulting contracts racket because he suffers from a terminal intellectual weakness: he's intellectually honest and doesn't apply a social filter to his interactions.

Cheers,
JCS

Anonymous Rocklea December 26, 2016 7:35 PM  

Leto II to Stilgar in Children of Dune;
"Have you noticed, Stil, how beautiful the young women are this year?"; pretty much sums up the state of west.

Blogger Kristophr December 26, 2016 7:35 PM  

B Day wrote:I got an idea one evening while I was laying in bed. I often stare into the "darkness behind my eyelids" when I have trouble falling asleep. Usually my mind will conjure scenes until I end up dreaming sound asleep. One evening I was doing this and I became aware of another stream of thought narrating my field of vision in a curious way, waxing a poetic prose of sort about the darkness. As I tried to listen more it "became aware" that I was listening and scattered like a frightened fish.

That is actually normal. You subconscious uses Werneke's region to do that when you are fully asleep, i.e., dreaming.

When it happens during the day when fully awake, it's called schizophrenia.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore December 26, 2016 7:35 PM  

@59 Indeed the Articles did not last for more than a generation. I'm not ready to accept the idea of the failure of that plan of government. I am of the opinion that the supporters of a powerful centralized authority bided their time for they were outnumbered in the First and Second Continental Congresses. Many of these folks were no fans of the American Revolution (many of them were delegates to the Constitutional Convention).

Yes, I am that person who favors the thesis that the replacement of the Articles with the Constitution was a "soft coup". The Federalists were well organized and leveraged an opportunity when the state legislatures (Rhode Island excepted to a point) and the Confederation Congress changed hands from the localists to the cosmopolitans. The federal republicans, who were framed by their opponents as "Anti-Federalists", went to sleep; they became complacent. Their lax demeanor is, in my opinion, no indicator of the viability of the Articles.

I liken this dynamic to they way old school conservatives, in the early 20th century, "fell off" an allowed the progressives to invade and converge conservative institutions, attain a control over government, as well as America's societal institutions (i.e. public schooling).

My point is my reluctance to participate in any impeachment of liberal democratic principles as per their expression in Pre-Constitutional American polity. Benjamin Franklin is a smart man but he seems part of a faction that sympathetic to British big governance, and this makes me back away from him. I'm the type of dude who holds greater preference and admiration towards Samuel Bryan, Richard Henry Lee, and that dude from NY who wrote under the pseudonym "Cato".

Once again though, I need to read more. I got an Amazon gift card and so I will put it to use insofar as this/ our discourse is concerned. Certainly though, SJWAL will be the first thing I get. Merry Christmas friend.

Anonymous Daniel H December 26, 2016 7:40 PM  

Liberal democracy is the end of history in the Shire, that's the only place for which that statement can be asserted.

Anonymous Reader December 26, 2016 7:42 PM  

I agree in general that liberal democracy maybe the end point of social evolution.

So long as human beings would want to express their individualism and would want to be able to have a say in how the world he live in should be operated, then I don't see any other system that can be considered better than liberal democracy.

Liberal democracy is a good system in that we are free to make our own stuff and sell in the market and at the same time compassionate enough to share community resources, like roads and bridges, by sharing in the cost and sharing their use.

Liberal democracy is more stable than oppressive systems. Which dictatorships last more than 200 years? You can be pushed around but only for so long!

Fukuyama pointed out that the problems in liberal democracies are its non-implementation of individual liberty and equality before the law and opportunity , not with the principles per se.

Someone commented about the republic, I think Bob Mando, as if a republic is not under the umbrella of liberal democracy. Maybe I'm wrong.

I read an interview of Fukuyama in which he said that Australia is a well governed country, when asked which country he considered is best governed. Interesting! We have a constitutional monarchy in which the Queen is the symbolic head of state and the lower house and upper house in parliament share in making the laws.

I agree, Mensa, a high IQ club, has its share of cab drivers and losers too. We have a Mensan in our family and the rest do not care about measurement of IQ.



Blogger Robert Divinity December 26, 2016 8:11 PM  

There was a great deal of controversy over such questions as whether communism was truly dead, whether religion or ultranationalism might make a comeback, and the like.

Fukuyama absolutely is lying.

"Clash" and "The End of History" almost were contemporaneous with the Bosnian War, which was soon followed by the breakaway of Kosovo. Both were vivid manifestations of "ultranationalism" and were utterly predictable even at the time Fukuyama wrote. If memory serves, Milosevic delivered his speech praising Serbian nationalism in Pristina prior to the publication of Fukuyama's initial essay. The nationalistic wars were in their initial stages, really, even before the release of "End of History."

So there is no doubt Fukuyama is dissembling in the excerpts above and good on you for calling him out. Almost everything Huntingdon wrote has come to pass, and others noted above he was the one vilified by the globalist utopians (of course). Jesus Jones' claim "the world waked up from history" at least was a catchy tune.

Anonymous Rocklea December 26, 2016 8:43 PM  

A motto, creed or meme may be appropriate. People are not going to be interested in saving thumb drives if the grid goes down and the water stops coming out of the tap. When the men come down from the mountain so to speak, to rebuild, a common greeting anyone -1sd and above can understand could serve as a beginning.

Whats mine is mine;
My death is certain;
My life for my people.

non exploitative, time conscious and identity.
just an idea....

Blogger Bogey December 26, 2016 9:40 PM  

This thinking is very common in the academy, where there is some silly notion that with the right institutions and right people things will work just fine.

Classic, such as the liberal professor saying communism was just tried by the wrong people.

Milton Friedman simply said "who are these better angels?"

Blogger Bogey December 26, 2016 9:50 PM  

Christians believe or should believe that the final form of government will be whatever God decides when Christ returns (a theocracy maybe?), one literally run by our better angels. Right now the influence of a certain entity is too prevalent in this world, which makes finding the perfect form of government nigh impossible.

A little out of bounds for the argument perhaps, yet with a thesis like "The End of History and the Last Man" it's kind of asking for it.

Anonymous Jack Amok December 26, 2016 10:41 PM  

Merry Christmas to you too Al, and my best wishes for a healthy, prosperous, and happy New Year.

Don't think I am a critic of liberal democracy in any specific degree - it is in many - maybe most - ways better than the other forms. I am only saying that it shares every other political form's weakness in that it sows the seeds of it's own destruction. Read up on Kyklos, maybe go with Polybius for the best take. You can do it without spending any of your Amazon card if you're willing to read on websites.

Instead, maybe use some of that Amazon card to buy The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle, if you haven't read it. Sci-Fi, excellent work. Then let's talk about Crazy Eddie.

Because that's what the Founders were - Crazy Eddies trying to break the Kyklos using everything they knew from their impressive study of human history. They failed, as all Crazy Eddies have, but... Crazy Eddie always fails, until he doesn't.

I'm not going to try to talk you out of looking for ways to break the cycle, because it would be nice if we didn't have to repeat this damn cycle, and the worst thing about living in our particular phase of it is knowing the near future is one of regression. All I'm really saying is, the Founders did really well but they came up short. We have to understand where they failed as well as where they succeeded in order to do better.

Ascribing the failure to snakes in the grass waiting to strike doesn't help, because there are always snakes in the grass waiting to strike.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch December 26, 2016 11:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Laramie Hirsch December 26, 2016 11:32 PM  

"Liberal democracy absolutely does not constitue the end point of mankind's ideological evolution or the final form of human government."

I agree with Vox that liberal democracy is not the end point of man's ideological evolution. Though, I tend to dare to make a long forecast that, at this time, most are uncomfortable with.

Fukuyama is deluded. He is trapped in self-importance. His idea is a true monomania. He has this idea that most on the Left have, which is that we're all evolving towards some grandiose Star-Trek-the-Next-Generation future. His train of thought is very derivative, and he probably doesn't understand the counter-revolution that has just begun to take place throughout the world. He will double down on his ideas no matter what. Considering all of this, I agree with Vox that Fukuyama fits the VHIQ mould.

So this begs the question. What train of thought fits the UHIQ model? What is a holistic, synthesizing conclusion of history and the nature of man? If we look at the pattern in the millenia of humankind's history, what can we therefore conclude will be manifested by the world's grand counter-revolution? Something is slowly progressing forward for us. But do we know what it will be? If liberal democracy is a flash in the pan, then what is more stable, and what do people tend to return to? If we think outside of the box and try to grasp this, what shall we conclude?

I'll stop there.

Anonymous TS December 26, 2016 11:44 PM  

"There is no doubt that contemporary democracies face any number of serious problems, from drugs, homelessness, and crime to environmental damage and the frivolity of consumerism."

Amazing how he just glosses over the "elite" and their criminality. Wonder why that is? Oh wait the answer is in comment 1...

"It's funny how much Fukuyama's book was(is) loved and adored by the usual mainstream "consensus" elites while "Clash of Civilizations" by Samuel Huntington was lambasted at it's time."

OpenID paworldandtimes December 26, 2016 11:49 PM  

he probably doesn't understand the counter-revolution that has just begun to take place throughout the world.

"The Clash of Civilizations" is put up as the antithesis to Fukuyama's book, but there is rarely a mention of their contemporary work, "McWorld vs Jihad."

PA

Blogger synp December 26, 2016 11:54 PM  

Reader wrote:I agree in general that liberal democracy maybe the end point of social evolution.

[snip]

Liberal democracy is more stable than oppressive systems. Which dictatorships last more than 200 years? You can be pushed around but only for so long!

This assumes that anything other than a liberal democracy is oppressive or that liberal democracy is not. Neither of those assumptions are necessary.
The strength of liberal democracy is that it allows for a regime change without a bloodbath and without dismantling the democracy. So the US can get Trump rather than the natural Obama-->Clinton succession without a shot being fired. The regime changes without needing to replace the democracy.

I agree, Mensa, a high IQ club, has its share of cab drivers and losers too. We have a Mensan in our family and the rest do not care about measurement of IQ.
A high IQ is a talent for solving the set of problems tested for in IQ tests. This is positively correlated with success in both high school and higher education, which in turn is positively correlated with high performance in technical fields. It is not a guarantee of success as success depends on other factors as well.
Just as not every tall guy is a good basketball player, not every intelligent person is successful at whatever they're doing.

Anonymous Icicle December 26, 2016 11:55 PM  

One of the major problems of a liberal democracy with representatives (and I NEVER SEE anyone commenting on this) is surveillance.

Surveillance on a representative (or other key figure like a judge) in order to find weak points or sway them, or put them in your pocket. I don't need to sway the voters if I can just sway the congressman after the fact, and in secret.

This is becoming more and more of a problem with the increase in technology.

The Founding Fathers did not have to deal with anything like this.


A) See also the SJW propensity for co-opting things leading to their degradation.

B) See also the wonderful work of the Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski on political ponerology about a government devolving into a pathocracy.

Blogger John Wright December 27, 2016 1:14 AM  

"Fukuyama clearly declares that he believes in a specific, directional Marxian-style History which will eventually come to a predictable end."

It is concept I find astonishing in anyone not a prophet, astrologer, or time traveler.

Let us assume for the sake of argument that a foolproof legal system, church, culture, and set of customs could be one day devised that are well suited for human happiness. Let us call this Endtopia.

Let us further assume that there is only one possible Entopia, that is, only one optimal system for all mankind, despite variations in races and individuals, so that this one system better suits the pursuit of human happiness than all other possible systems.

Let us further assume that this Endtopia can continue under the various changing conditions from age to age to be the best and sole system.

Even with these assumptions all granted, why should we grant the one final assumption that some or most men would not be dissatisfied with Endtopia a in such numbers as to alter it for the worst, either by peaceful vote or violent revolution?

Has there ever been a religion so perfect that no heretic arise within it, no enemies without?

Has there ever been a system of laws foolproof enough that the Legislative power has been adjourned for several years at a time, there being no need to meddle, adjust, or alter the laws to suit unforeseen circumstances?

Has there ever been a set of customs and practices so universally beloved that no large numbers of nonconformists, critics, or scoffers arose to defy those customs?

The concept appears as ridiculous on first blush as economic schemes meant to produce eternal prosperity, booms without busts, investments without retrenchments or market corrections.

I would dismiss this as a mystical doctrine, an emotion put into words, not a product of rigorous thought.

Now, I wonder what my comment betrays about my intelligence? Which category does it put me in?

Because it seems to me that anyone of any level of intelligence seeing the flaws I see in the theory would say the same thing, so I am not sure the nature of my conclusion tells us anything about the nature of the reasoning process (or otherwise) by which I reached it.

Perhaps if you had a stopwatch and timed how long it took me to put my misgiving into words, you could comment on whether my conclusion it witty or witless -- but then again, even with a timed test score, you may only be measuring my verbal skills (how quickly I find fit words to express misgivings), not my cognition skills (how wise or foolish my criticism is).

Blogger John Wright December 27, 2016 1:39 AM  

@54
"Government exists, and is necessary, because of mankind's fallen sinful state. How well any form of government works is, at least to some extent, dependent upon how well it deals with mankind's fallen state. As a result, communism, socialism (well anything well to the left) fails miserably because they all deny mankind's fallen state and so fail to deal with it at all."

Argh. I should read all the comments before making one. Here is someone making the same point as mine, but simpler, clearer, and in fewer words.

Man is fallen; ergo the End of History is a foolish idea.

Right now we are living in the midst of a world crisis brought on, not because a large segment of the public in the civilized West foresees a better system than republican democracy and wishes to remove impediments to achieving it, but because a large segment of the public hates republican democracy with an insane, self-destructive and unquenchable hatred, and wishes to destroy the underpinnings of civilization, abolish Church and family and free market, and invite in hordes of bronze age sociopath mass-murdering troglodytes to rape our women and decapitate our men.

If the Left is willing to destroy our current republican democracy with all its flaws, how in the world does anything think the Left would not redouble their efforts to destroy a more flawless version?

The number of dissatisfied suicidal nincompoops would increase, not decrease, the closer mankind comes to a more perfect system.

Blogger synp December 27, 2016 2:00 AM  

I think the sheer amount of different systems that all fall more or less under the "liberal democracy" heading is telling. This is not one size fits all. And just do some thought experiments of what would happen if country X adopted the system of country Y. If you know country X well enough, you're likely to come up with some pretty damaging stuff.

This is no coincidence. The system of each country were designed or evolved to prevent the disasters looming within their borders, to calm down their own demons. As has been pointed out, the weird US system is designed to prevent New York (and now California) from hogging all the power. It doesn't make sense in many other countries. The list-based election system in Israel was designed for a country where ideological and sectarian identity is stronger than local identity. Either of them adopting the other's system would inevitably lead to violence.

Blogger Johnny December 27, 2016 2:19 AM  

I argue with people a little, but try to stay away from lecturing because most people don't want to hear it.

On those occasions when I argue with somebody and on reflection I am certain I am correct, I end up asking why the other person doesn't get it. One common conclusion I reach is that they are not willing to think it through. But if I am to take the analysis here as true, then the conclusion is that they can not think it through.

Something that bugs me are the people who seem unable to handle anything that is multivariate. If it takes A and B to produce C, they have to assign A or B as the cause. And everything is true or false, never don't know.

Blogger DawgOffLeash December 27, 2016 2:35 AM  

Perhaps the difference between VD and FF is due to differences in Myers Briggs type not to a gap in IQ.

FF, an INFP, was sensitive to inconsistencies in the values of liberal democracy. The position he took, that ended up being wrong, he took for the sake of helping to clarify those inconsistencies. And, paradoxically, to shield his readers from the discomfort of recognizing those inconsistencies.

VD, an INTJ, makes water-tight arguments but readers have to largely share his values in order to entertain his arguments. His political books reinforce and refine, but don't very often convert.

Blogger Noah B The MacroAggressor December 27, 2016 3:06 AM  

"VD, an INTJ, makes water-tight arguments but readers have to largely share his values in order to entertain his arguments."

This is a damning condemnation of Vox's critics. I completely agree with you.

Anonymous Eric the Red December 27, 2016 6:55 AM  

Fukuyama... mmmm, Japanese ethnicity. Japanese historically are known for amazing innovation, but very little creativity. During the Japanese Miracle, their engineers (for example) tried every known trick in the book to develop miniature electric motors that had the highest power-to-wight ratio ever seen, then further developed 6-sigma manufacturing processes to churn them out. But Nobel prizes awarded for STEM categories??? 22 out of 373 (~5.8%).

Blogger Student in Blue December 27, 2016 11:35 AM  

Fukuyama... mmmm, Japanese ethnicity. Japanese historically are known for amazing innovation, but very little creativity.

Given how their fictional works pan out, this appears to hold true even today.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 27, 2016 4:06 PM  

kurt9 wrote:You guys ought to watch some of Peter Zeihan's videos about the geopolitical changes over the next 25 years or so. Due mainly to our geography and the aforementioned technology revolutions, the U.S. actually has a very bright future ahead.
But you're an acknowledged transhumanist, so we know a priori that your rational thought process is overweighed by emotion, that your ability to think through concepts to their probable conclusion is impaired and that your ability to make qualitative vs quantitative distinctions is non-existent. Hence, your understanding is seriously impaired and your assessments may be trivially discarded.

Blogger wreckage December 27, 2016 5:55 PM  

The End of History implies History is a simple process. It's chaotic. Vox' whole argument re identity > politics has its highest utility when history is seen as either hopelessly chaotic, or as an illusion (there IS no "progress of History", only emergent outcomes from billions or trillions of interactions at a lower level)

Given Vox earlier post it's easy to see this as VHIQ versus UHIQ. maybe that's how the difference between these two thinkers arises, but even a fucking idiot can see that history doesn't and can't work like that (Marxian).

Blogger tz December 27, 2016 6:14 PM  

NQOT
American Conservative points out the problem with diversity and vibrancy

One punch-line is that Christendom, and evangelicalism manages to bring all together, but when the Air Force was winning through prayer and a Christian banner they were forced to remove it.

You can't have a proposition nation when the foundation of the proposition violates several federal laws or regulations.

Blogger modsquad December 27, 2016 6:56 PM  

IQ notwithstanding, the apex of inquisitiveness and belief is the study of God. I know a number of very intelligent people who dismiss the notion of God with a simple, "A deity isn't observable let alone measurable, therefore God doesn't exist."

If I wanted to know anything about you, the best person to ask would be you. If you wanted to know anything about me, the best person to ask would be me. The entry question is either God exists or he doesn't. If he doesn't, he doesn't. If he does, the best person to ask would be God. Where the inquisitiveness dies off is people ask but never bother to listen afterwards. This is one use for meditation. The idea is to clear the mind of thought so that a vacuum exists and a response can be known. If you buy new living room furniture, you don't bring it into the house and stack it on the old furniture. You clear the room first and empty it so there's room for the new. Likewise with the mind. The mind never shuts up... it never stops talking. Close your eyes and see how long you can go without a thought. Meditation clears out thought and leaves room for another perspective to enter.

There is no proof one person can give to another, it's the ultimate anti-science field of study. But it's possible to bring proof to yourself that there's a lot more going on in our world than 99% are aware of.

Blogger Akulkis December 27, 2016 7:21 PM  

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Blogger Akulkis December 27, 2016 7:24 PM  

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Blogger Akulkis December 27, 2016 7:24 PM  

@17


If Ricardian theory is all you think it is, explain to me this:

Why has every country that has tried Ricardian economic policy been economically destroyed by it?

In the 1750's, the English tried it -- causing widespread unemployment, this lead to the Corn Riots, prompting the passage of the Intolerable Acts, which directly lead to the loss of 13 colonies, and the huge black eye of losing a war to a bunch of starving, barefoot farmers.

Then the French tried Ricardian economics ... this, too, lead to widespread unemployment, and the French Revolution.

Although America started out with more stored capital, Ricardian theory has gutted our wealth-producing sector (manufacturing). A "service" economy doesn't pay the bills. If I mow your lawn for $50, and you mow my lawn for $50, there's $100 of "economic activity" but in fact, we are both about $0.50 poorer for the gas which was burned.

"Service economies" are not sustainable.

Blogger Jose December 27, 2016 11:34 PM  

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Blogger Jose December 27, 2016 11:37 PM  

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Blogger Jose December 27, 2016 11:54 PM  

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Blogger wreckage December 28, 2016 4:02 AM  

You can stay within conventional/Ricardian economics and still critique globalized trade.

Assuming all works as well as it might, what then is the incentive for governments with dysfunctional laws/legislatures/cultures to attempt to change that? As long as they remain dysfunctional, their wages and currency remain depressed, creating a permanent advantage for the asset-owning class without ever needing wealthy consumers (other nations provide those.)

Blogger Nathan December 28, 2016 10:13 AM  

Vox,

Hoping this post is still fresh enough to get your thoughts here... (and I apologize if someone previous to me brought this up). How, in brief, does knowledge attained from the Christian Scriptures fit into your thinking here? I know it does, of course - and I know that is a huge question. That said, I don't want to assume you might have an answer that you could give that is short and sweet (and so would not take too much time). I will not follow-up to whatever you might have to say, if you do, so as not to try to involve you in any long discussion (unless you are eager to do so).

Thanks,
+Nathan

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