Notes on “The Year of Fukuyama” by Richard Hanania

  • Title:: The Year of Fukuyama
  • Author:: [[Richard Hanania]]
  • Reading Status:: #complete
  • Review Status:: #[[complete]]
  • Tags:: #articles #[[politics]] #[[democracy]] #[[political science]]
  • URL::
  • Source:: #instapaper
  • Roam Notes URL::
  • Anki Tag:: hanania_year_of_fukuyama
  • Anki Deck Link:: link
  • Notes

    • Many incorrectly misunderstand [[Francis Fukuyama]] as saying nothing will ever happen again. His argument was not that there would be no wars or genocide, but there would be no serious alternative to liberal [[democracy]]. (View Highlight) #[[Ankified]]
    • Before 2022, experts were bullish on some non-democratic states: #[[Ankified]]
      • Experts have spoken seriously about the advantages of the “[[[[China]] Model]]”: technocratic skill and political meritocracy over voting and mobilized citizenry. (View Highlight)
        • Their response to [[COVID-19]] was often trotted out as making the case for the model. E.g. [[New York Times]] reporting that life in [[China]] was back to normal in September 2020, compared to the West. (View Highlight)
      • Experts also were optimistic about [[Russia]]’s economic and geopolitical prospects (believing they will become a mid-tier European power). (View Highlight)
    • In 2022, it seems these threats to liberal democracy have collapsed in different ways, suggesting Western societies are far more robust. (View Highlight) #[[Ankified]]
      • [[China]] is sticking stubbornly with [[Zero Covid]] strategy, and is taking draconian measures to enforce it. This makes absolutely no sense in any [[cost-benefit analysis]], given vaccines and the new contagious variants. You could argue other terrible things they do, such as their treatment of [[Uighurs]], is "rational" and doesn’t prevent them maintaining growth and influence. But Zero Covid is simply stupid, bad strategy. (View Highlight) [[Peter Thiel]] said China is limited by it’s autistic and profoundly uncharismatic nature and [[Richard Hanania]] sees Zero Covid as evidence this is true: "I used to think that China could be the kind of autist that builds SpaceX. Instead, it’s the kind that is afraid to look strangers in the eye and stays up all night playing with his train collection." (View Highlight)
      • [[China]] is now more hostile to free markets which is what helped it succeed in the first place (see disappearing billionaires and overnight destruction of entire industries). It’s bad for government control and gets in the way of serving the state. (View Highlight)
      • [[Russia]] made a major blunder entering [[Ukraine]], which will make it certain to be poor and backwards for years as the West cuts it off. (View Highlight)
        • "It’s easy to mock Ukraine as a “current thing.” But we shouldn’t trivialize the strength of the Western reaction to the Russian invasion. This isn’t like the rise of zhe/zir pronouns or some new DEI initiative. Western leaders, with the support of both public and elite opinion, came together and formed a united front against an instance of international aggression, and helped a nation practically everyone thought would collapse or become a satellite of its neighbor maintain its independence. These societies did all this while having to make massive economic sacrifices, with countries in Europe wondering whether they will even have enough energy to heat their homes in the winter." (View Highlight)
    • As a result, "normie theories of [[democracy]]" seem to be correct (i.e. democracy provides checks and balances, peaceful transfer of power, peaceful correction of mistakes, and gives citizens a voice) (View Highlight) #[[Ankified]]
      • [[China]] failed because it was too [[risk]] averse. [[Russia]] failed because it’s too risk loving. In both cases, they failed because they "involve a governing elite that is willing and able to drag a public towards making massive sacrifices for a fundamentally irrational goal." (View Highlight) In a [[democracy]], flawed ideas like this typically don’t have the power of the state behind them for long.
      • "critics of democracy have to keep bringing up [[Lee Kuan Yew]] because there have been so few like him" (View Highlight)
      • Like [[Tyler Cowen]], always as "are you long or short the market?" People that say democracy is crumbling in the West are never actually short the market: events like [[January 6th]] are in fact evidence of strength, [[wokeness]] is not going to have the impact some say it will. (View Highlight)
      • The world will continue to increasingly look like the West, because there simply is no other viable option. (View Highlight)
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