tv Charles Sauer Profit Motive CSPAN November 23, 2018 8:02am-8:27am EST
socialist liking. then i met ayn rand and then i went to her house and they converted me with two books. one was "atlas shrugged" by ayn rand, the best novel ever witnessed was unconcerned and the other was economics in one lesson, which also profoundly affected me and got me out of philosophy and into economics. these personal stories are just i guess to humanize the author that it nothing to do with the book. it was added on right after the book was written. >> host: and the third in the series on privatization is called "space capitalism: how humans will colonize planets, moons, and asteroids." thank you for joining us on booktv. >> guest: thanks for having me. it was a pleasure. [inaudible conversations]
>> good morning, everyone. welcome to the texas book festival, or welcome back if you were here yesterday. it's great to have you here in the c-span booktv can't. and i worried mind you again at the end, but our author francis fukuyama will be in the book signing tent afterwards signing books in the books are for sale in one of the other tense to go by the book and then come meet him and get your book signed at the end. the format i think we will do for this is frank and i will talk for about 25-30 minutes conversation and then we will opened up to the graph for 15 or 20 minutes for q&a.
it looks like there are two mics but probably the best bet is when it's time to ask questions is to come up, lined up behind the first fight back. if not close enough i may nag you to move closer because we're being televised live and the people at home all over the country who are watching what you get a question as well as us. it's a a great privilege for mo introduce francis fukuyama and it is going to read his bio and then we will get going. francis fukuyama is senior fellow at stanford universities freeman spogli institute for international studies and director of its and our democracy development and the rule of law. he's taught at the school of advanced international studies at johns hopkins university and at george mason school book is a researcher at the rand corporation and served as deputy directory for the state department policy planning staff. he's the author of political order and political decay, the
origins of political order, the end of history and the last man, trust, america at a crossroads, now this book, while we hear today, "identity." i want to start, frank, by asking you for something we were talking about earlier, which is i was a little surprised that you took on this issue of identity and identity politics but as you told me this is something that goes back to the essay and book he wrote many, many years ago that i think was the work the road first brought you to national international attention. if you want to talk but its origins in the end of history and bring us up to the present. >> sure. in 19 and two i published a book called the end of history and the last man took a lot of people have criticized the concept but they actually didn't read the book. [laughing] if they had, they particularly didn't read the last third of the book which was the part
about the last man pics of the invitation was not my phrase. come from the philosopher hagel about the evolution of human societies and the question was what lies at the end of that evolution, which we today would call modernization or development? my argument was that for 150 years progressive intellectuals about the end of history was communism. that's what karl marx argued and i said it didn't look like we're ever going to get there. look liquid get to form of liberal democracy tied to a market economy. but the last part of the book about the last man was this is frederick nietzsche last man, the man or the human being that emerges at the end of history where your piece and prosperity, democracy but yet no aspiration. you have no satisfaction of this and is yearning that people have for something greater. i said this is going to be a problem for democracies in the future because peace and
prosperity, it's great when you don't have it as an authoritarian a very poor country, but once you could take that for granted people want something extra. there is this in particular this part of the human personality that the greeks called spiritedness or this belief i have an inner sense of dignity that is not being adequately recognized by other people in the surrounding society. this is the driver of a lot of phenomenon in the world, beginning with democracy itself. if you live in an authoritarian country where you're treated like human garbage, this is the origin of the arab spring. there was a tunisian vegetable seller name mohammad boone was easy who had his vegetable cart confiscated by the dictatorship. he asked what his cart was. nobody would talk to him sweet doused himself in gasoline and
set himself on fire and that was really the trigger of the arab spring because people recognize that's what authoritarian governments do. they don't treat their citizens like human beings that is at least an answer to the question of where's my vegetable cart. it's also the source of some last night phenomena like nationalism where people believe they are members of the nation that is not politically recognized and so they demand that it be recognized. that's a legitimate demand in many cases, ukraine or georgia, places like that. but he can easily turn into an aggressive desire to dominate other countries. finally in our society, in an established liberal democracy, we are blessed i think to enjoy as citizens recognition, recognition of our dignity, our constitution and declaration of independence, given to us by
granting us right to believe freedom of speech to association and told by the vote. but this oftentimes isn't enough for people. they don't be recognized simply as generic citizen pursuant to be recognized as members of particular groups and oftentimes these groups are based on historical oppression or marginalization. and so in modern liberal societies i think we've had this process of people seeking recognition of their inter-identities in the u.s. this begins in the 1960s with the civil rights movement for african-americans, with the feminist movement, with the lgbt movement. all of these groups sought recognition for themselves not as generic americans but rather as members of minorities that had been discriminated against which was a perfectly legitimate
and reasonable thing to do. but this is part of a a larger process of thinking about yourself in these more particular ways that in some ways conflict with the belief in a liberal society that essentially we are all equal citizens. >> in a sense of the answer to that that this continuum which is that i can you talk about the motive for writing this specific book? which i think as you said you may not have written had thinks that taken particular turns over the last few years. there's some consequence of that that you were talking about that motivated you to spend a few years writing a book. >> that was simple. it was the election of donald trump in 2016. and also the brexit vote in britain that same year and then
these forms identity i i really built around either ethnicity for nations, so victor or bond in hungary says hungarian national identity is based on hungarian ethnicity many internet and ethnic hungarian but you live in budapest you are someone not part of the nation, and i think that in many ways that's the phenomenon that we're seeing in the united states where you have a president that is perfectly happy to keep off of racial resentments and i think has encouraged a great deal of nostalgia for a time when america could understand itself is essentially a white
european descendents come cheaper i think that's a lot of explanation for his popularity among his core supporters. this obviously is very problematic. i think given the de facto diversity of the united states today and it's a general challenge to democracy because what a lot of these populist politicians do is claim a kind of charismatic authority from having been elected come having been popularly elected. of course donald trump was not popularly elected. [laughing] believe that aside for the time being. and then using that been to attack basic institutions because of liberal democracy is not just about voting and getting elected. it's also about a constitutional separation of powers. it's about institutions that event the executive from simply doing whatever he wants, and if you are elected as a populist
you say the people elected me, i've amended for the american people to do their will and, therefore, if one of these institutions gets in my way i'm going to attack it and try to undermine it. that i think has been the kind of threat that we've been under over the last couple of years where you got a president that has attacked the mainstream media, as enemies of the american people, who has attacked his own fbi come his own justice department as being politicized. simply i think as a way of avoiding up personal accountability for his own actions and of the like but this is not just the united states. this is going on in many other countries around the world, almost every european country now has a big and growing populist nationalist party that is nipping at their heels. the most recent one was italy where you have a populist government that came to power in the last year.
this is the general problem that we are in and so that's why i wrote the book essentially. >> it's interesting, and i think you do with this and really nicely sort of discriminated in a good sense nuanced way in the book. we are all asking questions and this is what the book is a what you worked on over many decades is what makes a country work. there's maybe a recognition of the fragility of a liberal democratic country of sort of diverse society such as ours that we didn't have a few years ago. what's tricky it seems to me but maybe you can expand on this is you were saying the stop on trump does, the of real america are not real america, also some of stuff that's happening on the left in terms of efforts with increasing kind of actualization or identification of different groups that need their interest represented, that seems to according to your argument the
road what we need to hold us together, but we do need stories. we need some kind of overarching story of what it means to be american or hungarian or british to hold a a country together ad be a foundation for functioning liberal democratic order. what makes a country work as opposed to what erodes it enters a town that in some ways looks similar? >> in my view you cannot have a successful country of any sort if you don't have some overarching sense of national identity. national identity is not a popular term in many circles these days, but if you want proof that this is really important, just look at the contemporary middle east, right? in the middle east today you've got a whole series of countries, libya, , iraq, syria, afghanist, somalia, yemen, that it basically falling apart as state because they do not have a sense
of national identity. in every single one of these countries people are more loyal to the ethnic group, their region, their tribe than they are to entity called complexing syria iraq. the result has been catastrophic. catastrophic. state failure, civil war, half of serious population pushed out as refugees or killed. and so that's kind of the endpoint of the decline of national identity. in a democracy you also need national identity because i democracy doesn't mean that you are culturally uniform. disarming everybody agrees but have to agree on certain basic things began to grant certain basic institutions. they have to grit on the legitimacy of those institutions and have to be willing to accept failure through those institutions if they don't get their immediate goals. that's the only condition under which a democracy can work.
i think american national identity has been weakened over the years and it's really, it's the work of both the left and the right. so on the left there is a certain, as i said i think identity politics in this country has perfectly legitimate roots in a lot of existing social injustice, but there's a certain interpretation of that kind of identity politics that says that the essence of the american order if patriarchy or racism or that the whole country was built on the foundations and he continues to this day and there's really not much we can do about it because it's built into the dna of the country. but the other form of identity politics is now the one that is rising on the right which is to i believe drag as back into an older understanding, and ethnic understanding of american identity. this is something that i think was a big achievement that we arrived at something i would
label a creedal or a civic identity. if you think about what the american identity was, before the civil war it was basically based on race because black people, native americans, women, they could not vote. so the united states fight the civil war in which 600,000 people are killed, and at the end of that we passed the 14th amendment that says all persons born or naturalized in the territory of the united states are now considered american citizens. this was one of the most important achievements in terms of redefining american identity to make it nonracial. women continue to be excluded until the early 20th century and other groups don't get to share in that, but it was an important turning point. it takes another 100 years until that reality of nonracial
citizenship is actually realized. it takes until the civil rights movement for that to happen. but i think by the end of the 20th century we had arrived at this understanding of americanness i was really build around the constitution, the bill of rights, the declaration of independence, the rule of law, belief in the rule of law which if it was an important achievement that gives american something that they hold in common and which really now extremely troubling to me is the rise of a kind of right-wing white nationalism that says no, actually you do not go back to his ethnic understanding of what it means to be an american. that's not possible in the united states. it's just not possible because it too diverse society. now i think the threat is really coming from the right, more powerfully right now that it is from the left. >> do you feel like i think i was really struck by when you
are talking about, this is towards the end of the book, about the need to reassert with more confidence this national identity? and one of the things which i agree with, but one of the things that makes this sometimes a little bit pessimistic, and i have a lot more conversation with folks on the left who are sort of abuse from my perspective or maybe from yours guilty of some of the erosion of this that i do with the right, it's hard to say, so the left perspective is america is fundamentally in its dna a racist patriarchal colonialist imperialist country. and i would say a country can't hang together on that narrative. they might save maybe not, , but it's true. so you want to tell the truth or do you want to tell a story that makes people happy? in the way it feels like what you're saying is actually if you
want to survive we have to tell a story that is operating under different access may be than truth and falsehood come something like that. >> well, no. i think it actually be truthful about that progressive story and not have to tell lies about it. i don't think that when your teaching children or students about the history of the united states that there is in respect to which you need to cover up the actual injustices that are characteristic of american history. we had slavery. we had gender discrimination. we had all of these things but there is this long-term progressive story that as a result of the political struggle basically over decades, many of those things worth eliminated and we don't live in a perfectly just society today, but but i d not trade the situation of an american in 2018 for the
situation of an american in the year 1858 or 1920 when the ku klux klan was actually much, much stronger than it is today and you still had complete racial segregation throughout the south. i think that both of these stores are correct. you can tell people about the real injustices and you can tell people things actually have gotten better and that there is to work to do, but that our story, is that struggle to make things better. >> another think along this line and i think this speaks to both sort of the folks on the left i was talking about and the folks with stereotypically talked about as donald trump voters which is maybe white working-class folks who feel left behind or left out by some of the national narratives. what do you have to offer them? in some ways we're asking them in the construction of this identity to take a hit, to take a hit to your asking people who
are around being african-american being part of this wife is f no national identity subordinate that to this other thing that in some fundamental ways i don't feel it embraces event. in order for them to take that hit, what is the carrot you are offering? >> i don't think they have to take a hit. take something like black lives matter. this begins in a reality which is police violence especially in african-american neighborhoods in american cities. that's the problem and it needs to be addressed and has to be a correction in the behavior of police departments around the country so nobody is denying that important but it's not an either or choice. it's as if either you correct that particular injustice or you think about something like an overarching integrated american identity. you can do both at the same time. you really can do both of them at the same time.
and i think one thing that liberals often times don't appreciate is the fact that the identity politics on the right, actually there certain aspects of it at all legitimate, in my view, and is also things that need to be addressed. so, for example, you look at the white working class. there's been a lot of attention ever since the 2016 to the fate of the white working class. white people in the united states are not the uniformly privileged group. if you're a coal miner in west virginia, if you're a working-class person, a guy that lost their job or you are making half the money that your father was making doing very different kind of work, it's not the case that you are being respected and may be that you've lost this respect if you thought your parents had come so maybe that lost is very painful. but it's not as if the elites in
the media, and politics, the people that have been running for two political parties up till now have really done a whole lot for you. i think kind of appreciating that you can be disrespected or ignored in a variety of ways in this country, and by the way, so i'm not trying to pose a a morl equivalence between these different forms of disrespect or injustice because some of them are obviously much more severe than others, but i do think that one of the problems and one of the underlying reasons we are so polarized is kind of a failure to actually look more carefully at the groups that are on the other side of the polarization and to kind of appreciate the ways in which disrespect can happen. look, one concrete example, right? the cdc, their most recent estimates are that 72,000 americans died of drug overdoses
in this opioid epidemic in 2017. this is a lot of people. this is a really lot of people, more like twice as many as get killed in traffic accidents and there really has not been whole lot of attention paid to this until actually the 2016 election because this was happening to group of americans that were not being terribly well covered up till then. there are problems i think on both sides. >> to go back to this concept, i would probably mispronounce it, you're saying we need somehow to find a national narrative that is maybe embedded in-laws but articulate and various political narratives that speaks to people both sides of, because whatever the moral equivalence or lack of equivalence, you can a functioning society unless you're above a functioning democratic l