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eBook Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution ePub

eBook Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution ePub

by Francis Fukuyama

  • ISBN: 1846682568
  • Category: Politics and Government
  • Subcategory: Politics
  • Author: Francis Fukuyama
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Profile Books(GB); Main edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Pages: 608
  • ePub book: 1833 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1576 kb
  • Other: azw lit txt doc
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 754


This book begins in pre-human times in the state of nature and uses biological and anthropological insights to explain the beginnings of political development.

This is the first of two books which covers the history of building of the state. This book begins in pre-human times in the state of nature and uses biological and anthropological insights to explain the beginnings of political development.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you. ― Rumi. The Conscious Parent: Transforming Ourselves, Empowering Our Children. 55 MB·101,355 Downloads. The Conscious Parent - Dr Shefali Tsabary. pdf The Conscious Parent.

It uses a comparative political history to develop a theory of the stability of a political system. This book goes from its origins to the French Revolution.

This book starts with the very beginning of mankind and comes right up to the eve of the French and American revolutions, spanning such diverse disciplines as economics, anthropology and geography.

Francis Fukuyama traces the slow and uneven emergence of three institutions which he believes boosted the . Fukuyama develops his argument with respect to the history of China, India and the Middle East before focusing on Europe.

Despite his conservative credentials, this does not involve the conventional Anglo-American story from Plato to Nato, by way of Magna Carta and the American Revolution. When Europe claims a central role, Spain and Russia are considered side by side with Britain and France.

Francis Fukuyama, author of the bestselling The End of History and the Last Man . eve of the French Revolution

eve of the French Revolution

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In discussing the origins of The Origins, Fukuyama is being modest, if not disingenuous.

This is Francis Fukuyama's most important book since the pathbreaking "End of History". Nations are not trapped by their pasts, but events that happened hundreds or even thousands of years ago continue to exert huge influence on present-day politics. If we are to understand the politics that we now take for granted, we need to understand its origins. Francis Fukuyama examines the paths that different societies have taken to reach their current forms of political order. This book starts with the very beginning of mankind and comes right up to the eve of the French and American revolutions, spanning such diverse disciplines as economics, anthropology and geography. "The Origins of Political Order" is a magisterial study on the emergence of mankind as a political animal, by one of the most eminent political thinkers writing today.


Jediathain Jediathain
I have just finished reading The Origins of Political Order by Francis Fukuyama. This is the first of two books which covers the history of building of the state. The second book was recommended to me by one of my former students and I thank him for doing this. Finding that he was recommending the second book, I decided to read the first book first. After reading the first book, I am looking forward to the second book which I own but haven't read yet.

I am convinced by Dr. Fukuyama's arguments that good modern governments need the rule of law, accountability to its citizens and a strong state to be successful.

If a citizen is serious about their country, they should know why it is the way it is, why it it is legitimate (or illegitimate,) and the possible modes of decay. Dr. Fukuyama has presented several models based on history and philosophy. His arguments are convincing.

The future is not necessarily hopeful. As he adequately expresses, "The United States seems increasingly caught in a dysfunctional political equilibrium, wherein everyone agrees on the necessity of addressing long-term fiscal issues, but powerful interest groups can block the spending cuts or tax increases necessary to close the gap."

As a Conservative, I see that this is a correct analysis of the situation we find ourselves in today. Dr. Fukuyama shows that extreme conservatism (extreme by my standards of conservatism) results in institutions that can no longer adequately function. He credits this more than any other factor as the reason why states fail. And I think he is right: people receiving the benefits of an institution prevent it from being changed.

Furthermore, these institutions grow and require more and more resources (read TAXES,) eventually these institutions grow so big and are so dysfunctional, they kill the state that created them. Furthermore, the interests of the particular institutions grow so dependent on the institutions that they will protect these institutions even if it it means neglecting the protection of the overall state. This has happened in both Hungary and France.

This is not the Conservatism espoused Buckley and Hayek, but is a form of conservatism that is known by other names. Dr. Fukuyama has been referred to as a neoconservative by others in his outlook but, he, himself disputes this. The reader of this book needs to understand this. When conservatism is a maintenance of institutions that have lost their ability to efficiently serve the purposes that they were created for, then it is necessarily wrong and does not in general represent modern Conservatism. I regret that Dr. Fukuyama used this term as it will confuse those who can not distinguish the difference. Unfortunately, many will read this book and improperly infer the wrong conclusion.

However, Dr. Fukuyama's analysis of history and the formation of of the political states rings with truth. His thesis is largely that an effective modern government needs a balance between the rule of law, accountability, external family/tribal social mobilization and a strong state.

He dismisses Marx and Hobbes for assuming facts not in in evidence. Dr. Fukuyama fundamentally believes that man is a social animal and has never lived without a social structure of man's own making. First that social structure was family and then it developed into a tribe as being more efficient to meet man's needs. As the need for defense from other tribes grew, it required state-like organizations to survive. As man became increasingly agrarian, the efficiency of food supply offered by farming required property rights that needed protection. The development of religion influenced what people thought about laws, morals and legitimacy. Ultimately, it affected how states formed.

This was not a linear process as Marx professed but a process where cultures differed and where reversion to earlier conditions often occurred. In many cases the conditions for a modern state did not exist until late. In some cases, it is still developing. The natural state of man favored family so often early development of states reverted back to patrimonialism. And where modern states did develop, the paths were variable depending on the geography including religion and history of the region.

But states that succeeded overcame this through various supporting mechanisms including religious supports, legal supports and the involvement of nonruling classes in government have come to some successful institutions that have endured. There were very different ways of achieving a modern government. He only touches briefly on recent developments. This he is reserving for the second book. But he has built a great foundation for further discussion.

In general I agree with Dr. Fukuyama and look forward to reading the second book.
Gorisar Gorisar
“The Origins of Political Order” is the first book in a two-part series by Fukuyama about the rise of the state. This book begins in pre-human times in the “state of nature” and uses biological and anthropological insights to explain the beginnings of political development. Fukuyama shows how the band evolves into the tribe, which becomes the chiefdom and then the state; at the same time, religion evolves from shamanism to ancestor worship, polytheism and monotheism, with increasing complexity and stratification to reflect the underlying changing political order. With regard to Europe, Fukuyama traces the different directions taken by England, Hungary, France, Spain and Russia in the development of the state, rule of law and accountable government. There are also chapters on China, India and the Ottoman state, which can be read or omitted based on the reader’s interests.

The first volume ends with the American and French revolutions. The second volume, which I have not yet read, promises to describe political development subsequent to the Industrial Revolution. “The Origins of Political Order” is suitable for a general reader who has a solid grasp of Western history, but I do stress that one must already know their history. For me, it was a pleasure to read and I found it very insightful. I enjoyed the multidisciplinary approach and the quality of the writing. The book is very helpful in thinking critically about how and why the political institutions of the West developed as they did.
Bele Bele
I read this book after getting through Matt Ridley's "The Rational Optimist." I thoroughly enjoyed Ridley's book but was skeptical about his single-minded emphasis on evolutionary bottom-up processes (a free market of ideas) as drivers of political development/order. Whereas Ridley almost always sees top-down governmental action as an impediment to development--something that stifles the naturalistic order produced by free market exchanges--Fukuyama takes a more even-handed, multi-dimensional and one might argue, accurate approach.

Fukuyama ascribes the development of political order to the rise of governmental accountability, the rule of law, and a centralized, impersonal state/bureaucracy. To defend this premise, he tackles some of the simplifications offered by Enlightenment thinkers, Marxists and free-marketers/libertarians. For one, he shows how Enlightenment thinkers got the 'state of nature' wrong: humans evolved to hunt and gather in groups--there never was a time when individuals acted as free-agents who, in their rational self-interest, came to establish a 'social contract' wherein they would give up some liberty in order to provide for the common security (government). Instead, there was an ongoing interplay between an emergent market morality (provided by tit-for-tat exchanges), the need to wage war, and ideas (religion, ideology & normative beliefs regarding the law) that together have tended to promote the development of political order in societies. And political development, rather than being a constant progression toward some liberal-democratic or Marxist-utopian goal, is fragile and just as likely to decay as it is to progress. Furthermore, Fukuyama explains why it is futile to try to radically impose a new social order on a state (evidenced by the excesses of the French Revolution and failures of collectivist farming reform in communist societies); and also, why one cannot count on limited governments and free markets to produce political development.

Fukuyama does not offer any simple causes or solutions to the problems of political development in this volume--and that's a good thing. Polemical condemnations of American imperialism, authoritarianism, and centralized government are, thankfully, nowhere to be found. Instead, some of the major contributors of political decay/disorder are described as patrimonialism (nepotism), a lack of social unity (collective exploitation by any one group), "collective action problems" (whereby individuals interests benefit from a suboptimal order) and a lack of faith in the law. The author does not expound democratic models over authoritarian models of development; nor does he consider economic development to be contingent on the rise of democratic institutions. He discusses the deficiencies of weak (inability to act decisively & tackle entrenched interests) and strong governments (potential for abuse of power). Furthermore, he provides evidence against the cynic's view that governments and political actors alway seek to maximize their 'rational self-interests'--desire for recognition, institutional conservatism, and ideas being curbing factors. In all, I would say his treatment of the subject is even-handed, thorough and copiously defended with examples from across time and regions.

Fukuyama has called this book the primer that he wished he'd had as an undergrad student in political science. His style of writing is direct and well-organized. Fukuyama provides enough background information to make his discussions of most concepts and various instances of political development across regions and time comprehensible, but I still found myself getting a bit lost at times. Thankfully, he summarizes his points often and at the end of chapters. If I had to critique this book as a primer for undergrads, I'd say that perhaps it might be a bit too heavy-duty in the length and the number of examples provided by Fukuyama to make his points. However, this book is immense in scope and scale, well-reasoned and dispels a number of misconceptions starting political science students might have or might develop over time--making it invaluable to serious students. And, then again, what are professors for if not to challenge their students with "impossible" readings and then help make the difficult points understandable?