I think it’s a topic that deserves it’s place here at my blog as well, not least because I have something extra to add to blog author M.E.’s words on the subject. So I am shamelessly going to quote and copy a few lines, but as stated, I do so with the purpose of getting said what I think is a valid addition to M.E.’s words.
Here is some of the quoted text:
Without taking human behavior into account, “you misunderstand the nature of political institutions,” Dr. Fukuyama said in the interview at Johns Hopkins. Such behaviors, particularly the faculty for creating rules, are the basis for social institutions, even though the content of institutions is supplied by culture. Dr. Fukuyama sees the situation as similar to that of language, in which the genes generate the neural machinery for learning language but culture supplies the content.
Institutions, though cultural, can be very hard to change. The reason is that, once they are created, people start to invest them with intrinsic value, often religious. This process “probably had an evolutionary significance in stabilizing human societies,” Dr. Fukuyama said, since with an accepted set of rules a society didn’t have to fight everything out again every few years. The inertia of institutions explains why societies are usually so slow to change. Societies are not trapped by their past, but nor are they free in any given generation to remake themselves.
Quite a good topic you’ve chosen today, M.E., and I agree with your conclusion though I think there’s more to say about the issue:
Fukuyama-san is obviously an intelligent man. And it’s all true of course, though the inertia grows proportionally with the size of the society in question aka how numerous the species has become.
We’re at a state where inertia almost has become a force in and on itself, which we can see not only by the way mainstream keeps cutting off branches of individuality, of variety (first it was royalty and aristocracy, then it was religion, gods and all other entities – except for the occasional dead granma; by now we have only roughly three social levels, the merchants, the slaves and the beggars/criminals/i.e…
What used to be seen under some circumstances as a good and healthy rebellion is now merely Sociopathic. The fact that it’s not only the Psychopaths, but the whole bunch of Antisocial sub-groups that are in for scrutiny with the purpose of eradicating ANY form of stirring a wave in an otherwise motionless ocean shows clearly that even such natural phenomena as what Fukuyama describes when he says:
“the content of institutions is supplied by culture”,
“the situation is similar to that of language, in which the genes generate the neural machinery for learning language but culture supplies the content”
“The inertia of institutions explains why societies are usually so slow to change.”
May be the rule, but the exception speaks differently.
“Societies are not trapped by their past, but nor are they free in any given generation to remake themselves.”
Right, but now that we’re talking scientific basics to back up natural occurrences, we ought to keep in mind that what we’ve come to view as ‘rules’ and ‘dominant tendencies of nature’ (or however we choose to phrase it) is actually really itself an accidental diversion from the rule…
…The one real rule, if it is even sensible to speak about such a thing, would be that Chaos is the norm.
If you think that’s an outrageous statement, then take a look at how it is with fertilization.
It isn’t the rule for the egg to be incubated, that happens accidentally, and to this day man must still use trial and error and hope for the best – even the lab conceived life cannot be fully predicted and controlled.
Life has found a way of creating some form of stability, or Order, from chaos, but that is what we’re doing always: Creating some form of stability from the ever present chaos, and we have to work continually at maintaining and keeping it functional or chaos will take over again.
Order is not the rule or the natural state of things, though that seems to be the contemporary ideal that is sought achieved with such fanaticism.
The more we learn about empirical science, and the more we manage to create stability to an extent that allows us to overwhelm what might have been a fruitful chaos with a destructive status quo, the more frightened we become of every little sign that something isn’t stable.
In my personal opinion what we’re seeing and have been seeing for a very long time, is a form of psychosis that has taken over the Western Industrialized countries and societies. And the rest of the world is following rapidly.