Free Minds & Free Markets

Francis Fukuyama Says Identity Politics Are Killing America and Empowering Donald Trump: Podcast

Since the publication of his 1989 essay "The End of History?," no political scientist has been more influential in discussions of global democracy than Francis Fukuyama. In the years since then, the Stanford professor has authored a shelf full of prescient and commanding texts, including The End of History and the Last Man, Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creaton of Prosperity, and Our Post-Human Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. (In 2002, he debated biophysicist Gregory Stock in the pages at Reason on the advisability of human cloning; read their exchange here and here.)

Once a neoconservative who staunchly believed in military intervention and nation building, Fukuyama has been chastened by the failure of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 and has renounced his early support for the invasion and occupation in Iraq. In his new book Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, he argues that the rise of populism, nationalism, and grievance cultures based on racial, ethnic, and gender identity both here and abroad are undermining the basis of liberal democracy and threaten economic prosperity and peace. "Every single one of these struggles is justified," Fukuyama told The Chronicle of Higher Education recently. "The problem is in the way we interpret injustice and how we try to solve it, which tends to fragment society."

I spoke with Fukuyama about Identity, whether it's possible to create a national identity that is capable of bringing Americans of all sorts together without becoming oppressive and stultifying, and why he believes that a Democratic win in the midterm elections is essential to checking what he sees as the authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump.

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  • ||

    "...what he sees as the authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump."

    Did the good man think this of Obama?

    Asking for a friend.

  • ||

    Lol. Okay. Obama never acted like a petty tyrant. Right.

    Always remember. This was a guy who told YOU at some point you made enough money but he never asked that of HIMSELF.

    To me, that's every bit authoritarian as any of his dubious EO measures, his attack of Libya without Congress or his unratified Paris treaty.

    /throws pigeon bread at Palin's feet.

    Now eat.

  • GoatOnABoat||

    And don't forget Obama's overreach and interference into local issues totally outside of constitutional authority of the president.

  • Rockabilly||

    His Royal Lordship Bark Obama, Lord of the Drones and Keeper of the Eternal Secret Kill List is without fault and so pure, one can not even look at Him because of the Pure Light that Radiates from His Eternal Holiness and Enlightenment !!!

  • Rockabilly||

    End all foreign aid and put the entire UN on a barge and point it toward the middle east !!!

  • SIV||

    President Trump is more likely to rid us of extremist identity politics that anything Professor Fukyumamma could write.

  • loveconstitution1789||


  • Dillinger||

    >>>grievance cultures based on racial, ethnic, and gender identity

    the T vote was the true Bennetton ad. people ignored forced identity politics.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    I never understood why anyone took The End of History? seriously to start with. Been a long time since then, I forget almost everything about it, but the very title sounds like one of the click-bait question headlines whose answer is invariably NO. I do remember trying to understand what he said and giving up as it seemed so silly that there was no point in spending any more time on it.

    I've spent more time on this comment than I will on this podcast.

  • librich||

    Fukuyama is always ten steps behind. What he doesn't realize about the current rise of populism is that, in addition to its support for identity politics, it is also the first real challenge to the Woodrow Wilson sickness that has strangled America for over a century. As much as a boob as Trump is, for the first time in a hundred years, we have a President who is deriding the assumption that it is America's job to save the world. Trump wants to know why we have 28,000 soldiers in South Korea when America's highways are falling apart. When the boob is long gone, people will look back on some of his populist views and see them as insightful.

  • Mark Question||


    You just outed yourself as a leftist by calling Trump a boob.

    Fukiyama is a leftist, too, incidentally. How dare he trash identity politics! Identity politics will save us from the Marxist tyrants (well, white identity politics, anyway)

  • King's Ransom||

    I'll agree that identity politics are empowering DT. I would submit that they are actually largely responsible for his presidency. The identity politics strategy of the political left has led to the election of DT. Congratulations dipshits...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Figures this guy is against Trump. Trump has not escalated US foreign interventions to anything close to Booosh and Obama. Reagan and Bush either.

    I wish Trump would simply just leave all foreign locations but he is clearly trying a depart with honor strategy.

  • King's Ransom||

    "Authoritarian tendencies of Donald Trump"


  • buybuydandavis||

    " he argues that the rise of populism, nationalism, and grievance cultures based on racial, ethnic, and gender identity both here and abroad are undermining the basis of liberal democracy and threaten economic prosperity and peace."

    Nationalist populism *is* liberal democracy.
    Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

    Globalist progressivism is government of, by, and for government.


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