David Lubkin wrote:
> I heard an hour-long radio interview this morning with Francis Fukayama, whose latest
> book, _The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstitution of Social Order_,
> sounds up our alley -- in the introduction, he credits Neal Stephenson, and on the air
> he talked about Hayek, spontaneous order, and evolutionary psychology.
> It's essentially a theoretical and practical framework for predicting social change, which
> sums down to "Human nature will win out." I haven't read the book yet, though, so the
> recommendation is tentative. He's a good enough speaker and he said enough of the
> right buzzwords for me to want to pick up a copy and check it out.
Hmm well based on the Amazon review below this guy sounds more like those people who were predicting fashion trends in the year 3000 :-) He seems to think that we are on the tail end of the big changes, rather than at the beginning.
Amazon.com Francis Fukuyama cements his reputation as a wide-ranging public intellectual with this big-think book on social order and human nature. Following his earlier successes (The End of History and the Last Man and Trust), Fukuyama argues that civilization is in the midst of a revolution on a par with hunter-gatherers learning how to farm or agricultural societies turning industrial. He finds much to celebrate in this cultural, economic, and technological transformation, but "with all the blessings that flow from a more complex, information-based economy, certain bad things also happened to our social and moral life." Individualism, for example, fuels innovation and prosperity, but has also "corroded virtually all forms of authority and weakened the bonds holding families, neighborhoods, and nations together." Yet this is not a pessimistic book: "Social order, once disrupted, tends to get remade again" because humans are built for life in a civilsociety governed by moral rules.
We're on the tail end of the "great disruption," says Fukuyama, and signs suggest a coming era of much-needed social reordering. He handles complex ideas from diverse fields with ease (this is certainly the first book whose acknowledgments thank both science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson and social critic James Q. Wilson), and he writes with laser-sharp clarity. Fans of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel and David Landes's The Wealth and Poverty of Nations will appreciate The Great Disruption, as will just about any reader curious about what the new millennium may bring. This is simply one of the best nonfiction books of1999. --John J. Miller
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