Friday, April 19, 2024

Rotten to the Core?

Author:  Francis Fukuyama

Affiliation:  The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University 

Organization/Publisher: Foreign Affairs

Date/Place:  January 18, 2021/USA

Type of Literature: Article

Word Count: 2008 


Keywords: Identity, American System, Democracy


The American identity crisis tops the writings of many American writers, as the writer begins his article by referencing his previous articles (published in 2014 and 2016) in which he mentioned the political decline that the US had then reached. Culminating in developments such as the January 6th attack on the US Capitol Building, two emerging phenomena have greatly exacerbated the situation. The development of new communication technologies has led to the disappearance of a common factual basis for democratic deliberation, and what were once political differences between the two parties have turned into divisions over cultural identity—and the rigidity of the system of government in the United States has appeared more evident and problematic. According to the writer’s opinion, they are differences that are not negotiable. The controls of the US political system are full of flaws that complicate the reform process, thus President-elect Joe Biden will need luck and skill to push even relatively unambitious legislation, such as a new stimulus package and infrastructure spending. Transformative structural changes envisioned in the reform package that Democrats in the House recently proposed will remain elusive for the most part. There has been talk of increasing authoritarian tendencies on the right, which certainly applies to Trump and many of his supporters. Solving this technology-induced problem will be one of the biggest challenges in the coming period. It was a fatal mistake that the state allowed these platforms to grow strong in the first place. The immeasurable deepening of the polarization in the country has led to a shift from debates over political issues to conflicts over identity. Tribalism appeared in the two parties, but to a lesser extent on the left. The United States is divided and preoccupied internally, which conflicts with its democratic principles. The level of challenge will determine the fate of American institutions – and most importantly, the American people. Where the country goes after Biden’s inauguration will ultimately have dire consequences for global democracy in the years to come.

By: Taqwa Abu Kmeil, CIGA Research Assistant



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