Francis Fukuyama: biography, photos and interesting facts
Francis Fukuyama is an American philosopher, writer and political analyst of Japanese origin, best known for his belief that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War was the last ideological step in human history. He is associated with the rise of the neoconservative movement, from which he later distanced himself.
Francis Fukuyama: a biography (brief)
Born in Chicago in 1952 in a family of scientists. His maternal grandfather founded the economics department of the University of Kyoto and was part of the Japanese generation, which, before World War I, went to Germany for education. A byproduct of this was that Fukuyama inherited the first edition of Marx's Capital. Since his mother was brought up in the Western spirit, and his father was a sociologist and Protestant preacher, Francis did not learn Japanese as a child and did not even see many Japanese.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, his paternal grandfather was forced to sell his business for a pittance and move from Los Angeles to Colorado to an internment camp. Fukuyama's father escaped the conclusion by receiving a scholarship to study at the University of Nebraska. Then he moved to the University of Chicago, where he met his future wife. Francis Fukuyama (date of birth - 10.27.52) was their only child, and soon after his birth the family moved to Manhattan, where he was brought up.
According to the American philosopher, the father’s work in the Congregational Church, “the old Protestant trend, very leftist,” was a source of friction between them. “This kind of Protestantism is almost not a religion. And although his father was in a certain sense religious, he looked down on fundamentalists and people with a more direct form of spirituality for most of his life. For him, religion was a means of social activity and politics. ” Fukuyama and his wife, Laura, began attending the Presbyterian Church, but he does not show activity and is rather an agnostic, since it is difficult for the believer to present himself.
Student of allan bloom
In 1970, he went to Cornell University to read the classics. For this, he learned Attic Greek, as well as French, Russian and Latin - even then he was a conservative. At Cornell, he entered the orbit of Professor Allan Bloom, who wrote a conservative bestseller of the 1980s on the theme of moral relativism, The Closing Of The American Mind, and posthumously became the hero of Saullow's novel "Ravelstein".
Francis Fukuyama appeared at the university immediately after student protests blocked the work of this educational institution. “On the cover of Time magazine they were in ammunition. It was a terrible sight, because basically the entire university administration capitulated to them, recognizing that it was a racist institution without academic freedom. Bloom was part of a group of teachers who were outraged by this and left Cornell, but he owed one semester, which I took. ” According to Fukuyama, the first half of Bellow's novel very well describes how he was a charismatic teacher. It was then that manifested his interest in human nature. It was Bloom who translated Kogev's works into English, and in 1989 Bloom invited Fukuyama to give a lecture “The End of History” in Chicago.
From literature to politics
After enrolling in graduate school to study comparative literature at Yale University, he spent six months in Paris under the wing of the high priests of the deconstruction of Roland Barth and Jacques Derrida. Francis Fukuyama, whose biography after that acquired a completely different vector, now believes that in his youth he often takes complexity for depth, because there is no courage to call it nonsense.
In Paris, he wrote a novel, which remained in the box.
Upon returning to Harvard, to complete the course, Fukuyama was so disappointed that he changed his specialization to political science. According to him, as if a huge burden had fallen from his shoulders. He experienced tremendous relief by moving from these academic and abstract ideas to the concrete and real problems of Middle Eastern politics, arms control, etc.
The philosopher Francis Fukuyama: the biography of a political scientist
He completed his dissertation on the Soviet threat in the Middle East and in 1979 began collaborating with the RAND Corporation, a huge social and political organization based in Santa Monica. Fukuyama is still associated with it. He also traveled to California, where he met his wife, Laura Holmgren, while a graduate student at the University of California.They live near Washington and have three children, Julia, David and John.
RAND President and CEO James Thomson remembers Fukuyama as a person who touched on topics that others did not even think about. For example, he did a great job on the project of the Pacific strategy of the Air Force. Fukuyama said that no one wanted to hear, skillfully forced to listen to him and take the rationale. If he wanted, he could fulfill more and more responsible roles, but he did not want to give up the freedom of intellectual pursuits.
This freedom was the reason why he never sought to take an elected office. According to Fukuyama, despite his strong understanding of politics, especially foreign, there are too many handshakes and kissing children. And everything needs to be greatly simplified. He would never be happy to say the necessary things for the election. Despite his admiration for Ronald Reagan, his simplifications were unpleasant in the 1980s to Fukuyama. According to him, the manner of the president to go straight and made him so great. It is hard not to admit that he presented a set of interrelated ideas that changed the landscape of a whole generation.
While working at the State Department in the Reagan and Bush administrations, Francis Fukuyama became close to many influential people. The hard-liner Paul Wolfowitz, who later became Deputy Secretary of Defense, invited Francis to join his team as responsible for planning the Reagan policy in 1981. Fukuyama had known the national security adviser Condoleezza Rice since college. According to him, every day he was glad that he was not in the place of those who should make such decisions.
In those days, the work of Fukuyama was vital and dealt with key geopolitical issues of the day. His first reports to RAND dealt with security issues affecting Iraq, Afghanistan, and later Iran. He also wrote influential work on Pakistan immediately after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He recalls how a 28-year-old green graduate from graduate school was in contact with the ISI’s odious Pakistani intelligence service. “Nobody knew anything about the Mujahideen, and I spent two weeks getting information. I came to the conclusion that the Mujahideen should be supported, and in order to do this, the Pakistani military should be armed.When I started working at the State Department, the next thing the Reagan administration did was to send several F16s to Pakistan. I had nothing to do with this decision, although I supported it, but it made me one of the most unpopular people in the Indian subcontinent, and for the next six months I was regularly vilified in the Indian press as an organizer. ”
At the peak of influence: interesting facts
During the first two years in the government, a political scientist was part of the American delegation at the Egyptian-Israeli negotiations on the autonomy of Palestine. He then returned to RAND, but after George Bush was elected in 1988, Francis Fukuyama was again appointed to the Department of State as Deputy Director of the Strategic Planning Division with Secretary of State James Baker. This was the period when he earned himself a reputation. His political recommendations best suited to the rapidly changing world order. In early May 1989, he wrote an Office Note to Baker to consider the unification of Germany, although before the end of October, one month before the fall of the Berlin Wall, German State Department officials said that this would never happen during their lifetime.Then he was the first to suggest planning the termination of the Warsaw Pact, which was again perceived with mistrust by career Sovietologists.
According to Fukuyama, he predicted events in about half a year. The rapid melting of the Soviet glacier was becoming increasingly apparent. Usually, governments are faced with too slow developments, but then the problem was that people did not want to change. The retrogrades said that the communists were reforming, but they were swept away. Then they argued that what happened in Hungary would never happen in East Germany, and they were again wrong.
Fukuyama's first major work, The End of History and the Last Man (1992), gained international recognition both among the world community and among scholars. In 1989, when communism collapsed in Eastern Europe, the political scientist argued that Western liberal democracy not only won the Cold War, but for many years became the last ideological stage. The ideas expressed by Francis Fukuyama, the books of the philosopher of the following years, develop and supplement. The work “Trust: social virtues and the path to prosperity” (1995) became popular in the business environment,and The Great Gap: Human Nature and the Formation of Social Order (1999) is a conservative view of American society in the second half of the 20th century. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, critics of his theses argued that the hegemony of the West was threatened by Islamic fundamentalism. The American philosopher rejected them, calling the attacks part of a "series of rearguard battles" against, in his opinion, the current political philosophy of the new globalism.
In 2001, Francis Fukuyama began teaching at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington. He soon published a book, Our Post-Human Future: Implications of the Biotechnological Revolution (2002), in which he considers the potential role of biotechnology in human development. The work reveals the dangers of the possibility of choosing human qualities, increasing life expectancy and dependence on psychotropic drugs. As a member of the presidential council on bioethics (2001–2005), Fukuyama advocated strict regulation of genetic engineering. He later wrote the book State: Governance and the World Order in the 21st Century (2004), in which he discusses how young democracies can succeed.
Moving away from neoconservatism
Long considered one of the main neoconservatives, the philosopher Francis Fukuyama distanced himself from this political movement. He also opposed the US invasion of Iraq, although initially supported this war. In the book America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Heritage (2006), he criticized the neoconservatives, President George W. Bush, and the policies of his administration after the September 11 attacks.