The Post-World War II Era in a Nutshell?

The following is a tale created by excerpts from Samuel P Huntington’s Political Order in Changing Societies from 1968 with my comments in brackets:

The most important political distinction among countries concerns not their form of government but their degree of government. The differences between democracy and dictatorship are less than the differences between those countries whose politics embodies consensus, community, legitimacy, organization, effectiveness, stability, and those countries whose politics is different in these qualities.

The US, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union have different forms of government, but in all systems the government governs. [Fukuyama did not like this one]

I do know, Walter Lippman has observed, that there is no greater necessity for men who live in communities than that they be governed, self-governed if possible, well governed if they are fortunate, but in any event, governed.

In politics, as in economics, the gap between developed political systems and underdeveloped political systems, between civic polities and corrupt polities, has broadened.

During the 1950s and 1960s the numerical incidence of political violence and disorder increased dramatically in most countries of the world. This was due to rapid social change and the rapid mobilization of new groups into politics coupled with the slow development of political institutions.

The equality of political participation is growing much more rapidly that the art of associating together. Social and economic change—urbanization, increases in literacy and education, industrialization, mass media expansion—extend political consciousness, multiply political demands, broaden political participation. The primary problem of politics is the lag in the development of political institutions behind social and economic change.

[Huntington’s book came out 1968 as governments started to apply the technology. The democratic wave he then observed was probably due to this application where political institutions where suppressed rather than extended in scope. We might be in a phase where this suppression is giving in and the social and economic development have ran ahead of the suppressed new-speak political development. It went well in the Age of Transformation and Optimism but now in the Age of Anxiety we will be governed by people that never knew how “normal” life was—the driven people. Has the psychology of man changed with the technology use?]

In American thinking, the causal chain was: economic assistance promotes economic development, economic development promotes political stability. However, economic development and political stability are two independent goals and progress toward one has no necessary connection with progress toward the other.

A second reason for American indifference to political development was the absence in the American historical experience of the need to found a political order. This gap in historical experience made them particularly blind to the problems of creating effective authority in modernizing countries.

Madison warned in The Federalist No 51: the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. The primary problem is not liberty but the creation of a legitimate public order. Authority has to exist before it can be limited, and it is authority that is in scarce supply in those modernizing countries where government is at the mercy of alienated intellectuals, rambunctious colonels, and rioting students.

[The development of social and political order decreased severely with the introduction of technology governance. Development was frozen in time. The worst example was perhaps Libya. In developed countries where the political order was established we found a different development post-1968. However, was the fall of the Soviet Union due to a technology –induced crash? Is the polarization seen in the US right now due to larger hostility between systems of people due to the technology? In my experience people in systems have reverted to clannish behavior. It is on/off behavior.]

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