Mid Term: POLS 446A SPR 18:

All answers should be based upon the readings and lectures to date.

The nations of Kurds and Palestinians are both stateless whereas the Jewish nation has achieved Statehood. Compare and contrast the three different groups from a historic, linguistic, ethnic, geographic, religious, economic and political aspect. Make sure to discuss colonialization, nationalism, modernity and particularly the role of neighboring states. Analyze and assess the current political position the three different nations find themselves in and the probable paths forward (Statehood or dissolution of Statehood) utilizing the two main theoretical models of liberalism and realism.


The End of History

The End of History? The National Interest, Summer 1989

Francis Fukuyama

Francis Fukuyama is deputy director of the State Department’s policy planning staff and former analyst at the RAND Corporation. This article is based on a lecture presented at the University of Chicago’s John M. Olin Center and to Nathan Tarcov and Allan Bloom for their support in this and many earlier endeavours. The opinions expresses in this article do not reflect those of the RAND Corporation or of any agency of the U.S. government.

In watching the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history. The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the Cold War, and the fact that “peace” seems to be breaking out in many regions of the world. Most of these analyses lack any larger conceptual framework for distinguishing between what is essential and what is contingent or accidental in world history, and are predictably superficial. If Mr. Gorbachev were ousted from the Kremlin or a new Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium for a desolate Middle Eastern capital, these same commentators would scramble to announce the rebirth of a new era of conflict.

And yet, all of these people sense dimly that there is some larger process at work, a process that gives coherence and order to the daily headlines. the twentieth century saw the developed world descend into a paroxysm of ideological violence, as liberalism contended first with the remnants of absolutism, then bolshevism and fascism, and finally an updated Marxism that threatened to lead to the ultimate apocalypse of nuclear war. But the century that began full of self-confidence in the ultimate triumph of Western liberal democracy seems at its close to be returning full circle to where it started: no to an “end of ideology” or a convergence between capitalism and socialism, as earlier predicted, but to an unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.

The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism. In the past decade, there have been unmistakable changes in the intellectual climate of the world’s tow largest communist countries, and the beginnings of significant reform movements in both. But this phenomenon extends beyond high politics and it can be seen also in the ineluctable spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse contexts as the peasants’ markets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past year in Moscow, the Beethoven piped into Japanese department stores, and the rock music enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and Tehran.

What we may be witnessing in not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. This is not to say that there will no longer be events to fill the pages of Foreign Affairs’s yearly summaries of international relations, for the victory of liberalism has occurred primarily in the realm of ideas or consciousness and is as yet incomplete in the real or material world. But there are powerful reasons for

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believing that it is the ideal that will govern the material world in the long run. To understand how this is so, we must first consider some theoretical issues concerning the nature of historical change.


The notion of the end of history is not an original one. Its best known propagator was Karl Marx, who believed that the direction of historical development was a purposeful one determined by the interplay of material forces, and would come to an end only with the achievement of a communist utopia that would finally resolve all prior contradictions. But the concept of history as a dialectical process with a beginning, a middle, and an end was borrowed by Marx from his great German predecessor Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

For better or worse, much of Hegel’s historicism has become part of our contemporary intellectual baggage. The notion that mankind has progresses through a series of primitive stages of consciousness on his path to the present, and that these stages corresponded to concrete forms of social organization, such as tribal, slave owning, theocratic, and finally democratic egalitarian societies, has become inseparable form the modern understanding of man. Hegel was the first philosopher to speak the language of modern social science, insofar as man for him was the product of his concrete historical and social environment and not, as earlier natural right theorists would have it, a collection of more or less fixed “natual” attributes. The mastery and transformation of man’s natural environment through the application of science and technology was originally not a Marxist concept, but a Hegelian one. Unlike later historicists whose historical relativism degenerated into relativism tout court, however, Hegel believed that history culminated in an absolute moment — a moment in which a final, rational form of society and state became victorious.

It is Hegel’s misfortune to be known now primarily as Marx’s precursor, and it is our misfortune that few of us are familiar with Hegel’s work from direct study, but only as it has been filtered through the distorting lens of Marxism. In France, however, there has been an effort to save Hegel from his Marxist interpreters and to resurrect him as the philosopher who most correctly speaks to our time. Among those modern French interpreters of Hegel, the greatest was certainly Alexandre Kojeve, a brilliant Russian emigre who taught a highly influential series of seminars in Paris in the 1930’s at the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes.1 While largely unknown in the United States, Kojeve had a major impact on the intellectual life of the continent. Among his students ranged such future luminaries as Jean-Paul Sartre on the Left and Raymond Aron on the Right; post war existentialism borrowed many of its basic categories from Hegel via Kojeve.

Kojeve sought to resurrect the Hegel of the Phenomenology of Mind, the Hegel who proclaimed history to be at an end in 1806. For as early as this Hegel saw in Napoleon’s defeat of the Prussian monarchy at the Battle of Jena the victory of the ideals of the French Revolution, and the imminent universalization of the state incorporating the principles of liberty and equality. Kojeve, far from rejecting Hegel in light of the turbulent events of the next century and a half, insisted that the latter had been essentially correct.2 The Battle of Jena marked the end of history because it was at that point that the vanguard of humanity

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(a term quite familiar to Marxists) actualized the principles of the French Revolution. While there was considerable work to be done after 1806 — abolishing slavery and the slave trade, extending the franchise to workers, women, blacks, and other racial minorities, etc. — the basic principles of the liberal democratic state could not be improved upon. The tow world wars in this century and their attendant revolutions and upheavals simply had the effect of extending those principles spatially, such that the various provinces of human civilization were brought up to the level of its most advanced outposts, and of forcing those societies in Europe and North America at the va nguard of civilization to implement their liberalism more fully.

The state that emerges at the end of history is liberal insofar as it recognize and protects through a system of law man’s universal right to freedom, and democratic insofar as it exists only with the consent of the governed. For Kojeve, this so-called “universal homogenous state” found real-life embodiment in the countries of postwar Western Europe — precisely those flabby, prosperous, self-satisfied, inward- looking, weak-willed states whose grandest project was nothing more heroic than the creation of the Common Market.3 But this was only to be expected. For human history and the conflict that characterized it was based on the existence of “contradictions”: primitive man’s quest for mutual recognition, the dialectic of the master and slave, the transformation and mastery of nature, the struggle fo the universal recognition of rights, and the dichotomy between proletarian and capitalist. But in the universal homogenous state, all prior contradictions are resolved and al human needs are satisfied. There is no struggle or conflict over “large” issues, and consequently no need for generals or statesmen; what remains is primarily economic activity. And indeed, Kojeve’s life was consistent with his teaching. Believing that there was no more work for philosophers as well, since Hegel (correctly understood) had already achieved absolute knowledge, Kojeve left teaching after the war and spent the remainder of his life working as a bureaucrat in the European Economic Community, until his death in 1968.

To his contemporaries at mid-century, Kojeve’s proclamation of the end of history must have seemed like the typical eccentric solipsism of a French intellectual, coming as it did on the heels of World War II and at the very height of the Cold War. To comprehend how Kojeve could have been so audacious as to assert that history has ended, we must first of all understand their meaning of Hegelian idealism.


For Hegel, the contradictions that drive history exist first of all in the realm of human consciousness, i.e. on he level of ideas4 — not the trivial election year proposals of American politicians, but ideas in the sense of large unifying world views that might best be understood under the rubric of ideology. Ideology in this sense is not restricted to the secular and explicit political doctrines we usually associate with the term, but can include religion, culture, and the complex of moral values underlying any society as well.

Hegel’s view of the relationship between the ideal and the real or material worlds was an extremely complicated one, beginning with the fact that for him the distinction between the two was only apparent.5 He did not believe that the real world conformed or could be made to conform to ideological preconceptions of philosophy professors in any simpleminded way, or that the “material” world could

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not impinge on the ideal. Indeed, Hegel the professor was temporarily thrown out of work as a result of a very material event, the Battle of Jena. But while Hegel’s writing and thinking could be stopped by a bullet form the material world, the hand on the trigger of the gun was motivated in turn by the ideas of liberty and equality that had driven the French Revolution.

For Hegel, all human behavior in the material world, and hence all human history, is rooted in a prior state of consciousness — an idea similar to the new expressed by John Maynard Keynes when he said that the views of men of affairs were usually derived from defunct economists and academic scribblers of earlier generations. This consciousness may not be explicit and self-aware, as are modern political doctrines, but may rather take the form of religion or simple cultural or moral habits. And yet this realm of consciousness in the long run necessarily becomes manifest in the material world, indeed creates the material world in its own image. Consciousness is causes and not effect, and can develop autonomously from the material world, hence the real subtext underlying the apparent jumble of current events is the history of ideology.

Hegel’s idealism has fared poorly at the hands of later thinkers. Marx revered the priority of the real and the ideal completely, relegating the entire realm of consciousness — religion, art, culture, philosophy itself — to a “superstructure” that was determined entirely by the prevailing material mode of production. Yet another unfortunate legacy of Marxism is our tendency to retreat into materialists or utilitarian explanations of political or historical phenomena, and our disinclination to believe in the autonomous power of ideas. A recent example of this is Paul Kennedy’s hugely successful The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which ascribes the decline of great powers to simple economic over extension. Obviously, this is true on some level: an empire whose economy is barely above the level of subsistence cannot bankrupt its treasury indefinitely. But whether a highly productive modern industrial society chooses to spend 3 or 7 percent of its GNP on defence rather than consumption is entirely a matter of that society’s political priorities, which are in turn determined in the realm of consciousness.

The materialist bias of modern thought is characteristic not only of people on the Left who may be sympathetic to Marxism, but of many passionate anti-Marxists as well. Indeed, there is on the right what one might label the Wall Street Journal school of deterministic materialism that discounts the importance of ideology and culture and sees man as essentially a rational, profit-maximizing individual. It is precisely this kind of individual and his pursuit of material incentives that is posited as the basis for economic life as such in economic textbooks.6 One small example will illustrate the problematic character of such materialist views.

Max Weber begins his famous book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by noting the different economic performance of Protestant and Catholic communities throughout Europe and America, summed up in the proverb that Protestants eat well while Catholics sleep well. Weber notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a rational profit-maximizer, raising the piece- work rate should increase labor productivity. But in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising the piece-work rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering labor productivity: at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and one-half marks per day found he could earn the same amount by working less, and did so because he valued leisure more than income. The choices of leisure

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over income, or of the militaristic life of the Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot possibly be explained by the impersonal working of material forces, but come preeminently out of the sphere of consciousness — what we have labeled here broadly as ideology. And indeed, a central theme of Weber’s work was to prove that contrary to Marx, the material mode of production, far from being the “base”, was itself a “superstructure” with roots in religion and culture, and that to understand the emergence of modern capitalism and the profit motive one had to study their antecedents in the realm of the spirit.

As we look around the contemporary world, the poverty of materialist theories of economic development is all too apparent. The Wall Street Journal school of deterministic materialism habi tually points to the stunning economic success of Asia in the past few decades as evidence of the viability of free market economics, with the implication that all societies would see similar development were they simply to allow their populations to pursue their material self-interest freely. Surely free markets and stable political systems are a necessary precondition to capitalist economic growth. But just as surely the cultural heritage of those Far Eastern societies, the ethic of work and saving and family, a religious heritage that does not, like Islam, place restrictions on certain forms of economic behavior, and other deeply ingrained moral qualities, are equally important in explaining their economic performace.7 And yet the intellectual weight of materialism is such that not a single respectable contemporary theory of economic development addresses consciousness and culture seriously as the matrix within which economic behavior is formed.

Failure to understand that the roots of economic behavior lie in the realm of consciousness and culture leads to the common mistake of attributing material causes to phenomena that are essentially ideal in nature. For example, it is commonplace in the West to interpret the reform movements first in China and most recently in the Soviet Union as the victory of the material over the ideal — that is, a recognition that ideological incentives could not replace material ones in stimulation a highly productive modern economy, and that if one wanted to prosper one had to appeal to baser forms of self-interest. But the deep defects of socialist economies were evident thirty or forty years ago to anyone who chose to look. Why was it that these countries moved away from central palnning in the 1980’s? The answer must be found in the consciousness of the elites and leaders ruling them, who decided to opt for the “Protestant” life of wealth and risk over the “Catholic” path of poverty and security.8 That change was in no way made inevitable by the material condition was in which either country found itself on the eve of the reform, but instead came about as the result of the victory of one idea over another.9

For Kojeve, as for all good Hegelians, understanding the underlying processes of history requires understanding developments in the realm of consciousness or ideas, since consciousness will ultimately remake the material world in its own image. To say that history ended in 1806 meant that mankind’s ideological evolution ended in the ideals of the French or American Revolutions: while particular regimes in the real world might not implement these ideals fully, their theoretical truth is absolute and could not be improved upon. Hence it did not mater to Kojeve that the consciousness of the postwar generation of Europeans had not been universalized throughout the world; if ideological development

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had in fact ended, the homogenous state would eventually become victorious throughtout the material world.

I have neither the space nor, frankly, the ability to defend in depth Hegel’s radical idealist perspective. The issue is not whether Hegel’s system was right, but whether his perspective might uncover the problematic nature of many materialist explanations we often take for granted. This is not to deny the role of material factors as such. To a literal minded idealist, human society can be built around any arbitrary set of principle regardless of their relationship to the material world. And in fact men have proven themselves able to endure the most extreme material hardships in the name of ideas that exist in the realm of the spirit alone, be it the divinity of cows or the nature of the Holy Trinity.10

But while man’s very perception of the material world is shaped by his historical consciousness of it, the material world can clearly affect in return the viability of a particular state of consciousness. In particular, the spectacular abundance of advanced liberal economies and the infinitely diverse consumer culture made possible by them seem to both foster and preserve liberalism in the political sphere. I want to avoid the materialist determinism that says that liberal economics inevitably produces liberal politics, because I believe that both economics and politics presuppose an autonomous prior state of consciousness that makes them possible. But that state of consciousness that permits the growth of liberalism seems to stabilize in the way one would expect at the end of history if it is underwritten by the abundance of a modern free market economy. We might summarize the content of the universal homogenous state as liberal democracy in the political sphere combined with easy access to VCRs and stereos in the economic.


Have we in fact reached the end of history? Are there, in other words, any fundamental “contradictions” in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure? If we accept the idealist premises laid out above, we must seek an answer to this question in the realm of ideology and consciousness. Our task is not to answer exhaustively the challenges to liberalism promoted by every crackpot messiah around the world, but only those that are embodied in important social or political forces and movements, and which are therefore part of world history. For our purposes, it matters very little what strange thoughts occur to people in Albania or Burkina Faso, for we are interested in what one could in some sense call the common ideological heritage of mankind.

In the past century, there have been two major challenges to liberalism, those of fascism and of communism. The former11 saw the political weakness, materialism, anomie, and lack of community of the West as fundamental contradictions in liberal societies that could only be resolved by a strong state that forged a new “people” on the basis of national excessiveness. Fascism was destroyed as a living ideology by World War II. This was a defeat, of course, on a very material level, but it amounted to a defeat of the idea as well. What destroyed fascism as an idea was not universal moral revulsion against it, since plenty of people were willing to endorse the idea as long as it seemed the wave of the future, but

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its lack of success. After the ear, it seemed to most people that German fascism as well as its other European and Asian variants were bound to self-destruct. There was no material reason why new fascist movements could not have sprung up again after the war in other locales, ut for the fact that expansionist ultranationalism, with its promise of unending conflict leading ot disastrous military defeat, had completely lost its appeal. The ruins of the Reich chancellory as well as the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed this ideology on the level of consciousness as well as materially, and all of the proto-fascist movements spawned by the German and Japanese examples like the Peronist movement in Argentina or Subhas Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army withered after the war.

The ideological challenge mounted by the other great alternative to liberalism, communism, was far more serious. Marx, speaking Hegel’s language, asserted that liberal society contained fundamental contradiction that could not be resolved within its context, that between capital and labor, and this contradiction has constituted the chief accusation against liberalism ever since. But surely, the class issue has actually been successfully resolved in the West. As Kojeve (among others) noted, the egalitarianism of modern America represents the essential achievement of the classless society envisioned by Marx. This is not to say that there are not rich people and poor people in the United States, or that the gap between them has not grown in recent years. But the root causes of economic inequality do not have to do with the underlying legal and social structure of our society, which remains fundamentally egalitarian and moderately redistributionist, so much as with the cultural and social characteristics of the groups that make it up, which are in turn the historical legacy of premodern conditions. Thus black poverty in the United States is not the inherent product of liberalism, but is rather the “legacy of slavery and racism” which persisted long after the formal abolition of slavery.

As a result of the receding of the class issue, the appeal of communism in the developed Western world, it is safe to say, is lower today than any time since the end of the First World War. This can be measured in any number of ways: in the declining membership and electoral pull of the major European communist parties, and their overtly revisionist programs; in the corresponding electoral success of conservative parties form Britain and Germany to the United States and Japan which are unabashedly pro-market and antistatist; and in an intellectual climate whose most “advanced” members no longer believe that bourgeois society is something that ultimately needs to be overcome. This is to say that the opinions of progressive intellectuals in Western countries are not deeply pathological in any number of ways. But those who believe that the future must inevitably be socialist tend to be very old, or very marginal to the real political discourse of their societies.

One may argue that the socialist alternative was never terribly plausible for the North Atlantic world, and was sustained for the last several decades primarily by its success outside of this region. But it is precisely in the non-European world that one is not struck by the occurrence of major ideological transformations. Surely the most remarkable changes have occurred in Asia. Due to the strength and adaptability of the indigenous cultures there, Asia became a battleground for a variety of imported Western ideologies cultures there, Asia became a battleground for a variety of imported Western ideologies early in this century. Liberalism in Asia was a very weak reed in the period after World War I; it is easy today to forget how gloomy Asia’s political future looked as recently as ten or fifteen years ago. It is easy to forget as well how momentous the outcome of Asian ideological struggles seemed fore

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world political development as a whole.

The first Asian alternative to liberalism to be decisively defeated was the fascist one represented by Imperial Japan. Japanese fascism (like its German version) was defeated by the force of American arms in the Pacific war, and liberal democracy was imposed on Japan by a victorious United States. Western capitalism and political liberalism when transplanted to Japan were adapted and transformed by the Japanese in such a way as to be scarcely recognizable.12 Many Americans are now aware that Japanese industrial organization is very different from that prevailing in the United States or Europe, and it is questionable what relationship the factional maneuvering that takes place with the governing Liberal Democratic Party bears to democracy. Nonetheless, the very fact that the essential elements of economic and political liberalism have been so successfully grafted onto uniquely Japanese traditions and institutions guarantees their survival in the long run. More important is the contribution that Japan has become both a symbol and a underpinning of the universal homogenous state. V.S. Naipaul traveling in Khomeini’s Iran shortly after the revolution noted the omnipresent signs advertising the products of Sony, Hitachi, and JVC, whose appeal remained virtually irresistible and gave the lie to the regime’s pretensions of restoring a state based on the rule of he Shariah. Desire for access to the consumer culture, created in large measure by Japan, has played a crucial role in fostering the spread of economic liberalism throughout Asia, and hence in promoting political liberalism as well.

The economic success of the other newly industrializing countries (NICs) in Asia following on the xample of Japan is by now a familiar story. What is important from a Hegelian standpoint is that political liberalism has been following economic liberalism, more slowly than many had hoped but with seeming inevitability. Here again we see the victory of the idea of the universal homogenous state. South Korea had developed into a modern, urbanized society with an increasingly large and well-educated middle class that could not possibly be isolated from the larger democratic trends around them. Under these democratic trends around them. Under these circumstances it seemed intolerable to a large part of this population that it should be ruled by an anachronistic military regime while Japan, only a decade or so ahead in economic terms, had parliamentary institutions for over forty years. Even the former socialist regime in Burma, which for so many decades existed in dismal isolation from the larger trends dominating Asia, was buffeted in the past year by pressures to liberalize both its economy and political system. It is said that unhappiness with strongman Ne Win began when a senior Burmese officer went to Singapore for medical treatment and broke down crying when he saw how far socialist Burma had been left behind by it ASEAN neighbors.

But the power of the liberal idea would seem much less impressive if it had not infected the largest and oldest culture in Asia, China. The simple existence of communist China created an alternative if it had not infected the largest and oldest culture in Asia, China. The simple existence of communist China created an alternative pole of ideological attraction, and as such constituted a threat to liberalism. But the past fifteen years have seen an almost total discrediting of Marxism-Lenisnism as an economic system. Beginning with the famous third plenum of the Tenth Central Committee in 1978, the Chinese Communist party set about decollectivizing agriculture for the 800 million Chinese who still lived in the countryside. The role of the state in agriculture was reduced to that of a tax collector, while production of consumer goods was sharply increased in order to five peasants a taste of the universal homogenous

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state and thereby an incentive to work. The reform doubled Chinese grain output in only five years, and in the process created for Deng Xiao-ping a solid political base from which he was able to extend the reform to other parts of the economy. Economic statistic do not begin to describe the dynamism, initiative, and openness evident in China since the reform began.

China could not now be described in anyway as a liberal democracy. At present, no more than 20 percent o fits economy has been marketed, and most importantly it continues to be ruled by a self- appointed Communist party which has given no hint of wanting to devolve power. Deng has made none of Gorbachev’s promises regarding democratization of the political system and there is no Chinese equivalent of glasnost. The Chinese leadership has in fact been much more circumspect in criticizing Mao and Maoism than Gorbachev with respect to Brezhnev and Stalin, and the regime continues to pay lip service to Marxism-Leninism as its ideological underpinning. But anyone familiar with the outlook and behavior of the new technocratic e lite now governing China knows the Marxism and ideological principle have become virtually irrelevant as guides to policy, and that bourgeois consumerism has a real meaning in that country for the first time since the revolution. The various slowdowns in the pace of reform, the campaigns against “spiritual pollution” and crackdowns on political dissent are more properly seen as tactical adjustments made in the process of managing what is an extraordinarily difficult political transition. By ducking the question of political reform while putting the economy on a new footing, Deng has managed to avoid the breakdown of authority that has accompanied Gorbachev’s perestroika. Yet the pull of the liberal idea continues to be very strong as economic power devolves and the economy becomes more open to the outside world. There are currently over 20,000 chinese students studying in the U.S. and other Western countries, almost all of them of children of the Chinese elite. It is hard to believe that when they return home to run the country they return home to run the country they will be content for China to be the only country in Asia unaffected by the larger democratizing treat. The student demonstrations in Beijing that broke out first in December 1986 and recurred recently on the occasion of HU Yao-bang’s death were only the beginning of what will inevitably be mounting pressure for change in the political system as well.

What is important about China from the standpoint of world history is not the present state of the reform or even its future prospects. The central issue is the fact that the People’s Republic of China can no longer act as a beacon for illiberal forces around the world, whether they be guerrillas in some Asian jungle or middle class students in Paris. Maoism, rather than being the pattern for Asia’s future, became an anachronism, and it was the mainland Chinese who in fact were decisively influenced by the prosperity and dynamism of their overseas co-ethnics — the ironic ultimate victory of Taiwan.

Important as these changes in China have been, however, it is developments in the Soviet Union — the original “homeland of the world proletariat” — that have put the final nail in the coffin of the Marxist Leninist alternative to liberal democracy. It should be clear that in terms of formal institutions, not much has changed in the four years since Gorbachev has come to power: Free markets and the cooperative movement represent only a small part of the Soviet economy, which remains centrally planned; the political system is still dominated by the Communist party, which has only begun to democratize internally and to share power with other groups; the regime continues to assert that it is seeking only to modernize socialism and that its ideological basis remains Marxism-Leninism; and, finally, Gorbachev

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faces a potentially powerful conservative opposition that could undo many of the changes that have taken place to date. Moreover, it is hard to be too sanguine about the chances for success of Gorbachev’s proposed reforms, either in the sphere of economics or politics. But my purpose here is not to analyze events in the short-term, or to make predictions for policy purposes, but to look at underlying trends in the sphere of ideology and consciousness. And in that respect, it is clear that an astounding transformation has occurred.

Emigres from the Soviet Union have been reporting for at least the last generation now that virtually nobody in that country truly believed in Marxism-Leninism any longer, and that this was nowhere more true than in the Soviet elite, which continued to mouth Marxist slogans out of sheer cynicism. The corruption and decadence of the late Brezhnev-era Soviet state seemed to matter little, however, for as long as the state itself refused to throw into question any of the fundamental principles underlying Soviet society, the system was capable of functioning adequately out of sheer inertia and could even muster some dynamism in the realm of foreign and defense policy. Marxism-Leninism was like a magical incantation which, however absurd and devoid of meaning, was the only common basis on which the elite could agree to rule Soviet society.

What has happened in the four years since Gorbachev’s coming to power is a revolutionary assault on the most fundamental institutions and principles of Stalinism, and their replacement by other principles which do not amount to liberalism per se but whose only connecting thread is liberalism, This is most evident in the economic sphere, where the reform economists around Gorbachev have become steadily more radical in their support for free markets, to the point where some like Nikolai Shmelev do not mind being compared in public to Milton Friedman. There is a virtual consensus among the currently dominant school of Soviet economists now that central planning and the command system of allocation are the root cause of economic inefficiency, and that if the Soviet system is ever to heal itself, it ust permit free and decentralized decision-making with respect to investment, labor, and prices. After a couple of initial years of ideological confusion, theses principle have finally been incorporated into policy with the promulgation of new laws on enterprise autonomy, cooperatives, and finally in 1988 on lease arrangements and family farming. There are, of course, a number of fatal flaws in the current implementation of the reform, most notably the absence of a thoroughgoing price reform. But the problem is no longer a conceptual one: Gorbachev and his lieutenants seem to understand the economic logic of marketization well enough, but like the leaders of a Third World country facing the IMF, are afraid of the social consequences of ending consumer subsidies and other forms of dependence on the state sector.

In the political sphere, the proposed changes to the Soviet constitution, legal system, and party rules amount to much less than the establishment of a liberal state. Gorbachev has spoken of demo- cratization primarily in the sphere of internal party affairs, and has shown little intention of ending the Communist party’s monopoly of power; indeed, the political reform seeks to legitimize and therefore strengthen the CPSU’s rule.13 Nonetheless, the general principles underlying many of the reforms — that the “people” should be truly responsible for their own affairs, that higher political bodies should be answerable to lower ones, and not vice versa, that the rule of law should prevail over arbitrary police actions, with separation of powers and an independent judiciary, that there should be legal protection for property

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rights, the need for open discussion of public issues and the right of public dissent, the empowering of the Soviets as a forum in which the whole Soviets as a forum in which the whole Soviet people can participate, and of a political culture that is more tolerant and pluralistic — come from a source fundamentally alien to the USSR’s Marxist-Leninist tradition, even if they are incompletely articulated and poorly implemented in practice.

Gorbachev’s repeated assertions that he is doing no more than trying to restore the original meaning of Leninism are themselves a kind of Orwellian doublespeak. Gorbachev and his allies have consistently maintained that intraparty democracy was somehow the essence of Leninism, and that the various liberal practices of open debate, secret ballot elections, and rule of law were all part of the Leninist heritage, corrupted only later by Stalin. While almost anyone would look good compared to Stalin, drawing so sharp a line between Le nin and his successor is questionable. The essence of Lenin’s democratic centralism was centralism, not democracy; that is, the absolutely rigid, monolithic, and disciplined dictatorship of a hierarchically organized vanguard Communist party, speaking in the name of the demos. All of Lenin’s vicious polemics against Karl Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg, and various other Menshevik and Social Democratic rivals, not to mention his contempt for “bourgeois legality” and freedoms, centered around his profound conviction that a revolution could not be successfully made by a democratically run organization.

The Soviet Union could in no way be described as a liberal or democratic country now, nor do I think that it is terribly likely that perestroika will succeed such that the label will be thinkable any time in the near future. But at the end of history it is not necessary that all societies become successful liberal societies, merely that they end their ideological pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society. And in this respect I believe that something very important has happened in the Soviet Union in the past few years: the criticisms of the Soviet system sanctioned by Borbachev have been so thorough and devastating that there is very little chance of going back to either Stalinism or Brezhnevism, in any simple way. Gorbachev has finally permitted people to say what they had privately understood for many years, namely, that the magical incantation of Marxism-Leninism were nonsense, that Soviet socialism was not superior to the West in any respect but was in fact a monumental failure. The conservative opposition in the USSR, consisting both of simple workers afraid of unemployment and inflation and of party officials fearful of losing their jobs and privileges, is outspoken and may be strong enough to force Gorbachev’s ouster in the next few years. But what both groups desire is tradition, order, and authority; they manifest no deep commitment to Marxism-Leninism, except insofar as they have invested much of their own lives in it. 14 For authority to be restored in the Soviet Union after Gorbachev’s demolition work, it must be on the basis of some new and vigorous ideology which has not yet appeared on the horizon.

If we admit for the moment that the fascist and communist challenges to liberalism are dead, are there any other ideological competitors left? Or put another way, are there contradictions in liberal society beyond that of class that are n ot resolvable? Two possibilities suggest themselves, those of religion and nationalism.

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The rise of religious fundamentalism in recent years within the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions has been widely noted. One is inclined to say that the revival of religion in some way attests to a broad unhappiness with the impersonality and spiritual vacuity of liberal consumerist societies. Yet while the emptiness at the core of ideology — indeed, a flaw that one does not need the perspective of religion to recognize15 — it is not at all clear that it is remediable through politics. Modern liberalism itself was historically a consequence of the weakness of religiously-based societies which, falling to agree on the nature of the good life, could not provide even the minimal preconditions of peace and stability. In the contemporary world only Islam has offered a theocratic state as a political alternative to both liberalism and communism. But the doctrine has little appeal for non-Muslims, and it is hard to believe that the movement will take on any universal significance. Other less organized religious impulses have been successfully satisfied within the sphere of personal of personal life that is permitted in liberal societies.

The other major “contradiction” potentially unresolvable by liberalism is the one posed by nationalism and other forms of racial and ethic consciousness. It is certainly true that a very large degree of conflict since the Battle of Jena has had its roots in nationalism. Two cataclysmic world wars in this century have been spawned by the nationalism of the developed world in various guises, and if those passions have been muted to a certain extent in postwar Europe, they are still extremely powerful in the Third World. Nationalism has been a threat to liberalism historically in Germany, and continues to be one in isolated parts of “post-historical” Europe life Northern Ireland.

But it is not clear that nationalism represents an irreconcilable contradiction in the heart of liberalism. In the first place, nationalism is not one single phenomenon but several, ranging from mild cultural nostalgia to the highly organized and elaborately articulated doctrine of National Socialism. Only systematic nationalism of the latter sort cant qualify as a formal ideology on the level of liberalism or communism. The vast majority of the world’s nationalist movements do not have a political program beyond the negative desire of independence from some other group or people, and do not offer anything like a comprehensive agenda for socio-economic organization. As such, they are compatible with doctrines and ideologies that do offer such agendas. While they may constitute a source of conflict for liberal societies, this conflict does not arise from liberalism itself so much as from the fact that the liberalism in question is incomplete. Certainly a great deal of the world’s ethnic and nationalist tension can be explained in terms of peoples who are forced to live in unrepresentative political systems that they have not chosen.

While it is impossible to rule out the sudden appearance of new ideologies or previously unrecognized in liberal societies, then, the present world seems to confirm that the fundamental principles of socio- political organization have not advanced terribly far since 1806. Many of the wars and revolutions fought since that time have been undertaken in the name of ideologies which claimed to be more advanced than liberalism, but whose pretensions were ultimately unmasked by history. In the meantime, they have helped to spread the universal homogenous state to the point where it could have a significant effect on the overall character of international relations.


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What are the implications of the end of history for international relations? Clearly, the vast bulk of the Third World remains very much mired in history, and will be a terrain of conflict for many years to come. But let us focus for the time being on the larger and more developed states of the world who after all account for the greater part of world politics. russia and China are not likely to join the developed nations of the West as liberal societies any time in the foreseeable future, but suppose for a moment that Marxism-Leninism ceases to be a factor driving the foreign policies of these states — a prospect which, if not yet here, the last few years have made a real possibility. How will the overall characteristics of a de-ideologized world differ from those of the one with which we are familiar at such a hypothetical juncture?

The most common answer is — not very much. For there is a very widespread belief among many observers of international relations that underneath the skin of ideology is a hard core of great power national interest that guarantees a fairly high level of competition and conflict between nations. Indeed, according to one academically popular school of international relations theory, system as such, and to understand the prospects for conflict one must look at he shape of the system — for example, whether it is bipolar or multipolar — rather than at the spe cific character of the nations and regimes that constitute it. This school in effect applies a Hobbesian view of politics to international relations, and assumes that aggression and insecurity are universal characteristics of human societies rather than the product of specific historical circumstances.

Believers in this line of thought take the relations that existed between the participants in the classical nineteenth century European balance of power as a model for what a deideologized contemporary world would look lie. Charles Krauthammer, for example, recently explained that if as a result of Gorbachev’s reforms the USSR is shorn of Marxist-Leninist ideology, its behavior will revert to that of nineteenth century imperial Russia.16 While he finds this more reassuring that the threat posed by a communist Russia, he implies that here will still be a substantial degree of competition and conflict in the international system, just as there was say between Russia and Britain or Wilhelmine Germany in the last century. This is, or course, a convenient point of view for people who want to admit that something major is changing in the Soviet Union, but do not want to accept responsibility for recommending the radical policy redirection implicit in such a view. But is it true?

In fact, the notion that ideology is a superstructure imposed on a substratum of permanent great power interest is a highly questionable proposition. For the way in which any state defines its national interest is not universal but rests on some kind of prior ideological basis, just as we saw that economic behavior is determined by a prior state of consciousness. In this century, states have adopted highly articulated doctrines with explicit foreign policy agendas legitimizing expansionism, like Marxism-Leninism or National Socialism.

The expansionist and competitive behavior of nineteenth century Europeans states rested on no less ideal a basis; it just so happened that the ideology driving it was less explicit than the doctrines of the twentieth century. For one thing, most “liberal” European societies were illiberal insofar as they believed in the legitimacy of imperialism, that is, the right of one nation to rule over other nations without regard

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for the wishes of the ruled. The justifications for imperialism varied from nation to nation, from a crude belief in the legitimacy of force, particularly when applied to non-Europeans, to the White Man’s Burden and Europe’s Christianizing mission, to the desire to give people of color access to the culture of Rabelais and Moliere. But whatever the particular ideological basis, every “developed” country believed in the acceptabitlity of higher civilizations ruling lower ones- including, incidentally, the United States with regard to the Philippines. This led to a drive for pure territorial aggrandizement in the latter half of the century and played no small role in causing the Great War.

The radical and deformed outgrowth of nineteenth-century imperialism was German fascism, and ideology which justified Germany’s right not only to rule over non-European peoples, but over all non German ones. But in retrospect it seems that Hitler represented a diseased by-path in eh general course of European development, and since his fiery defeat, the legitimacy of any kind of territorial aggrandizement has been thoroughly discredited.17 Since the Second World War, European nationalism has been deranged and shorn of any real relevance to foreign policy, with the consequence that the nineteenth century model of great power behavior has become a serious anachronism. The most extreme form of nationalism that any Western European state has mustered since 1945 has been Gaullism, whose self-assertion has been confined largely to the realm of nuisance politics and culture. International life for the part of the world that has reached the end of history is far more preoccupied with economics than with politics or strategy.

The developed states of the West do maintain defense establishments and in the postwar period have competed vigorously for influence to meet a worldwide communist threat. This behavior has been driven, however, by an external threat from states that possess overtly expansionist ideologies, and would not exit in their absence. To take the “neo-realist” theory seriously, one would have to believe that “natural” competitive behavior would reassert itself among the OECD states were Russia and China to disappear from the face of the earth. That is, West Germany and France would arm themselves against each other as they did in the 1930’s, Australia and New Zealand would send military advisers to block each others’ advances in Africa, and the U.S. – Canadian border would become fortified. Such a prospect is, of course, ludicrous: minus Marxist-Leninist ideology, we are far more likely to see the “Common Marketization” of world politics than the disintegration of the EEC into nineteenth century competitiveness. Indeed, as our experience in dealing with Europe on matters such as terrorism or Libya prove, they are much further gone than we down the road that denies the legitimacy of the use of force in international politics, even in self-defense.

The automatic assumption that Russia shorn of its expansionist communist ideology should pick up where the czars left off just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution is therefore a curious one. It assumes that the evolution of human consciousness has stood still in the meantime, and that the Soviets, while picking up currently fashionable ideas in the realm of economics, will return to foreign policy views a century out of date in the rest of Europe. This is certainly not what happened to China after it began its reform process. Chinese competitiveness and expansionism on the world scene have virtually disappeared: Beijing no longer sponsors Maoist insurgencies or tries to cultivate influence in distant Africa countries as it did in the 1960’s. This is not to say that there are not troublesome aspects to contemporary Chinese foreign policy, such as the reckless sale of ballistic missile technology in the

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Middle East; and the PRC continues to manifest traditional great power behavior in its sponsorship of the Khmer Rouge against Vietnam. But the former is explained by commercial motives and the latter is a vestige of earlier ideologically based rivalries. The new China far more resembles Gaullist France tan pre World War I Germany.

The real question for the future, however, is the degree to which Soviet elites have assimilated the consciousness of the universal homogenous state that is post Hitler Europe. From their writings and from my own personal contacts with them, there is no question in my mind that the liberal Soviet intelligentsia rallying around Gorbachev has arrived at the end-of-history view in a remarkably short time, due in no small measure to the contacts they have had since the Brezhnev era with the larger European civilization around them, “New political thinking,” the general rubric for their views, describes a world dominated by economic concerns, in which there are no ideological grounds for major conflict between nations, and in which, consequently, the use of military force becomes less legitimate. As Foreign Minister Shevardnadze put it in mid-1988: The struggle between two opposing systems is no longer a determining tendency of the present-day era. At the modern stage, the ability to build up material wealth at an accelerated rate on the basis of front-ranking science and high level techniques and technology, and to distribute it fairly, and through joint effor ts to restore and protect the resources necessary for mankind’s survival acquires decisive imporatnace.18

The post historical consciousness represented by “new thinking” is only one possible future for the Soviet Union, however. There has always been a very strong current of great Russian chauvinism in the Soviet Union, which has found freer expression since the advent of glasnost. It may be possible to return to traditional Marxism-Leninism for a while as a simple rallying point for those who want to restore the authority that Gorbachev has dissipated. But as in Poland, Marxism-Leninism is dead as a mobilizing ideology: under its banner people cannot be made to work harder, and its adherents have lost confidence in themselves. Unlike the propagators of traditional Marxism-Leninism, however, ultranationalsits in the USSR believe in their Slavophile cause passionately, and one gets the sense that the fascist alternative is not one that has played itself out entirely there.

The Soviet Union, then, is at a fork in the road: it can start down the path that was staked out by Western Europe forty-five years ago, a path that most of Asia has followed, or it can realize its own uniqueness and remain stuck in history. The choice it makes will be highly important for us, given the Soviet Union’s size and military strength, for that power will continue to preoccupy us and slow our realization that we have already emerged on the other side of history.

The passing of Marxism-Leninism first from China and than from the Soviet Union will mean its death as a living ideology of world historical significance. For while there may be some isolated true believers left in places like Managua, Pyongyang, or Cambridge, Massachusetts, the fact that there is not a single large state in which it is a going concern undermines completely its pretensions to being in the vanguard of human history. And the death of this ideology means the growing “Common Marketization” of international relations, and the diminution of the likelihood of large-scale conflict between states.

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This does not by any means imply the end of international conflict per se. For the world at that point would be divided between a part that was historical and a part that was post historical. Conflict between states sill in history, and between those states and those at the end of history, would still be possible. There would still be a high and perhaps rising level of ethic and nationalist violence, since those are impulses incompletely played out, even in parts of he post historical world. Palestinians and Kurds, Sikhs and Tamils, Irish Catholics and Walloons, Armenians and Azeris, will continue to have their unresolved grievances. This implies that terrorism and wars of national liberation will continue to be an important item on the international agenda. But large-scale conflict must involve large states still caught in the grip of history, and they are what appear to be passing form he scene.

The end of history will be a very sad time. The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands. In the post historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual care taking of he museum of human history. I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a powerful nostalgia for the time when history existed. Such nostalgia, in fact, will continue to fuel competition and conflict even in the post historical world for some time to come. Even though I recognize its inevitability, I have the most ambivalent feelings for the civilization that has been created in Europe since 1945, with its north Atlantic and Asian offshoots. Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again.

1 Kojeve’s best known work is his Introduction a la lecture de hegel (Paris: Editions Gallimard, 1947), which is a transcript of the Ecole Practique lectures from the 1930’s. This book is available in English entitled Introduction to the Reading of Hegel arranged by Raymond Queneau, edited by Allan bloom, and translated by James Nichols (New York: Basic Books, 1969).

2 In this respect Kojeve stands in sharp contrast to contemporary German interpreters of Hegel like Herbert Marcuse who, being more sympathetic to Marx, regarded Hegel ultimately as an historically bound and incomplete philosopher.

3 Kojeve alternatively identified the end of history with the postwar “American way of life,” toward which he thought the Soviet Union was moving as well.

4 This notion was expressed in the famous aphorism from the preface to the Philosophy of History to the effect that “everything that is rational is real, and everything that is real is rational.”

5 Indeed, for Hegel the very dichotomy between the ideal and material worlds was itself only an apparent one that was ultimately overcome by the self-conscious subject; in his system, the material world is itself only an aspect of mind.

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6 In fact, modern economists, recognizing that man does not always behave as a profit-maximizer, posit a “utility” function, utility being either income or some other good that can be maximized: leisure, sexual satisfaction, or the pleasure of philosophizing. That profit must be replaced with a value like utility indicates the cogency of the idealist perspective.

7 One need look no further than the recent performance of Vietnamese immigrants in he U.S. school system when compared to their black of Hispanic classmates to realize that culture and consciousness are absolutely crucial to explain not only economic behavior but virtually every other important aspect of life as well.

8 I understand that a full explanation of the origins of the reform movements in China and Russia is a good deal more complicated than this simple formula would suggest. The Soviet reform, for example, was motivated in good measure by Moscow’s sense of insecurity in the WAtechnological military realm, Nonetheless, neither country ion the eve of its reforms was in such a state of material crisis that one could have predicted the surprising reform paths ultimately taken.

9 It is still not clear whether the Soviet people are as “Protestant” as Gorbachev and will follow him down that path.

10 The internal politics of the Byzantine Empire at the time of Justinian revolved around a conflict between the so-called monophysites and monotheist, who believed that the unity of the Holy Trinity was alternatively one of nature or of will. This conflict corresponded to some extent to one between proponents of different racing teams in the Hippodrome in Byzantium and led to a not insignificant level of political violence. Modern historians would tend to seek the roots of such conflicts in antagonisms between social classes or some other modern economic category, being unwilling to believe that men would kill each other over the nature of the Trinity.

11 I am not using the term “fascism” here in its most precise sense, fully aware of the frequent misuse of this term to denounce anyone to the right of the user. “Fascism” here denotes nay organized ultra nationalist movement with universalistic pretensions — not universalistic with regard to its nationalism, of course, since the latter is exclusive by definition, but with regard to the movement’s belief in its right to rule other people. Hence Imperial Japan would qualify as fascist while former strongman Stoessner’s Paraguay or Pinochet’s Chile would not. Obviously fascist ideologies cannot be universalistic in the sense of Marxism or liberalism, but the structure of the doctrine can be transferred from country to country.

12 I use the example of Japan with some caution, since Kojeve late in his life came to conclude that Japan, with its culture based on purely formal arts, proved that the universal homogenous state was not victorious and that history had perhaps not ended. See the long note at the end of the second edition of Introduction a la Lecture de Hegel, 462-3.

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13 This is not true in Poland and Hungary, however, whose Communist parties have taken moves toward true power sharing and pluralism.

14 This is particularly true of ht leading Soviet conservative, former Second Secretary Yegor Ligachev, who has publicly recognized many of the deep defects of the Brezhnev period.

15 I am thinking particularly of Rousseau and the Western philosophical tradition that flows form him that was highly critical of Lockean or Hobbesian liberalism, though one could criticize liberalism from the standpoint of classical political philosophy as well.

16 See his article, “Beyond the Cold War,” New Republic, December 19, 1988.

17 It took European colonial powers like France several years after the war to admit the illegitimacy of their empires, but decolonialization was an inevitable consequence of the Allied victory which had been based on the promise of a restoration of democratic freedoms.

18Vestnik Ministerstva Inostrannikh Del SSSR no. 15 (August 1988), 27-46. “New thinking” does of course serve a propagandistic purpose in persuading Western audiences of Soviet good intentions. But the fact that it is good propaganda does not mean that is formulators do not take many of its ideas seriously.

  • Local Disk
    • The End of History

"The White House, Congress, and other politicians

“The White House, Congress, and other politicians, are so preoccupied with winning elections that they have little or no time for governing.” This comment reflects the idea now popular among leading observers of political life in Washington-that elected

  • Must use at least 2 peer reviewed articles and one book.

  •  Only use academic sources.

  • You must answer the question in less than 7 pages, double space, font 12, times roman. one inch margins all around

  • Please use the following citation style: MLA or APA.

  •  Put your name on the top left hand corner of the first page of the paper.

GHANA and one critical political issue in that country and conduct research throughout the semester

8-page, 12-point font, double spaced) required. For this paper students will select GHANA and one critical political issue in that country and conduct research throughout the semester. In your paper, you need to show evidence that you are able to critically analyze a political issue. Critical thinking is characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas, and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion.

The paper will include the following parts: a) an introduction to the country in terms of major demographic and geographic features, brief history, and a description of the current political system, (b) description of an important political problem that the country is facing currently (this section will include how major political forces relate to the political problem and what events have taken place creating the problem), e) what scholarly research says about your political issue, e) implications and consequences: what the likely outcome for the political problem is given the balance of politics and resources.

Students must consult current books and scholarly articles in addition to Internet sources and include proper citations and a reference list. There are many ways to cite others’ works properly, one of such is the Chicago Manual of Style.

POLS 2328 Modern Political Thought

Modern Political Thought 1

POLS 2328 Modern Political Thought

Spring 2018 Prof. Natalie Bormann 932 Renaissance Park Office Hours: M 3-4, W 12-1, R 3-4

Final Project

Instructions For your final project, you may choose both your own case study as well as the authors and theories you wish to consult and apply. You may not discuss cases that were already subject of Paper 1 and 2, but you may choose a case that was introduced by our discussion facilitators. Be creative. Choose a topic that you feel strongly about. There are three main ways to frame your project:

1) Pick a case and apply a particular author and perspective to that case (as we have done with Paper2). 2) Pick a case and offer a comparative study with two (or more) authors (as we have done with Paper1). 3) Pick a particular concept (eg., rights, utility, the state, authority, etc) and apply the role, impact,

contingency, critique of that concept to a particular case. Think of a set of tasks/questions to scaffold your project:

1) Explain why you chose your case and the author/perspective for your analysis. 2) Apply ideas, concepts, and perspectives – do not just describe them. 3) Evaluate those concepts and ideas. How useful, meaningful, valuable are these concepts? 4) Recommend what the take-away is and ought to be.

Reading You may choose from our list of authors and ideas, concepts, and theories. Consultations I invite you to consult with me on your ideas and direction of your project; however, this is not a requirement. You can speak to me during my regular office hours, or arrange for a different day and time that suits you. Due Friday, April 13.

Modern Political Thought 2

Some final project writing guidelines

Format § Projects should be around 2000 words long (-/+ 10% only! I will take half a grade off for longer papers) § Projects do not need to have a particular font, font size, or margin. § Projects need to be submitted through Turnitin on Blackboard. Please do not email me your project.

Deadline § Projects can be submitted until the end of the day they are due (which means midnight). § There is a ‘grace period’ of 2 days within which you may submit (here: Sunday, April 15). § If you feel you cannot meet the deadline after the grace period has lapsed, you must meet with me to

discuss your ideas on the project and to work on a schedule for submission. Not consulting me on late submissions results in point deductions.

Sources § Projects should have traces of the original texts we read. Please make sure to include page references and

your source. You can decide on the citation style as long as you stay consistent with that style throughout the project.

§ You are invited to use additional resources (other texts, articles, books) but you are not expected to doing so.

About the Project § Projects are neither book reviews nor summaries. The section on my course philosophy signal that the

objective of our engagement with the material is to evaluate and critically assess our relationship with key political concepts and ideas. Therefore, projects should be interpretative in nature, and you are asked to explain concepts, analyze their role and importance, and recommend how we may need to understand, question, accept, or deny these concepts.

§ Stay away from lengthy descriptions and include only material that you are willing to discuss in detail. § Projects should have an opening paragraph that sets out the overall objective and development of the

paper. Be clear about what the overall ‘take away’ will be in the project. § Projects may use a first-person narrative. Eg. ‘I agree with Hobbes’ § Projects are at their best when they show reflection and analysis. § I encourage you to base the projects on the discussions we have during our class time.

How democratic is the government in texas?

In a 10-12 page paper (double-spaced, regular margins), please examine the form and quality of government in one of the 50 states. How democratic is the government in your state? How good a job does it do in providing for the public good?

In so doing, pay attention to the following themes:

What is the state constitution like? In what ways is it similar to and different from the federal one? 

•What avenues does the state constitution provide for popular participation in politics? What factors limit the extent of popular participation? 

•Is the state well-governed? Do public policies tend to pursue the public good, or to favor the narrower interests of powerful groups? 

In addressing these questions, make sure to discuss in depth at least one major political or constitutional issue facing the state at present.

How has the President shown leadership on an issue that the United States faced or faces

How has the President shown leadership on an issue that the United States faced or faces? Give some real life examples that have meaning for you, support these with back-up from the test, media and articles. What is your opinion and why do you believe this way?

How has today’s media become an outlet for giant corporations? Explain the factors that keep the media from being completely objective. Use examples from your viewing – listening – reading. How does ownership of several media outlets affect politics (negatively or positively)? What is your opinion and why do you believe this way?

What freedom and democracy mean to you

Write an essay of 1200 words explaining: “What freedom and democracy mean to you”. The scenery is a Cuban student  who left Cuba because in Cuba there is no democracy and freedom. This student was victim of the CASTRO GOVERNMENT. THIS GIRL WAS AN EXCELLENT STUDENT. She studied in a military school in Guantanamo called Camilo Cienfuegos Military School, and she graduated from there. She was selected the best student in her school , and when she graduated , she started to study medicine in the military field. After two years that she was studying in the medical school , she realized that she didn’t want to continue serving to the military force in Cuba because she always had to lie and say what they want and force her to say because she was the President of the FEU ( WHICH WAS AN ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS ALL THE MILITARY STUDENTS) . She decided to be free to all that terror movie , and asked them to leave the medical school in the military field, and say to them to have the opportunity to continue her career as a doctor but in the normal society. They declined the petition and even though the brilliant girl was accepted in the medical school in her state because she had excellent grades, the military dictator  force her to stay two years away from the medical school  , and they changed all her brilliant grades. After two years , the medical school in Guantanamo , called her and offered to her an opportunity to study with them because she deserve to be a doctor . The medical school in my state had to wait two years to call me because the military school and chiefs said that I must studied only in the military school with them. They made her life a disaster. That brilliant girl had to wait two years , to start again her career only because she didn’t want to continue lying to all students that she represented because she was forced to include in her speeches all things that the military bosses wanted to manipulate and persuade people. After that happens she was very frustrated and decided to immigrate to United Stated looking for freedom and democracy. Now , she is  a studying in Miami Dade College since 2016. She is one of the best students that there is in her college. She has A in all her classes. This is her last semester in Miami Dade College, she had already apply to Miami Dade college Medical School. She say that she met the real meaning of democracy and freedom when she left Cuba and begin a life in United States. PLEASE INCLUDE ALL THIS INFORMATION IN THE ESSAY . IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT AFTER YOU DESCRIBE AND EXPLAINING WHAT DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM MEANS TO THIS GIRL, EXPLAIN HER OWN EXPERIENCE WITH THE CASTRO GOVERNMENT IN CUBA.

The differences in the average socioeconomic status and upward mobility of second generation immigrant minorities can be explained by many factors, such as the socioeconomic status of their immigrant parents, different levels of ethnic/racial discrimination, immigration policies/political contexts of reception (whether their parents were undocumented immigrants or legal immigrants), and their different rates of cultural assimilation.  Indicate which of these you believe is the most important and second most important factors and briefly illustrate using Asian Americans or Hispanic/Latino Americans as an example of a second generation immigrant-descent minority.






Mary C. Waters & Reed Ueda

with Helen B. Marrow


Cambridge, Massachusetts

London, England 2007

The Second Generation

Nancy Foner and Philip Kasinitz

The te’.m “~ene.rati~n” is used in at least three distinct, albeit interrelated, ways in the social sc1e1:ufic l1terarnre. The first is in che sense of an age cohorr-chat is, peo- ple of approximately the same age who experience the same histo rical evems at roughly the same points in their individual devdopmenr. le is chis sense we use wh~n we speak of rhe “Woodstock generai:ion” or the “baby boom generation,” ‘:htch the late demographer William AJonso said has been passing through institu- tional structures of U.S. society like a “pig through a python.”

A s~cond me~ning.of”~eneration,” one favored by anthropologists, refers co ge- nealogical rank In a kinship system-for example, che relationship of individuals to parents in the generation before or children in the generation after. Finally, in stud- ies of immigration, “generation” is used as a measure of distance from the “old country.” Thus we usually speak of people who move to rhe U.S. from another soci- ety as adults as being “first-generation” immigranrs, their American-born children as ~he “second generation,” and their children in rum as the ”rhird generation.” This numb~ring system is nor without controversy and has ideological implications. Until the m1d-20rh cenrury social scienciscs, social workers, and journalists often re-

ferred to people born in the U.S. to immigranr parents as “first-generation Ameri- cans” rather t~an “second-generadon” immigrantJ. Although rhis usage has generally fallen our of favor among social sciendsr it remains common in everyday speech . In recenr years rhe numbering scheme has also grown more complex, with the wide- spread adoption. of Ruben ~umbaut’s term the “1.5 generation” for people born abroad who emigrate as children and are largely raised in che U.S. Further re- finements-the “J.25 generation,” the “1.75 generation,” soon followed .

For the large wave of .southern. and eastern European immigranrs char began around 188? and ~nded 1 n the mid-1920~. these rhree meanings of “generation” were closely mterrwmed. By the 1930s, even in the mosr “ethnic” of American com-

271 The Second Generation

munities and neighborhoods, rhe overwhelming majoricy of children were born in the U.S. Many (in some cases most) of their parents were immigrants. As this sec- ond generation aged together, they experienced a confluence of the historical co- hort, kinship, and distance-from-the-old-country meanings of “generation” that of- ten blurred the distinction among the three. Being the children of immigrants (and the parents of the third generation) and experiencing the historical events of the mid-20th century in young adulthood were so commonly linked as to create a dis- tinct second-generation identity, both in the minds of the children of immigrants and in American popular culture.

As early as 1938, Marcus Lee Hansen observed distinct differences in attitudes toward ethnic identity between the second generation and their third-generation children, with the second generation anxious to assimilate and the third generation sentimentally invested in ethnicity. However, as Vladimir Nahimy and Joshua Fish- man would later point out, Hansen attributed these differences to largely ahistori- cal social-psychological processes, ignoring the specific historical context char also shaped the experiences of the two cohorts.

For contemporary immigrants and their children, the situation is different. With continuing immigrant inflows, new first-generation immigrants in many communi- ties today are often younger than third-generation adults. Second- and third-gener- ation young people share neighborhoods, classrooms, and workplaces with recent immigrants their own age. “Old country” ways and identities are thus less associated with chronological age than in the past. Further, new immigrants may bring more up-ro-date versions of the sending society’s culture to ethnic communiti~s . The si~­ uation is also complicated by the greater degree of transnationalism and circular mi- gration among contemporary immigrants. Some second-generation members, ~­ though born in the U.S., spend considerable time in their parents’ homelands while growing up, and many recent immigrants come from communities where large numbers of returned migrants have already challenged traditional ways.

Contemporary immigrant communities vary in the degree co empha- size distance from rhe old country versus chronological age when thinking about generational divides. Among Japanese and Korean Americans there are clear linguis- tic designations for people born abroad, chose born in the U.S. of immigr~~t par- ents, and those whose parents were born in the U.S.: Issei, Nissei, and Sansei mJap- anese; Ilsae, Yisae, and Sansae in Korean. Within their communities, these groups

are thought of as having different attributes and different relarionships to the ~en~- h “‘l’ ” h ch IS ing and host societies. Korean Americans also use t e term 1 Jeom osa~, w. 1

literally translated as the “1.5 generation.” Within the Korean comrnumty chis g~n­ eration is often seen as having the greatest difficulty in adjustment, a fact chat JS a cause for concern among community leaders.

Among other comemporary immigrant groups, generational distinctions seem less precise and less clear. Cuban Americans are very conscious of generational and

The New Americans 272

historical differences between the “exile generation” and chose born in rhe U.S., and they amicipare whar it will mean for rhe communiry when the former passes from rhe scene. Mexican Americans make distinctions between chose born in the U.S. and in Mexico and distinguish both from the descendants of populations who lived in the Southwest when it was still part of Mexico. Indeed, the terms used for people of Mexican descent of different political stripes and in different parts of the country (” Hispano,” “Chicano,” “Mexican American,” “La Raza,” etc.) have implications

for the imporrance of U.S. birth in shaping identity. Moreover, rhe long and com- plex hiscory of Mexican immigration makes it difficulc co disentangle chronological age from number of generations in the U.S. in shaping generational identity. Do- minicans and Puerto Ricans have also developed terms ro refer ro members of the community born on the U .S. mainland (usually in New York)-“Dominicanyorks” and “Nuyoricans.” Yet the high level of back-and-forth migration, changes in home communities, and the importance of a disrincrive youth culture mean that these

terms are ofren as much about age cohort as actual birthplace. One area in which there dearly are strong generational differences among almost

all contemporary immigram groups is language use. As in the past, America re- mains “the graveyard of languages.” Studies have consistently shown chat the large majority of second-generation immigrants have made the transition co English, char they are much more likely ro speak English fluently than their parents, and chat rhey are far less likely than their parents to speak with a strong accent. This is true even in parts of the country where another language (usually Spanish) is widely spo-

ken and even when media in the parents’ original language are widely available. Sec- ond-generation groups do differ in the degree to which rhey maintain fluency in the parental language in addition to English. Not surprisingly, commonly spoken lan- guages in the U.S. and chose written in the Larin alphabet, such as Spanish, are maintained more often than those that are rarely spoken in the U.S. or that are ex- tremely different from English. Flu ency in written Chinese, for example, is unusual among second-generation Chinese Americans, despite a well-developed infrascruc- rure of Chinese schools dedicated ro the maintenance of the language. Further, there is little evidence that maintenance of chc parental language comes at the ex- pense of English fluency, even among chose groups in which second-generation bi- lingualism is common.

Immigrant Generations and Social Mobility

By 2000, approximately 10 percent of che U.S. population was “second generation” in the sense that they were born in the U.S. and have ac least one foreign-born par- ent. (About the same proportion are first-generation immigrants.) Although chis second-generation group includes many older adults whose parents came to this country before 1965 (and even before 1924), the majority are children and young

273 The Second Generation

adults whose parents arrived afrer 1965. As Table I indicates, the Mexican second generation dwarfs all others. More rhan a quane~ ~f native-born Americ;ans with at leas{ one foreign-born parent are of Mexican ongm, as are almost a third of chose with two foreign -born parents. Alrogecher, nearly rwo our of five second-generation individuals have a parent (or parents) born in Latin America and the Caribbean. As Rumbaut notes, the sizable Canadian and European second generations are largely the surviving offspring of immigrants who arrived before World War II, with a median age in the late fifties, compared to a much younger average of 12 ro 13 years for the U .S.-born offspring of immigrants from Latin America, rhe Carib-

bean, and Asia. The second generation now makes up more than a quarter of the nation’s His-

panic and Asian populations. By conrrasr, almost 90 pecccnc of black.and non-His- panic white Americans crace their roots in the U:S. back three generaci~~s or longer. The fact chat so much of the second generation 1s of non-European ongtn and con- sidered “nonwhite” stands in sharp contrast to earlier periods and raises questions

about the future of race relations and social mobility in the U.S. In che academic literarure and popular imagery of the incorporation into Ameri-

can society of the overwhelmingly European immigran~ of th~ la~c 19th and. ~ly 20th centuries, the idea of generation was closely associated with ideas of assrnula- tion. The general assumption in che standard accounts of “scraighc-linen assimila- tion theory is that each generation (in the distance-from-the-old-country sense of the ccrm) becomes progressively more “American.” Whatever culcural and psyc~o­ logical costs this Americanization process may entail,. it is ~eoeraUy seen as .. en~bl~ng upward mobili cy within U.S. society. In popular discussions, the term ass1mila-

:Table l The second-generacion population of che U.S. by parental nativity and national origin, 1998-

2002 (percentages) One parent foreign-born,

Total (2.0 and Both parents foreign- one parent U.S.-born

Region and national origin 2.5 generations) born (2.0 generation) (2. 5 generation)

Mexico 26.1 3 J.5 19.6

Other Latin America and 12.5 14.7 9.6

Caribbean 10.5 Asia and Middle East 14.4 17 .4

Europe and Canada 43.9 33.4 57.6

Sub-Saharan Africa 0.1 0.1 0.1

All others 2.4 2.2 2.6

Tota] number 26,990,359 15,297,057 11,693.302

Id h”c files (March), Souru. Rumbau! (2004), p. 1184. Based on merged Current Populat1on Suivey annua emograp 1

1998 through 2002.

The New Americans 274

rion” came ro be used almosc synonymously with upward mobiliry. ‘What these ac- counts rarely ac:knowledged was rhc role of rhe specific historical condidons- American economic ascendancy, posrwar prosperiry, suburbanization, rhe gro,vth of the mass media, and che rise of organized labor-that facilicaced boch che accultura- tion and the upward mobility of the children of European immigrants who came of age and carved out work and family careers in the 1940s and 1950s.

In speculating about the possible future of the largely “nonwhite” children of post- I 965 immigrants, many social scientists have been less optimistic about sec- ond- and third-generation upward mobility. In 1992 Herberr Gans turned the as- sumptions of traditional assimilation rheory on their head, warning that many of che contemporary children of “nonwhite” immigrancs were in danger of “sccond- generarion decline” relative to their irnmigram parents. Like uaditional nbservers of assimilation, Gans assumes that substanrial second-generarion acculcuracion is ca.k- ing place and that the children of irnmigrancs are co share rhe values and outlooks of their American peers. This, Gans suggests, may lead chem ro reject the low-stacus “immigr3JH jobs” held by cheir parencs. Yet those who face racial discrim- inarion, poor-quality educarion, and declin ing real wages may lack opporrunirics in che mainmeam economy and thus be downwardly mobile. The ocher possibility is chac the children of immigrancs who are well placed within the American labor marker will be less anxious to “become American” and stay tied co their parents’ eth- nic communiry. This mighc lead ro better economic ouccomes but less culrural as- similation.

Alejandro Pones and Min Zhou make a similar argument in their ofren-cited I 993 article on segmented assimilation, a model that Portes and Rumbaut ex- panded in their 2001 book, Legades. The most influcncial of che “revisionist” per- spectives, segmented assimilation describes the various outcomes of different groups of second-generation you ch and argues that the mode of incorporation for the first generarion gives the second generadon access to different kinds of opporrunities and social nenvorks. Those who are socially closesr co lower-class and particularly to minority Americans may adopt an oppositional, “reactive” ethnicity. In general, the second generation may acquire a hose of American bad habits, from low rates of sav- ing to eating high-fat foods co watching mo much television, which may actually hinder upward mobility.

By conrrast, rhose groups chat maincain strong intergeneracional ethnic networks and fewer tics co U.S. minoric1es, it is argued, experience a “linear” ethnicity which creates networks of social tics and may provide access to job opportunities while re- inforcing parental auchoriry and values and forestalling acculrurarion. Zhou and Bankston’s work on Vietnamese yourh in ew Orleans makes perhaps the dearesr case for the bem:fits of preserving ties to the ethnic community, even ac che expense of acquiring connections with the dominant sociery. They see home-country lan- guage recention as an advanragc for the second generation. as it facilitates participa-

275 The Second Generation

tion in che ethnic economy, where opportunities may exceed those in the main-

stream economy. Of course, the idea that second-generation assimilation has costs is hardly new.

Early 20th-century immigrants and those who wrote abouc them often expressed concern about intergenerational conflict and the heartache it produced. Nor is there anyrhing new abouc the complaint that che second generation is becoming the “wrong kind” of Americans or the idea that a dense “ethnic enclave” can provide a bulwark against the worst effects of the American streets. Yet in earlier times voices skeptical of the promise of assimilation for the children of European immigrants were in the minority among intellectuals, social sciemists, and in the inunigrant communities themselves. Today, against a background of such factors as rising in- come inequality and continuing racial divisions, belief in both the possibility and the value of assimilation seems less pervasive. In fact, since the early 1990s many have speculated that contemporary American culcure will actually undermine the ability of the second generation-particularly those seen as nonwhite-to make it

in American society. However, as more of the contemporary second generation has come of age and

joined che labor force, che data have generally not supported the dire predictions of second-generation downward mobility. Alba and Nee’s review of national data and studies by Kasinitz, Mollenkopf, Watc:rs, and Holdaway in New York, and even Portes and Rumbaut’s longitudinal data from Miami and San Diego, all show that on most indicators of social and economic achievement, Asian and European sec- ond-generation immigrancs often outperform the children of native whites. B~ack and many Latino second-generation members, while trailing behind native whites, are doing significamly bercer than members of native minority groups. .

The Mexican American second generation is of special concern, because of its enormous size and the low educational and occupational status of a high propor-

tion of the parents. Not only do the children of Mexican immigrants lag behin~ native whites in educational and occupacional attainment, but as Joel Perlmanns analysis of recent census data brings out they drop ouc of high school a~ very high races. However, young second-generation Mexican· male dropouts are likely to b.e working, che majority of chem full-cime. Overall, the U.S.-born offspring of Mexi- can immigrants do beccer than their parents Ln education and ~arnings . !hey are also more likely than their immigrant parents to work at white-collar 1obs. Al- though Perlmann shows chat graduation rates from four-year colleges_ arc m.uch lower among rhc Mexican second generation {ages 25-34) chan native whites, about the same proportion-about a third-had some college cducatio~ , a .figure thac implies chat a substancial minority of the Mexican second generauon is pre·

pared for white-collar positions. It is also worth noting thac second-generacion success rarely seems tied to con-

nections with the ethnic enclaves of the parents. If anything, such enclaves can serve

The New Americans 276

as safety nets for che least successfu l members of the second generation, buc (hey ace rarely springboards 10 upward mobiliry. Among the most economically successful immigram groups. such as Dae Young Kim shows among Korean Americans, rhe second generation is usual ly anxious co avoid both econom ic and geographic echoic enclaves. Of course, che bulk of the contemporary second generation is still young. As Deborah Wo_o reminds us, we cannor yet say whar glass ceilings even relacivc:ly successful groups may face in the furure. Stil l, Accord ing re mosr early indicators, today’s second generation seems to be assimilating into Amedcan sociery more rap- idly than immigrants of cht: past . While chis has nor led to universal upward mobil- ity, rhere is little evidence rhac a signincanc portion of the second generation is be- coming pare of a permanent urban underclass, as some early observers feared .

Relations between rhe Generations

First-generation immigrants and rheir American-born children have distinctive ex-

periences and frames of reference, and this affects the relations between them. This is an old immigrant story, and many of the tensions between rhe generations to- day are much like those reported in earlier eras. As before, the stress is typically on intergenerarional conflict–or the generation gap-between immigrant parents .>teeped in old-country traditions and values and second-generation children who have grown up in the American social and cultural world.

Of course it is possible to exaggerate the extent to which intergenerational con· flict is an immigrant phenomenon. It is important to ask whether the immigrant experience is largely to blame for tensions and conflicts between the first and second generations or if they are attributable, at least in pan, to life-stage differences be- tween p;irenrs and adolescent children that affect most Americans.

Adolescents in American society typically seek greater independence and auton- omy while parents seek ro assert their authority. Young people adopt styles of dress, decoration, music, and dance that their parents do not understand-and often can- not stand. Yet the strains rcsulring from “normal” teenage rebelliousness or lifestyles often become magnified and intensified when parents come from another country and culture and arc unfamiliar with or disapproving of mainstream American values and practices. And while many young people bemoan the fact that their parents “just don’t undersrand how things are today,” for the children of immigrants, who are lirerally coming of age in a different society from the one in which their parents did, the complaint may be particularly apt. Whereas rebelliousi1c:ss among Ameri- can adolescents represents a conflict between an adolescent world and an adult world, the second generation, as Zhou notes, also has to struggle to make sense of the inconsistencies between two adult worlds: that of the immigrant community or family and chat of the larger society.

Inrergeneracional conflicrs may be particularly acute in groups whose cultural

277 The Second Generation

panerns and practices differ radically from those in the broader American culture. In this regard, it is imporrant to note chat immigrant parems often hold up an ideal- ized version of traditional values and customs as a model for their children, even though these values and customs have often undergone considerable change since immigrants left the home country. Indeed, as Foner has nored, immigrant parents in the U.S. may construct a version of old-country traditions as a way to make sense of their current experience: or to buttress and legitimate their familial authority.

One source of intergenerational conflict is discipline. In some cultures of origin, such as Viemamese and Chinese, talking back to parents is a heinous offense. In the West Indies, corporal punishment is widely practiced. West Indian parents often fear that if they discipline children in the way they think best, they risk being re- ported to state agencies for child abuse. Just how common such reports actually are is unclear, yet even the theoretical possibility that children might appeal to U.S. le- gal authorities can be a flashpoint for tensions becween the generations, giving chil- dren added leverage in relations with their parents and laying bare the conflict be- tween U.S. and home-country behavioral norms.

For their pan, members of the second generation, reared in an American culture that encourages early independence for children, often view their parents as author- itarian and domineering. The parents, with their often romanticized old-world standards, may think their children rude and disrespectful. A vicious cycle may en- sue. AB parents feel frustrated and threatened by the new values and behaviors their children are exposed to, they may attempt to tighten the reins, which heightens children’s resentment and desire to flout parental controls.

Sexual relations are a particular source of tension. Immigrants from cultures where dating is frowned upon or forbidden can be frightened and appalled by their teenagers’-especially daughters’-desire to go on dates, to say nothing of the issues faced by gay and lesbian young people caught between the norms of their parents’ communities and the relative openness of American youth culture. Immigrant par- ents are often much stricter with daughters than with sons, and seek to keep girls close to home or to control their social activities. In many groups daughters are also given household responsibilities, such as caring for younger siblings, at an age when their brothers are encouraged to be independent. This double standard can lead im· migrant families to cut short daughters’ educational pursuits or force them to at· tend less prestigious institutions closer ro home. Seil!, among all but the most ~ighly educated of contemporary immigrant groups, girls outperform boy s academically. The work of Nancy Lopez on Haitians, West Indians, and Dominicans and of Rob- ert C. Smith on Mexicans suggest that second-generation girls’ more highly struc· tured and monitored lives can have positive effects on educational attainment. Of course, for better or for worse, many second-generation girls experience these re· stricrions as unfair and are torn between the pursuit of independence, autonomy, and romantic love and the desire to be dutiful daughters.

The New Americans 278

A funher source of conflict is parental pressure to marry wirhin the ethnic group. In che New York Second Generation Srudy, Kasinitz, Mollenkopf, \Varers, and Holdaway report that among the children of immigrants, in almost every group a

majority-usually a large majority-reject the notion that it is important to marry within the group. a view they acknowledge is often not shared by their parents. When ir comes to actual rates of out-marriage, not only do ethnic groups vary, but there is also considerable variation by gender. Out-marriage among second- and third-generation Ease Asian women has become common-far more common than among second- and third-generation East Asian men (rhe gender gap in our-mar- riage is also true for Latinos, though to a lesser extent). The effect of this gender gap on ethnic identity and family life across the generations has yet to be fully studied. Erhnic groups also vary markedly in age at marriage. Among Chinese and Korean Americans, the typical age of firsr marriage is now relatively high, partly because large numbers pursue postgraduate education. Yer we suspect that some young peo-

ple among these groups are forestalling conflicts with parents over acceptable mar- riage parrners by simply postponing marriage altogether.

An extreme case where immigrant norms are out of sync wirh chose of che domi- nant American culrure is arranged marriage, a common practice in many South Asian and Middle Eastern sending societies. Arranged marriages, needless co say, conflict sharply with the emphasis on romantic love and fulfilling one’s own destiny so conspicuous in American youth culture. Of course, conflicts over arranged mar- riages are increasingly common in many of the immigrants’ countries of origin as well. Yer in the U.S., children may be encouraged to reject traditional arranged mar- riages by the mainstream society’s culture and in some cases by its legal institutions as wdl. In response, gradual changes in arranged marriage norms are taking place in U.S. ethnic communities. “Semi-arranged” marriages, in which young people have some elements of choice, are increasingly common. Young people may be given an informal vero power over parental choices or are introduced to acceptable partners and then allowed a brief courtship in which rhey decide whether or not they wish to marry. Even wich chese changes, many second-generation youth bristle at parental pressure.

Another point of contention across the generations has to do with intense, and often high, parental expectations for their children. Immigrant parents feel they have made sacrifices so their children will get ahead in America, and when the chil- dren do not succeed or make educational or occupational choices at odds with pa- rental expectations, conflicts can result. As Annelise Orlc::ck puts it in her study of Sovier Jews, chilJren can hear the voices of rheir stressed and tired parents whisper-

ing, “We did this for you,” and Dae Young Kim reporcs that among second-genera- tion Korean Americans, the pressure to “repay” the sacrifices of immigrant parents in rhe form of educational attainment can be intense.

The pattern of pushing children to do well in school or to pursue a course of

study that will lead to a high-paying profession can have unintended negative con-

279 The Second Generation

sequences. According to Diane Wolf’s analysis, many second-generation Filipinos feel alienated from their parents as a result of these pressures. Filipino family ideol- ogy compounds the situation by requiring people co keep problems within the fam-

ily. Thus members of the second generation feel caught in a lonely bind: they can’t tum ro their parents, who are causing the problems, nor can they tum to others, for fear of further sanctions. Vivian Louie’s study of Chinese American college students also highlights the pressure parents put on their children to pursue “practical” fields of study; while mentors and advisers urge talenred young people to follow their dreams, parents urge them ro seek out lucrative and secure careers. Yet for all of these concerns, it must be noted that the disproportionate number of second-gener- ation immigrants among the nation’s leading young writers, artists, and musicians (and indeed, social scientists) suggests that at least some second-generation young people are being encouraged to pursue their dreams, lack of pecuniary rewards not-

withstanding. Finally, there are the tensions related to children’s role as translators, mediators,

and interpreters for non-English-speaking parents. This reversal of roles, with chil- dren acting as mentors and experts and parents as dependents, can create a host of problems. The young people may be embarrassed by their parents’ inabiliry to fill our forms, make appointments, and conduct business on their own and be annoyed by the imposition on their rime. They may also feel uncomfortable learning about family secreis–or about intervening and mediating-in the process of translating in medical, legal, and other social settings. Whether boys find the role reversals more difficulr than girls is an open quesrion, although evidence suggests that girls tend to take on more translating responsibilities, especially when it comes to home-

related matters. Translating and interpreting can also give children power over their parents,

which may exacerbate conflicts and accentuate the gulfs between them. Indeed, children may deliberately use knowledge of English as a tool against their parents and as a way to keep their lives separate. Understandably, this creates rescncmcnc

among parenrs, who dislike their dependence on their children for rranslaring

government documencs and other material a.nd for communicating wirh English- speaking officials, professionals, and merchants. Parenrs may worry, in fact , chat their chiJdren are not cranslaring corrc::ccly- and a number of studies report in- stances where children deliberately miscranslare repon:s from teachers, saying that a

grade of F means “fine,” for example. lnrergene.rationaJ strains and conflicts are most prominent in the family arena,

ycr they occur in other domains as well-policies, workplaces, and ethnic associa- tions, to name three. Studies of religious congregarions indicate that members ~f che second generacion may segregare themselves from che immigrant generacion m these settings because they feel estranged from rhe erhnic ambiance, and in some re- ligious instirutions, members of rhe second genCIJlrion resent being denied access co meaningful authority roles. In poliricaJ organizations and communiry groups, the

The New Americans 280

second generarion, particularly those with a U.S. college educarion, may have a dif- ferent perspective on ethnic group identity as well as a different scyle of political ex- pression from those whose early political experience was in anorher sociecy. Nicole

Marwell’s work on Domjnican acriviscs indicates a far grearer influence of the American civil rights movement on both rhe sryle and the substance of policicaJ ex- pression among che second, as compared with rhe first, gencr:ition, as wdl as a grca~er willingness to work closely wich ocher Latinos. and African Ameticans. Simi-

larly, Yen Le &piriru’s study of panerhniciry amorig Asian Americans notes a greater pancrhnic consciousness of “Asian” (as opposed to ” Chinese,” “Korean” or ”Viet- namese~) identicy among rhe second generation. This “Asian American” identity,

which often emerges on American college campuses, appears to represent a form of

assimilation in which members of the second generation have come co think of

rhemselves in American racial terms.

For all of rhe potential for intergenerational conAicr, ir is important to note that strains and conflicts are only one part of the story. Families create emotional tics that bond and bind, and even when members of the second generation chafe under

pa.rental conma.ims and obliga ions, rhe vase majoriry feel deep affecrion for and loyalty co their parents and recognize the importance of family. These conrradicrory

pulls may be especially srrong for daughter~ . who are subject t0 micr parental con- trols yet at lhe same cime are heavily involved in household acti\’ities. Porres and

Rumbaur argue rhac when pa.rents and children boch acculturate at the same rate (”consonant acculturacion”)–or when “selective acculrurarion” occurs in the con- texc of a dense coerhn ic communicy that promoccs partial retention of rhe pa.rems’

home language and norms–d1ildren arc bs prone ro feel embarrassed by their parents and more willing ro accept parencal guida11ce, thereby reducing rhe likeli- hood of intergenerational conilict. .

It should also he noted that multigenerational households are more common

among immigram groups 1han among natives in the U.S. today. Indeed, for most middle-class Americans it has become normative co leave che parental home before age 20, to pursue higher education, join che armed forces, or simply mike out on one’s own. Young adulrs who return co their parents’ home in their twenties are labeled “boomerang kids” or ~lLYAS” (“incompletely launched young adults~).

They are seen as somehow unsuccessful , and their rising numbers are considered a social problem. Br comrasr, in many immigrant families young people ai:c seen as making che rransicion to adulthood nor by leaving the parental household bur

rather by beginning re make financial contributions to ic. As Holdaway observes, chis propensity to live in multlgcncrarional households, whatever its emotional com, is a considerable financial advanc:ige, parricularly in high-cost housing mar- kers such as New York and Los Angeles, where many immigrants are concen- trated. Ir may parcially explain why working-class im migrants in those merropoli- ran areas are more likely co own homes than narives of the same age and in.come

(,..) level. CD -..J

281 The Second Generation

In general, parents and children often work out accommodations and compro- mises as a way to get along. Far from being inflexible traditionalists, most immi-

grant parents adapt and change in the new context. This can mean givi~g children more say in marriage arrangements, to give an example from South Asian groups, or, as a study of the Haitian second generation reports, extending the evening cur-

few hour or permitting dating earlier than parents would like. Some West Indian parents, according to Waters, are learning new techniques from their children, who explain how American or Americanized friends are disciplined. Evidence suggests

that parents with higher levels of education and economic scacus are more likely to

work our these accommodating strategies to ensure peace and harmony, perhaps be-

cause they are more exposed to American coworkers and colleagues than chose with

less education or lower-wage jobs. As for the second generation, they are not inevitably rebels, nor do they necessar-

ily reject or entirely abandon their parents’ ways. 1;1a~y. ~esr Indian. teenagers ‘.n Waters’s study, for example, defended their parents d1sc1plmary prarnces and said that when they grew up and had children, they would try to combine West Indian srriccness with American freedom and openness. In general, whatever members of

the second generation chink about their parents’ standards, they ofte~ try to conceal their behavior from parents in order tO avoid clashes, and rhey may simply go along with parental expectations co keep the peace, especially when the surround~ng com- munity-neighbors and ocher social contacts-back ~P ~arent~ aut~omy. Rela- tions berween che rwo generations, in sum, are filled with mc.ons1srenc1es and con-

tradictions, and shifi: in different conrexrs and over time. In many (perhaps most) cases, conAicr is mixed with cooperation and caring, and rejection of some parental

standards and practices is coupled with acceptance of others. The same can probably be said abour relations between the contemporary second

generation and their children (the third generation), although it is t~o early to say much about the nature of these relations. Ar this point, we know lmle about the

emerging third generation, mosc of whom are still very young. Amo~g the many important questions is how this third generacion-.-rhe U.S.-born children of the

U.S.-born second generation-will fare educacionally and occupacionaUy, and. how they wilt relate to thc:ir immigrant heritage ~d co chcir grandpar~nts’ ~unmes ~! origin. As only a ciny number of che grandchildren of post-1965 1mm1grancs ha reached adulthood, these copies muse await further study.


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