#172 Identity Politics: Dignity and Resentment. Francis Fukuyama

Are identity politics ruining democracy? National and global institutions are in a state of decay, and identity fuels much of today's debates in America and across the world.

On the right, Donald Trump seized on the grievances and resentment of white working class voters and others who felt let down by the impact of globalism and technology.  On the left, social and political movements based on gender, sexual identity, race and ethnicity play an increasingly large role. 

"The problem with our politics is that we have shifted from arguing about economic policies to arguing about identities," says our guest, political scientist, Francis Fukuyama. In his new book, "IdentityThe Demand for Dignity and The Politics of Resentment," he warns that unless we forge a universal understanding of human dignity, we will doom ourselves to continual conflict. 

In the United States, “it’s better if both parties actually stick to broad social policy issues that they can argue about, rather than lining themselves up according to biological characteristics,” he tells us in this episode.

We examine Fukuyama's provocative analysis of populism, nativism, white nationalism, radical Islam, and authoritarian tendencies that threaten to destabilize democracy and international affairs.

Francis Fukuyama is a political scientist at Stanford University. His best-known book is "The End of History and the Last Man", published after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.