On the question of political decay

I’m reading Francis Fukuyama’s The Origins of Political Order. Of less interest is his conclusion (he plucked it from his End of History book: namely, that the rule of law, the modern state, and the consent of the governed are the 3 pillars of modern political society), of greater interest his question of “political decay.” I want to recast his question as follows:

  1. Why are old, unworkable institutions “so sticky”? What motivates groups and societies to cling to institutions that have ceased to meet human needs?
  2. Can we devise a set of heuristics that would provide us with loose guidelines for creating new institutions that would better satisfy our intrinsic human needs?

I ask these questions now because they are the questions of our time. Old institutions are in the process of losing their rational authority; new institutions have yet to emerge. Here we are, in the middle of  the muddle. Welcome to the dollhouse.

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