severity of the destruction, whatever creativityrnit may bring in its wake. In ploddingrnsociologese accompanied by dozensrnof charts and graphs, he simply tells usrnwhat we all already know: In the lastrnthree decades and more,rnthe breakdown of social order isrnnot a matter of nostalgia, poorrnmemory, or ignorance about thernhypocrisies of earlier ages. The declinernis readily measurable in statisticsrnon crime, fatherless children,rnreduced educational outcomes andrnopportimihes, broken trust, and thernlike.rnSigns of decay have been “dramatic, theyrnoccurred over a wide range of similarrncountries,” and arernmarked by seriously deterioratingrnsocial conditions in most of the industrializedrnworld. Crime and socialrndisorder began to rise, makingrninner-city areas of the wealthiest societiesrnon earth almost uninhabitablern. . . Fertility in most Europeanrncountries and Japan fell to suchrnlow levels that these societies willrndepopulate themselves in the nextrncentury . . . divorce soared and outof-rnwedlock childbearing came tornaffect one out of every three childrenrnborn in the United States andrnover half of all children in Scandinavia.rnPrudently, Fukuyama declines to providernstatistics pertaining to such mattersrnas the decline of religious faith, the explosionrnof the pornography industry, andrnthe literally millions upon millions of unbornrnchildren slaughtered to advance notrnonly the lucrative profits of abortionistsrnbut a new conception of freedom itselfrnMr. Fukuyama posits a modern economicrntransition from the industrialrnage to the information one as profoundrnin its implications as the earlierrntransition to the industrial from the agrarianrnage was; this, along with the birthrncontrol pill, he imagines to be the sourcernof the creative destruction which functionsrnalso as a disruption. His analysis setsrnthe modern agenda (unless, as Fukuyamarnpossibly does not anticipate, you condemnrncontraception) beyond the reachrnof moral condemnation and of the moralrnargument advanced on behalf of creativerndestruction itself. It has as its premisernwhat Chesterton called the great Darwinianrnprinciple of the survival of the survivors,rnor historical inevitability: to wit,rnthat whatever happens in society is destinedrnto happen.rnMr. Fukuyama exhibits a weak imaginativerngrasp in all this, as in his supportrnfor the strange argument thatrnthe feminist revolution was madernvirtually inevitable by the simplernfact of increasing human longevityrn. . . by 1980, the average womanrnhad 32.5 years extra to live—morernthan half her adult life—outside eitherrnher birth family, or free fromrnthe demands of raising her ownrnchildren. Even if a woman wantedrnto devote herself to family, andrneven if the information age had notrnopened up so many new careerrnpossibilities, what was she to dornwith all that extra time?rnYet why might not the same developmentrnhave made higher birthrates inevitable,rnor encouraged the social reintegrationrnof grandparents in the task ofrnraising children? Again, because thesernthings did not happen, we are expected tornbelieve they could not have and that thernsocial forces working to achieve the presentrnresult must surely be benign ones.rnFukuyama repeatedly indulges inrnmeaningless boilerplate (“society builtrnaround information tends to producernmore of the two things people value mostrnin a modern democracy, freedom andrnequalit)'”) while unintentionally revealingrnthat, whatever our society is builtrnaround, it is producing a most vapid idearnof freedom quite destructive of the realrnthing and an equality that exists only inrnour mutual suifering of destruction. Hernfurther claims that thernmarket-based capitalist economicrnsystem that went hand-in-glovernwith political liberalism . . . createdrnon . . . individualistic premisesrn[has] worked extraordinarily well,rn. . . [UJniversal liberal principlesrnhave been surprisingly resilient.. .rnwe can therefore expect a longtermrnprogressive evolution of humanrnpolitical institutions in the directionrnof liberal democracy. . . .rn[I]n the political and economicrnsphere, history appears to be progressivernand directional and . . . hasrnculminated in liberal democracy asrnthe only viable alternative for technologicallyrnadvanced societies.. .rn[S]o close is the association betweenrncivil society and liberal democracyrnthat [Emest Gellner arguesrnit is] a virtual proxy for the fomier.rnAll of his graphs indicate the opposite,rnbut Fikuyama seeks to dispose of thisrnsalient contradiction by the claim that,rnwhile politics and economics are “progressivernand directional… [i]n the socialrnand moral sphere, however, history appearsrnto be cyclical”; from this he concludesrnthat a cycle of social strengthrn(“growing evidence that the Great Disruptionrnhas run its course and that thernprocess of renorming has already begun”)rnis at hand. In evidence of “renorming,”rnFukuyama offers the recent decreasernin crime — an argument whichrnignores certain painful racial implications,rnas well as the related decrease inrnthe young male population (responsiblernfor the vast majority of crimes in all societiesrnsince relevant statistics have beenrngathered) that is itself attributable to arnproliferation of illegitimacy and fatherlessrnchildren, the depopulation of Westernrnsociety, the decay of marriage as anrninstitution, the slaughter of millions byrnabortion, the huge profits of the pornographyrnindustry, and more.rnFukuyama’s uneasiness reveals itselfrnfurther by endless dithering about whetherrnsigns of disaster might be underminingrnour confidence in the glories of the age.rnAre “we fated to slide into ever-increasingrnlevels of social and moral disorder”; arerncapitalist societies destined to becomernmaterially wealthier, butrnmorally poorer as time goes on? Isrnthe very ruthlessness and impersonalityrnof markets undermining ourrnsocial connectedness and teachingrnus that only money and not valuesrnmatter? Is modern capitalism destinedrnto undermine its own moralrnbasis, and thereby bring about itsrnown collapse?rnFurthermore, Fukuyama asks, doesrngoing forward . .. promise ever-increasingrnlevels of disorder and socialrnatomization, at the same timernour line of retreat has been cut off?rnDoes this mean, then, that contemporaryrnliberal societies are fated torndescend into increasing levels ofrnmoral decline and social anarchy,rnuntil they somehow implode?rnAUGUST 1999/31rnrnrn