Historical naivety

1. "Historical naivety is a hallmark of the American political consciousness," suggests Francis Fukuyama, Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University, USA. Americans, apparently liberated from the "burden" of being tied to a particular place and people over generations, are "genuinely naive" when it comes to solving international disputes like that in the Balkans. Fukuyama suggested that American historical naivety has caused a "neurotic vacillation" in US foreign policy between isolationism and Wilsonian involvement in order to remake what is perceived as a faulty world. He also argues that the lack of American rootedness in past ancestors and communities, which had the authority to impose rules of behaviour, has contributed to the spread of crime and fractured family relationships. In favour of historical naivety, said Fukuyama, is the greater tolerance evident in the Americas. The sense of blood and belonging, he continues, has led to ethnic conflicts in Europe which are absent in the "new world".

2. When an American says, 'That's history', that means it's irrelevant. When a European says, 'That's history', it's the most important thing of all.

(F) Fuzzy exceptional problems