"Poor countries are poor not because they lack resources, but because they lack effective political institutions." Francis Fukuyama Ideas are fascinating things and political philosophy and social development are big ideas. Fukuyama still thinks the 'liberal state' will survive, sometimes I wonder. America seems to have lost her civility as wealth and corporate power control the message. Have we lost too that great inventiveness and progress as we waste resources on war but refuse to fund our future? That only inevitable time will tell. review By Nicholas Wade http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/08/science/08fukuyama.html?src=me&ref=science "The book traces the development of political order from the earliest human societies, which were small groups of hunter-gatherers. The first major social development, in Dr. Fukuyamas view, was the transition from hunter-gatherer bands to tribes, made possible by religious ideas that united large numbers of people in worship of a common ancestor. Since a tribe could quickly mobilize many men for warfare, neighboring bands had to tribalize too, or be defeated. Warfare also forced the second major social transition, from tribe to state. States are better organized than tribes and more stable, since tribes tend to dissolve in fighting after the death of a leader. Only because states offered a better chance of survival did people give up the freedom of the tribe for the coercion of the state." See also Peter Watson, the history of ideas below is one of the best I have ever read. [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Mind-Intellectual-History-Century/dp/0060084383/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]Amazon.com: The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century (9780060084387): Peter Watson: Books[/ame] Check his larger survey as well. In the mid fifties, "generosity was voted the most conspicuous American characteristic, followed by friendliness, understanding, piety, love of freedom, and progressivism. The American faults listed were petty: shallowness, egotism, extravagance, preoccupation with money, and selfishness." William Manchester in "The Glory and the Dream" quoting George Gallup's Institute of public opinion.