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The Place of Factor X in Friedman

The progress of human consciousness makes man respect his fellow men. History stands testimony to this fact. As the level of human consciousness rises he started understanding the intricacies of human life on this globe. We know that man fought feverishly with his brethrens when he was a brute but as he started becoming modernized and civilized, his brute instincts started giving way to his more gentle instincts. His love for peace and respect for the lives of others started reigning his otherwise seething cauldron of unregenerate and brute instincts. Francis Fukuyama, Madeline Albright and Thomas L.

Friedman seems to be suggesting this assertion, in one form or other, as the basis of their theories for the birth and growth of respect for human dignity in individuals, groups, countries and nations. Let us discuss the theories of these three intellectual giants in the perspective that the development and modernizing of human consciousness is the basis of the birth and growth of care for human dignity and that both Thomas Friedman and Madeline Albright address the Fukuyama’s theory of ‘Factor X’ by discussing ‘consciousness’ in their theories for conflict prevention and resolution.

Francis Fukuyama, the great thinker and philosopher of present century, in his theory doesn’t take a restricted view of human ‘consciousness’. His view of this capacity of human being is very deep and comprehensive, as is apparent from his this statement, “By consciousness I mean subjective mental states: not just the thoughts and images that appear to you as you are thinking or reading this page, but also the sensations, feelings, and emotions that you experience as part of everyday life.

” (Fukuyama 86) thus Fukuyama does not take a restricted or limited view of ‘consciousness’. It is something very vast and vital concept for him. Fukuyama rejects believes of the thinkers who take a restricted view of ‘consciousness’ as he himself believes that consciousness is something very deep, vast and “mysterious”. In this regards he states that, “Human consciousness is not just individual preferences and instrumental reason, but is shaped intersubjectively by other consciousnesses and their moral evaluations.

We are social and political animals not merely because we are capable of game-theoretic reason, but because we are endowed with certain social emotion. Human sentience is not that of a pig or a horse, because it is coupled with human memory and reason”. This statement of Fukuyama suggests his belief that the advancement of ‘consciousness’ will make human beings respect and understand the emotions, feelings and believes of others and this way respect for human dignity increase. Madeline Albright, the former U.

S. Secretary of state, a seasoned politician in her essay “Faith and Diplomacy” seems to believe that religion as a force has the potential of uniting people against injustice and cruelty. She believes that almost all religions propagate humane values, it is in fact the level of human ‘consciousness’, in a broad sense, that allows man to use religion either as a stick to beet others with or as an attracting force that binds human beings with strong loving and caring bonds that allows them to live peacefully.

In the essay “Faith and Diplomacy” she sates that, “It is easy to blame religion—or, more fairly, what some people do in the name of religion—for all our troubles, but that is too simple. Religion is a powerful force, but its impact depends entirely on what it inspires people to do”. Here Madeline’s asserts that the importance, worth, comprehension, the suggested guidance and meaning of religion depend upon the level of ‘consciousness’ of the people who enjoy that particular faith. How they interpret the message is all depends upon the people’s level of ‘consciousness’.

She justifies her viewpoint by quoting the example of the people of Poland, who lived under a totalitarian regime; their consciousness-level was raised to new heights by the lessons of humanity given to them by the Pope and thus they succeeded in establishing in the end a reign of love and care. The pope made the Poles mindful of their own human dignity. Madeline Albright said that, “He (pope) made plain his conviction that the totalitarian regime could not survive if Poles had the courage to withhold their cooperation. Above all, he urged his countrymen not to be afraid—a simple request with enormous impact.

Slowly at first, but with gathering momentum, the pope’s listeners drew strength from one another. No longer were they separated into small, controllable groups; the communists’ obsession with isolating dangerous ideas had met its match. Standing amid huge crowds, the listeners recognized in each other once again the qualities that made them proud to be Polish—faith in God and a willingness to run risks for freedom. The pope’s visits—for he made more than one—sparked a revolution of the spirit that liberated Poland, brought down the Berlin Wall, reunited Europe, and transformed the face of the world”.

Thus as the level of ‘consciousness’ increases the people get themselves united against the heavy odds and unjust rulers, and eventually succeeded in winning their dignity and freedom. With the example of a Christian girl, Marry, who was shot by a Muslim soldier Madeline Albright, again stressed the importance of ‘consciousness’ in respecting the dignity of man. The level of Muslim soldier’s ‘consciousness’ was raw; he was not conscious or respectful of the inherent values of tolerance ingrained in the very makeup of his religion and thus shot the girl in the neck.

While some of his own co-religionists, who were mindful of human dignity took the injured and near-dead girl to the hospital for treatment. Mary’s ‘consciousness’ of the humane values of her religion was high and that’s the reason she forgave the soldier in spite of the heinous act that he did to her. Likewise the people of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) were not ‘conscious’ of the human dignity and thus killed people in the name of religion. In a way Madeline Albright, with the help of Mary’s example, also seems to be supporting Fukuyama’s theory of Factor –X.

Mary forgave the person just because he is a human being and her level of consciousness was cognizant of the fact of love of human dignity and life without caring for the difference of religions. By the examples of Mary and the havoc wrought by LRA’s on poor people Madeline Albright stresses the importance of “consciousness” factor and supports Fukuyama’s concept of Factor-X in this way, “One insight that is present in these stories and often in religious faith more generally is that we share a kinship with one another, however distant it may sometimes seem; we are all created in the image of God.

This in turn places upon us a responsibility to our neighbors. That principle provides both a solid foundation for religion and a respectable basis for organizing the affairs of secular society. ” Here Madeline supports Fukuyama concept of factor X, by saying that without caring for the difference of religions and the difference of cultures human beings are closely linked, with rise in man’s level of ‘consciousness’ rise he will become able to understand this fact clearly, openly and deeply.

. This enhanced ‘consciousness’ will help, in the long run, in establishing and maintaining peace, conflict management and resolution in the world. In her essay “Faith and Diplomacy” she says that, “They (American Diplomats) should develop the ability to recognize where and how religious beliefs contribute to conflicts and when religious principles might be invoked to ease strife. They should also reorient our foreign policy institutions to take fully into account the immense power of religion to influence how people think, feel, and act.

The signs of such influence are all around us in the lives of people of many different faiths. ” This way Madeline Albright wanted countries to raise their ‘consciousness’ level, in order to respect human dignity, by giving due consideration to the understanding of the attachment and respect that people belonging to other religions and sect shares and entertains. Thomas L. Friedman also supports the importance of ‘consciousness’ in helping establish peace and respect for human dignity.

He says in his book “The World is Flat”, that as the people’s ‘consciousness’ with respect to the importance of rising living standards increase they will not like to wage old wars. In the modern world people want to live peacefully in order to have smooth and booming business activities so that they can enjoy a good quality of life. People all over the world have become cognizant of the importance of economic factor in life. This ‘consciousness’ has made them respect and care for human life and dignity as they started believing firmly in the philosophy of live-and-let-live’.

Thus, the author says in above-mentioned book that, “The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell’s, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain. Because people embedded in major global supply chains don’t want to fight old-time wars any more. They want to make just-in-time deliveries of goods and services- and enjoy the rising standards of living that come with that.

”(Friedman, p. 55). Thus with the improving level of ‘consciousness’ individuals as well as countries have started realizing the golden rule and point of thought of peaceful existence in which respect for human dignity reigns supreme and where man care for man, and countries care for countries. To sum up the whole discussion it can be stated that the rise in the level of human ‘consciousness’ has made people respect life and human dignity.

As Fukuyama has said in his seminal thesis about the importance of factor X that ‘consciousness’ is a complex, comprehensive, and ‘mysterious’ human feeling. It includes understanding, awareness and realization of a lot of things. Madeline Albright is of the view that increase in ‘consciousness’ level with respect to the understanding of another person’s affiliations with his faith can help in establishing peace and resolution of conflicts in this world. Thomas L.

Friedman believes that realization of the importance of the economic interests has increased the ‘consciousness’ of individuals and countries’ as they no longer want to fight ‘old-time wars’ any more. He believe that now people want to have a constant improvement in the standards of living and thus they will work for conflict resolution and management and try their utmost to establish and maintain peace in this world. In this way human dignity and honor will be able to earn respect from all human quarters.

Work Cited

Albright, Madeleine. “Faith and Diplomacy. ” Emerging A Reader. Ed. Barclay Barrios Boston/ New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2008. 17 Jan. 2008. 1-10. Friedman, Thomas. ”The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention” Emerging A Reader. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2008. 30 Jan. 2008. 49-69. Fukuyama, Francis. “Human Dignity”. Emerging A Reader. Ed. Barclay Barrios. Boston/New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2008. 21 Mar. 2008. 70-98.

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