"Perhaps Fukuyama’s most interesting section is his discussion of the United States, which is used to illustrate the interaction of democracy and state building. Up through the 19th century, he notes, the United States had a weak, corrupt and patrimonial state. From the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, however, the American state was transformed into a strong and effective independent actor, first by the Progressives and then by the New Deal. This change was driven by “a social revolution brought about by industrialization, which mobilized a host of new political actors with no interest in the old clientelist system. The American example shows that democracies can indeed build strong states, but that doing so, Fukuyama argues, requires a lot of effort over a long time by powerful players not tied to the older order.” [My emphasis in bold.]
Industrialization and the corporate actors pursuing their self-interest through the political process changed the concept of government in the U.S. for the better for about 50 years. This contribution appears to be overlooked recently when some criticize capitalism. However, the industrial complex is now accused of overdoing its involvement in the political process much the same as the system it helped to change at the end of the 19th century. The question then becomes who is the group or organization that can again rebalance the U.S. political system if corporate America is now the culprit. This kind of change would be particularly difficult because of the massive amounts of capital controlled by corporate America. Do not despair.
Many of history's most important social/political changes, such as the Protestant Reformation and the French Revolution, were facilitated by significant new changes in social media. Maybe it is just a coincidence, but perhaps all of this new Internet-based networking, community building and content generation is the type of change in social media that can facilitate a significant change in the U.S. political system. Perhaps we are preparing to re-balance political power and move to a healthier balance between corporations and other interested parties. This robust infrastructure of social media may be the vehicle. Ever the optimist.