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The End of History and the Last Manpubl. Just the Introduction reproduced here; Transcribed: In it, I argued that a remarkable consensus concerning the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a system of government had emerged throughout the world over the past few years, as it conquered rival ideologies like hereditary monarchy, fascism, and most recently communism.
But these problems were ones of incomplete implementation of the twin principles of liberty and equality on which modern democracy is founded, rather than of flaws in the principles themselves.
While some present-day countries might fail to achieve stable liberal democracy, and others might lapse back into other, more primitive forms of rule like theocracy or military dictatorship, the ideal of liberal democracy could not be improved on. The original article excited an extraordinary amount of commentary and controversy, first in the United States, and then in a series of countries as different as England, France, Italy, the Soviet Union, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, and South Korea.
Criticism took every conceivable form, some of it based on simple misunderstanding of my original intent, and others penetrating more perceptively to the core of my argument.
And yet what I suggested had come to an end was not the occurrence of events, even large and grave events, but History: This understanding of History was most closely associated with the great German philosopher G.
For both of these thinkers, there was a coherent development of human societies from simple tribal ones based on slavery and subsistence agriculture, through various theocracies, monarchies, and feudal aristocracies, up through modern liberal democracy and technologically driven capitalism.
This did not mean that the natural cycle of birth, life, and death would end, that important events would no longer happen, or that newspapers reporting them would cease to be published.
It meant, rather, that there would be no further progress in the development of underlying principles and institutions, because all of the really big questions had been settled. Least of all is it an account of the end of the Cold War, or any other pressing topic in contemporary politics.
While this book is informed by recent world events, its subject returns to a very old question: Whether, at the end of the twentieth century, it makes sense for us once again to speak of a coherent and directional History of mankind that will eventually lead the greater part of humanity to liberal democracy?
The answer I arrive at is yes, for two separate reasons. In the century and a half since they wrote, their intellectual legacy has been relentlessly assaulted from all directions.
The most profound thinkers of the twentieth century have directly attacked the idea that history is a coherent or intelligible process; indeed, they have denied the possibility that any aspect of human life is philosophically intelligible. We in the West have become thoroughly pessimistic with regard to the possibility of overall progress in democratic institutions.
This profound pessimism is not accidental, but born of the truly terrible political events of the first half of the twentieth century — two destructive world wars, the rise of totalitarian ideologies, and the turning of science against man in the form of nuclear weapons and environmental damage.
Indeed, we have become so accustomed by now to expect that the future will contain bad news with respect to the health and security of decent, liberal, democratic political practices that we have problems recognising good news when it comes.
And yet, good news has come. And while they have not given way in all cases to stable liberal democracies, liberal democracy remains the only coherent political aspiration that spans different regions and cultures around the globe. A liberal revolution in economic thinking has sometimes preceded, sometimes followed, the move toward political freedom around the globe.
All of these developments, so much at odds with the terrible history of the first half of the century when totalitarian governments of the Right and Left were on the march, suggest the need to look again at the question of whether there is some deeper connecting thread underlying them, or whether they are merely accidental instances of good luck.
By raising once again the question of whether there is such a thing as a Universal History of mankind, I am resuming a discussion that was begun in the early nineteenth century, but more or less abandoned in our time because of the enormity of events that mankind has experienced since then.
While drawing on the ideas of philosophers like Kant and Hegel who have addressed this question before, I hope that the arguments presented here will stand on their own. This volume immodestly presents not one but two separate efforts to outline such a Universal History. After establishing in Part I why we need to raise once again the possibility of Universal History, I propose an initial answer in Part II by attempting to use modern natural science as a regulator or mechanism to explain the directionality and coherence of History.
Modern natural science is a useful starting point because it is the only important social activity that by common consensus is both cumulative and directional, even if its ultimate impact on human happiness is ambiguous.
The unfolding of modern natural science has had a uniform effect on all societies that have experienced it, for two reasons. In the first place, technology confers decisive military advantages on those countries that possess it, and given the continuing possibility of war in the international system of states, no state that values its independence can ignore the need for defensive modernisation.
Second, modern natural science establishes a uniform horizon of economic production possibilities. Technology makes possible the limitless accumulation of wealth, and thus the satisfaction of an ever-expanding set of human desires.
This process guarantees an increasing homogenisation of all human societies, regardless of their historical origins or cultural inheritances. All countries undergoing economic modernisation must increasingly resemble one another: Such societies have become increasingly linked with one another through global markets and the spread of a universal consumer culture.
Moreover, the logic of modern natural science would seem to dictate a universal evolution in the direction of capitalism. But while the historical mechanism represented by modern natural science is sufficient to explain a great deal about the character of historical change and the growing uniformity of modern societies, it is not sufficient to account for the phenomenon of democracy.
But while modern natural science guides us to the gates of the Promised Land of liberal democracy, it does not deliver us to the Promised Land itself, for there is no economically necessary reason why advanced industrialisation should produce political liberty.
Stable democracy has at times emerged in pre-industrial societies, as it did in the United States in On the other hand, there are many historical and contemporary examples of technologically advanced capitalism coexisting with political authoritarianism from Meiji Japan and Bismarckian Germany to present-day Singapore and Thailand.
In many cases, authoritarian states are capable of producing rates of economic growth unachievable in democratic societies.
Our first effort to establish the basis for a directional history is thus only partly successful.Jun 28, · SOURCE: “What Is Fukuyama Saying?,” in New York Times Magazine, October 22, , pp. , 42, [In the following essay, Atlas provides an overview of Fukuyama's professional background. An Analysis of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man By Ian Jackson with Jason Xidias WAYS IN TO THE TEXT Key Points • Francis Fukuyama is an academic with a background in political philosophy who worked as an analyst at the think .
Essay on Liberal Democracy and Francis Fukuyama - Francis Fukuyama argued that liberal democracy was deemed to be the final viable form for political institutions.
This implies that liberal democracy will become the last form of regime for states. Please check our an introduction to the analysis of the essay by francis fukuyama course overview for similiar courses!
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