Thoughts on Fukuyama’s “End of History” Thesis – Culture

This is the first of two articles examining Fukuyama's controversial and persuasive views.

Fukuyama: The Clash of Civilizations and the End of History

While it is impossible to rule out the sudden appearance of new ideologies or previously unrecognized contradictions in liberal societies, then, the present world seems to confirm that the fundamental principles of sociopolitical organization have not advanced terribly far since 1806. Many of the wars and revolutions fought since that time have been undertaken in the name of ideologies which claimed to be more advanced than liberalism, but whose pretensions were ultimately unmasked by history. In the meantime, they have helped to spread the universal homogenous state to the point where it could have a significant effect on the overall character of international relations.

The End of History? - Francis Fukuyama

WHAT ARE the implications of the end of history for international relations? Clearly, the vast bulk of the Third World remains very much mired in history, and will be a terrain of conflict for many years to come. But let us focus for the time being on the larger and more developed states of the world who after all account for the greater part of world politics. Russia and China are not likely to join the developed nations of the West as liberal societies any time in the foreseeable future, but suppose for a moment that Marxism-Leninism ceases to be a factor driving the foreign policies of these states - a prospect which, if not yet here, the last few years have made a real possibility. How will the overall characteristics of a de-ideologized world differ from those of the one with which we are familiar at such a hypothetical juncture?

No, not everyone has access yet to this platform, but it is open now to more people in more places on more days in more ways than anything like it in history. Wherever you look today -- whether it is the world of journalism, with bloggers bringing down Dan Rather; the world of software, with the Linux code writers working in online forums for free to challenge Microsoft; or the world of business, where Indian and Chinese innovators are competing against and working with some of the most advanced Western multinationals -- hierarchies are being flattened and value is being created less and less within vertical silos and more and more through horizontal collaboration within companies, between companies and among individuals.


Francis Fukuyama's thesis, "the End of History"

Gorbachev's claim that he is seeking to return to the true Lenin is perfectly easy to understand: having fostered a thorough denunciation of Stalinism and Brezhnevism as the root of the USSR's present predicament, he needs some point in Soviet history on which to anchor the legitimacy of the CPSU'S continued rule. But Gorbachev's tactical requirements should not blind us to the fact that the democratizing and decentralizing principles which he has enunciated in both the economic and political spheres are highly subversive of some of the most fundamental precepts of both Marxism and Leninism. Indeed, if the bulk of the present economic reform proposals were put into effect, it is hard to know how the Soviet economy would be more socialist than those of other Western countries with large public sectors.

The end of history francis fukuyama thesis - …

The Soviet Union could in no way be described as a liberal or democratic country now, nor do I think that it is terribly likely that perestroika will succeed such that the label will be thinkable any time in the near future. But at the end of history it is not necessary that all societies become successful liberal societies, merely that they end their ideological pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society. And in this respect I believe that something very important has happened in the Soviet Union in the past few years: the criticisms of the Soviet system sanctioned by Gorbachev have been so thorough and devastating that there is very little chance of going back to either Stalinism or Brezhnevism in any simple way. Gorbachev has finally permitted people to say what they had privately understood for many years, namely, that the magical incantations of Marxism-Leninism were nonsense, that Soviet socialism was not superior to the West in any respect but was in fact a monumental failure. The conservative opposition in the USSR, consisting both of simple workers afraid of unemployment and inflation and of party officials fearful of losing their jobs and privileges, is outspoken and may be strong enough to force Gorbachev's ouster in the next few years. But what both groups desire is tradition, order, and authority; they manifest no deep commitment to Marxism-Leninism, except insofar as they have invested much of their own lives in it.[] For authority to be restored in the Soviet Union after Gorbachev's demolition work, it must be on the basis of some new and vigorous ideology which has not yet appeared on the horizon.

Fukuyama the end of history thesis | Blank Paper To …

The fifth and final part of this book addresses the question ofthe “end of history,” and the creature who emerges atthe end, the “last man.” In the course of the originaldebate over the National Interest article, many peopleassumed that the possibility of the end of history revolved aroundthe question of whether there were viable alternatives to liberaldemocracy visible in the world today. There was a great deal ofcontroversy over such questions as whether communism was trulydead, whether religion or ultranationalism might make a comeback,and the like. But the deeper and more profound question concernsthe goodness of Liberal democracy itself, and not only whetherit will succeed against its present-day rivals. Assuming thatliberal democracy is, for the moment, safe from external enemies,could we assume that successful democratic societies could remainthat way indefinitely? Or is liberal democracy prey to seriousinternal contradictions, contradictions so serious that they willeventually undermine it as a political system? There is no doubtthat contemporary democracies face any number of serious problems,from drugs, homelessness and crime to environmental damage andthe frivolity of consumerism. But these problems are not obviouslyinsoluble on the basis of liberal principles, nor so serious thatthey would necessarily lead to the collapse of society as a whole,as communism collapsed in the 1980s.