Term papers writing service


Francis fukuyama end of history 1989 essay

  • It should go without saying that none of these criticisms is meant to deny that the Hegelian system possesses tremendous aesthetic appeal;
  • Huntington, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote in the pages of The National Interest to comment on the fifteen-page piece.

The total result of this method is to impose a certain form upon the whole historical story, and to produce a scheme of general history which is bound to converge beautifully upon the present—all demonstrating throughout the ages the workings of an obvious principle of progress.

While the response was far from unanimously favorable, it was extraordinarily large and passionate. Huntington, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote in the pages of The National Interest to comment on the fifteen-page piece.

Its millennarian title, sans question mark, soon became a slogan to be bruited about in Washington think tanks, the press, and the academy. The young Francis Fukuyama, then a deputy director of the U. What commanded attention was something far more radical. For in proclaiming that the end of history had arrived in the form of triumphant liberal democracy, Francis Fukuyama did not mean that the world would henceforth be free from tumult, political contention, or intractable social problems.

According to Francis Fukuyama, other forms of government, from monarchy to communism to fascism, had failed because they were imperfect vehicles for freedom; liberal democracy, allowing mankind the greatest freedom possible, had triumphed because it best instantiated the ideal. In this sense, what Mr. Fukuyama envisaged was not francis fukuyama end of history 1989 essay end of history—understood as the lower-case realm of daily occasions and events—but the end of History: In any event, the idea of the end of History is hardly novel.

The End of History and the Last Man Summary

In one form or another, it is a component of many myths and religions—including Christianity, with its vision of the Second Coming. And anyone familiar with the interstices of nineteenth-century German philosophy will remember that the end of History also figures prominently in the philosophies of G. Hegel and his disgruntled follower Karl Marx. It is perhaps worth noting, too, that one important difference between most religious speculation about the end of History and versions propagated by philosophers is hubris: Hegel harbored no such doubts or hesitations.

On the one hand, faithful Hegelian that he is, he regards it as the final triumph of freedom. Francis Fukuyama claims at the outset that The End of History is not simply a restatement of his famous article. On one side we have Francis Fukuyama the conservative political analyst, commenting in lithe, well-informed prose on the state of the world.

This gentleman is hardheaded, wry, and full of quietly witty obiter dicta. One is not surprised to francis fukuyama end of history 1989 essay endorsements on the book jacket from such well-known figures as Charles Krauthammer, George F.

Will, and Eduard Shevardnadze. On the other side we have Francis Fukuyama the philosopher, impressively erudite, deeply committed to a neo-Hegelian view of the historical process. This Francis Fukuyama seems to put greater stock in ideas than facts indeed, one suspects that he would scorn the distinction between ideas and facts as an artificial construct. Fukuyama have to say to each other, though their co-habitation clearly makes for sensational copy.

We have nothing but good wishes for Fukuyama 1; about Fukuyama 2, however, we have grave reservations, not least because of the threat his ideas pose to his more commonsensical twin. Once one is seduced, everything seems marvelously clear and, above all, necessary: It is very exiciting. What one gains is an explanation; what one loses is the truth. There are good reasons—from the rise of multiculturalism to the state once known as Yugoslavia—to believe that what we are witnessing today is not the final consolidation of liberal democracy but the birth of a new tribalism.

Hegel offers the supreme case in point. Not surprisingly, such arrogance also expresses itself about competing doctrines.

  1. Its millennarian title, sans question mark, soon became a slogan to be bruited about in Washington think tanks, the press, and the academy.
  2. Events still occur at the end of history.
  3. In recent advice to Conservative MPs, Major told them to focus less on "ideology" and more on "issues that actually worry people in their daily lives".
  4. It is important to stress that the issue is not whether mankind has made progress over the millennia.
  5. His moral bent is strikingly similar but he does not identify with the founding fathers while espousing the same form of government to avoid petty debates. Therefore, Marxists like Perry Anderson have been among Fukuyama's fiercest critics.

Is it not rather that what one needs in order to discern progress is knowledge of where mankind has been, not where it is going? And in any case, whom should we trust to furnish us with accurate reports about where mankind is going? Hegel, for all his genius, really a reliable guide?

It is important to stress that the issue is not whether mankind has made progress over the millennia. The exact nature and extent of the progress can be measured in any number of ways.

Francis Fukuyama and the end of History

The material progress of mankind has been staggering, especially in the last two hundred years. As Francis Fukuyama points out, in 1790 there were only three liberal democracies in the world: Today, there are sixty-one. That is remarkable progress. But it is also contingent progress, reversible by the same means that accomplished it in the first place: But how often, even before Hegel, has that end been proclaimed.

And then they will say again that everything has been done and said. But in his view, evil, e. I submit that any theory which regards World War II as a momentary wrinkle on the path of freedom is in need of serious rethinking.

For it is not at all clear that Hegel himself was a champion of anything like what we call liberal democracy. What about the rest? No one is going to give Hegel a prize for limpid prose. Certainly he talked about freedom a great deal. No doubt it was just one of those lucky strokes of fortune, an example of life imitating art: Did Hegel believe that it was? Francis Fukuyama is surely correct that to have a liberal democracy, the people must be sovereign. But in The Philosophy of Right Hegel seems to think that the sovereign should be sovereign.

Or at least he appears to like it. In a footnote, Francis Fukuyama acknowledges that Hegel overtly supported the Prussian monarchy. It is nice work if you can get it. What, is mere nostalgia a match for the imperatives of History? But considered on his own—i. It should go without saying that none of these criticisms is meant to deny that the Hegelian system possesses tremendous aesthetic appeal.

The panoramic drama of absolute being struggling to achieve perfect self-knowledge in history: The inconvenient question is only whether the story it tells is true.

Perhaps, as Kierkegaard suggested, Hegel was a man who had built a palace but lived in the guard francis fukuyama end of history 1989 essay. One would have to show that these events were driven by a systematic idea of political and social justice that claimed to supersede liberalism.

In this respect, as possibly in others, a good antidote to the Hegelian juggernaut is the mild doctrine of the Spanish-born American philosopher George Santayana.

Bring back ideology: Fukuyama

But the Danish Prince was right: