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The End of History and the Last Man

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Ever since its first publication in 1992, The End of History and the Last Man has provoked controversy and debate. Francis Fukuyama's prescient analysis of religious fundamentalism, politics, scientific progress, ethical codes, and war is as essential for a world fighting fundamentalist terrorists as it was for the end of the Cold War. Now updated with a new afterword, The End of History and the Last Man is a modern classic.

464 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 1989

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About the author

Francis Fukuyama

110 books1,819 followers
Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born 27 October 1952) is an American philosopher, political economist, and author.

Francis Fukuyama was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. His father, Yoshio Fukuyama, a second-generation Japanese-American, was trained as a minister in the Congregational Church and received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago. His mother, Toshiko Kawata Fukuyama, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and was the daughter of Shiro Kawata, founder of the Economics Department of Kyoto University and first president of Osaka Municipal University in Osaka. Fukuyama's childhood years were spent in New York City. In 1967 his family moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where he attended high school.

Fukuyama received his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Cornell University, where he studied political philosophy under Allan Bloom. He earned his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, studying with Samuel P. Huntington and Harvey C. Mansfield, among others. Fukuyama has been affiliated with the Telluride Association since his undergraduate years at Cornell, an educational enterprise that was home to other significant leaders and intellectuals, including Steven Weinberg and Paul Wolfowitz.

Fukuyama is currently the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, DC.

Fukuyama is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, in which he argued that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fukuyama predicted the eventual global triumph of political and economic liberalism.

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such... That is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

He has written a number of other books, among them Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity and Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. In the latter, he qualified his original 'end of history' thesis, arguing that since biotechnology increasingly allows humans to control their own evolution, it may allow humans to alter human nature, thereby putting liberal democracy at risk. One possible outcome could be that an altered human nature could end in radical inequality. He is a fierce enemy of transhumanism, an intellectual movement asserting that posthumanity is a highly desirable goal.

The current revolution in biological sciences leads him to theorize that in an environment where science and technology are by no means at an end, but rather opening new horizons, history itself cannot therefore be said to be, as he once thought, at an end.

In another work The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstruction of Social Order, he explores the origins of social norms, and analyses the current disruptions in the fabric of our moral traditions, which he considers as arising from a shift from the manufacturing to the information age. This shift is, he thinks, normal and will prove self-correcting, given the intrinsic human need for social norms and rules.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 538 reviews
Profile Image for Ian.
764 reviews65 followers
February 15, 2020
I was thinking of reading one of the author’s more recent works, “On the Origins of Political Order” when I saw a comment from him about how that book was in part an attempt to update “The End of History” with what he knows about the world now. As I’d never read “The End of History” I decided to start with that. The book takes the reader back to those optimistic days of the early 90s, when dictators of all stripes seemed to be on the run. I’d be interested to read of the author’s more recent thoughts, although his thesis here contains enough caveats not to be disproved by the current state of the world.

It’s really beyond my ability to adequately summarise Prof. Fukuyama’s arguments, but two themes stand out for me. Firstly, he argues that History (the use of the capital letter is necessary to distinguish his term from the simple procession of events) is not random but proceeds, overall, in a uniform direction towards an end state. In this he shares an approach with Marx, though of course the two came to different conclusions as to what the end of History might look like. Secondly, he suggests that we have tended to overestimate how much of History has been driven by the desire for material wealth. He argues instead that History has been driven primarily by “the desire for recognition”. This in effect comes down to concepts such as pride, dignity, self-esteem etc, or in a more extreme form, vainglory. Prof. Fukuyama divides the “desire for recognition” into two concepts, “Isothymia” – the desire to be considered equal to others, and “Megalothymia”- the desire to be considered superior to others. Megalothymia “can be manifest both in the tyrant who invades and enslaves a neighbouring people so that they will recognise his authority, as well as in the concert pianist who wants to be recognised as the foremost interpreter of Beethoven.”

The author brings these two ideas together by arguing that liberal democracy, whilst imperfect, has proved itself superior to other forms of political organisation in the degree to which it meets “the desire for recognition” amongst humans. Whilst those other forms – monarchy, oligarchy, fascism, authoritarian nationalism, communism, theocracy - still exist around the world, these will gradually diminish and be replaced by liberal democracy.

Prof. Fukuyama does discuss threats to liberal democracy. In this book he’s rather dismissive of nationalism, describing it as a recent phenomenon that arose out the breakdown of the old class divisions, and one that will fade over time even if it remains strong at present. Since he wrote those words much of the world’s population has of course fallen under the sway of overtly nationalist politicians. In the long run though, he saw the biggest danger to democracy as coming from the inherent tension between the continued existence of a modified form of megalothymia alongside the commitment of liberalism to isothymia. Democracy might be destroyed by an excess of either concept. In that sense, he retreats somewhat from his own thesis that liberal democracy represents “The End of History”.

I must say I enjoyed reading this. It’s certainly not a quick read but it’s one that got me thinking. Prof. Fukuyama quotes a great deal from other philosophers, particularly Hegel who seems to have been his inspiration. I haven’t read much philosophy so many of the concepts he discussed were new to me. I definitely intend to read some of the author’s more recent books, though I need a bit of a break before I do so.

Profile Image for Szplug.
467 reviews1,259 followers
May 12, 2012
Fukuyama has been much ridiculed since the publication of this book, and the piling-on only increased in intensity after the towering cataclysm of September 11th seemed to herald the exact opposite of what Fukuyama allegedly proclaimed. I say allegedly because Fukuyama himself backed away from the logical implications of his own theory long before the final page—in a review of Trust, another Goodreads member accused Fukuyama of incessant hedging, an imputation with which I concur. This is the way the terminal point history thesis ends—not with a bang but a whimper. Having seesawed on his positions, the closing arguments stamped everything with a silky question mark—and the Hegelian End of History and its enervated reflectional constituent, the Nietzschean Last Man, still remained entirely open to debate.

Nevertheless, I mostly enjoyed what Fukuyama presented, which was his own interpretation of Hegel's Historical Dialectic as filtered through the mental sponge of Kojève, countered by the bristly Teutonic Stache, and with dabs of the Strauss-Bloom axis and a pinch of Marx for philosophical seasoning. For all the lack of resolution in firmly averring an End of History playing out via dominant liberal democracy—one wherein individuals achieved the self-recognition and selfhood striven for through evolving ages of hierarchical identification—the knowledge disseminated on all of the above thinkers, philosophers, and theorists, along with Fukuyama's own perspectival contributions, was thought provoking and illuminating and, ultimately, sobering—anytime we are within an arched brow of a doctrinally-conceived endpoint for humanity, it's best to lock-up the silverware. The End of History and the Last Man has been both fairly and unfairly attacked, but the implications of Hegel's creation and Nietzsche's homuncular response are fascinating and IMO well worth examining—in this case, through an American Neoconservative lens that attempts an impartiality in its careful, expository focus.
Profile Image for P.E..
777 reviews558 followers
November 3, 2022
Not a prophecy.

I. What are the questions posed here?

Are we reaching the end of history, understood as "the end of a single and coherent process taking into account the experience of all nations at the same time?

What is the end of history like, according to Fukuyama, is it actually reachable? What is the price to pay for it?

Does Human nature satisfy itself with the principles of capitalist liberal democracy as they stand in 1992, when the essay was published ? And in the future? To what extent? In practice, are this economic system and political regime destined to be superseded by others more fit to provide a satisfying answer to human needs and aspirations?

What are the shortcoming of liberal democratic regimes? To what consequences these shortcomings lead? What form of guarantee do they offer to the satisfaction of human dignity, fundamental human rights, depending on their grasping of human nature?


II. How Fukuyama answers these questions?

Human desire and reason, while sufficient to explain most of the industrialization process do not give sufficient incentive for the appeal of liberal democracy to many.

What provides the missing link and the 'engine' behind history is 'thymos' (spiritedness), entailing the drive for recognition of one's humanity by others. With the rise of this revendication, more and more countries adopted forms of this political regime called liberal democracy over time.

• Thymos allows one to keep a moral dimension in society and dignity in human life, otherwise lacking in the models designed by Hobbes and Locke, merely contractual and materialistic. The very values this brand of liberalism promotes -life, liberty, property, later followed by 'the pursuit of happiness' in the US Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776)-, all based on tolerance, are purely instrumental, depending on the very aim determined by the tradition built on Locke.

On the contrary, thymos/the drive for recognition allows one to see man as fundamentally immune to physical or natural determinism, as his own specificity is freedom from nature. Liberal democracy offers the best environment for this human trait to flourish.

In other words, a solid foundation of economical liberalism has to be merged with irrational, pre-modern values appealing to the human drive for recognition. In short, values beyond mere liberalism are called for if liberalism is to succeed as a lasting achievement.
Fukuyama takes various examples of the embodiment of this principle in work ethics, free association, sport... which are not merely issued from the principles of modern rationalism but tap from thymotic sources.

• Another proof of the action of this drive for recognition is given, albeit a negative one:

The essayist refers to threats to this model within the very liberal democracies incarnating it and the way to overcome them:

1) The passion for equality inherent to liberal democracies, possibly lead to forms of tyranny of the majority, observed and predicted by Alexis de Tocqueville, among others.

Group, and specific rights, if becoming much too many, can and will contradict one another, and endanger the very notion of human rights: rights pertaining to humans as a species, rights belonging to members of a nation as such, and not as member of specific social groups, rivaling with one another.

2) An intellectual and spiritual crisis: is mankind understandable rationally? If not, how can we understand/define its specificity? Not knowing it, how can we stand by specific rights for mankind?

Formerly, we took for granted that the dignity of man comes from his aptitude to make moral choices. This assertion has been strongly challenged for roughly three centuries by the development of physics, biology, psychology, economics,... Human choices can now be entirely ascribed to infrarational and infraindividual drives.

Not able to formulate a rational definition of human-ness, multiple rights attached to other species may blur and in the end properly invalidate any operational concept of human specificity and as a result, specific human rights.

= In short, relativism undermines the very values of tolerance and equality vindicated by democracy. And bear in mind this comes from the very modern, rationalist principles on which liberal democracy is built.

Fukuyama considers Hegel's concept of historical dialectic and the cause he associates to it (the human drive for recognition) as the solution to the crisis.

He concludes by referring to Plato's conception of the tripartite nature of mankind: reason, desire, thymos (non-rational spiritedness and the ensuing drive for recognition).

As such, he views liberal democracy as the most suitable political regime to provide satisfying answers to these three essential human needs, and predicts the development of more and more similarly liberal-democratic countries after 1992, countering the power of the 'cultural relativistic' argument that human societies are not bound to share the same values as their cultures are incompatible - the difference in values being the merely incidental and artificial consequence of different stages of development.

[cf quotes by Claude Lévi-Strauss below for more elements on that matter]

However this is not to say that there isn't and there won't be alternatives to liberal democracy: authoritarianism was expected by the author, coming from two different directions: those who are not happy with or successful within globalization (countries under islamic fundamentalism,...), and those who are "excessively" successful (pointing towards China and the Asian Tigers in particular)

So, in the end, liberal democracy is bound to develop and provide the best answer to man's current needs but... possibly not. The conclusion somehow fizzles out...

III. My opinion:

While the questions asked seem relevant and thought-provoking to me, I have strong reservations concerning a couple of answers given by the author.

↪ The 'end of history', as defined in the beginning of the review, does not take into consideration the possible development of new world powers not fitting in the liberal democracy frame. Fukuyama does write about non-democratic free-market regimes, but somewhat evasively and not considering the challenge they offer to liberal democracies.

↪ Human nature according to Hegel seems bizarre: if our nature is to change it overtime, what is our nature? Is this not changing overtime too?... This is the issue with historicism, adressed by Leo Strauss in Natural Right and History: if we apply the consequences of historicism to historicism as a human thought, is it not something temporal, destined to change and become mote, too?

↪ While its not a vindication of historical determinism - The End of history and the Last Man acknowledges there are many ways for this evolution to be interrupted or plainly endangered - the author took the time to discuss Nietzsche's case against liberal democracy: namely that it lacks megalothymia, that is the drive to excel, to surpass. Fukuyama seems to have answered this strong criticism by saying essentially that, while liberal democracies tend to favour isothymia (equality and tolerance), the successful ones offer other outlets to megalothymia (work, sport, and other tolerated forms of competition) but since, in 2008 in particular, he has also felt the need to add some provisos or caveats to his grand hegelian plan, taking into account the rise of China and his personal fears regarding transhumanism... Both of which seem to give the lie to his theory. It seems we are not nearing the end of history, after all. Not by a long shot.


IV. Siblings in literature:

⧫ Concerning our conception of human nature and the ensuing rights:

Natural Right and History
'Just as Machiavelli reduced virtue to the political virtue of patriotism, Hobbes reduced virtue to the social virtue of peaceableness. Those forms of human excellence which have no direct or unambiguous relation to peaceableness—courage, temperance, magnanimity, liberality, to say nothing of wisdom—cease to be virtue in the strict sense.'

The Anti-Enlightenment Tradition

⧫ On the forms taken by historical revolts, on antiliberalism, on generalized relativism and nihilism:

Essais, more specifically: The Rebel

Crime and Punishment

⧫ On the constant need for non-uniformity and difference in man:
Tristes Tropiques

The Tears of the White Man: Compassion As Contempt
'Entre la bonne conscience pharisienne et l'autodénigrement stérile, la seule prédilection que nous pouvons porter à notre monde est la dissonance.'

Race and History
'Humanity is constantly grappling with two contradictory processes, one of which is aimed at bringing about unification, while the other is aimed at maintaining or establishing diversification.'

'One will begin by noting that this adherence to the Western kind of life, or some of those aspects, is far from as spontaneous as Westerners like to believe. It results less from a free decision than from a lack of choice. Western civilization established its soldiers, trading posts, plantations and missionaries all over the world. [...] The subjugated or disorganized peoples could therefore only accept the alternatives offered to them, or, if they were not available, hope to come close enough to be able to fight them on their own ground.

'If it is not consent that is the basis of Western superiority, is it not then this greater energy at its disposal that has precisely enabled it to force consent? Here we reach the rock. For this inequality of force is no longer a matter of collective subjectivity, like the facts of accession we mentioned just before [arts, rituals, cosmogony, spirituality...]. This is an objective phenomenon that only the appeal to objective causes can explain.'

[...] if our demonstration is valid, there is not, there can not be, a world civilization in the absolute sense given to this term, since civilization implies the coexistence of cultures offering one another the maximum diversity, and even consists in this coexistence. World civilization cannot be anything other than the global coalition of cultures, each one preserving its originality.'

Notes from Underground
'Even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. [...] If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated--chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all beforehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of reason and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key!'

⧫ On the universality of liberalism and its tools:
Le goût de l'Inde
The Theft of History

⧫On work:
Le travail - Une sociologie contemporaine

⧫Liberalism principles behind the US and French Revolutions:

La Révolution Française
'[...] ce que le socialisme critique, de Buchez au jeune Marx, dans le monde bourgeois, c'est l'idée même de droits de l'homme comme fondement subjectif de la société, simple couverture de l'individualisme qui commande l'économie capitaliste. Le drame est que la même règle préside à la fois au capitalisme et à la liberté moderne : celle de la liberté, donc de la pluralité des idées, des opinions, des plaisirs et des intérêts.'


La liberté de produire, d'acheter et de vendre fait partie de la liberté tout court; elle s'est affirmée comme telle contre les entraves et les privilèges de l'époque féodale. L'égalité contractuelle des individus n'est pas moins indispensable à l'existence d'un marché qu'à autonomie physique et morale des personnes. D'ailleurs, ces deux faces de la société moderne ne sont pas dissociées dans la société la plus démocratique qu'ait produit l'Europe : celle de son rameau américain : libre entreprise, liberté et égalité des hommes y sont pensés comme inséparables et complémentaires.'

⧫Limits of liberalism:

Democracy in America Volume 1
Democracy in America Volume 2


Mes idées politiques

Le Déclin du courage

⧫ Antiliberal unrest in Japan from Meiji to Showa eras:

Le Japon
Runaway Horses
Japan at War: An Oral History

⧫On threats within liberal/democratic regimes:

On the Genealogy of Morals
Man will wish Nothingness rather than not wish at all.

Beyond Good and Evil
'Not one of those ponderous, conscience-stricken herding-animals (who undertake to advocate the cause of egoism as conducive to the general welfare) wants to have any knowledge or inkling of the facts that the "general welfare" is no ideal, no goal, no notion that can be at all grasped, but is only a nostrum,--that what is fair to one MAY NOT at all be fair to another.'


The Trouble with Being Born
All these nations were great, because they had great prejudices. They no longer have. Are they nations still? Scattered crowds, at best.

La modernité désenchantée - Fureix

La rebelión de las masas
'no se hallará entre todos los que representan la época actual uno solo cuya actitud ante la vida no se reduzca a creer que tiene todos los derechos y ninguna obligación. Es indiferente que se enmascare de reaccionario o de revolucionario [...] su estado de ánimo consistirá decisivamente en ignorar toda obligación y sentirse, sin que él mismo sospeche por qué, sujeto de ilimitados derechos.'

The Art of the Novel

⧫The decline of the middle class:

Le crépuscule de la France d'en haut

Capital and Ideology

⧫On the origins of nationalism and the demand they are tapping into:
La création des identités nationales. Europe, XVIIIe-XXe siècle

' La nation relève de la modernité libérale, politique et économique, mais sa légitimité est fondée sur une antiquité et un déterminisme absolus. '
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,443 followers
April 28, 2023
Cartea este un imens sofism bazat pe ceea ce englezii numesc wishful thinking.

Istoricul obișnuit se bazează pe fapte și conchide cu prudență (sau nu conchide deloc). Fukuyama, în schimb, a îmbrăcat straiul profeților și s-a grăbit să vestească, pe temeiul cel mai șubred, intrarea omenirii într-un rai atemporal. De la el provine opinia greșită că economia și negoțul sînt mai puternice decît ideologiile și emoțiile. Că „dușmanul” poate fi îmblînzit prin comerț. Din păcate, acest principiu „politic”, urmat și de Angela Merkel, de pildă, este o iluzie periculoasă. Omul e stăpînit de patimi, fantasme și nu de rațiune. Ține mereu să creadă în ceva. Cînd își pierde credința, inventează imediat un alt „obiect” de venerație.

În Sfîrșitul istoriei și ultimul om, Fukuyama și-a nuanțat profeția. Hegel nu a susținut niciodată, în Filosofia dreptului, că sfîrșitul istoriei va duce la dispariția completă a războaielor. Pentru exegetul lui Hegel, Alexandre Kojève, acest sfîrșit echivalează, totuși, cu „dispariția marilor dispute”. Dar e fals! Disputele (teologice, politice, morale) n-au dispărut. Dimpotrivă, au culminat.

Istoria nu are o direcție și, după cum a declarat Paul Veyne, n-are nici sens. Hazardul joacă un rol mult mai mare decît și-au închipuit vreodată filosofii. Pacea eternă dorită de Kant este încă departe. Nici cel mai mic semn n-o anunță.
Profile Image for K.D. Absolutely.
1,820 reviews
April 6, 2014
Intelligently written history book that is included in the 501 Must-Read Books. Published in 1992 and based in the authors earlier essay, The End of History, this book says that since the end of Cold War in 1989, history also ceases because there is no balance of power and so liberal democracy will prevail unopposed. The essay came out of course after 9/11 when the landscape of the world was changed especially because of the economic crisis that followed the attack.

Fukuyama expounds on the earlier works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), a German philosopher and a major figure on German idealism. He heavily influence the philosophy of Alexandre Kojeve (1902-1968) particularly the integration of Hegelian concepts (e.g., "the rational alone is real") into continental philosophy. Kojeve was instrumental in the creation of European Union (Source: Wikipedia).

It is nice to read essays about what's happening in the real world especially through the lens of historians, philosophers, economists, etc. It's just that the prediction of Fukuyama seemed to have failed because of the tilt of power from Russia to China. The "end of history" because liberal democracy will prevail did not totally happen. Although of course, all the telltales were there. Maybe it was something that could not be predicted as we really can tell what future brings.

Profile Image for محمد إلهامي.
Author 20 books3,187 followers
March 22, 2014
نظرية متهافتة وتافهة، كتبها تحت تأثير "الوهم المُسْكِر" بنهاية التاريخ بعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفيتي.

ليست المأساة فقط في أن قصة "نهاية التاريخ" هي قصة متكررة في الفلسفة الغربية، كلما وجد القوم فكرة أعجبتهم وحققت بعض النجاح سارعوا إلى القول بأن هذا نهاية التاريخ.. إنما المأساة في أن الكاتب لم يجتهد لضبط نظريته الفكرية بل انساق وراء أحلامه وصار يحشد المعلومات لتحقق فكرته المسبقة حشدا غير منطقي ولا متماسك.

المهم في هذا الكتاب هو نظرته -كغربي- إلينا كمسلمين، أو كما يسمينا عالم ما قبل التاريخ.. هذه النظرة التي تقول خلاصتها: إنه السيف لمنع هؤلاء البرابرة من تعكير مزاجنا وإصدار أصوات مزعجة في عالمنا الجميل.. كما أننا بحاجة إلى السيف لأخذ نفطهم وثرواتهم لأننا نحتاجها في عالم ما بعد التاريخ، وعلينا أن نحذر من أن يمتلكوا سلاحا.

والمثير للتأمل أنه على الرغم من الخلاف الحاد والتناقض بين نظرتي هنتنجتون وفوكوياما، بل إن كتاب هنتنجتون هو بالأصل رد على فوكوياما.. رغم هذا التناقض إلا أن نظرتهما إلى المسلمين واحدة!

وذلك كي يتعظ من لا زال غافلا.
Profile Image for Tuncer Şengöz.
Author 6 books229 followers
April 9, 2019
Bu kitabın değerlendirmesini yapmadan önce, yazıldığı tarihe bakmak gerekiyor.

Birbirine zıt iki dünya görüşü ve ekonomik sistemin mücadelesiyle geçen uzun Soğuk Savaş döneminin hemen ardından yazlan Tarihin Sonu ve Son İnsan, her şeyden önce bu dönemin ruh halini yansıtıyor. Nükleer savaş endişeleri, '68 Baharı, ekonomik krizler ve çalkantılarla dolu '70'ler, Üçüncü Dünya ve askeri darbeler, Kamboçya'da Kızıl Kmerler, Uzay ve silahlanma Yarışı, 1980'lerde neo-liberalizme geçiş ve nihayetinde 1980'lerin sonunda Berlin Duvarının yıkılışı, Tiananmen meydanında öğrenci protestolarının tanklarla ezilmesi, Doğu Bloğunun çöküşü, reel sosyalizmin bitişi, Sovyetler Birliği'nin dağılması ve Soğuk Savaş'ın sonu.

1992 yılında yayımlanan Tarihin Sonu, bu arka planda tarihin sona erdiği iddiasını dile getirdiği biçiminde anlaşıldı. Oysa kitap bir iddiada bulunmaktan ziyade tarihin sonunun ne olabileceğini ve "son insanı" tartışmak amacıyla yazılmış.

Tarihin sonundan söz etmek için, önce tarihin başlangıcını tartışmak gerekiyor. Tarih, efendi ile kölenin ortaya çıkışı, efendi, özgürlüğü için ölümü göze alan, köle ise ölümü göze alamayıp efendisine hizmet etmeyi "seçen" insan. Ancak bu kendi içinde bir de çelişki barındırıyor, çünkü efendi üretmeden, çalışmadan yaşayan insan, köle ise çalışma zamanını kısaltabilmek için teknolojiyi geliştiren, başka bir deyişle doğa bilimleri ile doğrudan haşır neşir olan insan. Doğa bilimleri ve teknoloji geliştikçe, kölenin kölelikten kurtulmasının koşulları doğuyor. Sonrası, sanayi devrimi, aydınlanma, insan haklarının ve liberal demokrasinin ortaya çıkışı. Fukuyama bu tarih tezini ortaya koymak için, Plato'dan Hobbes ve Locke'a, Hegel'den ve Marx'tan Nietzche ve Kojève'ye kadar geniş bir felsefi tur atıyor. Bu düşünürleri birbiriyle karşılaştırıyor (söylemeye gerek yok, Marx'ı şiddetle eleştiriyor) ve Sokrates'in insan ruhunu oluşturan akıl, arzu, thymos üçlemesine göndermeler yaptıktan sonra, tarih tezini thymos üzerine kuruyor.

Fukuyama çizgisel tarih/döngüsel tarih tartışmasında tercihini çizgisel tarihten yana kullanıyor, ancak kitabın son bölümlerinde bu konudaki tereddütlerini dile getiriyor.

Tarihin Sonu'na geldik mi? Biz Son İnsan mıyız? Üzerine düşünmeye değer. (Tarihin Sonu'na gelmedik, sadece tarihin kritik bir dönemecindeyiz ve önümüzde bugüne kadar bildiğimiz, anladığımız tarihten farklı bir gelecek var.)

Kitabı, yayımlandığı 1992'den 25-30 sene sonra, Trump, Brexit, Çin'in yükselişi, Doğu Avrupa'nın küçük bağımsız ülkelerinde ortaya çıkan otoriter yönetimler döneminde okumak, benim için ilginç bir deneyim oldu. Pek çok tezine ve yaklaşımına katılmasam da, genel olarak kitabı beğendim.
Profile Image for John Morgan.
20 reviews62 followers
December 8, 2015
While I certainly disagree with this book's thesis - that the spread of globalist capitalism and liberal democracy to all parts of the world represents the goal and end point of the historical process - it certainly remains the archetypal work for the American political outlook of the 1990s, during the brief, magical period between America's triumph in the Cold War and 9/11. And, of course, this dream of the '90s remains a potent force in many quarters of America today, even if the events of the past 15 years stand as its refutation.
Profile Image for Ipsa.
188 reviews200 followers
June 6, 2020
It's easy to ridicule Fukuyama today because we have the power of hindsight on our hands. But given the political climate in which the book was written, it makes ample sense, contextually.
The argument of liberal democracy being the end of history seemed very compelling, but I was very uncomfortable with the idea. The Anglo-Saxon liberalism, on which the modern democracy seems to be based, is incapable of dealing with a human being's intricacies. The introduction of Christianity in the text is also extremely unsettling, because is this not demonstrative of the very ethnocentrism that Fukuyama argues the West to have overcome?
As far as liberal democracy in itself is concerned, it has become increasingly evident over the years that it's extremely inept at handling humans in their entirety, as a society with universally equal recognition will only lead to stagnation, mediocrity and the dangerous relativism that is symptomatic of a deeper postmodernist outlook of life; and many other self evident ways which shows an inherent incompatibility between liberal democracy and a sustainable ecologically conscious development of the world.

However, in spite of the problems, I could see why this book still holds such interest. Like Mark Fisher elaborates in Capitalist Realism, even though his thesis has been derided widely but it is accepted even assumed at the level of cultural unconscious. But I think Fukuyama was hopelessly trying to overreach with this theory, which probably was rendered useless given the general political predictions constrained by the essential myopia of any era, historically speaking.
Still, he is a great lively writer who very evidently was trying to remain neutral, and provides us with some exceptionally brilliant insights; the most admirable thing about the book was that Fukuyama seemed to be aware of the condition of Nietzche's Last Man haunting his radiant city- a man decadently enfeebled precisely because of his excessive self awareness and thereby degenerating into a detached spectator replacing involvement. A sickening symptom of late stage capitalism, found everywhere, in everyone.

This is a book that I hated and enjoyed reading. It should be read for everything it stands for, and perhaps forgive Fukuyama for committing the grave yet commonplace mistake of pushing one's prejudices under the guise of objective thought.
150 reviews3 followers
December 19, 2007
I normally dont get down with political philosophy books, but this one really explores some serious ideas while putting them in the context of history. Fukuyama bases almost all of his ideology off of Hegel and Kojeve, a modern Hegel scholar from Czech Republic. I love history yet have found Hegel incomprehensible and too dense to even consider buying one of his tomes - for people who are interested in history or the idea of dialectics, read this book. Fukuyama explains Hegel while placing him in the context of liberal democratic government - Fukuyama follows Kojeve's assertion that this is the end of history because there are no serious competitors to liberal democracy. The fall of communism and the subsequent unveiling of information on the corruption and violence that those regimes inflicted on their own people has led to a more or less universal acceptance of democracy as the preferred form of government. Fukuyama and Kojeve believe that democracy best satisfies man's "desire for recognition" - which leads to man's stupid ideas - mainly war, envy, etc. These aggressive tendencies of man are what cause history and the end of history has been brought about by the acceptance of the governmental form (liberal democracy) which best allows all men the opportunity for recognition. Seriously, this is an insightful, true book full of great intellectual ideas.
Profile Image for Dan.
308 reviews70 followers
January 18, 2022
Much better than expected; that is much better than its reputation and the implications of its title.
Reading this after Spengler's “The Decline of the West” was an interesting experience. Spengler believed that human history is cyclical and that the Western democracies of his time represented the lowest point in the current cycle. Fukuyama - in the tradition of Hegel, Marx, and modern liberalism/rationalism - believes that we are at the end of a long and linear progress that ends with the Western democracies.
His arguments for this are two: one based in economics and another one rooted in the human need for recognition. The economic argument states that the optimum economic progress is generated by capitalism and that capitalism in turn is associated (caused, causes, or both) with the Western type of democracy. Moreover, the linear progress of sciences is somehow associated and causes the linear and cumulative progress of capitalism and liberalism. This is mainly evident for Fukuyama by the collapse of Communism around 1989. The recognition argument starts with Hegel and his dialectic of master-slave: the master stakes his life and wins over the slave in search for recognition, while the slave slowly gains his historical recognition in work, Christianity, and eventually and definitively in the egalitarian and democratic societies. According to Fukuyama, the Western democracies afford the maximum degree of human recognition and contain the minimum amount of internal contradiction.
To me, the interesting part of this book is the unexpected and huge influence of Nietzsche in the book's arguments – both pro and contra. In fact, most of the mottoes and titles for the book's chapter belong to Nietzsche. The entire human history, its end, and the last man can be understood as Nietzsche's development of nihilism in history, the eventual supremacy of nihilism as the end of history, and the appearance of the “last man” as the “man without a chest”. In this respect, the liberal democracies are nothing but nihilistic societies without the possibility of return or any perspectives of movement in new directions.
Profile Image for Jareed.
136 reviews281 followers
August 3, 2016
“But it is not necessarily the case that liberal democracy is the political system best suited to resolving social conflicts per se. A democracy's ability to peacefully resolve conflicts is greatest when those conflicts arise between socalled "interest groups" that share a larger, pre-existing consensus on the basic values or rules of the game, and when the conflicts are primarily economic in nature. But there are other kinds of non-economic conflicts that are far more intractable, having to do with issues like inherited social status and nationality, that democracy is not particularly good at resolving.”

Francis Fukuyama was born on October 27, 1952 to Yoshio Fukuyama, a second generation Japanese American, and Toshiko Kawata Fukuyama. Fukuyama’s childhood years were spent in New York city and in 1967, the family moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where he then attended high school. His Bachelor of Arts in Classics was obtained in 1974 from Cornell University and taught right after in the Yale University Department of Comparative Literature during 1974 – 1975. In 1981, he received his Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science from Harvard University by doing a dissertation on Soviet foreign policy. Francis Fukuyama was a member of the Political Science Department of the RAND Corporation which conducts researches about public policies in Santa Monica,California from 1979 to 1980, 1983 – 1989, and then in 1995 – 1996 . In 1981 and 1982, Francis Fukuyama was an official member of the Policy Planning Staff of the United States Department of State where he focused on Middle Eastern issues. In 1989, he returned to the same body, but this time as a deputy director for European political and military affairs. While he was a member of this said policy planning staff, he published an essay entitled “The End of History?” in a small foreign policy journal named The National Interest.

The End of History and the Last Man is a book expanding the essay “The End of History?” that Francis Fukuyama wrote in 1981. It sparked extraordinary debate both in the United States and abroad. Francis Fukuyama’s analytical philosophy is anchored in the fact that the article was written five months before the collapse of the Berlin wall where ideological contentions between democracies and communism were in head to head disputation. His employment at those times and his origin of education has surely predicated his preferences in writing the article and eventually the book. Being a RAND corporation researcher and as a member of the United States Department Policy Planning Staff would have surely molded his very reasons for writing such. As an officially employed citizen of the United States, one cannot deny that fact that he must advocate to the principles of the State and government that has employed, nurtured and protected him, and that is liberal democracy. We may say that because he is of the government, he wrote the “End of History?” to impinge on disintegration of the Berlin wall.

The End of History and the Last Man posits the idea of writing a universal history of human development with the end of liberal democracy. The prevalent extension of not only liberal political but also economic ideas throughout the communist world and to third world countries presupposes that mankind has reached its ideological evolutionary process. Although the occurrence of events in the simplistic sense of history still occurs, the evolution of human society has reached its end with liberal democracy and not with communism.

Francis Fukuyama points significant emphasis on the French and American Revolutions. He stresses that the amalgamated ideals formed in the momentous revolutions were the indispensable foundations of the end of man’s history, liberal democracy. His periodization ends with all states having the same form of government.

It rejects Marx’s idea of human development with communism as the end goals of the system. And just as any post – modern theory rejects grand narratives in existence,so does it support and enact one of its own. This is what Francis Fukuyama’s work is doing, it rejects the various numerous ideas of the development of human society and presents that grand narrative that societal development ends with the institutionalization of liberal democracy in every state.

Perhaps the biggest critique about Francis Fukuyama and his book The End of History and The Last man is that he has this tendency to show his biases on his writings. His position in the government of the nation is clearly felt in the arguments of the origin of liberal democracy and the end of which he speaks of in essence perpetuates the imperialistic aims of a world super power.

This review has been cross-posted at imbookedindefinitely
Profile Image for Leo.
4,385 reviews409 followers
November 10, 2021
At the time of reading this non fiction, I enjoyed it. But it's been a couple of days and I can barely remember what I've read. Could be when I read it and my headspace.
Profile Image for Maali.
39 reviews42 followers
August 12, 2016

كتاب نهاية التاريخ وخاتم البشر - الإنسان الأخير - ,, للامريكي - الياباني فرانسيس فوكوياما مستشار مؤسسة راند كوروبوريشن.
خلاصة هذا الكتاب انه ليس بالامكان ان يكون افضل مما كان وليس بالامكان ان نقدم افضل مما كان (من الديمقراطية الليبراليه كمنظام حياة للمجتمع البشري) ببساطة انها نهاية التاريخ !! (بمعنى افضل ما يمكن للعقل البشري تقديمه لا بمعنى توقف الحياة عن التقدم). وللتتديل على صحة هذا القول فقد استعرض الكاتب بعض الانظمة التي اثبتت فشلها امام هذا - النظام الديمقراطي الليبرالي - كالشيوعية وبقية الأنظمة الشمولية . فهذا النظام كان قد حقق البقاء بسبب قدرته وتكيفه مع حاجيات الانسان ومتطلباته ولهذا فهو افضل الانظمة التي وصل لها العقل الإنساني ,, وقد اعاد فوكوياما في هذا الكتاب احياء فكر هيغل ,, فنهاية التاريخ عند الفيلسوف الالماني هيغل هي الدولة الليراليه ,,
بعد ذالك يقارن فوكوياما بين الاسلام والنظام الديمقراطي الليبرالي كون الاسلام هو الايدولوجيه المتبقيه القادره على ان تكون بديله لهذا النظام بعد سقوط المعسكر الشيوعي والنازية سابقا, ويبين عدم قدره الاسلام على اخذ هذه المكانة في العالم فهو لا يملك عالمية الديمقراطية الليبراليه ومرونتها التي تجعل منها صالحه لكل الشعوب فهنالك الكثير من الافكار في الاسلام التي يرفضها ابن طوكيو وابن برلين لذالك فان النظام الوحيد القادر على ان يكون نظام عالمي هو النظام الديمقراطي الليبرالي انه نهاية التاريخ وخاتم البشر كما يقول فوكوياما ..

ـ يرى المؤلف أن سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي واكتساح الديموقراطية الليبرالية أرجاء العالم، وانهيار الأنظمة الشمولية، وانتصار فكرة الأسواق الحرة، كل ذلك وصد باب التاريخ وأدى إلى نهايته الأبدية التي لن يبرز في أفقها أي مؤشر جديد.
ـ يرتكز في تحليله للديموقراطية على المرجعية التاريخية فيعود إلى أحداث القرن 19م الذي يعتبره قرن الاستقرار والسلام بفضل ما جناه من ثمار الثورة الفرنسية التي ركزت مبادئ الديموقراطية. لكنه ينتقد أحداث القرن العشرين التي أدت في نظره إلى تراجع المبادئ الديموقراطية بسبب الحربين العالميتين وظهور الأنظمة الديكتاتورية واليسارية الشمولية. ثم يعرج على الفترة المعاصرة ليفسر كيفية تحول الدول الديكتاتورية إلى دول ديموقراطية وسقوط الأنظمة الاشتراكية، وتحولها إلى أنظمة تنحو نحو وجهة الا��تصاد الحر بسبب عجزها عن حل مشاكلها الاقتصادية.
في مواضع أخرى من الكتاب، يضع المؤلف الأصبع على فكرة التاريخ الكوني، فيستعرض مختلف النظريات التاريخية لفلاسفة التاريخ والآلية التي تحرك التاريخ العالمي، والمتمثلة في نظره في الآلة العسكرية والتكنولوجية وسعي الإنسان المعاصر للسيطرة على الطبيعة، معتبرا أن التاريخ يسير نحو تاريخ عالمي متجانس بهدف تكوين الدولة العالمية، مستبعدا أن يكون التاريخ الكوني تاريخا دوريا يقضي على المنجزات الحديثة ليرجع للمرحلة السابقة. إلا أن أهم ما يميز فكر فوكوياما في باب التاريخ العالمي يكمن في رؤيته بأن الاتجاه نحو الدولة العالمية المتجانسة يؤدي إلى نشأة مجتمع خال من الطبقات، ويعكس آخر مرحلة مرضية من التاريخ الإنساني، منها سيكون الاتجاه نحو نهاية التاريخ.
ولم يفته الإشارة إلى ما ينجم عن التطور التكنولوجي من دمار للبيئة معبرا عن تشاؤمه الشديد في هذا المجال من المجهودات التي تقوم بها الجمعيات ومنظمات من أنصار البيئة. وحول الاقتصاد الاشتراكي، أبرز أوجه قصوره، خاصة من ناحية اعتماد الدول الاشتراكية على فكرة الخطط الاقتصادية التي لم تعد ملائمة في نظره للتغيرات الاقتصادية السريعة وتبدل الأسعار، ومن ثم يعتبرها معيقة للتطور التكنولوجي، ويقرن الثورة العلمية بالديموقراطية الليبرالية الحرة.
ويطرح في مواضع أخرى وجهات نظر تتعلق بفلسفة التاريخ، خاصة آراء هيغل كما فسرها كوجيف حول الحرية والإنسان، معتبرا أن الحرية تظهر عندما يقدر الإنسان على تجاهل وجوده الطبيعي الحيواني وخلق ذات جديدة لنفسه. وفي هذا الإطار يخصص فصلا لمعالجة السيادة والعبودية، فيرى أن خدمة العبد لسيده أصبحت تستفيد من التطور التكنولوجي، مما جعل العبد حرا بفضل تغلبه على صعوبة الخدمات السائدة قبل العصر التكنولوجي، ومطالبا بالمزيد من الحرية والمساواة.
وفي تحليله للكائن البشري، يرى أن انفعالات الإنسان من خلال رغبته في العرفان والتمايز والحفاظ على النفس والكرامة، يؤدي به إلى الدخول في مجتمع مدني حيث الدستور يقر بحقوق كل إنسان، ويقدم شرحا لمفهوم الشهامة اعتمادا على آراء الفلاسفة الأقدمين، منتقدا النظام الشيوعي الذي جعل الجزء الشهواني من النفس ضد الجزء الحيوي فيها، وذلك بإجبار الناس العاديين على جعل العديد من التافهين أكثر اتفاقا من طبائعهم.
ويلاحظ أن فكرة الديموقراطية تأخذ حيزا هاما من اهتمامات المؤلف الذي يرى أن غيابها يسفر عن مشاكل لا حصر لها داخل المجتمع، ويمكن أن تلعب دورها إذا وضعت في الحسبان الخصوصيات الثقافية لشعب أو أمة. ويذهب إلى أن الديموقراطية تتجه نحو وجهة عالمية تتميز بالتجانس، ليخرج بنتيجة قطعية في نظره، وهي أن التاريخ يقود الإنسان بطريق أو بآخر إلى الديموقراطية الحرة.
ويستند فوكوياما في الدفاع عن أطروحة التوجه الكوني نحو الديموقراطية على الثورة الحالية لتكنولوجية الإعلام، فالانفجار التكنولوجي في المجال الإعلامي الذي نجح في غزو أكثر المناطق انزواء في العالم، سيعطي –في نظره- الأفراد مزيدا من القدرات ويسرع من وتيرة الدمقرطة.
Profile Image for ميقات الراجحي.
Author 6 books2,029 followers
April 24, 2016
The End of History and the Last Man
Francis Fukuyama
أن يتم تحديد نهاية التاريخ بحقبة زمنية ذات أفكار متشابهة هو أمر مضحك وهى نظرية نادى بها (هيجل) منذ عقود طويلة ولم تنجح لا بسقوط نابليون ولا بمن جاء بعده وكذلك لم ينتهي التاريخ بسقوط الإتحاد السوفيتي حيث أن نهاية التاريخ هنا ليس الزمن بقدر ما هو مرحلة ما في نطاق ايدلوجية محددة كفترة الكشوفات الجغرافية والاستعمار والحرب اللباردة والاتحاد السوفيتي.

وكذلك لن ينتهى التاريخ بالمحاولات التي يسوقها المؤلف ((العنصري)) الذي يسعى جاهدًا لإزاحة العنصر الإسلامي والعربي الذين يصفهم بـ(البرابرة) عن خارطة العالم حتى يهنأ لهم العيش في مرحلة ما أسماها (ما بعد التاريخ)

مالم يذكره الباحث (العنصري) هو أن الكثير من الأفكار تعود من جديد على سطح الأحداث تكرر كامل ايدلوجيتها وفق غطاء جديد.
Profile Image for أسيل.
470 reviews252 followers
September 10, 2013
نهاية التاريخ لا تعني نهاية الحياة وحركتها بالنسبة للكاتب وانما وانما نهاية مرحلة تاريخية وسابقة وبداية مرحلة اخرى ومن الذين نظروا لنهاية التاريخ
هيجل حيث راى أن التاريخ انتهى عام 1860م، لأنه رأى في دحر نابليون للملكية البروسية في معركة (يينا) انتصاراً لمُثل الثورة الفرنسية
ثم ماركس الذي قال ان التاريخ سيحقق نهايته بانتشار الشيوعيه
ثم فيبر الذي راى الرأسمالية نهاية للتاريخ
وبعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفياتي وانتصار امريكا على الدول الشيوعية جاء فوكوياما وقال ان الليبرالية الديمقراطية هي نهاية التاريخ

الفكرة الاساسية لهذا الكتاب تقوم على مقال لفوكوياما بعنوان نهاية التاريخ ونهاية التاريخ عنده تلخص بجملة
(أن نهاية تاريخ الاضطهاد والنظم الشمولية قد ولى وانتهى إلى دون رجعة مع انتهاء الحرب الباردة وهدم سور برلين، لتحل محله الليبرالية وقيم الديمقراطية الغربية
اي ان الليبرالية الديمقراطية هي نهاية التاريخ

ويفسر ذلك بـ
أن الديمقراطية المعاصرة قد بدأت في النمو منذ بداية القرن التاسع عشر، وانتشرت بالتدرج كبديل حضاري في محتلف أنحاء العالم للأنظمة الديكتاتورية. العنصر و أن فكرة الصراع التاريخي المتكرر بين " السادة" و"العبيد" لا يمكن أن يجد له نهاية واقعية سوى في الديمقراطيات الغربية واقتصاد السوق الحر. اماالاشتركية الراديكالية أو الشيوعية لا يمكنها لأسباب عدة أن تتنافس مع الديمقراطية الحديثة، وبالتالي فإن المستقبل سيكون للرأسمالية أو الاشتركية الديمقراطية وان الاسلام كانت له حضارته ولا يصلح لان يعيد حضارته ويستدل بدول الخليج وما تملكه من ثروات لكنها بقيت اسيرة نفسها وضعيفه
لذلك فان التاريخ انتهى عند ايديولوجية الليبرالية الديمقراطية ولن يأتي ما هو افضل واشمل منه حسب قول الكاتب

ركز فوكوياما في تحليله ودراسته على فلسفة هيجل بشكل معمق وعلى شارح نظريات هيجل كوجيف بشكل اساسي فكثيراً ما استشهد واستدل باقواله ونظريته حول التاريخ من كتاب هيجل فينو منو لوجيا الروح حيث نظرة هيجل حول التاريخ هي (التطور في العالم يمكن رده إلى تطور الفكرة المطلقة التي تريد أن تعرف ذاتها لذلك تغترب في الطبيعة ثم تبدأ رحلة العودة إلى ذاتها في عالم الروح حيث يجسد التاريخ الروح الموضوعية, و هنا تبلغ الفكرة ذروة تطورها عندما تتجسد في الإنسان و هنا كان نابليون، لذلك صاح هيغل بأن التاريخ انتهى عندما رأى نابليون يمر تحت نافذته بعد تحقيقه النصر. اي ان التاريخ توقف عام 1806) و هو مفكر أمريكي من أصل عرب وعلى توماس هوبز ودو توكفيل ونيتشه وركز بفصله الثاني على اطروحة وسؤال كانت بمناداته من يكتب تاريخ عالمي


الكتاب لم يقنعني وربما رفضي لافكاره كانت السبب في اخذ وقت طويل لقراءته ثم انه تغلب عليه طابع القراءة السياسية النفعية التي تؤسس لتحقيق سيادة امريكا في العالم سياسيا واقتصاديا وفكريا ....
ولكن بدخولي للقسم الثاني وقراءتي احببت ان اكمل رؤيته وتحليل لرؤية بعض الفلاسفة

يقول عن الاسلام انه دين ليس له جاذبية ونسي ان المسلمين يمرون بحالة ضعف
وان هرم القوة والضعف متتعاقب عبر التاريخ

يقول الكاتب ان نظامه الديمقراطي الليبرالي حقق للانسان هدف ومعنى وجوده وانه بوصول الانسان الى هدفه انتهى التاريخ وانه حقق للانسان طموحه بالحرية والاقتصاد ووووووو
والواقع يقول عكس ذلك تماماً
يضيف الكاتب لن يكون هناك صراع وحروب بين الدول والشعوب وبين الدول واذكر هنا تساؤل فرويد لماذا لا تتفق الامم وتبقى في كراهية وتعصب مستمر حتى في حالة السلم ؟
﴿ولو شاء ربُّك لجعل الناسَ أمةً واحدةً، ولا يز��لون مختلفين إلاّ مَنْ رَحِمَ ربُّك ولذلك خَلَقَهُمْ﴾

ثم ليس السبب الاساسي والاول للصراع والصدام هو الايديولوجية والاقتصاد والنفعيه؟
Profile Image for vy.
86 reviews28 followers
February 18, 2021
my life was better before i read this
Profile Image for Saadia  B..
184 reviews74 followers
August 14, 2021
In the article what Fukuyama suggested had come to an end was not the occurrence of events, even large and grave events, but History: that is history understood as a single, coherent, evolutionary process when taking into account the experience of all peoples in all times.

Recognition is the central problem of politics because it is it the origin of tyranny, imperialism and the desire to dominate. It cannot simply be abolished from political life because it is simultaneously the psychological ground for political virtues like courage, public spiritedness and justice.

Legitimacy is not justice or right in an absolute sense; it is a relative concept that exists in people's subjective perceptions. All regimes capable to effective action must be based on some principle of legitimacy. Legitimacy is thus crucial to even the most unjust and bloody-minded dictatorship. Before Hegel every philosopher believed that there was such a thing as 'human nature' that is a more or less permanent set of traits - passions, desires, abilities, virtues and so forth - that characterized man as man .

According to Hegel, the nature of human desire is not given for all time but changes between historical periods and cultures. Hegel also defined history as the progress of man to higher levels of rationality and freedom and this process had a logical terminal point in the achievement of absolute self-consciousness. Liberal societies for him were in other words free from the 'contradictions' that characterized earlier forms of social organization would therefore bring the history dialectic to a close.

A directional history implies that no form of social organization once superseded is ever repeated by the same society (though different societies at different stages of development can naturally repeat a similar evolutionary pattern). The persistence of war and military competition among nations is thus paradoxically a great unifier of nations. Even as wars leads to their destruction, it forces states to accept modern technological civilization and the social structures that support it. Economic growth produced certain uniform social transformation in all societies, regardless of their prior social structure.

Science as a social phenomenon unfolds not simply because men are curious about the universe, but because science permits them to gratify their desire for security and for the limitless acquisition of material goods. Three types of argument have been put forward to answer why advancing industrialization should produce liberal democracy:

1. The first is a functional argument to the effect that only democracy is capable of mediating the complex web of conflicting interests that are created by a modern economy
2. A second line of argument explaining why economic development should produce democracy has to do with the tendency of dictatorships or one party rule to degenerate over time and to degenerate more quickly when faced with the task of running an advanced technological society
3. The final and most powerful line of argument linking economic development with liberal democracy is that successful industrialization produces middle-class societies and that middle-class societies demand political participation and equality of rights

Liberal democracy may be more functional for a society that has already achieved a high degree of social equality and consensus concerning certain basic values. But for societies that are highly polarized along line of social class, nationality or religion, democracy can be a formula for stalemate and stagnation. A modernizing dictatorship can in principle can be far more effective than a democracy in creating the social conditions that would permit both capitalist economic growth and, over time, the emergence of a stable democracy.

History is not a given, not merely a catalogue of everything that happened in the past, but a deliberate effort of abstraction in which we separate out important from unimportant events. For Hegel, freedom was not just a psychological phenomenon but the essence of what was distinctively human. In this sense, freedom and nature are diametrically opposed. Freedom does not mean the freedom to live in nature or according to nature; rather freedom begins only when nature ends.

Contrary to Hegel, Hobbes believes that the desire for recognition and the concept of 'mere' life is not the beginning of man's freedom but the source of his misery. Thymos is something like an innate human sense of justice: people believe that they have a certain worth and when other people act as though they are worthless - when they do not recognize their worth at its correct value - then they become angry. Megolothymia - the desire to be recognized as superiors.

Today what has taken the place of megolothymia is a combination of two things:
1. The first is blossoming of the desiring part of the soul which manifests itself as a thorough-going economization of life
2. The second thing that remains in place of megolothymia is an all pervasive isothymia, that is, the desire to be recognized as the equal of other people

Cultural factors that inhibit the establishment of stable liberal democracies:
1. The degree and character of a country's national, ethnic and racial consciousness
2. Religion, there is no inherent conflict between religion and liberal democracy, except at the point where religion ceases to be tolerant or egalitarian
3. Existence of a highly unequal social structure and all of the habits of mind that arise from it
4. Society's ability to autonomously create a healthy civil society, a sphere in which people are able to exercise 'act of associating' free from reliance on the state

The nation will continue to be a central pole of identification, even if more and more nations come to share common economic and political forms of organization. Liberal democracies are not self-sufficient: the community life on which they depend must ultimately come from a source of different from liberalism itself. The decline of community life suggests that in the future we risk becoming secure and self-absorbed last men, devoid of thymotic striving for higher goals in our pursuit of private comfort. But the opposite danger exists as well, namely, that we will return to being first men engaged in bloody and pointless prestige battles, only this time with modern weapons.

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Profile Image for Murtaza .
669 reviews3,399 followers
July 21, 2016
Fukuyama posits liberal democracy as a natural endpoint for human societies, because it satisfies the needs of "man as man," the desiring and reasoning parts, but also the desire for "recognition" as a being with dignity and self-esteem. The End of History was a term first coined by Hegel after the victory of the French in the Battle of Jena. It meant not that events would cease to occur, but that the final and most satisfying form of human society had been promulgated. According to the dialectic view of history he coined, it did not contain "contradictions" that would lead to society being discarded and founded anew. Other societies would continue to exist, but they would be impelled towards that final form by the logic of modern natural science, which necessitated the creation of capitalist economies and educated populaces to run them who would in turn demand the egalitarian recognition of their dignity afforded by liberal democratic politics.

There are two major rebuttals to this argument which Fukuyama touches on. Firstly, that economic inequalities in liberal societies still render people "unequal" in practical terms. Secondly, that equality itself was an unsatisfactory goal. Citing Nietzsche, there are many people in society who would not be satisfied with simply being equal to others and would want their superiority recognized. Modern liberal society is the triumph of slave morality, and an abolition of the master-slave dichotomy in favor of a world where slaves themselves became the masters. Compassion and other ideals which served the interest of slaves now are the dominant mode, but for those who do still feel themselves "superior" on some level being placed in such a circumstance may feel deeply stifling. These individuals may then have an outlet for their megalothymotic urges through capitalist acquisition, sports, conspicuous consumption or some other new form of secularized conquest. Or they simply start history anew and revert to clashes of recognition that characterized past eras, only this time with the destructive tools of modern technology.

This book is often unfairly pilloried, mainly I think due to its triumphal title, but in reality its a nuanced and thoughtful work that has in fact not been disproven by later events. Fukuyama hedges his argument not out of any cynicism but out of a mature knowledge that history is not clean and linear. There are "post-historical" as well as "historical" spheres of the world and they interact with each other in myriad ways. But liberal bourgeois is what he is and it is hard to imagine him going all the way back.

In time I feel that Fukuyama's thesis will be vindicated to the public by the broader train of events. The historical world (particularly in the Middle East) is going through the same violently painful learning process that Europe did in the 20th century, where it was taught the consequences of an untempered thymos. Particularity of religious feeling may prove an obstacle to a degree, but models of accommodation have already arisen, away from the glare of a media fixated only on conflict.

Definitely required reading to understand the times we live in, not in a world full of abstractions but of humans-as-humans.
Profile Image for Arun Divakar.
796 reviews392 followers
May 2, 2014
When I was done with this book, all I had in my head was a faint buzzing. I took it initially to be a sign of incomprehension but later figured it out to be one of weariness. The weariness stemmed from the theories that the author postulates in the book. A quick look at the reviews tells me that I am not the only one with the same ideas. According to Fukuyama, we reach the end of history when we achieve the liberal-capitalist democratic form of government. He is quick to tell us that this does not mean that events of historical importance will not occur from then on but simply that historical evolution will grind to a halt at this point. All very interesting thoughts but then he fails to observe some of the most notable players on the world stage.

First and foremost, in all the discourse that Fukuyama gives about liberal democracy not one word is mentioned of China. A single party dominated superpower stood looming over the World and yet Fukuyama missed to interpret its importance or the contradiction to his theory. Then again there is Russia which while outwardly called a democracy is also a reminder of the power that authoritarian governments can assume in today’s political scenario. This forms only part of the counter –argument. Then again was the insistence that with the curtains drawn on the Cold War, global conflict had come to an end. In my reading of the counter theses, this was the one point that met with the most vehement opposition. The fact that the author would overlook the escalating issues brought in by religious fundamentalism was met with much scorn. To quote George Will ’History had just returned from vacation’. Of course, he did come out with detailed points defending his view later on but then accommodating these in the book would have given it much more credibility.

The fact that I could dig up and read so much about this book and its postulates is proof enough that it is an interesting book. I do not necessarily agree with 80% of the book’s contents but totally loved the way it made my mind work and find all the counter arguments to what was in here.
Profile Image for =====D.
63 reviews7 followers
April 3, 2009
The only interesting thing about this book is how it was so dominant when it came out, with everybody cheering for the conversion of the former "communist" nations to "democracy", and how irrelevant it is now.

This guy is kind of an asshole, and his sole accomplishment is that we can gauge which way the ideology of hegemony is pointing by the relative popularity of his cheerleading efforts.
Profile Image for Clif.
450 reviews122 followers
October 8, 2019
I first read this book when it came out in 1992, was impressed by it and kept it for a second read that I completed yesterday.

My first impression that this is a very important work has been confirmed, not only did I find my original highlighting justified, I added a bit more. The derision the book has received is not justified and is based on a superficial analysis of the author's idea.

Fukuyama takes as his theme the idea of G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) that history is linear and has arrived at its destination. This contrasts to the view that history is cyclical and that mankind can be put right back into earlier conditions through the loss of what we have at present.

The End of History is a very carefully and clearly written attempt to show that there is no going back and, for entirely different reasons, no further advance is possible. We cannot go back for technological reasons; the knowledge we have of the physical world cannot be unlearned. Though we will surely go forward technologically, we cannot go forward to something new politically because the contradictions of political life that have driven mankind through different ideologies have reached a resolution.

As the author is careful to point out, and as is obvious to anyone, this doesn't mean that there will be no more events taking place or that politics will end. There can still be wars, as we know, and unforeseen things will happen that will fill the history books of the future. But Hegel's idea of the dialectic, that political progress takes place through thesis meeting antithesis then moving on to synthesis before a new contradiction in the synthesis sets up the cycle again, has reached a conclusion in liberal democracy with its recognition of the human equality of all people.

At long last mankind has reached the stage where there are no masters and subjects, but equal citizens who can determine the course of their own lives free of the dictates of those who formerly would claim to be superior. The history of kings, tyrants, and the concept of the ubermenchen of National Socialism is over. The right to rule now comes, in much of the world, from freely held elections as such ideas as the divine right of kings have lost legitimacy due to their irrationality. This is a key point, that ideas driving ideologies have resulted through trial and failure in the coming of one idea that works with a method for resolving contradictions within it. Even nationalism, that we know so well, is irrational in that it says one group of people is superior to another purely from living in one place and not another. There is no longer any denying that one person is equally human with another regardless of labels.

Fukuyama devotes much attention to the concept of thymos as the ancient Greeks called spiritedness or the drive to power that propels those who dare to defy even death for the sake of achievement. It is this fearlessness that throughout history has brought those who have it to a high degree (he calls them megalogthymic) to power over others because the individual will risk all, beyond reason, when others either fear for their safety and yield to him or are destroyed by him in competition.

Today, this drive for power/superiority has been diverted into business. One can be a megalomaniac in business without bringing war to society. True, the risk of life is not involved, but the acquisition of many mansions and wives is far better than the destruction of armies the devastation of cities and the accompanying deaths of thousands for the will of one man as we saw with Hitler. Fascism and communism were the last contenders and went down as proven failures. Liberal democracy with capitalism has solved the problem of how to handle the human psyche (but see below) and as such is the destination of human history.

Certainly there are many parts of the world where "history" continues with warlords fighting and no sign of liberal democracy, yet the appeal of the latter is obvious and it gradually spreads though its association with capitalism. As Fukuyama writes, the jury is still out on whether a democracy is necessary for economic success (think of how well China is doing), but it is undeniable that democracy answers the need of every individual for recognition.

There is the big problem of the environment, but nobody has anything else to suggest that might be superior to our current system in meeting the challenge. There is the big problem of nuclear weapons but, again, nobody has proposed a way to get rid of them and they cannot be un-invented. We are condemned to live with them. The modern world might well be destroyed as a result but a rebuilding would attempt to remake liberal democracy though anarchic times might be passed through first. We see in the present a livable, workable way of life that we would not consider giving up for anything that went before and with nothing better on offer putting us at the end of history.

But wait! What of that megalothymic man? Is cutthroat business really a satisfying substitute for defying death? Consider all the people who deliberately court death for the feeling it gives, the Evel Knievals of the world. Think of the mass shooters that pop up almost weekly now. Not only are these men/boys courting death, they bring it on themselves deliberately after carelessly taking many before them. Could this be a symptom of people who do not fit into the end of history; are lost amid the material plenty in isolation and anomie? Would someone seriously consider bringing the whole house down on our society simply for the thrill to self it might bring and the hope that it would return us to the bloody battle of history? This is the question of the last man with which the book ends.

Francis Fukuyama is a wonderful thinker and writes so clearly that I easily found myself lost in the book. He covers much more than I have mentioned here, in particular the question of morals and relativism. As we come to realize that we should accept all people as equally human and as we realize that people are animals and that animals share many things with us, our concern broadens and our exclusivity dissolves. How do we determine where lines are to be drawn? I have also left out his extensive discussion of Christianity as a foundation for the overthrow of the master/slave mentality.

The End of History and the Last Man is a fascinating read.
Profile Image for Gary Inbinder.
Author 8 books176 followers
February 6, 2017
Second reading: Originally read in 1992

The title refers to an odd fusion of Hegelian/Marxian historicism by way of Alexander Kojeve and Nietzsche. Many readers will interpret this book as triumphalist flag-waving for Liberal Democracy's late 20th century triumph over Soviet Socialism. I don't think that's what Fukuyama intended. Wars of aggression, oppression, poverty, plague, famine, prejudice, intolerance, etc. are here and will be for the foreseeable future. We're very much "in history." If there is such a thing as "dialectical materialism" the clash of ideas, worldviews, cultures, and civilizations is ongoing. As for "last men," there are millions who will sacrifice liberty for security, and that will continue to be the case as long what we might call the "human condition" or "human nature" persists. That means forever in human terms, unless we "evolve" into some sort of "super-humans," or cyborgs, or Frankenstein's monsters. Don't hold your breath.

I suppose those among us who agree with Fukuyama believe a world made safe for Liberal Globalist Democracy is the "best of all possible worlds" but millions who prefer totalitarianism, racial superiority, nationalism, global socialism, laissez-faire capitalism, oligarchy, plutocracy, theocracy, etc. continue to disagree. And those disagreements inevitably lead to conflicts in culture, economics and politics, subversion, cyber-warfare, repression, aggression, revolutions, coups, civil war, cold war, hot war and genocide. In that regard, I believe Hobbes and Machiavelli had a better understanding of the "human condition" or "human nature" than Fukuyama et. al. If you're on the road to Utopia, better watch out for all those roadblocks, bumps and pot holes, not to mention the land mines and nukes.
Profile Image for Titus Hjelm.
Author 19 books83 followers
April 22, 2022
Prophecy is a tricky business. In the 20+ years since the publication of The End of History, liberalism has managed to become (or more accurately, has finally been revealed as) very different from Fukuyama's celebrated idea. Discontent with the current system--increasingly managed with police and military violence--is very visible and starting to have a small effect. History has not ended. Indeed, Fukuyama's 'history' is anyway a classic example of history with one eye shut. CIA provocations in Latin America, for example, are nowhere to be seen, although arguably they more than anything else have had an impact on history on that continent, But a worthy read nevertheless, if only for its role as a foil for critical thinking since the fall of the Berlin wall.
Profile Image for Fayyad N. Maali.
9 reviews8 followers
December 26, 2015
كتاب نهاية التاريخ وخاتم البشر, للامريكي - الياباني فرانسيس فوكوياما مستشار مؤسسة راند كوروبوريشين, خلاصة هذا الكتاب انه ليس بالامكان ان يكون افضل مما كان وليس بالامكان ان نقدم افضل مما كان (من الديمقراطية الليبراليه كمنظام حياة للمجتمع البشري) انها نهاية التاريخ (بمعنى افضل ما يمكن للعقل البشري تقديمه) وقد استعرض بعض الانظمة التي اثبتت فشلها امام هذا كالشيوعية النظام الذي حقق البقاء بسبب قدرته على ذالك وتكيفه مع حاجيات الانسان ومتطلباته ببساطة انها نهاية التاريخ وختام البشر, فالديمقراطية الليبرالية في نظره هي اقسى واسمى ما يمكن ان يتوصل له العقل الانساني وقد اعاد احياء فكر هيغل بهذا الكتاب فنهاية التاريخ عند الفيلسوف الالماني هيغل هي الدولة الليراليه,
بعد ذالك يقارن فوكوياما بين الاسلام والنظام الديمقراطي الليبرالي كون الاسلام هو الايدولوجيه المتبقيه القادره على ان تكون بديله لهذا النظام بعد سقوط المعسكر الشيوعي والنازية سابقا, ويبين عدم قدره الاسلام على اخذ هذه المكانة في العالم فهو لا يملك عالمية الديمقراطية الليبراليه ومرونتها التي تجعل منها صالحه لكل الشعوب فهنالك الكثير من الافكار في الاسلام التي يرفضها ابن طوكيو وابن برلين لذالك فان النظام الوحيد القادر على ان يكون نظام عالمي هو النظام الديمقراطي الليبرالي انه نهاية التاريخ وخاتم البشر كما يقول فوكوياما
Profile Image for Nilesh Jasani.
1,020 reviews157 followers
June 22, 2020
The End of History is a seminal book, most noteworthy for its positivity and optimism. In its quest for definitive, idealistic conclusions, it often loses connections with reality. At times, it reads like a moralizing treatise of a naive talking about some virtual world. Yet, in the world where liberalism is turning into a cuss word to be attached to the most detested opponents for people of most political stripes, the book is a reference list of dreams the world community once aspired to and should still aspire to.

It is easy to see why so much is written refuting various aspects of this work ever since its publication. The highly theoretical work is about the world the author wishes rather than the world we have. Consequently, one can randomly pick any section and dissect the assumptions that go into the constructs or the conclusions that follow, which never matched the world that had been or has since been.

Despite the flaws, this reviewer would rate the work extremely readable for its courage to paint its utopia, however unrealistic or even flawed. The rest of the review is a theoretical critic of the theory itself.

The author's world has a clear, directional arrow of history. This world eventually has a political and economic system that is free of internal contradictions and deemed most desirable by the underlying nations' majority of citizens. The author spends a lot of time showing such a state as a combination of liberal economic policies for economic life and liberal democratic policies for the political sphere. The author clearly defines what he means by the end of history, which is not what is popularly believed. Instead, it is merely an expression to state that such a policy environment is the best any nation can hope for.

To be fair to the author, he briefly addresses almost any conceivable opposition to his theory. To his discredit, nearly all potential criticisms are brushed aside with rather glib and generalizing statements, which are almost always another set of hastily-made assumptions.

One of the work's biggest flaw is a minimal discussion on the contradictions between liberal economic forces on one side and liberal democratic forces on the other. The former is not as definitively or accumulatively evolutionary as natural science, as the author avers. Its basic propositions have the potential to cause extreme inequality that cannot be tolerated by the forces of liberal democracy. The world is split asunder between the champions of liberal economic forces on one side and liberal democratic forces on the other in every society in a few decades since the publication of the work.

The author is equally tardy in overlooking the contradictions within each of these sleeves. In the desired extreme, liberal economic forces need laws that permit extreme free movement of goods, capital, labor, and ideas across international borders. Not only are democratic systems prone to find such rules too onerous and untenable every so often, but the rules are also unworkable for most isothymic or megalothymic individuals.

The author arbitrarily defines equality as merely a desire to be recognized. He expects his citizens to willingly accept all income or lifestyle outcomes once such recognition is in place with the enumeration of inalienable rights (supposedly natural, not democratically selected) and democratic political processes. Despite arguing things within the nation-state framework and biasedly ignoring the "historic" societies, the author does not see his post-historic societies continuously altering economic rules to retain an upper hand in the global race and deliberately (and non-liberally) pushing down the rest.

Our world of nation-states has other forms of contradictions within the liberal democratic realm. As such, both liberal economic and democratic frameworks are so broad that within them, there are many directional currents possible for generations because of contradictions, evolutions, and revolutions. Even if one somehow designs the ideal liberal democratic framework, it is difficult to see how majoritarianism can be prevented against the rights of those outsides (foreigners) or from outside (immigrants) but almost any other internal minority. If one arbitrarily decides to protect the rights of a minority, let's say the richest, it violates the liberal democratic ideals and, if not, progressive economic ideals.

Let's take another aspect: a megalothymic may find his pursuit of domination of others, which is eventually distressing or undesirable. However, every system will always have a large number of ambitious trying to manipulate the rules to become the masters. The arguments are especially simplistic when the author expects almost all members of the liberal economic/democratic nation-state to play by the rules, maintain the system integrity for being the best possible, and kill their personal desires. Nietzsche's superman craves power ex-ante, dreaming a specific outcome, like almost any capitalist we observe in the world today. It does not matter if ex-post such victories are as hollow as the author makes them out to be.

Even in the best case, with highly ill-defined concepts of both liberal economy and liberal democracy, the author's model framework is even theoretically not free of contradictions.
Profile Image for 侯 二六.
580 reviews23 followers
May 27, 2021

Profile Image for Gordan Karlic.
Author 1 book8 followers
February 25, 2018
I didn't plan on writing a long review but because of Marko Pustaj, it will be quite long but even then I will only scratch the surface.
I will start with the questions what is liberal democracy? And who was the victor of the Cold war?
Let's answer the second question first. Primarily victor of the Cold war isn't liberal democracy as Fukuyama thought, it is capitalism. Sure countries with liberal democracies lead capitalism toward victory, but during 45 years of Cold often too often did those countries turned a blind eye on violation of human rights, of friendly dictatorships or made compromising with communist states opposed to the Soviet Union. Because of all that, today's world has a capitalist economy (although ideology would be much fitting term it is a question I won't go into it now) everywhere and liberal democracy covers only about half of the world.
Now let's try to answer the first question, I am pretty certain Fukuyama had in mind USA and countries with similar governments in the 80s and early 90s and for me here is the biggest problem.
First of all, every problem democracy had he swops under the rug with adjective liberal, because all the flaws democracies experience throughout history he really doesn't acknowledge (he mentions them so rarely and sparsely in a book so long I don't even consider them mention) and that is flaw because although some of the problems like colonialism or slavery isn't really an issue at the moment, they could derive because democracies are still run by capitalism that is fundamentally "flawed" in making a disproportionate accumulation of goods possible. And just because in a democracy everybody is equal on the paper or he would say there is Isothymos (everybody is respected as equal) in democracy, in reality, it isn't that cut and dry. Disproportionate wealth makes different classes and different classes want different treatments - long story short. Or you could spin problem by 180 like Marx turned Hegel but the problem is still there.
There is also a problem within liberal democracies, how to acknowledge others (civilizations, cultures, nations and so on) are different without making them different and by extend being a racist. Well, I don't know but neither liberal democracy does, in 19-century democracies used rationalization, in a state we are all equal (kinda or accurate should be said for that time equal) but we are superior to the other (or at least non-western countries). So flaw is: how to say Muslim woman not to wear hijab, but allow rapper to have a hoodie without targeting a certain group and becoming what would be considerate as a racist behavior. When I find an answer I will tell you.
And that is why this doesn't end of time or time of the last men. He thought liberal democracy won when in fact capitalism won using liberal democracy and he thought liberal democracies don't have a flaw as big as mentioned.
But nevertheless, he made a lot of good arguments made a lot of foundations and interpreted thoughts of the famous philosophers in this new age of humankind.
There is so much more to say, but this book got 4 because it won't age as well as a Clash of civilization, it missed its mark and it was bloody too long, too much repeating in it.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,741 reviews676 followers
November 29, 2016
The main thesis of this book is that the combination of free market capitalism and liberal democracy (based on human rights) represents 'the end of history'. To wit, all countries and peoples in the world will eventually attain this supposedly homogeneous state of government, and it will be stable and self-sustaining. The justification for this thesis is based predominantly in philosophy, although also in history. It is interesting to note that far longer is spent on justifying the long-term sustainability of liberal democracy than free market economies. The book was published in 1992 and the tone strongly reflects American triumphalism in the wake of the iron curtain’s fall.

Fukuyama's arguments build on the Platonic idea of human nature as a balance between desire, rationality, and thymos. The latter is explained as a desire for recognition, related to pride and personal honour, which can manifest in the extreme as megathymia, or the strong desire to be recognised as better than everyone else.

Although this book was very thought-provoking and definitely worth reading, what it singularly failed to convince me of was this: what makes the 1992 state of liberal democracy so very wonderful that humanity will never seek a better system? Even if at that moment, and indeed twenty years later, no other major ideological contenders have emerged, why assume that they never will? Fukuyama mentions in chapter 4 a thought I've often had, that current generations, unlike those of their grandparents, cannot imagine a future that is substantially better and, more importantly, substantially different than today’s world. Whereas I would frame this as a rather sad lack of imagination and utopian thinking, Fukuyama frames it as a demonstration of liberal democracy and capitalism's triumph.

Surely the only certainty in history is change? It seems incredibly arrogant to say that we as a species have gone as a far as we can in terms of organising ourselves. It also ignores the vast injustices, instabilities, and dissatisfactions with free market democracy in its various manifestations across the globe. Fukuyama is writing from the perspective of a privileged, highly educated male in the richest country in the world. To him, the political and economic systems of the world may have seemed as good as they could be. That definitely does not mean that everyone agrees, in 2012 even less than in 1992.

That said, this book has been widely read, discussed, and cited for good reasons. It is dense with ideas that you might agree or disagree with, but that are undoubtedly worth debating. I now intend to read Fukuyama's 2011 book, The Origins of Political Order, in order to see how his views have evolved.
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