Saturday, May 24, 2014

The End of History and The Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

Title: The End of History and The Last Man
Author:  Francis Fukuyama
Original Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 464

"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 so called "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.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...