Monday, December 7, 2020

Short Summary: End of History by Francis Fukuyama

The End of History and the last man by Francis Fukuyama

The idea of ​​"the end of history" requires Francis Fukuyama to define what history is. History according to Fukuyama is a chronology, an attempt to put a collection of events into a specific and continuous framework. Hegel's worldview, from which Fukuyama emerges, is that history has a direction - progress. Hegel explains history as the "Great Parade of Liberties" - the history in which universal liberty is the founding idea in historical development. If we were once slaves, then landowners and slowly freedoms expand throughout history.

In contrast to Marx, for whom what motivates the world is reality and the consciousness derived from it, Hegel argued that the motive of the world is only consciousness, ideology.

The idea of ​​"the end of history" was coined by Hegel in 1812 following Napoleon's great victory at the Battle of Vienna which following Napoleon's decision determined that the values ​​of the French Empire, i.e. the liberal democratic state and liberty became a pattern by which the whole world would align. Fukuyama argues that indeed, as Hegel predicted, the pattern of the Western liberal state is a winning pattern that the whole world will gradually align with and slowly the values ​​of modernity are grasped in countries and more countries are becoming democratic, liberal, etc ...


Fukuyama claimed that in the 20th century there were challenges to this pattern, which Hegel did not foresee:

Communism - an approach that denies the universal freedoms expressed in the idea of ​​the free market. The communist approach collapsed in the late 20th century.

Fascism-Nazism - approaches that did not accept the concept of freedom as a legitimate concept, or the idea of ​​universal equality between human beings. Therefore, according to Fukuyama, these attitudes in advance were doomed to disappear, and the loss in the Second World War only accelerated this.

Nationalism - ostensibly, moderate nationalism is supposed to be integrated into modernity (nationalism = defines the state). But the national-nationalist ideology (separatism, racism) is in conflict with the universal principles, and will therefore struggle for relevance and weaken over time.

Religious Fundamentalism - Fukuyama has not been able to deal with these ideas. The problem as we have analyzed it - the lack of universal elements, that is, fundamentalism cannot be attractive to those who do not belong to a particular religion.

The end of history is a stage in which all these challenges no longer exist, the insight that the Western nation-state is the model that the whole world will go and adopt. Once these insights are established, according to Fukuyama, we will reach the end of history.

In 1989, when Fukuyama delivered his speech and published the article about the end of history, we were in fact in the midst of the collapse of the only alternative to modernity - communism. Moreover, a year earlier the Iran-Iraq war ended which was an exceptional and isolated case of a long-standing system of two states neither of which represented either the Communist bloc on the one hand or the US on the other, and yet it was a bloody, heavy and significant war. Fukuyama argues that we are witnessing a world that can now be divided between the world that ended history and the world that has not yet finished history.

"The end of history" was initially criticized but in the winter of 1991-1992 it turns out that Fukuyama was right and the first Gulf War breaks out - the US goes to war against Iraq to evacuate Iraq from Kuwait. From the Warsaw Pact, Latin American and East Asian countries (Japan, Korea and China) and certain Muslim countries supported by the regime (Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Turkey). On the Iraqi side are Iraq, Iran (which has been Iraq's enemy for years) and other Muslim countries like Syria ... "B. 

see The End of History (Fukuyama) Explained

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