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The End of History and the Last Man

The End of History and the Last Man

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The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama
Francis Fukuyama
Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama is an American political scientist, political economist, and author. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford. Before that he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of...

, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest
The National Interest
The National Interest is a prominent conservative American bi-monthly international affairs magazine published by the Center for the National Interest. It was founded in 1985 by Irving Kristol and until 2001 was edited by Anglo-Australian Owen Harries...

. In the book, Fukuyama argues that the advent of Western liberal democracy
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 may signal the end point of humanity's sociocultural evolution
Sociocultural evolution
Sociocultural evolution is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time...

 and the final form of human government.
"What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, 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
Liberal democracy
Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

 as the final form of human government."

Some see his thesis conflicting with Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

's version of the "end of prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

." Fukuyama himself identifies on some level with Marx, but identifies most strongly with the German philosopher Hegel, by way of Alexandre Kojève
Alexandre Kojève
Alexandre Kojève was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into continental philosophy...

. Kojeve argued that the progress of history must lead toward the establishment of a "universal and homogenous" state, most likely incorporating elements of liberal or social democracy; but Kojeve's emphasis on the necessarily "post-political" character of such a state (and its citizens) makes such comparisons inadequate, and is irreducible to any mere "triumph" of capitalism. It is conjectured that Fukuyama learned of Kojève through his teacher Allan Bloom
Allan Bloom
Allan David Bloom was an American philosopher, classicist, and academic. He studied under David Grene, Leo Strauss, Richard McKeon and Alexandre Kojève. He subsequently taught at Cornell University, the University of Toronto, Yale University, École Normale Supérieure of Paris, and the University...



  • History should be viewed as an evolutionary process
  • Events still occur at the end of history
  • Pessimism about man's future is warranted because of man's inability to control technology
  • The end of history means liberal democracy will become the only form of government for all States. This form of government will be the last form of government.


According to Fukuyama, since the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, democracy has repeatedly proven to be a fundamentally better system (ethically, politically, economically) than any of the alternatives.

The most basic (and prevalent) error in discussing Fukuyama's work is to confuse 'history' with 'events'. Fukuyama does not claim at any point that events will stop happening in the future. What he is claiming is that all that will happen in the future (even if totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 returns) is that democracy will become more and more prevalent in the long term, although it may have 'temporary' setbacks (which may, of course, last for centuries).
  • Some argue that Fukuyama presents 'American-style' democracy as the only 'correct' political system and that all countries must inevitably follow this particular government system; however, many Fukuyama scholars claim this is a misreading of his work. Fukuyama's argument is only that in the future there will be more and more governments that use the framework of parliamentary democracy and that contain markets of some sort. Indeed, Fukuyama has stated:
"The End of History was never linked to a specifically American model of social or political organization. Following Alexandre Kojève, the Russian-French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 philosopher who inspired my original argument, I believe that the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 more accurately reflects what the world will look like at the end of history than the contemporary United States. The EU's attempt to transcend sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

 is much more in line with a "post-historical" world than the Americans' continuing belief in God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

, national sovereignty
National sovereignty
National sovereignty is the doctrine that sovereignty belongs to and derives from the nation, an abstract entity normally linked to a physical territory and its past, present, and future citizens. It is an ideological concept or doctrine derived from liberal political theory...

, and their military."

Arguments in favor

  • One argument used to support the theory is the dramatic rise in democratic nations over the course of the 20th century. An extensive study by Freedom House
    Freedom House
    Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

     in 2003 counted zero liberal democracies with universal suffrage
    Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

     in the world in 1900 but 119 (60 percent) at the time. They counted 25 (19 percent) nations with 'restricted democratic practices' in 1900 and 16 (8%) today. Additionally, they counted 19 (14 percent) constitutional monarchies
    Constitutional monarchy
    Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

     in 1900, where a constitution limited the powers of the monarch, and with some power devolved to elected legislatures, and none today. Other nations had, and have, various forms of non-democratic rule.
  • Another argument in favor of Fukuyama's thesis is the democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

    , which argues that mature democracies rarely or never go to war with one another. This theory has faced criticism, with arguments largely resting on conflicting definitions of "war" and "mature democracy". Part of the difficulty in assessing the theory is that democracy as a widespread global phenomenon emerged only very recently in human history, which makes generalizing about it difficult. (See also list of wars between democracies).
  • Other major empirical evidence includes the elimination of inter-state warfare in South America, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe among countries that moved from military dictatorships to liberal democracies.
  • According to several studies, the end of the Cold War and the subsequent increase in the number of liberal democratic
    Liberal democracy
    Liberal democracy, also known as constitutional democracy, is a common form of representative democracy. According to the principles of liberal democracy, elections should be free and fair, and the political process should be competitive...

     states were accompanied by a sudden and dramatic decline in total war
    War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

    fare, interstate wars, ethnic wars, revolutionary
    A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

     wars, and the number of refugees and displaced person
    Displaced person
    A displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration.- Origin of term :...


Critics of liberal democracy

Some have argued against the book due to an ideological disagreement with the concept of liberal democracy.
  • Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida
    Jacques Derrida was a French philosopher, born in French Algeria. He developed the critical theory known as deconstruction and his work has been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy...

     criticized Fukuyama in Specters of Marx
    Specters of Marx
    Spectres de Marx: l'état de la dette, le travail du deuil et la nouvelle Internationale is a 1993 book by French philosopher Jacques Derrida first published by Éditions Galilée and translated into American English as Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning & the New...

    (1993) as a "come-lately reader" of Alexandre Kojève
    Alexandre Kojève
    Alexandre Kojève was a Russian-born French philosopher and statesman whose philosophical seminars had an immense influence on twentieth-century French philosophy, particularly via his integration of Hegelian concepts into continental philosophy...

     "in the tradition of Leo Strauss
    Leo Strauss
    Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

    ," who already described U.S. society in the 1950s as the "realization of communism." According to Derrida, Fukuyama — and the quick celebrity of his book — is but one symptom of the anxiety to ensure the "death of Marx." Fukuyama's celebration of liberal
    Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

    Hegemony is an indirect form of imperial dominance in which the hegemon rules sub-ordinate states by the implied means of power rather than direct military force. In Ancient Greece , hegemony denoted the politico–military dominance of a city-state over other city-states...

     is criticized by Derrida:

Derrida goes on to analyze Fukuyama's book as taking part in the intellectual branch of current Western Hegemony and the spreading of its "New Gospel": "This end of History is essentially a Christian eschatology
Christian eschatology
Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology. Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning last and study , is the study of the end of things, whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, or the end of the world...

. It is consonant with the current discourse of the Pope on the European community: destined to become a Christian State or Super-State, this community would still belong therefore to some Holy Alliance." He claims that the book uses a 'sleight-of-hand trick' of making use of empirical data whenever it seems to suit its message, while appealing to an ideal whenever the empirical data contradicts it. Derrida points out that Fukuyama himself sees the real states of the United States and the European Union as imperfect compared to the "ideals" of Liberal Democracy and Free Market. Even the author understands that such final Ideals are not demonstrated by empirical evidence or ever could be demonstrated empirically. They belong entirely to the realm of philosophy or religion, owing their birth to the Gospels of Philosophy of Hegel. And yet Fukuyama still uses a movement toward empirical observations, which he himself grants are imperfect and incomplete, to validate an idea which is purely idealistic and transcendent of any empirical reality or possibility.

  • Environmentalism. Some environmentalists
    Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

     have argued that relentless growth will conflict with and overwhelm the Earth's scarce resources, and that Fukuyama's thesis does not address issues concerning the potential scarcity of water, scarcity of fuel and other environmental issues such as climate change
    Climate change
    Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...


  • Marxism. Marxism is another "end of history" philosophy. Therefore Marxists like Perry Anderson
    Perry Anderson
    Perry Anderson is a British Leftist intellectual, historian, and political essayist. He is often identified with the post-1956 Western Marxism of the New Left in Europe. He is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles and an editor of the New Left Review. He...

     have been among Fukuyama's fiercest critics. Apart from pointing out that capitalist democracies are still riven with poverty, racial tension etc., Marxists also reject Fukuyama's reliance on Hegel. According to them, Hegel's philosophy was fatally flawed until Marx 'turned it on its head' to create historical materialism
    Historical materialism
    Historical materialism is a methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history, first articulated by Karl Marx as "the materialist conception of history". Historical materialism looks for the causes of developments and changes in human society in the means by which humans...

    . Fukuyama argues that even though there is poverty, racism
    Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

     and sexism
    Sexism, also known as gender discrimination or sex discrimination, is the application of the belief or attitude that there are characteristics implicit to one's gender that indirectly affect one's abilities in unrelated areas...

     in present-day democracies, there is no sign of a major revolutionary movement developing that would actually overthrow capitalism. While Marxists disagree with Fukuyama's claim that capitalist democracy represents the end of history, they support the idea that the "end of history" will consist of the victory of democracy: communism
    Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

    , in the Marxist view, must necessarily involve a form of direct democracy
    Direct democracy
    Direct democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly, as opposed to a representative democracy in which people vote for representatives who then vote on policy initiatives. Direct democracy is classically termed "pure democracy"...


  • Anarcho-capitalism. Some anarcho-capitalists
    Anarcho-capitalism is a libertarian and individualist anarchist political philosophy that advocates the elimination of the state in favour of individual sovereignty in a free market...

     (such as Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe is an Austrian School economist of the anarcho-capitalist tradition, and a Professor Emeritus of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.-Academic career:...

    ) argue that democracy failed the classical liberal
    Classical liberalism
    Classical liberalism is the philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, constitutionalism, rule of law, due process, and liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and free markets....

     tradition by subordinating individual rights
    Individual rights
    Group rights are rights held by a group rather than by its members separately, or rights held only by individuals within the specified group; in contrast, individual rights are rights held by individual people regardless of their group membership or lack thereof...

     (especially private property
    Private property
    Private property is the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which refers to assets owned by a state, community or government rather than by...

    ) to the public interest, and that democracy is actually a decline of civilization compared to monarchy (see Democracy: The God That Failed
    Democracy: The God That Failed
    Democracy: The God That Failed is a 2001 book by Hans-Hermann Hoppe, containing a series of thirteen essays on the subject of democracy and concluding with the belief that democracy is the primary cause of the decivilization sweeping the world since World War I, and that it must be delegitimized.He...


  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Chávez
    Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías is the 56th and current President of Venezuela, having held that position since 1999. He was formerly the leader of the Fifth Republic Movement political party from its foundation in 1997 until 2007, when he became the leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela...

     has argued against "the end of history": he argued his case in his September 2006 address to the United Nations General Assembly
    United Nations General Assembly
    For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

    . As recently as August 2006, Fukuyama has written in response to Chávez's argument, his main point being that Chavismo is only possible due to the unique oil
    An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

     reserves of Venezuela
    Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

    , and thus will not spread.

Radical Islam, tribalism and the "Clash of Civilizations"

Various Western commentators have described the thesis of The End of History as flawed because it does not sufficiently take into account the power of ethnic loyalties and religious fundamentalism as a counter-force to the spread of liberal democracy; with the specific example of Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

, or radical Islam, as the most powerful of these.

Benjamin Barber
Benjamin Barber
Benjamin R. Barber is an American political theorist and author perhaps best known for his 1996 bestseller, Jihad vs. McWorld.-Career:...

 wrote a 1992 article and 1995 book, Jihad vs. McWorld
Jihad vs. McWorld
Jihad vs. McWorld is the title of a 1992 article that was later adapted into a book by political scientist Benjamin Barber, in which he puts forth a theory that describes the struggle between "McWorld" and "Jihad" Jihad vs. McWorld is the title of a 1992 article that was later adapted into a book...

, that addressed this theme. Barber described "McWorld
McWorld is a term used to describe the spreading of McDonald's restaurants throughout the world as the result of globalization, and more generally to describe the effects of international McDonaldization of services and commercialization of goods as an element of globalization as a whole...

" as a secular, liberal, corporate-friendly transformation of the world, and used the word "jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

" to refer to the competing forces of tribalism and religious fundamentalism, with a special emphasis on Islamic fundamentalism.

Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel Phillips Huntington was an influential American political scientist who wrote highly-regarded books in a half-dozen sub-fields of political science, starting in 1957...

 wrote a 1993 essay, "The Clash of Civilizations", in direct response to The End of History; he then expanded the essay into a 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. In the essay and book, Huntington argued that the temporary conflict between ideologies is being replaced by the ancient conflict between civilizations. The dominant civilization decides the form of human government, and these will not be constant. He especially singled out Islam, which he described as having "bloody borders".

After the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

, in which a group of terrorists, purportedly masterminded by Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, hijacked airplanes and flew them into various targets in the United States, The End of History was cited by some commentators as a symbol of the supposed naivete and undue optimism of the Western world during the 1990s, in thinking that the end of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 also represented the end of major global conflict. In the weeks after the attacks, Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Rafiq Zakaria is an Indian-American journalist and author. From 2000 to 2010, he was a columnist for Newsweek and editor of Newsweek International. In 2010 he became Editor-At-Large of Time magazine...

 called the events "the end of the end of history", while George Will
George Will
George Frederick Will is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics...

 wrote that history had "returned from vacation".

Fukuyama did discuss radical Islam briefly in The End of History. He argued that Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is not an Imperialist force like Stalinism and Fascism: i.e. that it has little intellectual or emotional appeal outside the Islamic 'heartlands'. Fukuyama pointed to the economic and political difficulties that Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 face, and argued that such states are fundamentally unstable: either they will become democracies with a Muslim society (like Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

) or they will simply disintegrate. Moreover, when Islamic state
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

s have actually been created, they were easily dominated by the powerful Western states.

In October 2001, Fukuyama, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, responded to the declarations that the September 11 attacks had disproved his views by stating that "time and resources are on the side of modernity, and I see no lack of a will to prevail in the United States today." He also noted that his original thesis "does not imply a world free from conflict, nor the disappearance of culture as a distinguishing characteristic of societies."

In a 2008 Washington Post opinion piece, Fukuyama wrote:

Democracy's only real competitor in the realm of ideas today is radical Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

. Indeed, one of the world's most dangerous nation-states today is Iran, run by extremist Shiite mullahs. But as Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen
Peter Bergen is a print and television journalist, author, and CNN's national security analyst. Bergen produced the first television interview with Osama Bin Laden in 1997. The interview, which aired on CNN, marked the first time that bin Laden declared war against the United States to a Western...

 pointed out in these pages last week, Sunni radicalism has been remarkably ineffective in actually taking control of a nation-state, due to its propensity to devour its own potential supporters. Some disenfranchised Muslims thrill to the rantings of Osama bin Laden or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the appeal of this kind of medieval Islamism is strictly limited.

The resurgence of Russia and China

Another challenge to the "End of History" theory is a perceived growth in economic and political power for two countries, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

; China has a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 government, while Russia, though a democracy, has been described by some as de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...


Azar Gat
Azar Gat
Azar Gat is a researcher and author on military history. He was the Chair of the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University...

, Professor of National Security at Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University
Tel Aviv University is a public university located in Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel. With nearly 30,000 students, TAU is Israel's largest university.-History:...

, argued this point in his 2007 Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs is an American magazine and website on international relations and U.S. foreign policy published since 1922 by the Council on Foreign Relations six times annually...

article "The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers", stating that the success of these two countries could "end the end of history". Gat discussed radical Islam as well, but stated that the movements associated with it "represent no viable alternative to modernity and pose no significant military threat to the developed world". He considered the challenge of China and Russia to be the more major threat, since they could pose a viable rival model which could inspire other states.

This view was echoed by Robert Kagan
Robert Kagan
Robert Kagan is an American historian and foreign policy commentator.-Early life and education:Kagan graduated from Yale University in 1980 where he was tapped by Skull and Bones, studied history, and founded the Yale Political Monthly. He later earned an MPP from the John F...

 in his 2008 book The Return of History and the End of Dreams, whose title was a deliberate rejoinder to The End of History.

In his 2008 Washington Post opinion piece, Fukuyama also addressed this point. He wrote, "Despite recent authoritarian advances, liberal democracy remains the strongest, most broadly appealing idea out there. Most autocrats, including Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 and Chávez, still feel that they have to conform to the outward rituals of democracy even as they gut its substance. Even China's Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao
Hu Jintao is the current Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China. He has held the titles of General Secretary of the Communist Party of China since 2002, President of the People's Republic of China since 2003, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission since 2004, succeeding Jiang...

 felt compelled to talk about democracy in the run-up to Beijing's Olympic Games."

Posthuman future

Fukuyama himself later conceded that his thesis was incomplete, but for a different reason: "there can be no end of history without an end of modern natural science and technology" (quoted from Our Posthuman Future
Our Posthuman Future
Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution is a 2002 non-fiction book by Francis Fukuyama. In it, he discusses the potential threat to liberal democracy that use of new and emerging biotechnologies for transhumanist ends poses....

). Fukuyama predicts that humanity's control of its own evolution
Evolution is any change across successive generations in the heritable characteristics of biological populations. Evolutionary processes give rise to diversity at every level of biological organisation, including species, individual organisms and molecules such as DNA and proteins.Life on Earth...

 will have a great and possibly terrible effect on the liberal democracy.

Publication history

  • Free Press
    Free Press (publisher)
    Free Press is a book publishing imprint of Simon and Schuster. It was founded by Jeremiah Kaplan and Charles Liebman in 1947 and was devoted to sociology and religion titles. It was headquartered in Glencoe, Illinois, where it was known as The Free Press of Glencoe...

    , 1992, hardcover (ISBN 0-02-910975-2)
  • Perennial, 1993, paperback (ISBN 0-380-72002-7)

See also

  • Democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory
    Democratic peace theory is the theory that democracies don't go to war with each other. How well the theory matches reality depends a great deal on one's definition of "democracy" and "war"...

  • Last Man
    Last Man
    The last man is a term used by the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in Thus Spoke Zarathustra to describe the antithesis of the imagined superior being, the "Übermensch", whose imminent appearance is heralded by Zarathustra...

  • Sociocultural evolution
    Sociocultural evolution
    Sociocultural evolution is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have changed over time...

  • The Clash of Civilizations

External links