Francis Fukuyama The End Of History Analysis

1063 Words5 Pages
In his article The End of History?, Francis Fukuyama attempts to answer the question of whether the end of the 20th century would see a move towards liberal democracy, or whether it would continue to see the implementation of failed ideological systems. Throughout the article, Fukuyama discusses the rise and fall of non-liberal ideologies - such as communism and fascism – and argues that human history should be viewed as an ongoing shift towards democracy, which he views as emergent and ultimately unchallenged. He suggests that in spite of the fact that its spread is still not complete throughout the world, he holds that the idea of democracy has ultimately won the battle of the ideologies due to the spread of the consumerist culture throughout the world and to the gradual change to democratic thought in countries such as China, Japan or Russia which previously strongly embraced contrary ideologies. Fukuyama proposes that liberal democracy will come as a result of two factors. The first and more obvious being economic reasons, and the second being what he refers to as “struggle for recognition”, which explains history as man’s search for recognition, as in a contradiction between a master and slave. He holds that in a universally homogenous state all contradictions are resolved and all man’s needs are satisfied, and therefore there are no large conflicts and no need for statesmen. All that remains is the economic activity.
Fukuyama discusses the work of the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who first proposed this change, as well as the work of French philosopher Alexandre Kojeve, who gives more recent interpretations of Hegel’s ideas. Hegel’s main indicator of the triumph of the democratic system was the Fren...

... middle of paper ...

...between countries. This is an obvious contradiction to Fukuyama’s model, which suggests that only economic activity will exist. From a Christian worldview, man’s inherently evil nature will prevent the world from ever reaching a perfected form a democracy.
While I don’t agree with all of Fukuyama’s analysis, I think it does provide some solid arguments and examples for the superiority of a liberal democratic system over that of a communist system as it displays how countries have benefitted from adopting a liberal democracy, even if they are only in practice to a limited degree. However, in spite of his article’s optimism, I cannot help but feel that he arrives to his conclusions a little too certainly. Communism has certainly proven to be a failed system, but due to man’s evil nature I don’t believe mankind will ever completely arrive at a perfected ideology.

More about Francis Fukuyama The End Of History Analysis

Open Document