Fukuyama's The End Of History Essay

2159 words - 9 pages

Fukuyama's article states that the world is nearing the "end of history". While the phrase "end of history" seems to suggest imminent doom and the end of the world. That is, however, not what he is suggesting. Fukuyama argues that history, or in other words the growth and development of human ideals and philosophies, is reaching its peak. The article delves into the various eras of the past such as the renaissance and explains the strengths and weaknesses of the main ideologies during those eras. He then further explains the growth pattern between those eras which has lead to the current ideology of liberal democracy. He believes that liberal democracy is the best ideology and that it is the final stage in human ideological development. He further suggest that human history should be viewed as a progression or battle of ideologies. With the current trend of universalization of liberal democracy and individualism, both characteristics of Western culture, he argues that Western liberal democracy has become the grand victor. He also asserts that despite the liberal democratic ideology has not completely been realized in the material world, the idea has been accepted and has triumphed over all alternate ideologies.
Fukuyama discusses the work of past philosophers, particularly Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, to explore the idea of history and its past, present and end. Hegel pinpointed the French Revolution as the start of the liberal and democratic system. He commented on how the triumph of the numerous poor to persuade the rich to give them what they want. When this system began to be realized in the world, Hegel argued that with this ideology major issues that characterized changes in history, such as war, would diminish. To prove his point that liberal democracy is the "be all and end all", he analyzed each of the major ideologies and their flaws, and he compared it to liberalism. He also analyzed liberalism for flaws regarding the core conflicts of society where a new political-economic system would resolve the conflicts. He uses examples of the rise and fall of communist countries, such as the Soviet Union and Japan, and their eventual uptake of democratic liberalism. He also uses the long history of prosperity in China as an example, where upon slowly introducing liberal ideologies into Chinese policy, their growth had increased substantially.
Fukuyama makes a strong argument on the prospect of the end of history. He uses examples from the past and the present to predict the future. The methodological structure of his article strengthens his argument. He first states his thesis and clarifies its meaning which serves three purposes: grabbing the reader's attention, clearing misconceptions, and introducing the reader to his article topic. He quickly reinforces his idea by analyzing famous philosopher's positions that match his thesis. For example he mentions Karl Marx and his predecessor Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and although he...

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