The end of history?
The end of history? It seemed a bold claim, even with the question mark, when Francis Fukuyama published his 1989 essay The End of History? Though by the time he published his book, The end of history and the last man, the question mark had disappeared.
Misunderstanding: Fukuyama soon had to explain that he was not claiming that historical events had ceased, he was arguing that the ascendancy of liberal democracy, the end of The Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union, humanity had reached, “the end of history as such: That is, the end-point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."
The critical response: Critics argued that Fukuyama had an American view of a “McWorld”, ignoring other political systems and faiths. For many critics, the crumbling of Manhattan’s Twin Towers on 9/11 in 2001 challenged Fukuyama’s belief that history had previously reached its inevitable conclusion, that wars would be less frequent and events calmed.
Europe as the model? Answering criticism that the USA is his model society, Fukuyama surprisingly focused on the European Union, “The EU's attempt to transcend sovereignty and traditional power politics by establishing a transnational rule of law is much more in line with a "post-historical" world than the Americans' continuing belief in God, national sovereignty, and their military.”
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