Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AndyPipkin, Feb 22, 2006.
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This is the geek that said History had ended at the fall of the berlin Wall...
BTW Andy I am *not* stalking you...
He talks some sense.
The "End of History" quote (actually part the title of one of his books) referred to the ending of the bipolar confrontational nature of world affairs at the end of the Cold War.
His more recent book on "State Building" is a good read for anyone getting into the Post Conflict Stabilisation business.
Thank you, you beat me to the punch. It's a brilliant book whose title has been misunderstood by those who haven't read it.
Having read The End of History three or four times, I still think that its largely a collection of self-satisfied kack that served to highlight a sense of omnipotence experienced by US policymakers following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Fortunately, as this article reflects, he has stepped back somewhat from the sort of hubris that punctuated the work that made his reputation. However, the subtext still remains that somehow liberal democracy and capitalism has all the answers to any given problem.
Look around chaps. It is really a sad day for all of us if we recognise that this is as good as its ever going to get.
Subtext? I think it was very explicit. I don't think he claimed that liberal democracy had all the answers, rather that some sort of representative democracy was the best of the possible endstates of human government. I don't look at it as 'self satisfied' kack, it's a bit deeper than that in my opinion. I see it as brilliant--but flawed especially vis-a-vis Islam--and also like you stated, a product of it's particular moment in history.
Fukuyama is old hat.
Those of us on the cutting-edge of the Libertarian zeitgeist are reading Virginia Postrel. Ho ho ho.
I'm sure Crabtastic will happily disagree.
Edited to add: I just re-read "The Clash of Civilizations" again, three years on from the last time. It was like Groundhog Day with nuclear weapons. Very scary.
All correct of course, but I still find the presumption that this is essentially the end-state of the development of human society, to be rather arrogant. I'm sure the powers at be were fairly content with Feudalism and absolute monarchies until the likes of Adam Smith, John Locke, Thomas Paine etc. came along.
What was quite cunning from a philosophical standpoint was Frankie-Boy's attempt to wrestle Hegel back away from the Marxists. However, I don't think there is necessarily anything 'inevitable' (so to speak) about the spread of liberal democracy. I also don't think it's very heathly for humanity to feel comfotable to rest on its laurels. Even if you accept the liberal democracy as the end state, despite its contradictions, you also have to accept that at its heart is the desire for progress and a better tomorrow. Take away those ideas and what are we left with?
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