francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/97/all cached version 11/02/2019 18:51:03 en Time for the human approach https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/mary-kaldor-javier-solana/time-for-human-approach <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Dmitry Medvedev’s proposal for a new post-cold war security order offers a significant opportunity for the world. But both the West and Russia need to move on from conventional security logic, and think in terms of the human, argue Mary Kaldor and Javier Solana. </div> </div> </div> <p>Recently, there has been much talk of a &lsquo;reset&rsquo; in the West&rsquo;s relations with Russia. It was started by President Obama but has <a href="../../../../../../../../od-russia/mark-leonard/spectre-of-multipolar-europe">been taken up</a> by President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel and, <a href="http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE6A25YM20101103">in the last week</a>, by the Secretary General of NATO. But rather little has been elaborated about what this &lsquo;reset&rsquo; might mean or how Western countries might respond to the <a href="../../../../../../../../article/email/medvedev-and-the-new-european-security-architecture">proposal</a> by president Dmitri Medvedev for a new European security architecture, first put forward in June 2008. Medvedev also <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/Russia_Unveils_Proposal_For_European_Security_Treaty/1891161.html">published</a> a draft European security treaty in November 2009. In a paper presented in Moscow today, we will be arguing that the EU should seize the opportunity offered by Medvedev&rsquo;s initiative and the new interest in revising and rethinking relations with Russia to propose a human security architecture for Europe.</p> <p>Medvedev&rsquo;s initiative focused on what is known as &lsquo;hard security&rsquo; &ndash; the security of borders and the role of military forces. It arose out of what Russians perceive as NATO&rsquo;s disregard for the principles of the <a href="../../../../../../../../democracy-protest/helsinki_2716.jsp">Helsinki Accords of 1975</a>, which confirmed the territorial status quo in Europe and prohibited the unilateral use of military force. The enlargement of NATO, the war over Kosovo in 1999, and the recognition of Kosovo in 2009 were all interpreted as threatening behaviour, whatever the reality. In similar mirror thinking, Western governments have pointed to the <a href="../../../../../../../../russia-categories/georgia-war">war</a> in Georgia in 2008 as evidence that Russia has expansionary military goals. The EU should respond to the proposal but stress the importance of going beyond traditional conceptions of security and open up a debate about the possibility of a human security architecture for Europe.</p> <blockquote>"Instead of focussing on future military attacks, a human security approach would put much more emphasis on so-called non-traditional threats such as the spread of drugs, organised crime, terrorism, or natural and man made disasters"&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /></blockquote> <p>The concept of human security could be said to have been invented in the Helsinki Accords of 1975, even though the actual term came later. The Helsinki Accords were composed of three baskets. The first basket was about a rule-governed as opposed to war-based security &ndash; this is what Medvedev is proposing in his treaty. The second basket was about economic, scientific, technological and cultural co-operation. This means that insecurity is not only about physical threats, it is about material deprivation as well. And the third basket was about human rights; it was about the security of individuals and the communities in which they live and not just the security of states and borders.</p> <p>After the Cold War and the break-up of the Soviet Union, some hoped that a new security organisation would supplant NATO and the Warsaw Pact. But instead there has been a proliferation and fragmentation of security organisations, with different geographical memberships and different tasks &ndash; NATO, the EU, the OSCE (the organisation that came out of the Helsinki Accords), the Council of Europe, the CIS, and the CSTO. Only the OSCE includes all the countries of the Euro-Atlantic area but it has increasingly focussed on the third basket of Helsinki and because it is separated from the first two baskets (NATO and the EU) it lacks capacity for implementation. Indeed, despite all these organisations, our ability to keep people safe in the region as a whole, or to contribute to security in the rest of the world, is at best ad hoc and at worst non-existent.</p> <p>The European Union and Russia could play a pivotal role in developing a human security architecture for the whole of Europe. The EU and Russia have already signed a &lsquo;<a href="http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;hs=5z3&amp;rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&amp;q=%22partnership+for+modernisation%22&amp;aq=f&amp;aqi=g-c1&amp;aql=&amp;oq=&amp;gs_rfai=">partnership for modernisation&rsquo;</a>. But if the EU and Russia are to co-operate on economic issues, they need to cooperate on security issues as well.</p> <p class="image-caption"><img class="image-left" src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/files/3529489206_2996b22ac4_0.jpg" alt="" width="350" /></p> <p class="image-caption">&nbsp;</p> <p class="image-caption">Thinking in terms of human security - rather than geopolitics - has the potential to unlock conflicts in places like Abkhazia. Photo [John]</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A first step in reconstructing Europe&rsquo;s security architecture is to develop a common philosophy. Human security offers a different lens through which to understand some of the key components of European security. For example, conflicts in the Balkans or the Caucasus have become flashpoints for disagreements between Russia and the West. There is a tendency to define conflicts in Kosovo or Abkhazia in geo-political terms and to take different sides. Instead, Russia and the EU could start from a human security perspective and focus on how to end the conflicts in a way that enhances the human security of all the people living in those areas. Energy security is also framed in geo-political terms; NATO&rsquo;s primary preoccupation is how to protect the security of oil supplies to Western countries and to prevent the control over supplies by Russia from being used as a political lever.&nbsp; A human security approach to energy would mean working together to ensure universal access to energy supplies, to combat climate change through energy efficiency and diversification, and to foster the stability and development of suppliers, who are excessively dependent on oil rents.</p> <p>Instead of focussing on future military attacks, a human security approach would put much more emphasis on so-called non-traditional threats such as the spread of drugs, organised crime, terrorism, or natural and man made disasters. And instead of trying to counter the rise of emerging powers, Russia and the EU should cooperate to strengthen global solutions to the global challenges of our time.</p> <p>We live in a more multipolar multilateral world, where global challenges like the threat of <a href="../../../../../../../../globalization-climate_change_debate/debate.jsp">climate change</a> or financial turmoil can have serious consequences for security, multiplying new and old risks such as xenophobia or religious fundamentalism, increased crimes rates or terror. In particular, both the EU and Russia were severely affected by the financial crisis. There is an urgent need to move away from Cold War thinking and to develop a new approach to European security.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Shannon D. Beebe and Mary Kaldor, <em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Weapon-No-Human-Security/dp/1586488236">The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon</a> </em></p> <p>Fedor Lukyanov, <a href="http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/redcol/Top_10_Events_Shaping_Russia%E2%80%99s_Foreign_Policy-14946"><em>The Top 10 Events Shaping Russian Foreign Policy</em></a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democracy-fukuyama/fukuyama_3852.jsp">The &#039;end of history&#039; symposium: a response</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/ivan-krastev/shape-of-europes-future">The Shape of Europe&#039;s Future</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democracy-caucasus/abkhazia_serbia_3787.jsp">Abkhazia-Georgia, Kosovo-Serbia: parallel worlds?</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/europe-s-trance-of-unreality">Europe&#039;s trance of unreality</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/article/russia_vs_europe_the_sovereignty_wars">Russia vs Europe: the sovereignty wars </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/opensecurity/luke-heighton/russian-attendance-at-nato-summit-confirmed">Russian attendance at Nato summit confirmed </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/mark-leonard/spectre-of-multipolar-europe">The spectre of multipolar Europe </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/article/security-briefing/russia-proposes-updated-european-security-treaty">Russia proposes updated European security treaty </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/article/email/medvedev-and-the-new-european-security-architecture">Medvedev and the new European security architecture</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/democracy-ukraine/energy_security_3198.jsp">Russian gas, Ukraine and Europe&#039;s energy security</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/democracy-europe_security/article_374.jsp">Europe&#039;s security priorities: a Nato perspective</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Russia </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Democracy and government </div> <div class="field-item even"> International politics </div> </div> </div> oD Russia 50.50 oD Russia openSecurity Russia Democracy and government International politics human rights global politics francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited From War to Peace Mary Kaldor Javier Solana Politics Foreign Security in Europe Security in North America Mon, 15 Nov 2010 14:30:25 +0000 Mary Kaldor and Javier Solana 56835 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The 'end of history' symposium: a response https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/fukuyama_3852.jsp An openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's work features leading critics who question the arguments of the renowned author's new afterword to "The End of History and the Last Man". Here, Francis Fukuyama answers their charges, reflects on how his views have changed since 1989, and revisits his hypothesis about the global historical trend towards liberal democracy.<p>I very much appreciate the discussion of the new afterword to my book <em> <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> that <b>openDemocracy</b> has hosted. The choice of commentators is thoughtful and imaginative, and the commentaries themselves are serious and respectful of my own work in a way that has not always been the case in recent months. The forum has given me a further opportunity to consider the critiques, and to perhaps restate an insight about my own intellectual development that I might not have fully understood at the time that I wrote the afterword two years ago.</p> <p>The fact that several commentators differ among themselves actually saves me from having to defend myself on certain issues, since they do a better job than I could myself. For example, <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3605">Roger Scruton</a> makes a <a href=http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/ target=_blank>Huntingtonian</a> agument that Islamist extremism is rooted in Islamic doctrine itself, and that it will resist the logic of history that has driven other parts of the world to economic modernisation and liberal democracy. </p> <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">Olivier Roy</a> and <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Saad Eddin Ibrahim</a>, by contrast, both defend my position that there is no necessary Muslim exception to the logic of modernisation, and that despite the historical union of state and mosque, there will be long term forces pushing against politicised religion, just as in the history of the west. I take some comfort in the fact that Roy and Ibrahim know the world of Islam much better than I do. (This is perhaps not surprising since much of my interpretation of contemporary Islamism is drawn from my reading of Roy's brilliant <em><a href=http://www.ceri-sciencespo.com/cherlist/roy.htm target=_blank>Globalised Islam</a></em>). </p> <p>Similarly, <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3605">Roger Scruton</a> dislikes the European Union as an essentially anti-democratic project, while <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">Anthony Pagden</a> defends it as a serious attempt to construct democracy on a level that transcends nation-states. My position is somewhere in between theirs: I believe that we need accountable forms of international organisation, but that the EU, while a noble effort, will not serve as much of a model for how to get beyond the nation-state for the rest of the world. </p><p><span class="pullquote-right"><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/Biography.html target=_blank>Francis Fukuyama</a> is Bernard L Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of the International Development Program at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is also chairman of the editorial board of a new magazine, <em><a href=http://www.the-american-interest.com/cms/main.cfm target=_blank>The American Interest</a></em>. <br /><br /> Also by Francis Fukuyama in openDemocracy (an article which also forms the afterword to the 2nd paperback edition of his <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>):<br />"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006) <br /><br /> Francis Fukuyama&#146;s other books include <em>Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution</em> (<a href=http://www.fsgbooks.com/searchnn.htm target=_blank>Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002</a>) and <em>State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century</em> (<a href=http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=4186&_userreference=1146568663E0C8E9474541FC6440C9B798 target=_blank>Cornell University Press, 2004</a>) <br /><br /> His latest book is <em>America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy</em> (<a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>Yale University Press, 2006</a>); in Britain this is published as <em>After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads</em> (<a href=http://www.profilebooks.co.uk/title.php?titleissue_id=344 target=_blank>Profile, 2006</a>) <br /><br /> Francis Fukuyama&#146;s homepage is <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>here</a> </span></p> <p><b>The question of periodicity</b></p> <p>The single area in which my thinking has changed the most dramatically from 1989 to the present concerns the likelihood and speed with which modernisation and democratisation will occur &#150; what one might call the "timetable" question. </p> <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">Stephen Holmes</a> quotes back at me several lines from my original 1989 article "The End of History" and contrasts them with my more recent formulations to prove that I've changed my views. He also, like <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">David Scott</a>, tries to associate my 1989 position positing an imminent universalisation of liberal democracy with the George W Bush administration's national-security strategy and its over-optimism concerning the democratisation of Iraq. He's right that my views have changed; the Bush administration's use or abuse of my ideas is another matter. </p> <p>I came to recognise how much my thinking had changed not in the course of the present forum, but in reflecting on some of the reviews of my latest book, <em><a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy</a></em>. In that book, I said the following: "Democracy in my view is likely to expand universally <em>in the long run</em>. But whether the rapid and relatively peaceful transition to democracy and free markets made by the Poles, Hungarians, or even the Romanians can be quickly replicated in other parts of the world, or promoted through the application of power by outsiders at any given point in history, is open to doubt."</p> <p>Like Holmes, several reviewers who were supporters of the Iraq war noted the similarities between the language of my original 1989 article and the Bush administration's rhetoric about the imminence and universality of democracy. These reviewers argued that by expressing scepticism about the prospects for the near-term democratisation of Iraq, I was <a href=http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060320-093054-6746r.htm target=_blank>repudiating</a> my own thesis, a Lucy who put the football of global democratic revolution in front of Charlie Brown, only to pull it away at the last moment. One reviewer <a href=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301430.html target=_blank>said</a> that in my new incarnation I had grown "passive and grim", and that I had forgotten about the "redemptive possibilities of human freedom."</p> <p>(I should note that associating this optimistic position with neo-conservatism is itself not historically accurate. If one goes back to the initial responses to the 1989 article, virtually all of the reactions from people like <a href=http://www.pbs.org/arguing/nyintellectuals_krystol.html target=_blank>Irving Kristol</a>, <a href=http://www.randomhouse.com/author/results.pperl?authorid=13052 target=_blank>Gertrude Himmelfarb</a>, <a href=http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M001054 target=_blank>Daniel Patrick Moynihan</a>, and Allan Bloom were sceptical. Most took the position that there was no such thing as a Hegelian-Marxist progressive history, that the ugliest forms of tyranny could always recur, and that history was essentially tragic for reasons rooted in human nature. </p> <p>Some thought that Mikhail Gorbachev was just tricking the United States and its allies, and that communism wasn't about to disappear; others that it would soon be replaced by equally ugly forms of nationalism. Right after the fall of the Berlin wall, the mood was anything but triumphal, such that <em><a href=http://www.commentarymagazine.com/masthead.asp target=_blank>Commentary's</a></em> Norman Podhoretz asked me to write an article entitled "Against the New Pessimism" in 1991. When exactly it was that neo-conservatives switched positions and started believing in the imminent universalisation of liberal democracy is an interesting question of intellectual history.) </p> <p><b>The conditions of state-building</b></p> <p>In any case, while my views on the timetable for global democracy have changed, this change is one that has been occurring continuously for the seventeen years since the publication of my original article. Anyone who has bothered to follow my writings over the years (not that I expect anyone to, but the record is there) should not have been surprised by the position I took in <em>America at the Crossroads</em>. </p> <p>Indeed, there was already a substantial retrenchment on the timetable question in the book version of <em>The End of History</em>, whose final section has several chapters on economic, cultural, and political obstacles to democratic transition. </p> <p>I have been particularly conscious of the timetable question over the past few years, as my focus shifted to the question of institutions and economic development. There has been a large shift in the thinking of development economists in the past fifteen-twenty years that has downplayed sound economic policies and emphasised the importance of institutions &#150; that is, formal or informal rules constraining human choice, which are the basis of social cooperation. </p> <p>The book I wrote prior to <em>America at the Crossroads</em> &#150; <em><a href=http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=4186&_userreference=1146568663E0C8E9474541FC6440C9B798 target=_blank>State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century</a></em> (2004) &#150; surveyed this literature, and then argued that while we can demonstrate the importance of institutions like property rights and rule of law, we know very little about how to bring them about. </p> <p>Way before you can have a liberal democracy, you have to have a functioning state. But state-building has been extraordinarily difficult in practice; we take for granted in the west a process that took centuries of often bloody struggle to complete. The practical problems mirror a deeper lack of theoretical understanding, and the relatively thin comparative historical literature on state formation. <a href=http://www.sociology.columbia.edu/fac-bios/tilly/faculty.html target=_blank>Charles Tilly's</a> familiar theory of European state formation doesn't tell you very much about why strong states appeared in parts of Asia, but not in Africa or parts of Latin America. </p> <p>This is part of the "autonomy of politics" problem that I refer to in the new afterword to the second edition of <em>The End of History</em>. There is a reasonably strong connection between development and democracy at relatively high levels of per capita income, but this correlation doesn't explain how the modernisation process gets off the ground in the first place. The chicken of economic growth precedes the egg of democratic politics, but must in turn be preceded by the egg of state-formation, and we don't really know what chicken lays that egg. </p> <p>This problem is particularly acute in a region like contemporary Africa; <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3597">Gavin Kitching</a> should understand that he has written not a critique but an elaboration of what I would argue myself. </p> <p>Before the arrival of European colonialism, Africa had both political structures and cultural norms that provided for collective action and some degree of stability, though relatively few institutions that looked like those of modern states with their centralised enforcement mechanisms. </p><p><blockquote>This article forms the conclusion to an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword to the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>)<br /><br /> <br />For an overview click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a> <br /><br /> Also published in the symposium:<br /> -Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)<br /> -Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006) -Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)<br /> -Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)<br /> -Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" (May 2006)<br /> -Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)<br /> -David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)<br /> -Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)<br /> -Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)<br /> -Stephen Holmes, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">The logic of a blocked history</a>" (23 May 2006)<br /> -Vinay Lal, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3585">The beginning of a history</a>" (25 May 2006)<br /> -Gavin Kitching, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3597">The modernisation myth</a>" <br />(30 May 2006)<br /> -Roger Scruton, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3605">The trouble with Islam, the European Union - and Francis Fukuyama</a>" (1 June 2006)<br /> - Shadia Drury, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3623">Which Fukuyama?</a>" (8 June 2006)</blockquote> </p><p>The Europeans disrupted all of these indigenous institutions, but in contrast to their state-building in India, South Africa, north America, and a few other places, were too mean or preoccupied to replace local institutions with modern ones (in <em><a href=http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/print.asp?isbn=0521855268&print=y target=_blank>Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy</a></em>, Daron Acemoglu & James A Robinson argue that Europeans didn't want to settle in places where the tropical disease burden was too great, which may have been another factor). </p> <p>So, post-colonial Africa had the worst of all worlds. This is one of the powerful reasons for its descent into poverty over the past five decades &#150; and, in the cases of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, and Rwanda, utter political depravity. Having arrived at this condition of absent states and extremely weak institutions, we do not have anything approaching a workable formula for getting them out of this trap and promoting development. </p> <p>I currently direct my school's <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/programs/i-dev/ target=_blank>international development programme</a>. One thing I have heard people in the development field say repeatedly is that if the architects of the Iraq war had had more direct experience in promoting development, they would never have been under any illusions that Iraq could be democratised easily, or believed that the kinds of levers that outside powers could pull would be sufficient to bring about the political transformation of the sort they expected. </p> <p>Observing the development business over the decades since the emergence of the "third world", it is hard not to be cynical about the well-intentioned efforts of outsiders to promote modernisation. Miracles do indeed happen, like the growth of South Korea and Taiwan, or the east-central European transitions, or the success of Botswana or Mauritius. But it is very hard to know where and when these are going to happen, or to understand the factors making such transformations possible. </p> <p>Moreover, given the ever-present possibility of political decay, democratic gains cannot be taken for granted; witness contemporary Venezuela and Bolivia. If recognition of these realities makes me "grim and passive", so be it.</p> <p><b>The varieties of modernisation</b></p> <p>A final set of objections to my restated hypothesis are those of Shadia Drury, <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">Talal Asad</a>, Vinay Lal, <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">Saskia Sassen</a>, and David Scott. All argue in different ways that my version of modernisation is too narrow, doesn't recognise other approaches to social organisation, and glosses over weaknesses and defects in modern liberal democracy, particularly as implemented in the contemporary United States. </p> <p>These arguments have been made repeatedly since the initial article in countless variations, and I'm afraid that this new group of critics hasn't paid sufficient attention to some of the answers I've already provided. </p> <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3623">Shadia Drury</a>, for example, seems to think it hasn't occurred to me that there is a trade-off between liberty and equality, or that modernity is a "mixed bag" of gains and losses. In fact, there is a long discussion of the liberty-equality trade-off in <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em>, where I argued that America and Europe chose different relative weights that in my view were equally legitimate. Moreover, my 1999 book <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/The_Great_Disruption.html target=_blank>The Great Disruption</a></em> is all about the loss of community and values that accompanies the transition to a post-industrial economy. </p> <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3585">Vinay Lal</a> thinks that I am unaware of the discourse of decolonisation or of Gandhi's critique of modernisation. What I am aware of is the fact that contemporary Indians themselves have definitively rejected Gandhi's fantasy of a return to an imagined agrarian past; what they seem to want most of all is some version of the end of history, toward which they, along with over a billion Chinese, are racing headlong. </p> <p>Stephen Holmes suggests that suicide-bombers are understandable as manifestations of Hegel's slave proving he is human by risking violent death. This is right; the post-historical world is threatened by those still trapped in history, only today they are empowered by technology which makes their discontent much more dangerous. <a href=http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521003873 target=_blank>Hegel</a> could consign entire peoples and regions to being outside of history, but globalisation itself has eroded the line he saw between the centre and the periphery. </p> <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">Charles Maier</a> suggests that the centre itself may not be stable, and that some irreconcilable conflict of values within its pluralistic clatter, or the sheer desire to re-enter history, may some day drive the historical world backwards. It would be an even greater refutation of the "end of history" hypothesis if it is not young Arab men who strap on suicide-belts and blow themselves up, but Europeans, Chinese, Indians, or Americans who follow in their path. But I don't think that I ever denied the possibility of any of these depressing futures. </p> The Americas francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited democracy & power Francis Fukuyama Original Copyright Thu, 24 Aug 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Francis Fukuyama 3852 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Which Fukuyama? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/which_3623.jsp <p>At the heart of modernity stands the melodramatic Enlightenment dream that humanity would abandon ignorance and superstition in favour of a universal Empire of Reason in which sectarian violence based on religion, tribe, and ideology becomes a relic of a shameful past. </p> <p>Those who shared this vision agreed on its inevitability, but disagreed on two things: the small details that would characterise the modern world, and &#150; more consequentially &#150; the desirability of its triumph. </p> <p>The sunny rationalists &#150; Immanuel Kant, GWF Hegel, and Karl Marx &#150; were positively delighted at the prospect that human beings might finally exchange their irrational enmity, implacable hatred, and mutual suspicions in favour of the recognition of their common humanity. </p> <p>And then there were those who lamented the impending realisation of the Enlightenment dream. Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and <a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Alexander Kojève</a> imagined that a cold and arid rationality would take over the globe and that as a result, everything wild, irrational and unpredictable would disappear from it. Everything that made man interesting would be no more. Modernity would make women just like men &#150; rational, tame, and predictable. They would hold out neither terror nor delight for the opposite sex. Those women who dared to dream would realise that the modern world had banished masculinity. They would find themselves lonesome in a world without real men. These sensitive souls would have no choice but to follow Gustave Flaubert's <em>Madame Bovary</em> and commit suicide. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Shadia B Drury is the <a href=http://www.uregina.ca/arts/CRC/ target=_blank>Canada research chair</a> in social justice at the University of Regina in Canada. </b></p> <p>Also by Shadia B Drury in openDemocracy:</p> <p>"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1542">Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq</a>" (16 October 2003) &#150; an interview with Danny Postel</p> <p><hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /></p> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p> <p>Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)</p> <p>Stephen Holmes, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">The logic of a blocked history</a>" <br />(23 May 2006)</p> <p>Vinay Lal, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3585">The beginning of a history</a>" (25 May 2006)</p> <p>Gavin Kitching, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3597">The modernisation myth</a>" <br />(30 May 2006)</p> <p>Roger Scruton, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3605">The trouble with Islam, the European Union - and Francis Fukuyama</a>" <br />(1 June 2006)</p></div><p>The other women won't notice that man has been denatured, domesticated, and despoiled. They will not notice that man's savage instincts have given way to tame civility. Men will occupy themselves mainly with the pursuit of animal comforts. There will be no men willing to die for a god, an idea, or a flag. Men will no longer be willing to rush naked into battle and headlong to their death. Peace and happiness will prevail: but how dreadful it will all be. </p> <p>There is a decidedly fascistic <a href=http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060424/anderson target=_blank>element</a> in this lament. It was vividly expressed in Nietzsche's idea of the last man, Heidegger's concept of the night of the world, and Alexandre Kojève's notion of the death of man. Nietzsche hoped that a new breed of supermen would rise above our collective stupor by inventing new gods and new myths to spice up our lives. Heidegger hoped that the Nazis would usher in a "spiritual renewal of life in its entirety" and save us from the impending planetary nightmare. Kojève <a href=http://www.palgrave-usa.com/catalog/product.aspx?isbn=0312120923 target=_blank>believed</a> that there was no choice but to resign ourselves to the end of history and the death of man. </p> <p><b>A choice of possibilities</b></p> <p>In the voluminous commentary devoted since its publication to Francis Fukuyama's <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html / target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em>, it is striking how little has been said about this second half of his equation. In his deeply ambivalent book, Fukuyama echoes both the triumphalism of Kant, Hegel, and Marx, and the despair of Nietzsche, Heidegger and Kojève. </p> <p>The ambiguity of the work is reflected in the title itself. On the one hand, Fukuyama celebrates America's triumph over her enemies, while on the other he worries that this very triumph will make Americans soft and decadent and fears that the only men still willing to risk their lives in a fight to the death are gangsters such as the Los Angeles gangs, the Bloods and the Crips. He bemoans that all the colourful warriors have washed off their war-paint, hung up their swords, and taken their places behind computer terminals. </p> <p>Fukuyama and his fellow-travellers were both delighted and anxious about the fall of communism. They were proud that America had defeated its enemy in the cold war. But they were haunted by <a href=http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/cicero-republic6.html target=_blank>Scipio's dream</a>: the realisation that what happened to Rome's great rival Carthage was bound to happen to Rome &#150; because no empire, not even Rome, lasts forever. </p> <p>The modernist thesis defended by Fukuyama was soothing to the frazzled nerves of his cold-warrior <a href=http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm target=_blank>co-thinkers</a>. It assured them that what happened to Rome will not happen to America, because America was the quintessence of modernity. And the triumph of modernity was the final triumph beyond which there is nothing left to achieve, because modernity is so uniquely superior and satisfying that it is destined to be universally embraced by all humanity. After all, America did not win the <a href=http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=topics.home target=_blank>cold war</a> by the barrel of the gun, but by soapy advertising, as Fukuyama pointed out; this was an indication that the world was hungry for American culture. </p> <p>It is a relief to discover that <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama</a> no longer defends this thesis. But one would hope that he does not intend to spend the rest of his career redefining and misrepresenting it, either. He now heaps contempt on the triumphalism he once embraced, as well as on the aesthetisation of violence. He has restated his thesis so that it amounts to little more than the claim that the desire for wealth, prosperity, and well-being is universal, common to all humanity regardless of culture. This restatement of his original thesis seems so plausible, yet so prosaic, that one wonders what all the fuss was about. </p> <p>Nevertheless, Fukuyama's <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">repudiation</a> of the modernist thesis that he once defended is a welcome development. For it inaugurates a new and more sober assessment of our geo-historical moment. It is high time to start a more reasonable discourse about western modernity, to start regarding it as a social order with advantages and disadvantages. Societies are mixed bags and we are forced to take the bad with the good. Modernity is no exception. There is no such thing as a society that is superior in every way. There is no progress that comes without costs. Contrary to the fundamental assumption of the modernist <a href=http://www.newyorker.com/critics/books/articles/060327crbo_books target=_blank>thesis</a>, all good things do not come in one package and all the bad things in another. </p> <p>To take an oft-noted example, both democracy and liberty are political desiderata. But they are not one and the same. Where one is found, the other will <a href=http://www.fareedzakaria.com/books/index.html target=_blank>not necessarily</a> be present; and it is not always possible to have them both at the same time. Iraq is a case in point: even if the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein is replaced with a genuine democracy, there is no guarantee that freedom will thrive. And it is absolutely clear that <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3624">women</a> will have much <a href=http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article717570.ece target=_blank>less freedom</a> than they did under the <em>ancien régime</em>. </p> <p>There are difficult if not tragic choices to make in politics, as in life. Modernity is not a political panacea. It is just one more complex set of possibilities in which the good and the bad are closely intertwined. And because we are forced to take the bad with the good, our task as thinkers and citizens is to identify the evils of modernity and to devise methods by which those evils can be mitigated. </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Shadia Drury Creative Commons normal Wed, 07 Jun 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Shadia Drury 3623 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The trouble with Islam, the European Union - and Francis Fukuyama https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/trouble_3605.jsp <p>Francis Fukuyama has the gift of shining a cheerful American light on the mystical visions of the German romantics. He takes Hegel's apocalyptic idea of the end of history and, instead of standing it on its head as Marx did, strips off its funereal clothes and gives it a carnival suit of democratic values. </p> <p>In <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html / target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em>, Fukuyama takes his thesis that history has worked towards its end from Alexandre Kojève, who also associated it with a gesture of sarcastic welcome towards Nietzsche's "last man". <a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Kojéve</a> influenced a whole generation of French post-war intellectuals with his lectures on Hegel's <em>Phenomenology of Spirit</em>, in which he injected into the bloated Hegelian body some strong shots of Nietzsche and Heidegger, making the moribund organism writhe in interesting torment. </p> <p>The fact that he was a life-hating Russian at heart, a self-declared <a href=http://linguafranca.mirror.theinfo.org/0003/kojeve.html target=_blank>Stalinist</a>, and a civil servant who played a leading behind-the-scenes role in establishing both the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the European Economic Community, should be borne in mind by all who wish to understand what Kojève was really up to in declaring the end of history. </p> <p>This man was, in my view, a dangerous psychopath, who brought with him from Russia the same kind of nihilistic fervour that had inspired the Bolsheviks, and who took an exhilarated joy in the thought that everything around him was doomed. He could not set eyes on any human achievement without relishing its future ruin. He lived in a <em>Götterdämmerung</em> of his own imagination, wishing meanwhile to create the kind of post-historical, universal and bureaucratic form of government that would extinguish all real human attachments and produce the only thing he really cared for: the last man, the loveless and lifeless <em>homunculus</em> which he knew in intimate detail since he knew it in himself. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/author/Roger_Scruton.jsp">Roger Scruton</a> is a writer, philosopher, and farmer. His home page is <a href=http://www.rogerscruton.com/ target=_blank>here</a> and an internet bibliography of his work is <a href= http://www.morec.com/scruton.htmtarget=_blank>here</a> </b></p> <p><hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /></p> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p> <p>Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)</p> <p>Stephen Holmes, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">The logic of a blocked history</a>" <br />(23 May 2006)</p> <p>Vinay Lal, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3585">The beginning of a history</a>" (25 May 2006)</p> <p>Gavin Kitching, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3597">The modernisation myth</a>" <br />(30 May 2006) </p></div><p><b>The Atlantic difference</b></p> <p>It was thanks largely to Kojève and <a href=http://www.historiasiglo20.org/europe/monnet.htm target=_blank>Jean Monnet</a> that the European project took on its current form, of a rigid and unreformable bureaucracy, dedicated to extinguishing not only the national loyalties of the European people, but also the Christian culture and democratic institutions that had thrived in them. The European Union ought surely to show to everybody &#150; to those who endorse it as much as those who view it with alarm &#150; that the "end of history" is not a prediction but a project, and one which may very well go wrong. It is a project that is as <a href=http://www.policyreview.org/aug04/howse.html target=_blank>disconnected</a> from democracy as that other "end of history" project in which Kojève was raised, the project of communist revolution in which "the government of men gives way to the administration of things". Friedrich Engels's prediction was the only Marxist prediction that ever came true: under communism the government of men really did give way to the administration of things, since men became things. </p> <p>Now it seems to me, reading between the lines of Fukuyama's <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a>, that he has woken up to the fact that the European Union is not proceeding in a democratic direction, that its increasing tendency to prefer "group rights" over individual rights is setting it on a collision course with the Enlightenment (just the same collision course, in fact, that was taken by communism and fascism), and that the kind of bland but unaccountable bureaucracy which the EU seeks to install across the continent is the antithesis of the ideals enshrined in the United States constitution.</p> <p>Europe may very well be <a href=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3583801.stm target=_blank>heading</a> towards the "end of history", since it involves a conscious repudiation of its own historical identity. But the country where Fukuyama lives, and on which he tested &#150; with a few first-hand observations &#150; the thesis that he inherited from Kojève, is moving in another direction, which is not a direction at all, but the day-to-day perambulation of a living organism, held together by national identity, historical allegiance and a Judaeo-Christian culture irritated by its symbiotic liberal parasites. </p> <p>Set Europe and America side by side, as Fukuyama now does, and you will surely see a striking difference, between a place that has consciously espoused the "end of history" and a place which has consciously espoused nothing except itself. And in both places history goes on as "just one damn thing after another".</p> <p><b>A problem for universalism</b></p> <p><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama</a> likens the Islamist terrorists to those already seen in our midst: Bolsheviks, extreme nationalists, Baader-Meinhof nihilists. All are in reaction against the modern world, in search of a pure and unalienated society &#150; the society which, according to <a href=http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1253796 target=_blank>Sayyid Qutb</a>, grows only "in the shade of the Qur'an". My response to this is: yes and no. Fukuyama attributes to <a href=http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/ target=_blank>Samuel Huntington</a> the thesis that liberal democracy is downstream from Christianity, and that there is therefore no universal law of history according to which human societies everywhere tend, with growing economic mastery, in a liberal-democratic direction. </p> <p>Fukuyama's grounds for resisting that thesis are not entirely persuasive. Radical Islamism, according to Fukuyama, is a version of "modern identity politics". But that is not a sufficient explanation of its posture. English Toryism is also a version of "modern identity politics". But by and large it accepts the Enlightenment vision of the divide between public and private life; it is founded in a love of the secular law and free institutions, and it has never produced a terrorist &#150; I am the <a href=http://www.morec.com/scruton.htm target=_blank>furthest</a> it goes in that direction. "Identity politics" explains nothing: it all depends on the identity. </p> <p>You can squeeze Islam into the process of <a href=http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/RUTHIS.html target=_blank>universal history</a> only if you overlook such facts as these: that the <em>sharia</em> does not recognise secular law; that it punishes apostasy with death; that it accords only "treaty" rights to Christians and Jews and no rights at all to pagans. Moreover it contains no intrinsic principle of reform, since "the gate of <em>ijtihad</em> (creative jurisprudence) is closed". For these reasons, it seems to me, Islamism is not merely a vast and growing problem for western democracies; it is also an insuperable problem for the universalist view of human history.</p> <p>Fukuyama is wrong to believe that Hegel was the first historicist philosopher. He was preceded by <a href=http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ik/klf.htm target=_blank>Ibn Khaldun</a> (1332-1406) and <a href=http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/vico/ target=_blank>Giambattista Vico</a> (1668-1744). Ibn Khaldun made the useful point that historical processes are not governed by culture and knowledge only, but also by the will to reproduce. This will, he believed, dwindles as people become habituated to luxury, and dynasties therefore rise and fall according to a quasi-biological logic. </p> <p>That, clearly, is far too simple an hypothesis. But it adds something that is missing from most historicist theses, and especially from those German theories that appeal to Kojève and Fukuyama, namely the permanent legacy of human biology. Much that we attribute to history we ought rather to attribute to biology &#150; including aggression, territorial expansion and maybe even scapegoating, racism and the all-pervading emotion that Nietzsche called <em>ressentiment</em>. </p> <p>Christ taught us to overcome those things, and paid the price for doing so. Maybe it is the long-term effect of his sacrifice that so much of European history looks like a process of steady emancipation from the grim realities of species life. But that only tends to confirm the thesis that Fukuyama attributes to Huntington: that the march of history towards liberal democracy is a local achievement of Christian culture. </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Roger Scruton Creative Commons normal Wed, 31 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Roger Scruton 3605 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The modernisation myth https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/modernisation_3597.jsp <p>In <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em>, Francis Fukuyama <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>outlines</a> quite well the familiar historical reasons for the response of some western societies to severe and intractable forms of conflict (especially religious conflict) at certain points in their history, which led them to create judicial and educational institutions designed to ameliorate such conflicts. The purpose of this institution-building was mainly prudential (knowledge, and thus fear, of the dreadful consequences of not doing so); but an effect of the continued functioning of these institutions over time (intended or not) was to expand the social range of empathy among the people affected by them. </p> <p>The real question that arises from Fukuyama's depiction of this process, however, is whether there is any reason to believe that the process of modernisation itself is linked in any systematic or general way with the expansion of "empathetic range". Theories that connect such expansion to levels of education, or to the emergence of multicultural and "lifestyle-diverse" modern cities, or to greater mass travel, may suggest that there is such a link.<div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Gavin Kitching is <a href=http://politics-ir.arts.unsw.edu.au/staff/kitching.html target=_blank>head</a> of the school of politics & international relations at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.</b></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p> <p>Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)</p> <p>Stephen Holmes, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">The logic of a blocked history</a>" <br />(23 May 2006)</p> <p>Vinay Lal, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3585">The beginning of a history</a>" (25 May 2006)</p></div><p>I am sceptical, for two reasons. First, it seems to me that these matters are too historically contingent, too much a product of particular historical events and particular political and (indeed) economic contexts for any happy generalisation of this type to hold. There is far too much evidence that trends in modern societies &#150; economic collapse (or even severe recession), military and/or political threat &#150; can, when conjoined to certain forms of political manipulation, lead to an abrupt narrowing of empathetic range. This narrowing is almost always signalled by the sharp rise of ignorant or malignant stereotypes of various "others" &#150; Jews, communists, Muslims, infidels, or terrorists. </p> <p>This is not to deny that religiously uniform societies or those emerging rapidly from a situation of social and cultural isolation may themselves have very severe difficulties in dealing with difference. It is true, as <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama</a> says, that nearly all such societies are or have been "pre-modern". But it is to say that greater levels of empathy and toleration in such a society will not in and of themselves result from "modernisation" in any of its familiar manifestations: increasing religious diversity, changes in occupational structure, rising formal educational levels, greater urbanisation, and (especially) enforced cultural exposure to outside values and lifestyles. </p> <p>Any change in a society towards empathy is, in short, likely to be deeply influenced by historically contingent factors. Germany is a much more democratic and tolerant society than it was seventy years ago, but it is so because of (among other things) the experience of Nazism and of defeat in the second world war; neither factor could be incorporated into any general theory of Germany's "modernisation". Moreover, such tolerance is itself coming under <a href=http://www.dw-3d.de/dw/article/0,2144,2027557,00.html target=_blank>threat</a> at present. Nothing guarantees that it will last.</p> <p>Second, I am dismayed to find Fukuyama <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">still discussing</a> issues of development and modernity like some 1950s-60s modernisation theorist &#150; in complete disregard of the way in which the modernisation project has been historically embedded in relations of formal and informal domination (that is, in colonialism and imperialism). The reason this matters is not (in the conventional "left" view) that colonial and imperial domination rendered that project fraudulent, a mere cover for exploitation and pillage. It is rather that such relations often severely compromised the modernisation project &#150; either in the sense that it was pursued halfheartedly and "on the cheap" (as over a large part of <a href=http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i29/29a01601.htm target=_blank>Africa</a>) or that it was ideologically compromised from the first by being identified with the colonial and imperial invader.</p> <p><b>The test of practice</b></p> <p>All this is especially important in the case of the Muslim societies of the middle east. <a href=http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/excellence/houranibio.htm target=_blank>Albert Hourani</a> and a host of other scholars have shown that a small minority of intellectuals and statesmen in the Arab world showed an intellectual and political interest in the ideas of the European enlightenment almost from the time of their appearance in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. But this interest and appreciation was effectively strangled at birth (and/or prevented from finding any real popular support) because it was almost immediately torpedoed by British and French imperial adventures in the region.</p> <p>From then until today, powerful conservative or reactionary groups in those societies have been able to delegitimise modernisation efforts by identifying them with the colonial or imperial enemy. That task has been made even easier when (as in many cases) the benefits of such modernisation efforts have been very unequally distributed &#150; an extreme inequality intimately related to the fact that semi- or quasi-modernisation has often been externally imposed rather than growing from local roots.</p> <p>I am not arguing some pernicious thesis to the effect that Islamic fundamentalism, let alone terrorism, is the "fault" of European imperialism. But I am arguing that the historical experience of middle-eastern societies &#150; strongly authoritarian, patriarchal and pre-modern, legitimised by a fiercely proselytising religion with its own (defeated) imperial pretensions, then disrupted by a botched and incomplete modernisation project emanating from the west &#150; has created deep fractures and polarisations that have long provided fertile ground for various forms of ideological extremism (of which Islamism is only the most recent).</p> <p>As a result of this approach, I feel unable to say whether liberal democracy combined with advanced capitalism marks an end (let alone "the end", teleologically speaking) of history. I do not think it is at all impossible that democracy could collapse in advanced capitalist societies, especially if the majority of the population in those societies came to believe that it had to choose between maintaining democracy and maintaining its prosperity (or security). It is, in my view, far too sanguine and (<em>pace</em> <a href=http://www.philosophypages.com/ph/hege.htm target=_blank>Hegel</a>) un-dialectical a view to see material prosperity as simply the subordinate "handmaiden" of democracy. That may be true up to a historical point, only for a nasty reversal to turn the former into a deadly enemy of the latter.</p> <p>By the same token, I do not believe that one can predict that as currently poor or poorer societies get richer they will get more democratic. This is a matter entirely to be determined by the values, desires and struggles of the people in the societies in question. One may hope that this will happen (and I do), but one cannot predict or project that it will.</p> <p>History has no end (in either sense of "end"). It is only because that is so that human beings can hope (and fear, and desire, and warn, and struggle) to any purpose at all. This means that it is only because the future cannot be predicted that humans can be human at all. The same point is true in reverse: it is <em>because</em> humans are human that their future cannot be predicted.</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Gavin Kitching Creative Commons normal Mon, 29 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Gavin Kitching 3597 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The beginning of a history https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/beginning_3585.jsp <p>The origins of Francis Fukuyama's most prominent book, <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em>, lay in a journal <a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>article</a> published under the title of "The End of History?" in summer 1989. In the new <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a> to the book's second edition, Fukuyama asserts that he may not have been endorsing a "specifically American version of the end of the history", but the triumphalist note in which he had celebrated "the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism" was all too self-evident to most contemporary readers. </p> <p>By the time <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> appeared as a book in 1992 &#150; without the interrogative in the title &#150; the geopolitical world had been transformed: the Berlin wall had fallen, the Soviet Union had disintegrated, and the United States stood unopposed in the exercise of its military might after inflicting a crushing defeat on Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the Gulf war of January 2001. In addition, countries around the world were rapidly succumbing to the ideology of the free market. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p> <p>Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)</p> <p>Stephen Holmes, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3573">The logic of a blocked history</a>" <br />(23 May 2006)</p> </div><p>In such circumstances, Fukuyama's interest in advancing a reading of Hegel based specifically on the work of <a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Alexandre Kojève</a>, and his notion that the ideals of liberty and bourgeois democracy are best encountered in unfettered economic activity, make it easy to see how his argument might have been viewed as endorsing the idea that the universalisation of western liberal democracy "as the final form of human government" had something of an American inflection. </p> <p>It is Fukuyama's submission that the "European project was in fact a house built as a home for the last man who would emerge at the end of history". Europeans, he suggests, dare to dream of transcending national sovereignty and are much less likely to invoke military solutions to political problems. The European opposition to the Iraq war launched in 2003 might appear to strengthen this impression. If <em>The End of History</em> displayed an amnesia about Europe's torrid adventures with colonialism, which no doubt furnish salubrious examples of "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2879">multiculturalism</a>" and the transcendence of national sovereignty, it is perfectly apposite that Europe should now come across in Fukuyama's reading as something of a benign entity.</p> <p>But from the point of view of those who come from the formerly colonised states of the global south, there is absolutely nothing to choose between the Europeans and the Americans. The eagerness with which British, French, German, and Italian businesses rushed to pick up contracts for Iraq's reconstruction tells its own tale of European self-aggrandisement and supineness; even more telling in this regard is the French incapacity, most recently on display in the widespread <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3383">violence</a> that rocked France in late 2005, to deal with their colonial past. How else should one interpret the arrogance and unrepentant conduct that were on display when on <a href=http://www.guardian.co.uk/france/story/0,11882,1460104,00.html target=_blank>23 February 2005</a> the French national assembly passed a law requiring schoolchildren to be taught "the positive role of the French presence overseas, notably in North Africa"?</p> <p><b>An insular reverence</b></p> <p>One of the most remarkable aspects of western intellectual life, particularly in the Anglo-American world, is its extraordinary insularity. It is not at all uncommon to find public intellectuals on the left (for instance, <a href=http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/W/htmlW/williamsray/williamsray.htm target=_blank>Raymond Williams</a> and <a href=http://www.balzan.com/en/preistraeger/hobsbawm.cfm target=_blank>Eric Hobsbawm</a>) as much as those on the right (for instance, <a href=http://www.ashbrook.org/events/lecture/1996/himmelfarb.html target=_blank>Gertrude Himmelfarb</a>, <a href=http://www.princeton.edu/~nes/faculty_lewis.html target=_blank>Bernard Lewis</a>, <a href=http://members.tripod.com/GellnerPage/Index.html target=_blank>Ernest Gellner</a>, and Fukuyama himself) purporting to write about human liberty, democracy, and the like while confining themselves entirely to the Judeo-Christian world and (increasingly, from necessity) Islam. It is almost always European events that furnish the bookmarks to historical inquiry in such narratives; colonialism seldom enters into their accounts. </p> <p>Fukuyama shows virtually no awareness of some of the principal contours of contemporary intellectual discourse: the occlusion of the narrative of colonialism is mirrored in that of decolonisation, the definitive political experience for most of humankind in the 20th century. If violence filled the 20th century, it also provoked the most creative responses that history has witnessed, such as the forging of non-violent resistance as a mass movement at the hands of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King. </p> <p>It is the same <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2700">Gandhi</a> who was a relentless critic of western modernity, and who could even aver of "western civilisation" that "it would be a good idea"; and it is the same King who unequivocally described the United States as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. </p> <p>Does Fukuyama's thesis about the "end of history" have room for any of these nuances? And when he exaggeratedly states that the people voting with their feet are the best proof of the universal desire for increased standards of living that come about with "economic development", has he considered that millions of people have been sacrificed at the altar of "development"? No ideology has become more suspect among dissenting intellectuals than that of development: as <a href=http://www.ces.uc.pt/emancipa/cv/gen/shiv.html target=_blank>Shiv Visvanathan</a> put it cryptically in <em><a href=http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryOther/HistoryofScience/?view=usa&ci=9780195659108 target=_blank>A Carnival for Science</a></em>, "Soviets + electricity = genocide". Fukuyama, one hopes, will reconsider his uncritical reverence for development. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href=http://www.history.ucla.edu/lal/ target=_blank>Vinay Lal</a> is associate professor of history at UCLA. He is the author of <em>Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy</em> (<a href=http://www.press.umich.edu/titleDetailDesc.do?id=115154 target=_blank>University of Michigan Press, 2002</a>), <em>Of Cricket, Guinness, and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture</em> (<a href=http://www.penguinbooksindia.com/books/bookdetail.asp?ID=5870 target=_blank>Penguin, 2003</a>), <em>The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India</em> (<a href=http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryWorld/India/?view=usa&ci=9780195672442 target=_blank>Oxford University Press, 2005</a>). He is the co-editor of <em>The Future of Knowledge & Culture: A Dictionary for the 21st Century</em> <br />(<a href=http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,0_9780670058136,00.html target=_blank>Penguin, 2005</a>)</b></p> <p>Also by Vinay Lal in openDemocracy:</p> <p>"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2700">The Tavistock Square Gandhi: 'war on terror' and non-violence</a>" <br />(25 July 2005) </p> <p>"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3203">Academic vigilantism</a>" (23 January 2006)</p> </div><p><b>A narrowing frame</b></p> <p>I wish to end on an altogether different note. In the present prolific commentary on the nearly worldwide ascendancy of free-market ideology, the elimination of trade barriers, the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2148">globalisation</a> of goods and services, and the universalisation of various forms of popular culture, what has seldom been noted is that nothing has been more effectively globalised than western knowledge systems and the categories that they have produced. </p> <p><a href=http://nobelprize.org/economics/laureates/1970/samuelson-bio.html target=_blank>Paul Samuelson's</a> economics textbook, first published in 1948 and since translated into forty-one languages, has been used widely in as many as 100 countries, running the full spectrum from western democracies to totalitarian states. Or, to take another example, whatever difficulties Americans might be encountering in foisting their ideas of freedom and democracy upon others, American-style business schools have proven to be immensely popular; indeed the American MBA is the most coveted degree around the world, even among those who, like <a href=https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no33050.htm target=_blank>Gujaratis</a>, have been extraordinarily successful businessmen for well over a millennium. </p> <p>As I have argued in my book <em><a href=http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/HistoryWorld/India/?view=usa&ci=9780195672442 target=_blank>The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India</a></em>, few categories of knowledge have so forcibly inserted themselves into the modern sensibility as has "history". Interestingly, the numerous theoretical innovations of the previous three decades, such as deconstruction and postmodernism, never really posed any fundamental challenge to the idea of history. They put the dominant narratives of history into question, only to insert into their place the histories of marginalised people, subaltern histories, and "history from below". </p> <p>The deleterious consequences of the ascendancy of historical thinking can be witnessed, for example, in Hindu nationalism's love affair with history, which led among other things to the destruction of a 16th century mosque that was viewed as an affront to Hindus, and in the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2204">attempted transformation</a> of Hinduism, at the hands of history-besotted modernist Hindus, from a religion largely of <em>mythos</em> into a religion of history. </p> <p>Our political and intellectual choices have similarly narrowed in nearly every domain of social, cultural, and intellectual life, but Fukuyama's <a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>relentlessly</a> modernist framework of knowledge cannot allow for this recognition. While Fukuyama asserts "the end of history", one should say rather that we are at "the beginning of a history" - at the beginning of a time when, in the midst of seeming riches, apparently infinite choices, plurality of lifestyles, and the compression of time and space, our options for creative living, emancipation from the tired clichés of modernity, and most significantly for the expression of dissent have dramatically shrunk. How we shall cope with this history remains to be seen.</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Vinay Lal Creative Commons normal Wed, 24 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Vinay Lal 3585 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The logic of a blocked history https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/history_blocked_3573.jsp <p>Francis Fukuyama has, by sheer scholarly perseverance over the past decade, transformed himself into a wonderfully sensible commentator on public policy and world affairs. But spectacular success at the beginning of one's career is a life-sentence, and Fukuyama will never escape his reputation as the world-famous author of "The End of History?" </p> <p>This <a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>1989 essay</a> purported to unveil the deep historical significance of the end of the cold war even before the Berlin wall was pulled down. Its title, admittedly, and that of the book, <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em>, that soon elaborated upon it, had a ring of plausibility, at least for a generation raised during the cold war. After all, the only history most people knew <em>did</em> seem to be coming to an end. </p> <p>But the argument of both essay and book was more abstruse and more counterintuitive than this. Just as the fixed certainties of a bipolar world were dissolving and the future began to look wholly open-ended and unknowable, a fledgling scholar came along and announced that all large ideological conflicts had been resolved. History had a winner: western-style liberal democracy. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href=http://its.law.nyu.edu/faculty/profiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=cv.main&personID=20000 target=_blank>Stephen Holmes</a> teaches law and political science at New York University</b></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p> <p>Charles S Maeir, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3560">The intoxications of history</a>" (18 May 2006)</p></div><p>Rereading his 1989 essay in 2006, Fukuyama must wince at his young self's grandiose pronouncements about "the end point of mankind's ideological evolution" and "the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." But he now has a more politically timely reason to dissociate himself from such airy generalisations: they were hijacked and <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">deployed</a> by the Bush administration to support policies that Fukuyama now heartily condemns. </p> <p>The United States's <a href=http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html target=_blank>national security strategy</a> of 2002, to dredge up an embarrassing example, begins thus: "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom &#150; and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise." The young Fukuyama may or may not have meant to endorse the thesis that there is, today, only "a single sustainable model for national success." But many of his readers, some of them raring to speed up history's "inevitable" development by <em>force majeur</em>, took him to imply just this.</p> <p>The idea that human history has a plot and a climax (an "absolute moment") was incorporated into the official state ideology of the Soviet Union thanks to Karl Marx who, in turn, had adapted it from GWF <a href=http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/letters/1806-10-13.htm target=_blank>Hegel</a>. That is another reason why "The End of History?" is such a paradoxical and perplexing work. To help us understand the ignominious collapse of an oppressive political system that had invoked an intellectually discredited teleological picture of history to justify itself, Fukuyama invokes a similarly implausible teleological picture of history. Why?</p> <p><b>The first model</b></p> <p>The answer is surely personal, having to do with the teachers under whom he studied and the books he had absorbed at the time. Fukuyama was especially charmed by the writings of <a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Alexandre Kojève</a>, the Russian émigré philosopher and cult figure who had taught an influential seminar on Hegel in Paris in the 1930s. Trying to understand the end of the nerve-wracking cold-war standoff, Fukuyama apparently reached for the intellectual framework he knew best, namely Kojève's theory of the transition from hierarchical to egalitarian societies. Intellectually dazzling, this theory was, however, ill-suited to the task Fukuyama tried to foist upon it. For one thing, it implied that 1989 was not an earth-shattering event at all, but merely a footnote to <a href=http://www.jena.de/sixcms/detail.php?id=14436&_nav_id1=16664&_lang=en target=_blank>1806</a>, when the force that Kojève called "Robespierre-Napoleon" defeated the Prussian army and prepared the way for the spread of Enlightenment ideals throughout the world. </p> <p>To measure the distance Fukuyama has travelled over the past seventeen years, one need only consult the passage toward the end of his new <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a> where he distinguishes his own "weak" determinism from Marx's "strong" version and adds that "statesmanship" remains "absolutely critical to the actual course of historical development." This is an unexceptionable claim, but one that jostles uncomfortably with his assertion in 1989 to the effect that there will be "no need for statesmen" in post-history because "what remains is primarily economic activity." </p> <p>Similarly, his earlier prognosis that "(in) the post-historical period there will be neither art nor philosophy, just the perpetual caretaking of the museum of human history" fails to corroborate his claim today that "I am not a prophet or a 'futurologist'." Speaking of recanted futurology, Fukuyama makes scant reference in his carefully reasoned afterword to the most poignant prediction of his earlier article and book. </p> <p>Indeed, his emphasis now on "the optimistic evolutionary scenario laid out in 'The End of History'" obscures the flagrantly non-optimistic conclusion to the original works, namely that "The end of history will be a very sad time." It will be a sad time, to cite his book, because of "the banalization of life through modern consumerism." Their Manichaean struggles against Nazi and communist totalitarianisms had temporarily lifted Americans out of a bourgeois fixation on comfort and security and a joyless quest for joy. But the end of the cold war put a quietus to this ennobling struggle for freedom and justice and opened up the dreadful "prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history."</p> <p>It would probably be best to follow Fukuyama's lead and pass over in silence this aspect of his earlier thinking. But his understandable wish to put it behind him helps explain, I believe, one of the more eye-catching passages in the afterword. <a href=http://www.policyreview.org/aug04/howse.html target=_blank>Kojève</a> employed the concept of "homogenisation" to describe the uniform consumer society toward which all history was purportedly tending. Fukuyama not only downplays this concept today, but argues the contrary: although modernisation leads to economic development certainly and to political democracy perhaps, "nobody wants cultural uniformity." </p> <p>And he goes further, stating that "(we) live for the particular shared historical traditions, religious values, and other aspects of shared memory that constitutes the common life." This passage seems to reflect Fukuyama's <a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>current belief</a> that, in modernised societies, multicultural identity politics can compensate somehow for bourgeois flattening and banality.</p> <p><b>The last men</b></p> <p>Herein lay a buried clue, I believe, to the continued relevance of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> to the post-9/11 world. Fukuyama now follows <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">Olivier Roy</a> in the suggestion that radical Islamic violence stems in part from the uprooting of old cultural traditions by the powerful winds of economic development. Cultural levelling (homogenisation) breeds alienation, and alienation breeds terror. </p> <p>This logic is eminently debatable, no doubt, but it is also more interesting than jeremiads about the "boring" <em>ne plus ultra</em> of modernisation. Vital in this context is Fukuyama's earlier claim that "at the end of history it is not necessary that all societies become successful liberal societies, merely that they end their ideological pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society." </p> <p>But what happens to young men who inhabit societies that have failed to become successfully liberal but who are simultaneously compelled to abandon all "ideological pretensions" that alternative paths to personal and national dignity might exist? Like all humans (according to Fukuyama), frustrated <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3567">young Arab men</a> crave "recognition". So how will they get the respect they desire if their societies' path to liberal democracy is blocked? The single surviving model of a successful society, they are authoritatively informed, is a western model that lies effectively beyond their reach. Would it be wholly surprising if this message (that all human value is measured by the success or failure of a nation to become a liberal democracy) ended up, in Arab lands, intensifying movements of nihilistic rage?</p> <p>It is regrettable, pursuing this line of thought, that Fukuyama did not revisit one aspect of his earlier work that might have helped unlock the dark mystery of <a href=http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9781400063178 target=_blank>suicide terrorism</a>. In the Hegelian framework, as the young Fukuyama explained, a slave is a slave because he fears risking his life. A classic example is the defeated soldier who, at the mercy of his victorious enemy on the field of battle, accepts enslavement in exchange for survival. </p> <p>From this conceptualisation, it follows that there is only one way for a slave (or someone who is treated as a slave and worries that he may be one at heart) to prove to others and himself that he is not a slave: he must risk or sacrifice his life. This logic, designed to illuminate class conflict rather than the <a href=http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/misc/clash.html target=_blank>clash of civilisations</a>, may reveal more about recent waves of suicide terrorism than the association of salvation with aggression found in various stray passages of the holy books of Islam. </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Stephen Holmes Original Copyright Mon, 22 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Stephen Holmes 3573 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The intoxications of history https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/intoxication_3560.jsp <p>There are conversions &#133; and conversions. Saul was thrown from the saddle, blinded, dressed down by God and had to refashion his whole life. Vision returned only when he was prepared to take a new name and to champion the accessible message of love against the stern exclusivist covenant he had hitherto defended with prosecutorial zeal. Still, no pain no gain. No scary loss of sight, no realisation he had earlier been morally blind. Francis Fukuyama's conversion in <em><a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy</a></em> is a more conditional one. He has had to wipe the desert dust from his Ray-bans; he hasn't had to lose his sight. </p> <p>Yes, he repents of the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">neo-conservative hubris</a> that he once seemed to share (though happily without the machismo that infused so much of it) and which proposed a quick and easy war to demonstrate that America could plant democracy in hitherto arid and unpromising soil. He wants less cockiness, more recognition of the friction of war, more prudence, cooperation with allies and multilateral collaboration. Those of us who always deplored this war as reckless and unnecessary (and would still deplore it even if Iraq finally ends up a decent pluralist society) should be grateful. Genuinely so. Aristotelian prudence has replaced a <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1542">Chicago cocktail</a> of Nietzschean and neo-Platonic military utopianism. </p> <p>But Fukuyama's underlying historical vision remains largely the same. In his substantial afterword to the reissue of <em><a href=http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=515284 target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> he asks whether the rise of radical Islam should invalidate the fundamental optimism of his influential diagnoses now almost two decades old. He proposes that whereas Islamist terrorism has made the convergence of human societies around a tolerant democratic liberalism more difficult than envisaged, the trend is still underway: 9/11 for him did not mean the end of the end of history, but rather a temporary respite from the end of history. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href=http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~history/facultyPage.cgi?fac=maier target=_blank>Charles Maier</a> teaches history at Harvard University. </b></p> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> <p>Olivier Roy, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3546">The end of history and the long march of secularization</a>" <br />(16 May 2006)</p></div><p><b>After the battle</b></p> <p>The <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">amended vision</a> raises many new questions, and not just the older ones: if the end of history will be achieved by nation-states, then international rivalry can never come to an end; for, as Hegel suggested, it is agonistic contention that keeps these nation-states in being. </p> <p>If the "<a href=http://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae181.cfm target=_blank>heat death</a>" of history is to come to pass by virtue of a widespread acceptance of democracy, then party conflict must remain &#150; even, in some situations, to the point of civil war. Fukuyama believes that the atrocities of the 1990s and since do not validate the theory; they are evidently blips in the curve of progress, a sort of historical static. There is a question of when static overwhelms the message. Nonetheless, the rhetoric is so measured, the concept so apparently temperate &#150; and attractive &#150; that one would really like to believe in it. </p> <p><em><a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>The End of History</a></em> was and remains a serious text and restated a coherent view: that because human societies the world over would increasingly become more developed, their members would aspire to satisfy their wants and needs and would settle on political liberalism as an optimal form that reconciled social and individual needs. The original breathtaking title, which <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama</a> carefully explained originally and now again, should not by itself invalidate the analysis. 1989 had eliminated the last major ideological idea that was in contention: Marxist-Leninist collectivism. In this sense there could be no great battles yet to come; and the major danger was the one that Nietzsche had feared as part of the triumph of bourgeois civilisation &#150; that of a flaccid philistinism. </p> <p>In his new afterword Fukuyama asserts that he still believes in this notion. "I think that there is an overall logic to historical evolution that explains why there should be increasing democracy around the world as our societies evolve." To be sure, the phrasing is cautious: "there should be more democracy at the end of the process than the beginning&#133;" But if the trend describes what is most essential about history itself, Fukuyama is right that it must come to an end with the global completion of the process. </p> <p>This was an analysis easy to caricature &#150; every setback in the form of a Bosnia or a Rwanda could be cited as proof of its Panglossian triumphalism. But in fact Fukuyama's vision deserved better than this cheap dismissal. It is serious and compelling, not to be disproved because he was probably too optimistic about the stabilisation of the brief moment of "<a href=http://www.infed.org/association/civil_society.htm target=_blank>civil society</a>" around 1989. </p> <p><b>The essential of history</b></p> <p>Still, there are two serious arguments to be made. The first, in no particular order, is the one that <a href=http://www.penguin.ca/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780140268577,00.html target=_blank>Isaiah Berlin's</a> old argumentation suggests, namely that even within any civilisation (and not just between them) political ends must remain irreconcilable and not to be subsumed under liberal democracy. Ultimately, the mix may not be subject to a liberal trade-off; disagreements run too deep. </p> <p>As a <a href=http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/MAIAMO.html target=_blank>historian</a>, not necessarily as an adherent, I personally think that the collectivist egalitarian tradition is rendered less obsolete by technological and material development than Fukuyama believes. Ultimately it rests on the discontents of conscience that afflict many of us (including that convert Saul). In a world where transcendental religious fundamentalisms run riot, let us not imagine secular religions will not also follow. We don't always live on smooth, concave felicity curves where experts calculate how much freedom can be traded for how much equality. People will be seized by visions &#150; glance at <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3255">Venezuela</a> and <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3504">Bolivia</a> for the moment. </p> <p>No quarrel that peoples can come to an agreement on democracy as the best form of government (with concomitant protection of religious pluralism and property rights); only with the notion that they will accept such a condition as more than a momentary equilibrium. The ancients and all those who followed empire had a different notion &#150; namely that history was cyclical; institutions rose and fell whether for endogenous reasons or <em>fortuna</em>, that institutions decayed. Fukuyama believes &#150; as have many since the <a href=http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521003237 target=_blank>Scottish Enlightenment</a> &#150; in some sort of linearity. But linearity cannot be guaranteed by the logical utility of the end-point, by the maximisation of happiness. Societies become more rational and tolerant (or should), but by living through time they are bound to self-destruct. </p> <p>My second source of scepticism arises precisely from this very conviction that while history does not repeat itself, certain impulses recur cyclically, much as Albert O Hirschman has described between private and public in his book <em><a href=http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/7265.html target=_blank>Shifting Involvements: Private Interest and Public Action</a></em>. Opposed to the linear view &#150; whether Christian or Marxist, smoothly developmental or punctuated by revelations and violent crises &#150; is the classical <a href=http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/8633.html target=_blank>Mediterranean</a> notion of recurrence. Certainly not every ill must return: slavery as a generalised system of labour does lie behind us; American ascendancy need not collapse the way Rome did. Nonetheless, not every conflict can be transcended. </p> <p>In the end it is not at all clear that the upward trend is the essential of history. While, happily, many people do yearn for the fruits of liberal democracy and economic development, they also want history as such. Few of us &#150; and certainly few young adults &#150; really want to be "the last man" as the historical universe gradually goes dark like some exhausted sun. Read <a href=http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/295 target=_blank>Rainer Maria Rilke's</a> invocation of the War God at the onset of the first world war. </p> <p>History itself remains intoxicating; and that, I fear, undermines Fukuyama's vision. We may also aspire to reach a plateau, but a significant number of us live for the transcendent moments of self-dissolution into a larger cause. Calling the impulse romantic, "acting out", or juvenile psychodrama will not remove the longing. No one can say that Fukuyama is wrong. But history goes on for a long time. It still seems a bit early to say he's right. </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Charles S Maier Original Copyright Wed, 17 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Charles S Maier 3560 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The end of history and the long march of secularisation https://www.opendemocracy.net/node/3546 <p><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">Francis Fukuyama</a> makes one of the best cases against the concept of a "clash of civilisations". He does so by stressing the need to draw a distinction between the western historical origins of modern secular democracy and the way principles and ideas have become universal. To establish democracy does not suppose that a society should go through the same historical and cultural process that the west has undergone. The issue is then how these universal principles may reconnect with other cultures. </p> <p>One precondition is a certain degree of loss or weakening of traditional culture: a process that is taking place in front of our very eyes. The clash of civilisations thesis presupposes that cultures are to a large extent based on religions and that religions are embedded into specific cultures: hence the conclusion that religion influences political cultures. But what we see nowadays is a <a href=http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people2/Roy/roy-con0.html target=_blank>disconnection</a> between two realities: cultural traditions, and the reformulation of religious values and norms beyond any specific cultures. In fact the reformulation of religious values opens the possibility of adapting to democratic values while retaining one's identity. A perfect example is <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/conflict-turkey/issue.jsp">Turkey</a>, in which a party like the AK (Justice & Development Party), which was at its origin an Islamist party, became a tool for greater democratisation of the Turkish political system after decades of authoritarian secularism. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Olivier Roy is a <a href=http://www.ceri-sciencespo.com/cherlist/roy.htm target=_blank>professor</a> at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences in Paris (Ehess). </b></p> <p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> <br />(<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>"<br /> (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> <p>David Scott, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3532">Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location</a>" (12 May 2006)</p> </div><p><b>A matter of legitimacy</b></p> <p>The clash of civilisations complaint is the swansong of traditional cultures confronted with the triumph of globalisation. But the adoption of democracy and liberalism does not suppose a sheer borrowing of new patterns: it has to go through a complex process of reappropriation to become both legitimate and workable. Identity has little to do with the permanence of traditional patterns and more with reappropriation and empowerment. </p> <p>The problem with Islam is that this disconnection between religion and traditional culture works as much in favour of some sort of fundamentalism as it does of a liberal view of religion, not to speak of secularist values. This is on full display in the rather general success of Islamist parties every time there is a policy of <a href=http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr144.html target=_blank>democratisation</a> in a Muslim country. Conversely a basic idea about democratisation is that it is the result of a long process of secularisation. </p> <p>The west has thus supported and is still supporting authoritarian secular regimes in the Muslim world, from Atatürk to <a href=http://www.worldaudit.org/countries/tunisia.htm target=_blank>Tunisia's</a> president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali &#150; hoping to create first a secularised society, and then encouraging the regimes to reform themselves. The paradox is that this policy led to associate secularism with dictatorship and Islamism with &#133; democracy, while no authoritarian regime seems to willingly embrace true reform. The Iraq campaign shows how silly it is to attempt to build democracy from scratch and from the <a href=http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr153.html target=_blank>outside</a>. </p> <p>To root democracy in Muslim countries one has to <a href=http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/1819.html target=_blank>take into account</a> the issue of political legitimacy. And nowadays, for good or bad reasons, legitimacy goes along with nationalism and Islam. Fukuyama is right to underline that democratisation can be implemented, at least first, only at a nation-state level. It is why one should take into account existing nationalisms (Palestinian for instance). Imposing democracy against nationalism will not work, which is why refusing to engage with Hamas does not make sense.</p> <p><b>A question of Islam</b></p> <p>What, then, about Islam? From Afghanistan to Iraq, the call to incorporate <em>sharia</em> into the constitution is a way to placate the Islamists and the traditionalist Muslims, and to put forward a "national" identity against a rapid and deep-seated westernisation. This leads to the rise of a very conservative Islam centred this time on law and moral values, not on revolution, <em>jihad</em> or even the concept of an Islamic state. But this conservative wave should not hide the changes affecting practicing Muslims. It has less to do with a reformation in the Protestant sense (although one could debate whether Luther was a liberal democrat) than with a change in religiosity. </p> <p>The individualisation of religious practices, the reformulation of religion outside the bonds of <a href=http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/RUTHIS.html target=_blank>traditional cultures</a> (<em>Salafism</em> targets first "traditional Islams"), the experience of living as a minority (for second-generation Muslims in the west), adopting democracy as a way to resist dictatorships &#150; all of this contributes to a slow but genuine internalisation of liberal and democratic values, while at the same time maintaining a strong religious identity. </p><p>Democracy cannot be enforced from <a href=http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521659558 target=_blank>outside</a>, but we are witnessing a slow process of recasting Islamism in the framework of democracy. The former Islamist movements in the middle east became truly Islamo-nationalist, adopting the framework of the nation-state (as Hamas is doing); now, because they are confronted with the necessity to attract voters outside their ideological constituency and (once elected) to deliver the goods, they are more and more adopting democracy. It may begin as purely tactical (or simply pragmatic), but over time political practices are internalised and change the mentality of the militants, who by the way are more and more aware of the <a href=http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/ROYFAI.html target=_blank>failure</a> of Islamist ideologies. </p> <p>Once again, <a href=http://www.cfr.org/publication/8880/conversation_with_recep_tayyip_erdogan_rush_transcript_federal_news_service_inc.html target=_blank>Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Turkey</a> is probably the best example of the achievement of bringing religion and democracy together. The same is true in the economic sphere: in Turkey, for instance, the move of former Islamists toward democracy also carries with it the adoption by religious entrepreneurs of a <a href=http://www.esiweb.org/index.php?lang=en&id=156&document_ID=69 target=_blank>work ethic</a> very close to the Protestant ethic of capitalism.</p> <p><b>An issue of citizenship</b></p> <p>Encouraging the shift from a communal, ethnic or religious identity to citizenship means first of all the opening of the political field, in the framework of the nation-state. This is true for the middle east, but also for Muslims in the west. Neither forced secularism nor multiculturalism is the <a href=http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article.jsp?id=2&debateId=124&articleId=2775 target=_blank>answer</a>. Both suppose that the link between ethnic culture and religion is permanent: for secularist France, integration means giving away or keeping private any religious belonging, while multiculturalism defines Islam not as a mere religion but as a different culture, while precisely this concept of "culture" is fading away among the second generation in favour of a purely religious identity. </p> <p>In fact most of the Muslims in the west want to be recognised as Muslims <em>and</em> citizens, in the framework of the existing European nation-states, and not necessarily as some sort of an ethno-cultural minority. But they are regularly confronted with the prejudice that religion and culture are the same thing, and thus that they will remain different, and even "foreigners". If real citizenship is denied to European Muslims, the clash of civilisations may thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy.</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Olivier Roy Creative Commons normal Mon, 15 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Olivier Roy 3546 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Fukuyama's crossroads: the poetics of location https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/crossroads_3532.jsp <p>The summer 1989 publication of Francis Fukuyama's essay "<a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>The End of History?</a>" was a major event in neo-conservative circles. Indeed it is often said to mark the moment of ascendancy of a younger generation of neo-conservatives (around William Kristol's <em>The National Interest</em>) over an older generation (around Norman Podhoretz's <em>Commentary</em>).</p> <p>When in 1992 the book-length elaboration appeared as <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em>, the movement seemed to have found the voice in which to realise its historical consciousness. But a curious and not always attended-to fact about the book in relation to the essay is that the question-mark had disappeared: the end of history was no longer a <em>question</em> worth <em>asking</em>. The essay sought (however rhetorically) to <em>pose</em> a question; to register a doubt; to provoke a line of inquiry. The book, by contrast, offered itself as a <em>thesis</em> supported and driven by the confident assertion of (foundationalist) claims about universal history.<div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <hr color=#3399cc size=1 width=50px /> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> <p>Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3523">Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history'</a>" (10 May 2006)</p> </div> <p>The 1989 essay <em>preceded</em> the collapse of the east-central European communist states by several months and retains some trace of the uncertainty about the coming future; the book <em>followed</em> the official dissolution of the Soviet Union. By the time it appeared an historical corner had been turned, and the way ahead was both clearer and more secure; the whole era of the cold war had effectively closed, and more or less exactly as the neocons had for years urged that it ought to, namely with the defeat of communism and the victory of liberal democracy. <em>The End of History</em>, in short, is a work of triumphal <em>vindication</em>. </p> <p>Fukuyama, however, disavows this. In the new <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a> he says that the characterisation of his book as "jingoistic triumphalism" of a distinctively American sort is a misapprehension. Indeed he seems hurt by the charge and invokes <a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Alexandre Kojève</a> in an attempt to underline the European provenance of his argument. "Anyone familiar with Kojève and the intellectual origins of his version of the end of history," he writes, "would understand that the European Union is a much fuller real-world embodiment of the concept than is the contemporary United States."</p> <p>Perhaps "jingoistic" is an uncalled-for abuse; Fukuyama's tone is always even and reserved, and he never descends to anything so low as jingoism. But there are important senses in which the account he offers in <em><a href=http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=515284 target=_blank>The End of History</a></em> of the arrow of universal history are decidedly both "triumphalist" (in historical sensibility) <em>and</em> "American" (in poetics of location). You only have to recall the book's closing passages and the How-the-West-was-Won narrative of the wagon-train of history to recognise this: </p> <blockquote>"Rather than a thousand shoots blossoming into as many different flowering plants, mankind will come to seem like a wagon train strung out along a road. Some wagons will be pulling into town sharply and crisply while others will be bivouacked back in the desert, or else stuck in ruts in the final pass over the mountains. Several wagons, attacked by Indians, will have been set aflame and abandoned along the way. There will be a few wagoneers who, stunned by the battle, will have lost their sense of direction and are temporarily heading in the wrong direction, while one or two of the wagons will get tired of the journey and decide to set up permanent camps at particular points back along the way. Others will have found alternative routes to the main road, though they will discover that to get through the final mountain range they must all use the same pass. But the great majority of wagons will be making the slow journey into town, and most will eventually arrive there &#133;"</blockquote> <p><b>Democracy and history</b></p> <p><em>The End of History</em> is triumphalist in the old and familiar way in which 19th-century Whig histories famously were (and notably, and disturbingly, with "Indians" cast in the role of violent enemies of democratic modernity, as unapologetically <em>ethnocentric</em>). They tell just-so stories, teleologically emplotted narratives, meant to affirm or confirm, approve and commend, the privileged vantage of a particular order of social and political life. They are, in this sense, <em>straightforwardly</em> ideological. Concepts like "modernisation" and "democracy" are employed to applaud, not to engage; to measure, not to question. </p> <p>It would be hopeless &#150; to Fukuyama perhaps foolish &#150; to ask whether "democracy" isn't today an "essentially contestable" concept, one that requires some critical conceptual-political sorting out to save it from merely being a cheerleader's anthem. Who decides what constitutes democracy's proper form and content? Who decides that democracy (however understood) is, to begin with, the <em>only</em> way of organising political society in the modern world? History? But <em>whose</em> history? One obvious answer (the one Fukuyama would seem to endorse) is: the imperial history of the modern west.</p> <p>Fukuyama's <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">disavowal</a> of triumphalism is therefore less than convincing. It may be true that there is a "philosophical" difference between "Marxist" neocons like himself and "Leninist" ones like Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, and Robert Kagan: where the former think that history will naturally take its course, unfolding (in a "weakly deterministic" fashion) in the direction of liberal democracy, the latter believe that in a unipolar world America's moral mission demands a more interventionist foreign policy, one designed (unilaterally if necessary) to actively pursue "regime change" so as to ensure conformity to American interests. </p> <p>But as it was for the real Marxists and Leninists the <a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>line</a> between the merely "predictive" and the normatively and programmatically "prescriptive" is an always unsteady and very often leaky (if not opportunistic) one. Fukuyama's historicism didn't prevent him from being "hawkish," did it? After all, he signed on to the <a href=http://www.newamericancentury.org/ target=_blank>Project for the New American Century</a> in June 1997 alongside more familiar hawks (Kristol, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bennett, Libby, and others). And a good four years prior to 9/11, these self-styled Reaganites were urging that America's assumption of moral responsibility for global leadership <em><a href=http://www.opendemocracy.net/faith-iraqwarphiloshophy/article_1542.jsp target=_blank>entailed</a></em> the construction and extension (coercively if necessary) of an international order friendly to its security, its prosperity, and its principles.</p> <p><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama</a> may disavow triumphalism; he may urge that his book merely points up the direction in which history is travelling. But how then to disentangle <em>The End of History</em> from the Project for the New American Century? </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited David Scott Creative Commons normal Thu, 11 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 David Scott 3532 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Politico-religious cults and the 'end of history' https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/cults_3523.jsp <p>When Francis Fukuyama published his essay "<a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>The End of History?</a>" in 1989, few people in the world, including Muslims, had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or his al-Qaida organisation. Only close intelligence insiders had this dubious honour at the time. Yet, as Fukuyama <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">revisits</a> his original thesis, bin Ladenism has become a dramatic symbol of radical and militant "Islam" the likes of which have not been seen since the Hashashin movement of the 11th century. </p> <p>Like al-Qaida, the <a href=http://front.ismaili-studies.co.uk/view_article.asp?ContentID=100539 target=_blank>Hashashin</a> wreaked violence and destruction on their enemies. They brutally and spectacularly murdered their political opponents, typically between midnight and dawn, after consuming an ample amount of a cannabic derivative known as "hashish" (hence their name Hashashin, or "hashish users"). In less than half a century, their movement dwindled to a cult, and ultimately vanished by the end of the same century. The only surviving legacy of that bloody episode is the Arabic-rooted word which eventually found its way into western languages as "assassin", one who carries out a plot to kill a prominent individual or politician. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>This article is part of an openDemocracy debate on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>)</b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (May 2006)</p> <p>Anthony Pagden, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">The end of history, or history all over again?</a>" <br />(May 2006)</p> </div><p>The more than fourteen centuries of history of Islam and Muslim peoples are replete with movements: revivalist, protest, retreatist, Sufist, messianic, reformist, radical, and revolutionary. In this respect, the 1.4 billion contemporary Muslims are not much different from the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">adherents</a> of Christianity, Judaism, or Buddhism. In fact Europe, and especially Germany, witnessed many similar movements in the 16th and 17th centuries, a period of profound socio-economic transformation. At that time, the process of "modernisation" was just getting underway, with all its concomitant large-scale dislocations. </p> <p>Muslim societies of the Arab world finally underwent similar transformations following the oil boom of the 1970s. In such tumultuous times, individuals seek shelter and solace in "religion", which often takes the shape of revivalist fundamentalism. It is also such periods that offer opportunities for the relatively deprived and ambitious to challenge the prevailing order, and for this new social formation to inch up or jump several steps on the class ladder. It is no accident that Osama bin Laden and <a href=http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020916fa_fact2a target=_blank>Ayman al-Zawahiri</a> first challenged their own domestic ruling elites in the 1980s. Having failed, they shifted the battle to a global level, targeting what they dubbed the "mother of all evils": the United States, its close allies (in Europe), and its clients elsewhere in the world.</p> <p>Many of Fukuyama's propositions in the afterword to the new edition of <em><a href=http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=515284 target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> are adjustments and refinements of his original argument. He has smoothed out some of the sharper edges of the earlier thesis, re-contextualizing it in light of both geopolitical events and new, equally sweeping worldviews, such as those propounded by <a href=http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/ target=_blank>Samuel Huntington</a> in <em>The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order</em> (1994) and Bernard Lewis in <em><a href=http://www.harpercollins.com/global_scripts/product_catalog/book_xml.asp?isbn=0060516054&tc=rg target=_blank>What Went Wrong?</a></em> (2001). </p> <p>I am more in agreement with Fukuyama's updated version. As a native of Egypt and a lifelong observer of Islamic movements, I am quite impressed by the sensitivity and sharpness of his rebuttal to the metaphysical thrust of <em><a href=http://www.alamut.com/subj/economics/misc/clash.html target=_blank>The Clash of Civilizations</a></em> and to the orientalist nature of <em>What Went Wrong? </em> </p> <p>In essence, Fukuyama forcefully takes issue with the Arab and/or Muslim exceptionalism thesis. He cites recent empirical data from the United Nations Development Programme's Arab Human Development Report (<a href=http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr2.cfm?menu=12 target=_blank>AHDR</a>) to argue that the overwhelming majority of Arab youth aspire more to the values and lifestyles of western societies than those symbolised by austere bin Laden-like theocrats.</p> <p>A further substantiation of the AHDR was revealed by the University of Michigan's World Values Survey (<a href=http://www.worldvaluessurvey.org/ target=_blank>WVS</a>) in 2003. Samples from several Muslim countries, including Arab Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine, revealed attitudinal commitments to various scales of western-style democracy that ranged between 84% and 96%. These results were similar or only slightly lower than those of their counterparts in European countries. <a href=http://www.barcelona2004.org/eng/actualidad/noticias/html/f043945.htm target=_blank>Ronald Inglehart</a>, who administered the study, noted after critically reviewing the WVS data that if there were any clash of civilisations at all, it is over sexual mores, family and marriage values, where differences were as great as 20%-30% on attitudinal scales between Muslim and western societies. But even in this area, it may be argued that attitudes in the west were as conservative fifty years ago as they are today in Muslim countries.</p> <p>In the last three years, the march of events in the middle east has confirmed some of Fukuyama's assertions about the universal appeal of liberty and democratic governance. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Also in openDemocracy:</b></p> <p>Daniel Swift, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1146">Saad Eddin Ibrahim: through the Arab looking-glass</a>" (April 2003)</p> </div><p><b>Inclusive vs exclusive politics</b></p> <p>The success of the Islamic-based Justice and Development Party (AKP) in <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=735">Turkey</a> and its counterpart with the same name in <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=951">Morocco</a>, which waged campaigns for parliamentary elections in 2002 with an impressive showing, had a tremendous demonstration effect on other Islamic-based movements. A dramatic case in point was Hamas, which called for a boycott of the most recent Palestinian presidential elections, but made a 180-degree turnabout a year later and waged a successful campaign for the parliamentary elections in January 2006 that put them on top and enabled them to form the new Palestinian government.</p> <p>Something similar occurred with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who earlier in their career as a militant movement shunned democracy as a western import but in the last five years have waged forceful electoral campaigns to get into the Egyptian parliament. To everybody's surprise, the <a href=http://www.cfr.org/publication/9319/ target=_blank>Muslim Brotherhood</a> increased their share from 5% of the vote in 1995 to nearly 20% in 2005. Many observers believe that they could have done even better had the election been free and fair. In brief, by 2005 democracy had become the only game in town in the Islamic world. No sober analyst would consider this a final commitment by Islamists to democracy, but the process of transforming them into Muslim democrats is clearly underway.</p> <p>Another way of understanding <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=421">radical Islamists</a> is in terms of inclusive versus exclusive politics. So long as the entrenched autocrats of the Muslim world continue to deny their peoples equal rights of participation, there will always be disaffected dissidents who may resort to extreme ideologies and violent practices. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries excluded Muslims rallied to theocrats &#150; the bin Ladens, al-Zawahiris, and al-Zarqawis &#150; to combat the autocrats &#150; the Mubaraks, Assads, Fahds, and Musharrafs. The autocrats and theocrats are mirror-images: both are exclusive. </p> <p>The <a href=http://www.logosjournal.com/issue_4.2/ibrahim_interview.htm target=_blank>antidote</a> for both is a politics of inclusion, i.e. democratic governance. If that is an integral part of "modernity" in Fukuyama's revised discourse, then as Muslims increasingly join the "third wave" of democracy (started in Portugal in 1974, and already engulfing some ninety countries), the likes of al-Qaida may very well join al-Hashashin in the dustbin of history. </p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Saad Eddin Ibrahim Original Copyright Tue, 09 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Saad Eddin Ibrahim 3523 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The end of history, or history all over again? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/again_3514.jsp <p>The argument of Francis Fukuyama's <em><a href=http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=515284 target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> is not a new one. It is even older than Fukuyama allows. In 143 CE a Greek public orator named Aelius Aristides told the Roman emperor, Antoninus Pius, that Rome was the last of all the empires. "Now a clear and universal freedom from all fear has been granted both to the world and those who live in it"; history, he confidently predicated, had finally come to a happy and glorious end. The constitution of Rome represented the final, most perfect political form and would henceforth continue as it was uninterruptedly into the future. </p> <p>As with all such claims, this too turned out to be false. The similarity with Fukuyama's celebrated thesis is not fortuitous. The values of the Roman world of the 2nd century were like the values of the Enlightenment, conceived as universal: the rule of law, citizenship based upon a common human identity, irrespective of race or creed. For the historical origins of modern secular liberal democracy lie not, as Fukuyama and <a href=http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/ target=_blank>Samuel Huntington</a> suppose, in Christianity, but in what Christianity borrowed from the ancient world. And it was because the values and the kind of scientific inquires they made possible were ancient and secular in origin that it was, in the end, possible to detach them from Christian theology &#150; and the church. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>This article is part of an openDemocracy <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">symposium</a> on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>)</b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> <p>Talal Asad, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">A single history?</a>" (5 May 2006)</p> </div><p>Here there is a marked difference between Christianity and Islam, the other great "civilisation" with which Huntington &#150; but not Fukuyama &#150; believes we are doomed to remain locked in perpetual conflict. For Islam has no obvious ancient secular past and what link it once had to the world of Greek science it has long since repudiated. There exist, that is, no resources within Islam itself to arrive at the same position the west has reached. Islamic states, if they wish to "modernise", have been able to do so only by importation, as Saudi Arabia and others have done, or by following western examples. This was something which the Ottomans came to understand at the end of the 18th century, which is one of the reasons why it was <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-turkey/issue.jsp">Turkey</a> &#150; the ancient enemy of Christendom and the very heart of the <em>dar-al Islam</em> &#150; which was the first to become a modern and essentially European state. </p> <p>I agree with <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">Fukuyama</a> that the values of the western Enlightenment are potentially universal. The question, however, is not really one of a universality of <em>values</em>: it is really a question of the potential universality of the forms of government to which they have given rise. Throughout human history in the west, from ancient Greece to the modern United States, there have only been three types of government, with some variations: monarchy, aristocracy and democracy. What is meant by those terms has, clearly, varied greatly. Britain, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands are all liberal democracies disguised as monarchies. No ancient Greek or Roman would describe the United States as a democracy. Most modern democracies are in fact aristocracies with monarchical elements. The aristocrats are no longer hereditary; but they are the nevertheless the <em>aristoi</em> &#150; the best or at any rate the most successful. </p> <p><b>A fading liberal democracy? </b> </p><p>In the light of this, it is tempting to see the history of the west &#150; as Hegel and Marx did and as Fukuyama clearly does &#150; as a steady progression from monarchy to aristocracy to democracy. And if that is the history of the world, then the final triumph of liberal democracy (if that is what has happened) might seem to be the end of history, or at any rate of <em>that</em> history. Certainly it is hard to imagine a return to say a "pure" monarchical state of the kind which existed in Russia under the Czars, or to an oligarchic monarchy of the kind Britain was during the 18th and much of the 19th century. It is still less likely that a new Mussolini or Hitler or Franco will again emerge, at least in the now liberal-democratic world. </p> <p>But one possible consequence of the "end of history" argument is that democracy now having triumphed, some new, and as yet unimagined political form will in time replace it. Fukuyama thinks that the European Union might be the "house built as a home for the last man who would emerge at the end of history". I would like to think that he is right: that if there really will be a last man, the kind of society sketched out in the temporarily-stalled European constitution is broadly speaking as description of the world in which he &#150; and crucially she &#150; will live. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Anthony Pagden <a href=http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/menu/people/faculty/anthony_pagden.php target=_blank>teaches</a> history and political science at UCLA.</b></p> <p>He is the author of <em>The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of Comparative Ethnology</em> (<a href=http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521337046 target=_blank>Cambridge University Press, 1987</a>), <em>The Uncertainties of Empire: Essays in Iberian and Ibero-American Intellectual History</em> (<a href=https://www.ashgate.com/shopping/title.asp?key1=&key2=&orig=results&isbn=0%2086078%20461%204 target=_blank>Ashgate, 1994</a>), <em>European Encounters with the New World: From Renaissance to Romanticism</em> (<a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300059507 target=_blank>Yale University Press, 1994</a>), and <em>Peoples and Empires</em> (<a href=http://www.randomhouse.com/rhpg/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780812967616 target=_blank>Random House, 2001</a>).</p> <p>He is the editor of <em>Facing Each Other:The World's Perception of Europe and Europe's Perception of the World</em> (<a href=https://www.ashgate.com/shopping/title.asp?key1=&key2=&orig=results&isbn=0%2086078%20526%202 target=_blank>Ashgate, 2000</a>) and <em>The Idea of Europe: From Antiquity to the European Union</em> (<a href=http://www.cambridge.org/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521795524 target=_blank>Cambridge University Press, 2002</a>).</p></div><p>The <a href=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/europe/04/changing_borders/html/introduction.stm target=_blank>European Union</a> is still something of an experiment. But it is clear that in many places in Europe the imaginative hold of the nation-state is fading, slowly, unsteadily but irrevocably. Yet the modern liberal-democratic state, in effect the invention of two post-revolutionary societies &#150; France and the United States &#150; is largely inseparable from the kind of national state which emerged after the end of the Napoleonic wars. </p> <p>The question, then, is: in this new pluralistic world of multiple and shared sovereignties, in which the nation-state is no longer the framework for the realisation of <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1921">Immanuel Kant's dream</a> of a "cosmopolitan world order," will not liberal democracy as we know it not also fade? </p> <p>The EU has frequently been accused of being "insufficiently accountable". There is, its critics often say, a "<a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-europe_constitution/issue.jsp">democratic deficit</a>" at its centre. Viewed from the domestic political practices of most of the member-states, this is true. But is this really a deficit? Is it really deplorable? Or are we in fact witnessing the emergence of new kind of political form, something which is not monarchy, nor aristocracy nor democracy? </p> <p><b>Democracy after the nation-state</b></p> <p><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Francis Fukuyama</a> is surely right to characterise democracy as a conflict between liberty and equality (the Roman historian Sallust said much the same thing about the Roman republic; so too did Machiavelli.) He is probably right, too, to think that neither can exist without the other. But the <em>institutions</em> of modern liberal democracy as they are currently conceived may not necessarily be the way to perpetuate this into the future. There are, he believes, "insuperable obstacles" to the realisation of some form of global, or transnational democracy, because democracy as we now know it has always been based on "the existence of a genuine political community". </p> <p>To European ears this sounds like well-meaning but overly pious Amercian communitarianism. Is there really any such thing as a "genuine political community" in any modern liberal democracy? Is not, in the end, the whole point of modern, as opposed to ancient democracy (as the French liberal <a href=http://www.acton.org/publicat/randl/liberal.php?id=115 target=_blank>Benjamin Constant</a> pointed out at the beginning of the 19th century), that modern democracies have made it possible for private citizens to be just that &#150; private? Communities may be necessary for some. But "<em>political</em> communities" sounds ominously like collective farms, Calvinist covenants and their like. </p> <p>If in the end, however, Fukuyama turns out to be right, then it is likely to be the institutions of modern democracy that will have to give way to some newer kind of political organisation capable of sustaining what the ancients called "the best possible life" in a world without the nation-state. And History may, in fact, as History so often does, be about to begin all over again.</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Anthony Pagden Original Copyright Sun, 07 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Anthony Pagden 3514 at https://www.opendemocracy.net A single history? https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/single_history_3507.jsp <p>Perhaps the most striking feature of Fukuyama's <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a> to the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> is its conception of a single history of mankind &#150; at once universal and multiple. The question: "What binds the multiplicity of peoples and cultures into a single history?" is indeed a key theme in intellectual history, and was answered by Hegel and later thinkers in evolutionary terms, with European societies representing the future of all others who were not fated simply to die out. </p> <p>I'm not sure I understand what Fukuyama means when he asks whether western values and institutions have "a universal significance" and when he opposes this to the notion of "the temporary success of a presently hegemonic culture". Clearly these values and institutions <em>have</em> a universal significance if by this he means that they have spread globally &#150; whether consensually or not. But this doesn't exclude "universal significance" being seen as the <a href=http://www.asiasource.org/news/special_reports/asad.cfm target=_blank>product</a> of a forceful, hegemonising culture. The assertion that with the defeat of communism, capitalist democracy is now the only <em>imaginable</em> future for humanity doesn't prove that nothing else can emerge. Since nothing is permanent, it is quite possible that this hegemonic political culture will mutate into other, equally hegemonic ones (that is, if we still have a planet fit for humans in the next century). <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>)</b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> <p>Saskia Sassen, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">A state of decay</a>" (3 May 2006)</p> </div><p>What is interesting about Fukuyama's essay, however, is not its contribution to the debate about culture but its assumption that different human societies are running a race towards a more or less recognisable end, and that the relative success or failure of each runner is to be sought in his internal make-up. There exists an ample <a href=http://www.as.ua.edu/rel/aboutrelbioasad.html target=_blank>literature</a> demonstrating the complex interactions between political-economic entities &#150; sovereign states that do not control sovereign destinies &#150; but Fukuyama's essay doesn't address the subject. </p> <p><b>Democracy's roots</b></p> <p>Fukuyama traces "modern democracy", as do others, to the Christian doctrine of "the universal dignity of man". I find this odd, because in medieval Latin <em>dignitas</em> referred to the privilege of high office, not to political equality. Christianity did have a notion of universal spiritual worth, but it was always compatible with great social and political inequality. For most writers the roots of modern democracy lie not in Christianity but in classical Greece. Pre-Christian Athens certainly had a (restricted) concept of equal citizenship and (rudimentary) democratic practices, but it had no notion of "the universal dignity of man". This suggests that modern secular democracy &#150; which gradually, through struggle, replaced Christian inequality in the West &#150; does not depend on the value Fukuyama and others make so much of. What it does depend on is the <em>substitutability</em> of the individual by any other: each voter counts as one and no more than one in the arithmetic of democracy.</p> <p>If not dignity then perhaps happiness? Fukuyama claims the superiority of capitalist democracy by pointing to the many people who migrate to the rich countries of the north "because they see that the possibilities for human happiness are much greater in a wealthy society than in a poor one". Yet the overwhelming majority of the world's peoples don't move; immigrants to western societies are an extremely small proportion of non-western populations. Should we see those who stay put as having no conception of "human happiness"? </p> <p>Surely the motives for migration are often complicated. They include the desire to escape from dangerous political conditions as well as the desire to earn money abroad to provide for relatives at home, rather than the simple wish for happiness. Not to mention that dreams of finding "happiness" do not always correspond to the reality that meets most immigrants (or native citizens, for that matter) in capitalist democracies. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Talal Asad is distinguished professor of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York. His books include <em>Genealogies of Religion: Discipline and Reasons of Power in Christianity and Islam</em> (<a href=http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/1644.html target=_blank>Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993</a>) and <em>Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam, Modernity</em> (<a href=http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?book_id=4767%204768%20 target=_blank>Stanford University Press, 2003</a>). His work is the subject of an essay-collection edited by David Scott & Charles Hirschkind, <em>Powers of the Secular Modern: Talal Asad and His Interlocutors</em> (<a href=http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?book_id=5265%205266%20 target=_blank>Stanford University Press, 2006</a>)</b></p></div><p><b>Democracy's future</b></p> <p>Doubts also apply to Fukuyama's conception of "the future of democracy" in the non-western world. Let's assume for the sake of argument that the democracy Fukuyama <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">envisions</a> is one that everyone wants: closely connected to a neo-liberal regime "promising universal happiness" and one that is also necessarily "secular". Christian doctrine, according to the hoary old thesis, has been receptive to democracy because church and state began as separate entities. This is historically inaccurate because the Byzantine church-state was the ground on which central Christian doctrines were formulated. And even in the European middle ages "that separation was never necessary or complete", as Fukuyama admits. Yet the same can be said of Islamic history (a subject too large to be discussed here). </p> <p>The alternative argument is to attend not to historical origins but to the contemporary scene, and note that democracy is uniquely absent in the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2990">Muslim world</a>. What is the obstacle? Is it Islam? (The faulty reasoning here is to take <em>absence</em> for <em>incapacity</em>.) Fukuyama finds that some Muslim countries are making the transition to economic prosperity and political democracy, and so suggests that the culprit is not Islam but "Arab political culture". </p> <p>But consider in this light the electoral victory of <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3229">Hamas</a> in occupied Palestine in January 2006 &#150; a democratic formation that is being undermined by the European Union and the United States, those models of humanity's liberal democratic future. There are excuses, of course, but they remain excuses. Evidently there is far more concern by those governments for "Israel's security" than for the future of the Palestinians. </p> <p>In his 2004 <em>National Interest</em> article "<a href=http://www.let.uu.nl/~Arend-Jan.Boekestijn/personal/historisch%20ambacht/Fukuyama.htm target=_blank>The Neoconservative moment</a>", Fukuyama describes Israel as "a small, vulnerable country surrounded by implacable enemies". Yet Israel is clearly the most powerful (as well as the most democratic) state in the region, the only one possessing nuclear weapons; it has easily won every war with its neighbours, expanded territorially, achieved wide international recognition, and peace treaties with two Arab states with more on the way. It not only has never formally recognised the <em>right</em> of Palestinians to form their own state on all the land stolen from them, but continues unchecked in its violent creation of conditions that are making a future Palestinian state impossible. </p> <p>It is in this connection that I cite the most important statement in Fukuyama's entire essay: "There is no reason to think that sovereign liberal democracies cannot commit terrible abuses in their dealings with other nations, or even with respect to their own citizens." To the representatives of universalism (principally the United States and the European Union) these abuses must appear as the harsh necessities of "realistic" global governance.</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Talal Asad Creative Commons normal Thu, 04 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Talal Asad 3507 at https://www.opendemocracy.net A state of decay https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/decay_3500.jsp <p>Francis Fukuyama's <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">afterword</a> to the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> is in most ways a welcome postscript to his original argument of seventeen years ago. Fukuyama dismisses critiques that started from a flawed or flatly incorrect understanding of his thesis, but he recognises that some of the critiques deserve to be addressed, either because his original statement was unclear or, albeit rarer, because he has revised his own views as history has moved on.</p> <p>I find most of his responses persuasive. I am, as well, pleased by his <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">critique</a> of the United States war on Iraq. The presumptions of its planners and the associated post-war disasters, and the unwillingness to consider the failures of just about all eighteen US attempts at modern <a href=http://www.cup.cam.ac.uk/us/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521659558 target=_blank>nation-building</a> since the late 1800s. These critical observations from a major neo-conservative thinker demand courage and carry weight. </p> <p>I have one major objection, however: Fukuyama's handling of liberal democracy. Unlike his deliberative disposition towards some of the major changes of the last few years, when it comes to liberal democracy it is as if time stopped and no new history been made. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>This article is part of an openDemocracy symposium on Francis Fukuyama's afterword in the second paperback edition of <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>Simon & Schuster, 2006</a>) </b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> <p>Also published:</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3496">After the 'end of history'</a>" (2 May 2006)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3493">The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics</a>" <br />(2 May 2006)</p> </div><p>Fukuyama reminds us that when he originally wrote about democracy as the final stage of history, he was thinking of the nation-state, and that he had not envisioned a <a href=http://www.polity.co.uk/book.asp?ref=0745633536 target=_blank>global democracy</a> developing through the extension of international law. In his discussion of these issues he brings together a variety of dynamics, including a democratic deficit occasioned by globalisation and weakened states, as well as the growing chasm between Europe and the United States vis-à-vis the nation-state. He sees the US as being quite happy with the whole notion of the nation-state and its power politics, while Europeans see the nation-state as problematic, preferring that <a href=http://www.theglobalist.com/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=3886 target=_blank>soft power</a> and legal norms replace military force in the international arena. Fukuyama does not accept the argument for liberal democracy that transcends the nation-state. </p> <p>Fukuyama also responds to criticism over his alleged failure to provide a theory of politics as partly autonomous from economic development. Fukuyama now argues that we need to recognise the possibility of political decay, and hence that economic development will not automatically bring about liberal states. </p> <p>What he leaves out of his analysis, however, is the possibility of decay <em>inside</em> the liberal state itself &#150; and the attendant consequences of such decay for his larger argument. Fukuyama does not interrogate the internal character of the liberal state, specifically in the United States. Although he criticises the Bush administration for launching the wrong war and failing to plan post-war reconstruction in Iraq, and recognises the decay in states in some of the world's less-developed regions, he misses the opportunity to apply the same judgment <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2639">closer to home</a>. </p> <p><b>Inside, not outside</b></p> <p>The argument on this theme of decay deserves more space than is possible here, and thus I can only refer the interested (or sceptical) reader to my forthcoming book <em><a href=http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/8159.html target=_blank>Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages</a></em>. In brief, however, two propositions are central to the case. </p> <p>The first is that this decay in the liberal-democratic state cannot simply be viewed as a function of the democratic deficit brought on by external forces. A focus on external forces &#150; in turn, globalisation and terrorism &#150; is the most common method of explaining the increasingly evident deficit in liberal democracies. </p> <p>There are consequences to such an interpretation. A focus on external forces keeps us from examining the possibility that the state is not simply responding but is also potentially <em>producing</em> the democratic deficit. My own research on <a href=http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/catalog/data/023110/0231106084.HTM target=_blank>globalisation</a> over the last decade and a half has explored to what extent the global also gets constituted <em>inside</em> the national rather than just coming "from the outside". The state apparatus is one of the key sites for this sub-national constitution of the global. </p> <p>Another consequence of the focus on external forces is that it misses the reality of <a href=http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/6943.html target=_blank>global cities</a>, which override the duality of national and global as mutually-exclusive institutional fields. </p> <p>This emphasis on the external as the culprit in creating a democratic deficit can block understanding of the depth and type of transformation taking place within the liberal state. In the case of the United States, we need to raise the possibility that the Bush administration's extreme <a href=http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/us_law/us_law.asp target=_blank>conduct</a> in certain domains is not simply a function of external pressure and hence an anomaly in the routine functioning of the liberal state, but is in an important sense the new face of the liberal state. In this light, terrorist threats and the war on Iraq may actually camouflage this deeper, interior transformation. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Saskia Sassen is <a href=http://sociology.uchicago.edu/faculty/sassen.html target=_blank>professor</a> in the department of sociology at the University of Chicago and at the London School of Economics. Her latest book is <em>Territory, Authority, and Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages</em> (<a href=http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/titles/8159.html target=_blank>Princeton University Press, 2006</a>), based on a five-year project on governance and accountability in a global economy</b></p> <p>Also by Saskia Sassen in openDemocracy:</p> <p>"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1444">A universal harm: making criminals of migrants</a>" <br />(August 2003)</p> <p>"<a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/globalization-vision_reflections/futurology_two_3154.jsp#43">Fear and camouflage: the end of the liberal state?</a>" (December 2005) &#150; part of openDemocracy's worldwide symposium, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3153">What does 2006 have in store?</a>"</p> <p>"<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3282">Free speech in the frontier-zone</a>"<br /> (February 2006)</p> </div><p>The second proposition in the argument about decay is the timeframe. The foundational changes inside the liberal state began in the 1980s. I insist on this longer context &#150; which includes both Democratic and Republican administrations in the US. What is different about the Bush administration is that these changes have entered the political domain, whereas under <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/people-ronald_reagan/debate.jsp">Ronald Reagan</a>, George Bush senior, and Bill Clinton they were largely limited to economic and technical realms. The importance of this is that once changes enter the political domain they are, at least partly, more easily seen and understood by citizens than the technicalities of economic deregulation in financial markets, telecommunications and other sectors in the 1980s and 1990s. </p> <p>My own reading of this history suggests a serious neglect of the extent to which decisions taken by the Reagan administration hollowed out Congress and thereby produced a profound asymmetry between the legislative and the executive branches. Far more attention has been paid to deregulation's effect on the rise of private authority than to the move away from the activist Congress of the 1960s and 1970s that curtailed the power of the executive and enhanced the rights of citizens. </p> <p>Congress slows down politics and makes it relatively more public than executive-branch politics. The hollowing-out of Congress also has the effect of shifting both law-making functions and some of the disciplining of the executive to the judiciary. It is not that such shifts have not happened before, but their specific meanings and effects in this particular phase need to be recognised. </p> <p>While I find much that is admirable in Fukuyama's responses to his critics in this new <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>afterword</a>, his overlooking of the decay inside the liberal state is a problem. This matters insofar as much of his approach hinges on the centrality of liberal democracy as an organising dynamic. How do such transformations endogenous to the liberal state, and not simply produced by external forces, unsettle his argument?</p> </div></p> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Saskia Sassen Creative Commons normal Tue, 02 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Saskia Sassen 3500 at https://www.opendemocracy.net After the 'end of history' https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/revisited_3496.jsp <p>In the seventeen years that have passed since the original publication of my essay, "The End of History?", my hypothesis has been criticised from every conceivable point of view. Publication of the second paperback edition of the book <em><a href="http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&amp;pid=515284" target="_blank">The End of History and the Last Man</a></em> gives me an opportunity to restate the original argument, to answer what I regard as the most serious objections that were raised to it, and to reflect on some of the developments in world politics that have occurred since the summer of 1989.</p><div><div class="pull_quote_image"><img src="http://www.opendemocracy.net/content/articles/3496/images/end_of_history.jpg" alt="End of History" border="0" /></div><p>Let me begin with the question: what was the "end of history"? The phrase is of course not an original one, but comes from GWF Hegel and, more popularly, from Karl Marx. <a href="http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521003873" target="_blank">Hegel</a> was the first historicist philosopher, who understood human history as a coherent, evolutionary process. Hegel saw this evolution as one of the gradual unfolding of human reason, leading eventually to the expansion of freedom in the world. Marx had a more economically grounded theory, which saw the means of production change as human societies evolved from pre-human to hunter-gatherer to agricultural to industrial ones; the end of history was thus a theory of modernisation that raised the question of where that modernisation process would ultimately lead.</p> <p>Many progressive intellectuals during the period between publication of Marx and Friedrich Engels's <em><a href="http://www.oup.co.uk/isbn/0-19-283437-1" target="_blank">Communist Manifesto</a></em> in 1848 and the end of the 20th century believed that there would be an end of history, and that the historical process would terminate in a communist utopia. This was not my assertion, but that of Karl Marx. The simple insight with which I began was that, as of 1989, it didn't look like this was going to happen. To the extent that the human historical process was leading anywhere, it was tending not toward communism, but toward what the Marxists called bourgeois democracy.</p> <p>There didn't seem to be a higher form of society that would transcend one based on the twin principles of liberty and equality. <a href="http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm" target="_blank">Alexandre Koj&egrave;ve</a>, the great Russian-French Hegelian, put this rather mischievously when he said that history ended in 1806, the year that Napoleon defeated the Prussian monarchy at the battle of Jena-Auerstadt, thus bringing the principles of the French Revolution to Hegel's corner of Germany. Everything that happened thereafter was just backfilling, as those principles were universalised across the world. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3514">Anthony Padgen</a>, <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3507">Talal Asad</a>, and <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3500">Saskia Sassen</a> are among the first to respond in our debate: "Francis Fukuyama: 'the end of history' revisited"</b></p> <p>For an overview of the debate click <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/issue.jsp">here</a></p> </div><p><b>The question</b></p> <p>I have been contrasted by many observers to my former teacher <a href="http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/" target="_blank">Samuel Huntington</a>, who put forward a very different vision of world development in his book <em>The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of World Order</em>. In certain respects I think it is possible to overestimate the degree to which we differ in our interpretation of the world. For example, I agree with him in his view that culture remains an irreducible component of human societies, and that you cannot understand development and politics without a reference to cultural values.</p> <p>But there is a fundamental issue that separates us. It is the question of whether the values and institutions developed during the western Enlightenment are <em>potentially</em> universal (as Hegel and Marx thought), or bounded within a cultural horizon (consistent with the views of later philosophers like Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin Heidegger). Huntington clearly believes that they are not universal. He argues that the kind of political institutions with which we in the west are familiar are the by-product of a certain kind of western European Christian culture, and will never take root beyond the boundaries of that culture.</p> <p>So the central question to answer is whether western values and institutions have a universal significance, or whether they represent the temporary success of a presently hegemonic culture.</p> <p>Huntington is quite correct when he says that the <em>historical</em> origin of modern secular liberal democracy lies in Christianity, which is not an original view. Hegel, Alexis de Tocqueville, and Nietzsche, among many other thinkers, have argued that modern democracy is a secular version of the Christian doctrine of the universal dignity of man, and that this is now understood as a non-religious political doctrine of human rights. In my opinion, there is no question that this is the case from a historical point of view.</p> <p>But while modern liberal democracy has its roots in this particular cultural soil, the issue is whether these ideas may become detached from these particularistic origins and have a significance for people who live in non-Christian cultures. The scientific method, on which our modern technological civilisation rests, also appeared for contingent historical reasons at a certain moment in the history of early modern Europe, based on the thought of philosophers like Francis Bacon and Ren&eacute; Descartes. But once the scientific method was invented, it became a possession for all of mankind, and was usable whether you were Asian, African, or Indian.</p> <p>The question is, therefore, whether the principles of liberty and equality that we see as the foundation of liberal democracy have a similar universal significance. I believe that this is the case, and I think that there is an overall logic to historical evolution that explains why there should be increasing democracy around the world as our societies evolve. It is not a rigid form of historical determinism like Marxism, but a set of underlying forces that drive human social evolution in a way that tells us that there should be more democracy at the end of this evolutionary process than at the beginning. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b><a href="http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/Biography.html" target="_blank">Francis Fukuyama</a> is Bernard L Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and director of the International Development Program at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. He is also chairman of the editorial board of a new magazine, <em><a href="http://www.the-american-interest.com/cms/main.cfm" target="_blank">The American Interest</a></em> </b></p> <p>This article forms the afterword to the second paperback edition of his <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> (<a href="http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&amp;pid=515284" target="_blank">Simon &amp; Schuster, 2006</a>) </p> <p>His other books include <em>Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution</em> (<a href="http://www.fsgbooks.com/searchnn.htm" target="_blank">Farrar, Straus &amp; Giroux, 2002</a>) and <em>State-Building: Governance and World Order in the 21st Century</em> (<a href="http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=4186&amp;_userreference=1146568663E0C8E9474541FC6440C9B798" target="_blank">Cornell University Press, 2004</a>)</p> <p>His latest book is <em>America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy</em> (<a href="http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994" target="_blank">Yale University Press, 2006</a>); in the UK this is published as <em>After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads</em> <br />(<a href="http://www.profilebooks.co.uk/title.php?titleissue_id=344" target="_blank">Profile, 2006</a>)</p> <p>Francis Fukuyama's homepage is <a href="http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/" target="_blank">here</a></p> </div><p><b>The struggle</b></p> <p>The origin of "History" in the Marxist-Hegelian sense lies ultimately in science and technology. Science is cumulative: we do not periodically forget scientific discoveries. This is what creates the economic world, since technology constitutes a horizon of economic production possibilities and guarantees that the age of the steam-engine will be different from the age of the plough, and that the age of the transistor and the computer is going to be different from the age of coal and steel. Scientific development makes possible the enormous increases in productivity that have driven modern capitalism and the liberation of technology and ideas in modern market economies.</p> <p>Economic development produces increases in living standards that are universally desirable. The proof of this, in my opinion, is simply the way people "vote with their feet." Every year millions of people in poor, less-developed societies seek to move to western Europe, to the United States, to Japan, or to other developed countries, because they see that the possibilities for human happiness are much greater in a wealthy society than in a poor one. Despite a number of Rousseauian dreamers who imagine that they would be happier living in a hunter-gatherer or agrarian society than in, say, contemporary Los Angeles, there are scarcely a handful of people who actually decide to do so.</p> <p>The desire to live in a liberal democracy is not initially nearly as widespread as the desire for development. In fact, there are many authoritarian regimes like today's China and Singapore, or Chile under General Pinochet, that have been able to develop and modernise quite successfully. However, there is a strong correlation between successful economic development and the growth of democratic institutions, something originally noted by the great sociologist <a href="http://www.hoover.org/bios/lipset.html" target="_blank">Seymour Martin Lipset</a>. There are numerous reasons why this correlation is a strong one. When a country gets past a level of approximately $6,000 per-capita income, it is no longer an agricultural society. It is likely to have a middle class that owns property, a complex civil society, a higher level of elite and mass education. All of these factors tend to promote the desire for democratic participation, and thus drive, from the bottom up, demand for democratic political institutions.</p> <p>The final aspect of the modernisation process concerns the area of culture. Everybody wants economic development, and economic development tends to promote democratic political institutions. But at the end of the modernisation process, nobody wants cultural uniformity; in fact, issues of cultural identity come back with a vengeance. Huntington is correct when he says that we will never live in a world in which we have cultural uniformity, the global culture of what he calls "<a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1404411,00.html" target="_blank">Davos Man</a>". Indeed, we would not <em>want</em> to live in a world in which we have the same universal cultural values based on some kind of globalised Americanism. We live for the particular shared historical traditions, religious values, and other aspects of shared memory that constitutes the common life.</p> <p>Life in contemporary liberal democracies, including the United States, is one in which cultural or group identities are being continually asserted, reasserted, and sometimes invented out of whole cloth. This is an area in which the original theorists of modern liberalism do not provide us with much useful guidance. Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Baron de Montesquieu, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau all envisioned the central problem of liberal pluralism as one of individuals exercising autonomous choice vis-&agrave;-vis the state. But in modern liberal societies, individuals organise themselves into cultural groups that assert group rights against the state and limit the choice of individuals within those groups. </p> <p>This can take a fairly mild form, as when French Canadians mandate that students in Quebec must be taught in French, or a more serious form when Islamist preachers in Europe argue that <em>sharia</em> law should have primacy over French or Dutch law. The choice for the state is whether it interprets the kind of liberal pluralism that it is responsible for protecting as one of individuals, or of groups, and if the latter, what kinds of restrictions of individual rights by groups it is willing to condone.</p> <p>A fuller examination of this issue is beyond the scope of the present essay. Few liberal societies have been utterly rigid in their defence of individual over group rights; multiculturalism, bilingualism, and other forms of group recognition have become part of public policy in the United States and other western democracies. On the other hand, most liberal societies understand that group recognition can undermine the basic liberal principle of tolerance and the rights of individuals. As <a href="http://www.philosophy.northwestern.edu/people/taylor.html" target="_blank">Charles Taylor</a> explains, liberalism cannot be completely even-handed toward different cultures, since it itself reflects certain cultural values and must reject alternative cultural groups that are themselves profoundly illiberal.</p> <p>The basic principle of secular politics has come to be part of the modernisation process for essentially pragmatic reasons. In the history of Christianity, church and state began as separate entities, something that was not the case with Islam. But that separation was never necessary or complete. At the end of the middle ages, every European prince dictated the religious beliefs of his subjects; the sectarian conflicts following the Reformation led to more than a century of bloody warfare. </p> <p>Modern secular politics thus did not spring automatically from Christian culture, but rather was something that had to be learned through painful historical experience. One of the achievements of early modern liberalism was its success persuading people of the need to exclude discussion of final ends addressed by religion from the realm of politics. This is a struggle the west went through, and I believe it is a struggle the Islamic world is now in the process of going through.</p> <p><b>A misunderstanding</b></p> <p>The "end of history", as noted at the beginning of this essay, has been attacked from very many points of view since it was first enunciated. Many of those criticisms were based on simple misunderstandings of what I was arguing, for example on the part of those who believed that I thought events would simply stop happening. I do not want to deal here with these kinds of critiques, which for the most part could have been avoided if the person in question had simply read my book.</p> <p>One misunderstanding I do want to clarify, however, concerns the very widespread misapprehension that I was somehow arguing for a specifically American version of the end of history, what one author called "jingoistic triumphalism." Many have taken the end of history to be a brief for American hegemony over the rest of the world, not just in the realm of ideas and values, but through the actual exercise of American power to order the world according to American interests.</p> <p>Nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone familiar with Koj&egrave;ve and the intellectual origins of his version of the end of history would understand that the European Union is a much fuller real-world embodiment of the concept than is the contemporary United States. In line with Koj&egrave;ve, I argued that the European project was in fact a house built as a home for the last man who would emerge at the end of history. The European dream &#150; most fully felt in Germany &#150; is to transcend national sovereignty, power politics, and the kinds of struggles that make military power necessary (about this, more later); Americans, by <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2100">contrast</a>, have a rather traditional understanding of sovereignty, applaud their military, and like their patriotic Fourth of July parades.</p> <p>Modern liberal democracy is based on twin principles of liberty and equality. The two are in perpetual tension: equality cannot be maximised without the intervention of a powerful state that limits individual liberty; liberty cannot be expanded indefinitely without inviting various pernicious forms of social inequality. Each liberal democracy thus must make tradeoffs between the two. Contemporary Europeans tend to prefer more equality at the expense of liberty, and Americans the reverse, for reasons rooted in their individual histories. These are differences of degree and not principle; while I prefer the American version in some ways over the European one, this is more a matter of pragmatic observation and taste than a matter of principle. </p></div><div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Also in openDemocracy on American foreign policy, neo-conservatism, and the ideas of Francis Fukuyama: </b></p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1542">Nobel lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq</a>" <br />(October 2003)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">Fukuyama's moment: a neocon schism opens</a>" (October 2004)</p> <p>John Mearsheimer, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2522">Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism</a>" <br />(May 2005)</p> <p>Ivan Krastev, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3486">The end of the 'freedom century'</a>" (April 2006)</p> </div><p><b>Four challenges</b></p> <p>Of the many challenges to the optimistic evolutionary scenario laid out in <em>The End of History</em>, correctly understood, there are four that I regard as the most serious. The first is related to Islam as an obstacle to democracy; the second has to do with the problem of democracy at an international level; the third concerns the autonomy of politics; and the last is related to the unanticipated consequences of technology. I will discuss each of these in turn.</p> <p><b><em>Islam</em></b></p> <p>Particularly since the 11 September 2001 attacks, many people have argued that there is a fundamental <a href="http://www.morec.com/scruton/" target="_blank">tension</a> between Islam as a religion and the possibility of the development of modern democracy. There is no question that if you look around the world, there has been a broad Muslim exception to the overall pattern of democratic development that you see in Latin America, in Europe, in Asia, and even in sub-Saharan Africa. So people argue that there may be things in Islamic doctrine, such as the unity of religion and state, that serve as insuperable cultural barriers to the spread of democracy.</p> <p>That the problem stems from Islam itself as a religion seems to me extremely <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3339">unlikely</a>. All of the world's major religious systems are highly complex. Christianity was once (and not that long ago) used to justify slavery and hierarchy; now we see it as supportive of modern democracy. Religious doctrines are subject to political interpretation from one generation to the next. This is no less true of Islam than of Christianity. </p> <p>There is tremendous variation in the political practices of countries that are culturally Muslim today. There are several reasonably successful democracies in Muslim countries, including Indonesia, which has made a successful transition from authoritarianism after the crisis of 1997; Turkey, which has had two-party democracy on and off since the end of the second world war; Mali, Senegal, and other countries, such as India, that have large Muslim minorities. Furthermore, Malaysia and Indonesia have sustained rapid economic growth, so that the obstacle that Islam poses to development is not a necessary one either.</p> <p><a href="http://www.project-syndicate.org/contributor/663" target="_blank">Alfred Stepan</a> points out that the real exception to the broad pattern of democratisation during what Samuel Huntington labeled the "third wave" of democratic transitions from the 1970s to the 1990s is actually not a Muslim exception, but more of an Arab exception; it would appear that there is something in Arab political culture that has been more resistant. What that could be is subject to debate, but it might well be a cultural obstacle that is not related to religion, such as the survival of tribalism. And the contemporary challenge that the world faces in the form of radical Islamism or <em>jihadism</em> is much more political than religious, cultural, or civilisational.</p> <p>As <a href="http://www.ceri-sciencespo.com/cherlist/roy.htm" target="_blank">Olivier Roy</a> and <a href="http://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/gratis/Boroumand.pdf" target="_blank">Roya and Ladan Boroumand</a> have argued, radical Islamism is best understood as a political ideology. The writings of <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=health&amp;res=9F01E7D91731F930A15750C0A9659C8B63" target="_blank">Sayyid Qutb</a>, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, or Osama bin Laden and his ideologues within <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3200">al-Qaida</a>, make use of political ideas about the state, revolution, and the aesthetisation of violence that do not come out of any genuine Islamic tradition, but out of the radical <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2768">ideologies</a> of the extreme left and right &#150; that is to say, fascism and communism &#150; from 20th-century Europe.</p> <p>These doctrines, which are extremely dangerous, do not reflect any core teachings of Islam, but make use of Islam for political purposes. They have become popular in many Arab countries and among Muslims in Europe because of the deep alienation that exists in these communities. Radical Islamism is thus not the reassertion of some traditional Islamic cultural practice, but should be seen in the context of modern identity politics. It emerges precisely when traditional cultural identities are disrupted by modernisation and a pluralistic democratic order that creates a disjuncture between one's inner self and external social practice. </p> <p>This is why so many violent <em>jihadists</em> like Mohammed Atta, organiser of the 11 September attacks, or Mohammed Bouyeri, murderer of the Dutch filmmaker <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2239">Theo van Gogh</a>, were radicalised in western Europe. Modernisation has from the beginning created alienation and thus opposition to itself, and in this respect contemporary <em>jihadists</em> are following in the footsteps of anarchists, Bolsheviks, fascists, and members of the <a href="http://www.baader-meinhof.com/" target="_blank">Baader-Meinhof gang</a> in earlier generations.</p> <p>The question is whether intensely radicalised and alienated Muslims are potentially powerful enough to threaten liberal democracy itself. Clearly, modern technology gives them a shortcut in the form of weapons of mass destruction, which were not available to earlier generations of terrorists. But political Islam has not had a strong territorial base up to now, and in those countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, or Sudan where it has come to power, it has not had an attractive economic or social record.</p> <p>There are other interpretations of Islam vying for primacy, moreover, in a way that guarantees that much of the struggle will be internal to the Muslim world. As an external threat, then, it would seem that the challenge is less severe than that mounted by communism, which was both globally appealing and linked to a powerful modern state.</p> <p>The bigger problem for the future of liberal democracy will be the one internal to democratic societies, particularly on the part of countries like <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1811">France</a> or the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3253">Netherlands</a> that have large Muslim minorities. Europe by and large has been less successful in integrating culturally distinct minorities than the United States, and growing violence on the part of second- and third-generation European Muslims points to a far darker side of identity politics than the demands made by, for example, the Quebec or Scottish nationalists. </p> <p>Angry, unassimilated cultural minorities produce backlash on the part of the majority community, which then retreats into its own cultural and religious identity. Preventing this from spiralling into something that looks like a "clash of civilisation" will require moderation and good judgment on the part of political leaders, something not automatically guaranteed by the modernisation process itself.</p> <p><b><em>Democracy</em></b></p> <p>The second important critique of my "end of history" hypothesis concerns the question of democracy at an international level. When I wrote about liberal democracy constituting the final form of government, I was speaking about democracy at a nation-state level. I did not envision the possibility of creating a global democracy that would somehow transcend the sovereign nation-state through international law. </p> <p>Yet this is precisely the kind of concern that has been raised with particular intensity since the 2003 Iraq war, and underlies to some degree the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1921">split</a> that has emerged between the United States and Europe since then. This issue has also been raised over the past decade by critics of globalisation, who have argued that a democratic deficit has emerged between the degree of interactions that takes place between people living in different national jurisdictions, and the institutionalised mechanisms of accountability across national borders. This problem is particularly exacerbated by the very size and dominance of the United States in the contemporary global system; the United States is able to reach out and affect people around the globe in a variety of ways, without there being reciprocal sources of influence.</p> <p>Part of the <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2568">European project</a> has been to transcend the nation-state. Americans, on the other hand, have tended to believe that the source of legitimacy or legitimate action resides in a sovereign constitutional democracy. These European and American views flow from their respective histories. Europeans have seen the sovereign nation-state as a source of collective selfishness and nationalism that was at the root of the two world wars in the 20th century; the European project has sought to replace power politics with a system of norms, laws, and organisations. Americans, by contrast, have had a happier experience with their nation-state's use of legitimate violence.</p> <p>This began with the American Revolution against the British monarchy, continued through the very bloody American <a href="http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/war/" target="_blank">civil war</a> that killed 600,000 Americans but led to the abolition of slavery and the uniting of the United States, through the second world war and finally the cold war, which were seen as moral crusades liberating Europe on two occasions from two different forms of tyranny.</p> <p>The European view of the need for norms that transcend the nation-state is indubitably correct on a theoretical level. There is no reason to think that sovereign liberal democracies cannot commit terrible abuses in their dealings with other nations, or even with respect to their own citizens. The United States itself was born with the birth defect of slavery, which was approved by democratic majorities and enshrined in its constitution. Abraham Lincoln, in his <a href="http://www.nps.gov/liho/debates.htm" target="_blank">1858 debates</a> with Stephen Douglas, had to refer to a principle of equality that lay beyond the American constitution in order to argue against slavery.</p> <p>But while it is possible to make a theoretical case for some form of democracy that will transcend the nation-state, there are in my view insuperable practical obstacles to the realisation of this project. Successful democracy depends in large measure on the existence of a genuine political community that agrees on certain basic shared values and institutions. Shared cultural values build trust and lubricate, so to speak, the interaction of citizens with one another. Democracy at an international level becomes nearly impossible to imagine given the actual diversity of peoples and cultures involved. The jaundiced view that many Americans have of international institutions like the United Nations reflects in part the slowness and inefficiency of collective action on an international level, among diverse societies seeking collective action based on political consensus. </p> <p>To fix the efficiency problem would require delegation of authority and enforcement powers to a more decisive executive. To whom would the world agree to give such authority? And how could it be exercised safely in the absence of all of those balancing institutions that divide and limit power on a nation-state level? Even Europe, which shares a common culture and historical experience, is having serious <a href="http://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-europe_constitution/issue.jsp">second thoughts</a> about the project to create, in effect, a single European nation-state that would seriously undercut the sovereignty of its member-states.</p> <p>It would therefore appear that we will not get beyond the nation-state any time soon as the fundamental source of legitimate democratic authority. In place of global government, we will have to be satisfied with global governance, that is, partial international institutions that promote collective action among nations and that create some degree of accountability among them. A liberal world order that is both just and feasible would have to be based not on a single, overarching global institution, but rather on a diversity of international institutions that could organise themselves around functional issues, regions, or specific problems. This kind of world order is in the process of being created, but there is still a great deal of productive work that can be done in this area.</p> <p><b><em>Political authority</em></b></p> <p>The third issue that remains as a problem in the "end of history" concerns what I would call the autonomy of politics. As indicated above, there is a linkage between economic development and liberal democracy insofar as democratic consolidation becomes much easier at relatively high levels of per-capita GDP. The problem, however, is getting economic development started in the first place, something that has eluded many developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in South Asia, in the middle east, and in Latin America. </p> <p>Economic development is not driven simply by good economic policies; you need to have a state for people to live in that can guarantee law and order, property rights, a rule of law, and political stability before you can have investment, growth, commerce, international trade, and the like. Taking advantage of globalisation, as <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1006">India</a> and <a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3136">China</a> have done in recent years, requires above all having a competent state that can carefully set the conditions for exposure to the global economy.</p> <p>The existence of competent states is not something that can be taken for granted in the developing world. Many of the problems we are experiencing in 21st-century politics are related to the absence of strong state institutions in poor countries, rather than to the old 20th-century agenda of excessively strong states. The 20th century was dominated by great powers, by states like Nazi Germany, imperial Japan, or the former Soviet Union, that were too large and powerful. In the 21st century, the more typical problems come from places like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Haiti: countries that do not have government institutions that can guarantee the basic rule of law necessary for development or for the creation of democratic institutions.</p> <p>There is thus a twofold agenda that faces us. In the developed world, Europe faces a major crisis in its welfare state over the coming generations of declining population and unaffordable entitlements and regulation. But in the developing world, there is an absence of state-ness that prevents economic development and that serves as a breeding-ground for a host of problems such as refugees, disease, and terrorism. Consequently, there are very different agendas in the two parts of the world: to cut back the scope of the state in the developed world, but to strengthen the state in many parts of the developing world.</p> <p>The particular challenge we face is that we know relatively little of how to build strong political institutions in poor countries. Part of the conundrum is that development, whether economic or political, is never "done" by outsiders; it is a process that inevitably has to be driven by people within the society itself who know its habits and traditions, and who can take long-term responsibility for the development process. Outsiders simply assist in this effort. Political development is a process that is in many respects autonomous from economic development, though the two, as noted earlier, do interact in certain ways.</p> <p>What we need, then, and what <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em> did not supply, is a theory of political development that is independent of economics. State formation and state-building, how this happened historically, the role of violence, military competition, religion, and ideas more broadly, the effects of physical geography and resource endowments, why it happened first in some parts of the world and not in others &#150; these are all components of a larger theory that has yet to be elaborated. Samuel Huntington in his book <em><a href="http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=0300116209" target="_blank">Political Order in Changing Societies</a></em> helped to undermine the original version of modernisation theory by positing a theory of political decay and arguing that decay was just as likely as development. There has been a great deal of political decay in the past generation, and its sources need to be explored systematically.</p> <p>The final objection to the "end-of-history" hypothesis, which has been made in a variety of forms, concerns technology, and the possibility that the historical process that is driven by technological advance will ultimately be consumed by it. There are an endless variety of scenarios by which this could happen. The one that has been present to many Americans since 11 September 2001, is the possibility of nuclear or biological terrorism, though nuclear annihilation has of course always been a prospect since Hiroshima. What is different today is the democratisation of the means of violence, whereby very small, stateless groups have the possibility of acquiring weapons of vast destructive power.</p> <p>A second possible scenario is environmental. If some of the more dire predictions about global warming are correct, it may already be too late to make the sorts of adjustments in hydrocarbon use that will prevent massive climate change, or else the adjustment process will itself be so disruptive that it will kill the economic goose that is laying our technological golden eggs.</p> <p><b><em>Technology</em></b></p> <p>The fourth challenge is the one I wrote about in my book <em><a href="http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/our_posthuman_future.html" target="_blank">Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution</a></em> (2002), which is that our ability to manipulate ourselves biologically, whether through control over the genome or through psychotropic drugs, or through a future cognitive neuroscience, or through some form of life extension, will provide us with new approaches to social engineering that will raise the possibility of new forms of politics. </p> <p>I chose to write about this particular technological future because the threat is much more subtle than the one posed by nuclear weapons or climate change. Here the potentially bad or dehumanising consequences of technological advance are tied up with things like freedom from disease or longevity that people universally want, and will therefore be much more difficult to prevent. </p> <p>I have nothing useful to say about the likelihood of any of these technological futures; I am not a prophet or a "futurologist." I would observe that in the past, technological advance has created new possibilities for abating the negative consequences created by technology itself, but there is no necessary reason why this will always be the case.</p> <p>More broadly, my historicist view of human development has always been only weakly deterministic, unlike the strong determinism of Marxism-Leninism. I believe that there is a broad historical trend toward liberal democracy, and I think that there are a number of foreseeable challenges. The four that I have laid out are the ones that I believe are most urgent in the coming years. Weak determinism means that in the face of broad historical trends, statesmanship, politics, leadership, and individual choice remain absolutely critical to the actual course of historical development.</p> <p>The opportunities and risks that are posed by modern technology, for example, must be taken up as challenges by societies and dealt with through policies and institutions. Thus the future is really much more open than its economic, technological, or social preconditions may suggest. The political choices that are made by populations that vote and by the leaders of our different democracies will have large effects on the strength and quality of liberal democracy in the future. </p> <br /><p>From THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN by Francis Fukuyama. Copyright &copy; 2006 by Francis Fukuyama. Reprinted by permission Free Press, a Division of Simon &amp; Schuster, Inc., NY.</p></div> democracy & power francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Francis Fukuyama Original Copyright Mon, 01 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Francis Fukuyama 3496 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The 'end of history' revisited: Francis Fukuyama and his critics https://www.opendemocracy.net/democracy-fukuyama/intro_3493.jsp <p>Francis Fukuyama's name is once again everywhere. His latest book (titled <em><a href=http://yalepress.yale.edu/YupBooks/book.asp?isbn=0300113994 target=_blank>America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power and the Neoconservative Legacy</a></em> in the United States, <em><a href=http://www.profilebooks.co.uk/title.php?titleissue_id=344 target=_blank>After the Neocons: America at the Crossroads</a></em> in Britain) has provoked a firestorm of debate in and beyond Washington. A trenchant "goodbye to all that" to his erstwhile comrades in the neo-conservative movement, it has been reviewed in virtually every organ of political commentary, canvassed on countless blogs and websites. </p> <p>It would be false modesty for us not to point out that <b>openDemocracy</b> was ahead of the curve on this: a full eighteen months ago, in October 2004, we prefigured the current row in an article &#150; "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">Fukuyama's moment: a neocon schism opens</a>" that anatomised Fukuyama's defection and quickly became a reference-point in the flurry over it. </p> <p>But this is not the first time the political cosmopolis has been abuzz over Fukuyama. In the final months of 1989 his unusual essay "<a href=http://www.viet-studies.org/EndofHistory.htm target=_blank>The End of History?</a>" came to occupy centre-stage in the cultural conversation of the time and turned a previously unheard-of policy intellectual into a fixture of the zeitgeist. "Within a year", as Perry Anderson put it in his book <em><a href=http://www.versobooks.com/books/ab/a-titles/anderson_p_zone.shtml target=_blank>A Zone of Engagement</a></em>,"an arcane philosophical wisdom had become an exoteric image of the age, as Fukuyama's arguments sped round the media of the globe." </p> <p>That an article published in a relatively obscure journal (<em><a href=http://www.nationalinterest.org/ME2/default.asp target=_blank>The National Interest</a></em>) that relied pivotally on the ideas of an enigmatic philosopher (<a href=http://www.iep.utm.edu/k/kojeve.htm target=_blank>Alexandre Kojève</a>) could have made such an imprint around the world &#150; and before the Internet was around to disseminate it instantaneously &#150; was an extraordinary event. Fukuyama expanded the essay into a book, <em><a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/the_end_of_history.html target=_blank>The End of History and the Last Man</a></em>, published in 1992. If its impact was less sensational than the original article's, it was even more ambitious in scope: and its release occasioned a reprise of debate and criticism. </p> <p>Now, some seventeen years after the appearance of the article and some fourteen years after the publication of the book, Fukuyama critically revisits and reconsiders his argument in light of some of the criticisms levelled against it and in light of world affairs over the last decade and a half. The occasion for this reconsideration is the publication of a new paperback <a href=http://www.simonsays.com/content/book.cfm?sid=33&pid=515284 target=_blank>edition</a> of the book, for which Fukuyama has written a new Afterword. </p> <p><b>openDemocracy</b> is excited to be publishing that text, along with an accompanying symposium on it. We have invited a distinguished international ensemble of thinkers to weigh in on Fukuyama's reconsideration of his thesis. We will publish their pieces &#150; twelve in all &#150; along with a reply by Fukuyama himself at the forum's conclusion. </p> <p>The participants in the symposium come from across the globe: France (<a href=http://www.ceri-sciencespo.com/cherlist/roy.htm target=_blank>Olivier Roy</a>), the Netherlands and Argentina (<a href=http://sociology.uchicago.edu/faculty/sassen.html target=_blank>Saskia Sassen</a>), Egypt (<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1146">Saad Eddin Ibrahim</a>), Britain (<a href=http://politics-ir.arts.unsw.edu.au/staff/kitching.html target=_blank>Gavin Kitching</a>, <a href=http://www.polisci.ucla.edu/menu/people/faculty/anthony_pagden.php target=_blank>Anthony Pagden</a>, <a href=http://www.rogerscruton.com/ target=_blank>Roger Scruton</a>), Jamaica (<a href=http://www.columbia.edu/cu/anthropology/fac-bios/scott/faculty.html target=_blank>David Scott</a>), Pakistan (<a href=http://web.gc.cuny.edu/anthropology/fac_asad.html target=_blank>Talal Asad</a>), India (<a href=http://www.history.ucla.edu/lal/ target=_blank>Vinay Lal</a>), Canada (<a href=http://www.uregina.ca/arts/CRC/ target=_blank>Shadia Drury</a>), and the United States (<a href=http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~history/facultyPage.cgi?fac=maier target=_blank>Charles Maier</a>, <a href=http://its.law.nyu.edu/faculty/profiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=cv.main&personID=20000 target=_blank>Stephen Holmes</a>). They also represent varying intellectual disciplines: history (Pagden, Maier, Kitching, Lal), sociology (Sassen, Ibrahim, Roy), political science (Drury, Holmes), anthropology (Scott, Asad), philosophy (Scruton), and middle-east studies (Roy). </p> <p>We welcome readers to read, engage with and respond to this vital dialogue as it unfolds over the next two weeks. It promises to be the most bracing and most stimulating discussion yet of Fukuyama's landmark but largely misconstrued idea. <div><div class="pull_quote_article"><p><b>Also in openDemocracy on neo-conservatism, American foreign policy, and global politics:</b></p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1542">Nobel lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq</a>" <br />(October 2003)</p> <p>Mark Blitz, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=1577">Leo Strauss, the Straussians and American foreign policy</a>" <br />(November 2003)</p> <p>Danny Postel, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2190">Fukuyama's moment: a neocon schism opens</a>" (October 2004)</p> <p>John Mearsheimer, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=2522">Hans Morgenthau and the Iraq war: realism versus neo-conservatism</a>" <br />(May 2005)</p> <p>Ivan Krastev, "<a href="/articles/View.jsp?id=3486">The end of the 'freedom century'</a>" <br />(April 2006)</p> </div><p><b>A disturbing force</b></p> <p>In his new Afterword to <em>The End of History and the Last Man</em>, Fukuyama addresses the many misunderstandings and misrepresentations to which his thesis has been subjected. There is no need to cover the ground the author himself traverses, but it is worth noting briefly how pervasive such readings were. Indeed, to quote <a href=http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/Elberg/Anderson/anderson-con0.html target=_blank>Perry Anderson</a> once again, upon first encountering it the "great majority of Fukuyama's commentators in the world's press greeted his argument with incredulity". Indeed critics from across the ideological spectrum &#150; left, right, and centre &#150; were at once flummoxed and incensed by the thesis. </p> <p>Many interpreted Fukuyama literally to mean nothing else was going to happen anymore &#150; or at least nothing important. Not so: what he meant was not that historical <em>events</em> would stop happening but rather that, with the collapse of Soviet communism and fascism before it, there were no major competing visions to liberal democracy as a system and thus that we had reached an end-point in our "ideological evolution" as a species. One can of course debate that proposition &#150; as several of the participants in our symposium do &#150; but <em>that</em>, and not something else, is the proposition. </p> <p>Many others read the thesis as a form of unbridled American triumphalism, an unqualified celebration of the United States model of capitalist democracy, end of discussion. Not so: in fact, Fukuyama asserts that "the European Union is a much fuller real-world embodiment of the concept than is the contemporary United States." Moreover &#150; and this aspect almost entirely evaded comprehension &#150; the second half of the book's equation, the "last man", is in fact a dark cloud looming over the end of history: the spectre, taken from <a href=http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nietzsche/ target=_blank>Friedrich Nietzsche</a>, of life stripped of great passions or of ideals worth struggling for &#150; a bloodless bourgeois routine of consumption. </p> <p>The attacks on the thesis were manifold. It was not only those on the left but several conservatives who reacted with suspicion. <a href=http://www.gov.harvard.edu/faculty/shuntington/ target=_blank>Samuel Huntington</a> detected more than a whiff of Marxism in the argument. (Indeed Marx does figure in Fukuyama's mosaic, along with Hegel and Kojève, as an exponent of the <em>progressive</em> view of history that sees human societies <em>evolving</em>, moving in a particular direction and toward a goal, albeit not the one Marx envisioned.) </p> <p>I tend to agree with Anderson's claim (Anderson being a <a href=http://www.newleftreview.net/NLR23501.shtml target=_blank>Marxist</a>, incidentally) that "the outcry his original thesis provoked was a token, not of its ineptitude, but of its disturbing force." There was in fact an unmistakably disturbing force to Fukuyama's argument &#150; but it was precisely that disturbing force that was most arresting and challenging about it. Whatever one made of Fukuyama's politics, his argument confronted us with a set of first-order, big-picture questions &#150; about where we were "at" historically, about the <em>meaning</em> of the dramatic global events of the period, about the direction in which the world was moving, about the possibilities available to us. Even if one disagreed with Fukuyama's answers to these questions, these were &#150; and indeed remain &#150; essential questions, ones that are rarely posed with the boldness and clarity Fukuyama's thesis possessed.</p> <p>Needless to say, <a href=http://www.sais-jhu.edu/faculty/fukuyama/ target=_blank>Fukuyama's</a> thesis was &#150; is &#150; open to any number of objections. To his credit, in his essay he engages what he considers the most penetrating of the objections levelled against his argument over the years. He takes those objections seriously and proposes possible ways out of the dilemmas they identify. As our symposium will demonstrate, yet further objections will remain after the exercise. I know I'm not alone in looking forward to Fukuyama's response to his interlocutors. <b>openDemocracy</b> is proud to present this clarifying intellectual dialogue. </p> </div></p> democracy & power The Americas francis fukuyama: the end of history revisited Danny Postel Creative Commons normal Mon, 01 May 2006 23:00:00 +0000 Danny Postel 3493 at https://www.opendemocracy.net