Customer Review

33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intresting idea but I do not share his view., 18 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The End of History and the Last Man (Paperback)
Francis Fukuyama has wrote a very well researched piece of work, his theory of the End of History is intriguing and indeed makes some very good points regarding the workings of the human psyche and the desire for recognition (the Thymos). A desire that, he argues, is massaged best by Liberal Democracy as opposed to its opponents.
He documents the (then) recent spread of Liberal Democracy into every part of the globe, and sees this as 'proof' of the 'Liberal victory'. However I feel his work is rather optimistic and is too quick to sweep today's social problems such as drugs, crime (etc) under the carpet, and fails to seroiously recognise the new ideological opponents of Liberal Democracy such as Islam and Environmentalism. I feel he is also too fast in disregarding the old ideological opponents of Liberal Democracy, namely Communism and Fascism, that have indeed revised their own doctrines in recent years. He sees Communism in a very black and white manner. There is more than one road to Communism, but he fails/refuses to contemplate that Communism could ever lead to the free and equal society that Marx envisioned as the 'end'. Which I found very irritating at times. Mr Fukuyama's vision of the Communist 'end', for some reason, only extends, in his view, to the harsh inhumane Stalinist society that developed in Russia. That is why I would recommend that anyone who reads This book also reads Derrida's Spectres of Marx as well.
The idea that we have reached the 'end' is something that even Fukuyama seems to keep questioning himself throughout the book, although he does clearly believe we will eventually get there.
He leaves us with the admirable vision of democracy forever, unfortunately I cannot be that optimstic, as the megalothymotic (the desire to be recognised as better than someone) wishes of of some individuals like Stalin and Hitler will always reverse the egalitarian progression of man and womankind. Indeed has not Slobodan Milosevic's recent actions just proved this very point?
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