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on 21 July 2016
Careful now, this book may touch you in a profound way, for it may affect your view of the world. In the last pages, you will not heave a sigh of relief of the kind “yeah, democracy will eventually win”. No. In the end you are left with your mind churning, only one question left: Is that creature, the democrat man, is he going to survive?
This is not a praise to capitalism and profits, as some people think. It is not an economic textbook, nor a mere political science book. Rather it is the struggle of the rational man Vs the beast and the irrational man. It is Liberal Democracy Vs totalitarianism and illiberal ideologies of every kind. For, it is evident that capitalism and surplus may well exist in regions that suppress human rights or having a bad record on freedom of speech. But it is only in liberal democracy that human dignity is respected. Human rights and equality are better protected in a “universal” way in liberal democracies.
Fukuyama sought arguments from the greatest minds of all time: Plato, Hegel, Immanuele Kant and Nietzsche. Fascinating, from “the battle for pure prestige”, “the Universal and Homogeneous State” to “Men without chests”. And you don’t have to be an academic or a political analyst to read it. Do not miss it!
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on 10 February 2013
Fukuyama writes very well, he engages you right from the beginning and takes you on a mesmerising journey that includes tables, figures, stats, quotes, everything he needs to posit his theory of American democracy being the solution for all the world's ills. And while reading it you find yourself slowly being convinced and taking note of the various catchy statements he makes at the end of each chapter. However when you finish the book and realise its 2013 and not 1989/1992 you will see the flaws in the argument and how far away we actually are from the End of History. I liked it though and I'm sure there are plenty in the US administration who believe this theory may actually be correct and have desires on implementing it.
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on 21 February 2015
I totally disagree with this as I am an old socialist but the guy is persuasive and lucid on the merits of a Hegelian reading of historical development - readable, provocative and influential - highly recommened.
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on 24 May 2017
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on 26 March 2017
This is a great book. - very interesting and insightful. I would greatly recommend this book to anyone interested in politics and/or history of philosophy!
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on 26 August 2014
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great book, quite an intellectual read.
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on 12 January 2015
Fascinating .
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on 6 January 2013
The year is 1993. The Berlin wall has fallen. The West has won the Cold War. The West's ideology seems triumphant as Communism has been discredited around the world. In this heady political milieu, Francis Fukuyama posits that History has ended because it is directional and inexorably leads all people to choose the most rational form of government: liberal democracy. Twenty years on, Fukuyama's thesis seems questionable.

The End of History is based on the Hegelian conception of history as the unfolding of Spirit. History, defined by Hegel as the progress of mankind to higher levels of rationality and freedom, terminates in the achievement of full self-consciousness. Fukuyama argues that mankind seems to be making Hegelian progress for two reasons: economics and the need for self-recognition.

1. ECONOMICS. Modern economies need to be rationally organised. Plans need to be made and products produced using rational means. As such, reason and efficiency become the animating features of a modern economy. In the process, rational means of production undermine traditional sources of authority such as clan ties and religion.

2. SELF-RECOGNITION. Various interest groups in a modern country vie for power in order to be 'recognisd'. People, being social creatures, want to have their voices heard. The only system that guarantees that the voices of competing interest groups will indeed be heard is liberal democracy

So far, so good.

The End of History was written at the end of the Cold War when Russia was comatose and China had not yet emerged on the world stage. Fast forward twenty years and the story is different. China is the second-largest economy in the world and is emerging as a counter weight to the West. A resurgent Russia has weathered the debilitating storms of the post-Communist era. And both countries are decidedly not liberal democracies. According to Fukuyama, we were at the end of History in 1993. Apparently, Fukuyama missed something.

The main weakness in Fukuyama's thesis - and its underlying Hegelian foundation - is the notion that there is directionality in history; that History has a goal which will unfold by and by. This is not only a weakness, it is a dangerous notion because it glibly justifies the status quo.

In essence, Fukuyama's thesis is an ode to the victors of the Cold War; he seems to be saying, 'Why not pat ourselves on the back? Guess why we (the West) are dominant? Well, because we are the culmination of History; all of History has been leading us to this point.' Such thinking is intellectual cowardice since it does not examine power relationships. Instead, it papers over the real human misery that the powerful inflict on the less powerful. Afterall, if the powerful are only playing their part in the unfolding of a universal spirit of History, why should one question imperialism, colonisation, slavery and other shameful episodes through which the powerful have dispossessed the powerless (in the name of a greater good)?

While reading the book, Fukuyama's thesis - and indeed Hegel's - felt oddly familiar to me: I had heard it before in Sunday School. Fukuyama has repacked the millennial promises of a New Jerusalem (in the Book of Revelations) into a secular narrative and presented it as definitive History. It is not clear to me why there is rational directionality in history and why the end thereof should be 'Christian'. Fukuyama does not explain this well.

Are we are all destined to be liberal democrats (in the Western mould)? Fukuyama assumes that there is one way of coming to terms with modernity - the Western way. As such, he does not pay adequate attention to the traditions of non-Western cultures and how these cultures might embrace modernity on their own terms. Despite the considerable weaknesses of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the End of History because it is very well-written and quite engaging. Yet, I was unconvinced by Fukuyama's arguments. My recommendation: Read the End of History because it is an influential and interesting book; however, be skeptical about its universalist secular eschatology.
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on 3 November 2015
excellent product, excellent service
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