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Fukuyama S Endism
To hope for the end of history is human. To expect it to happen is unrealistic. To plan for it is disastrous. (Huntington, 43) These are the closing sentences in Samuel Huntington s critical response to Francis Fukuyama s essay on the end of history. The theory of endism, hypothesized by Fukuyama, is not convincing because he over looks the challenges presented, ignores the proceedings in much of the world and doesn t account for natural human tendencies.

To begin with, a clear definition of what Francis Fukuyama means with the ambiguous phrase, the end of history is needed. In his own word, it entails the end point of man s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. (Fukuyama, 6) So, history, as we read it from text books and newspapers, will cease to continue as society reaches its progressive peak. This precipice, overlooking human development in one direction and history-less oblivion in the other, takes the form of status quo American political and ideological configuration. According to Fukuyama, in order to have arrived at this model of human existence we had to follow a preordained path to success which begins with tribally constructed communities, followed by slave-owning and then theocratically and finally democratically based societies.

To be more specific, endism refers to not only the dwindling of history but more precisely, the disappearance of war. Relations between states in the form of war have been recurrent throughout our existence and have even become considered the norm, thus, war is often considered the framework of human history. Not only is this idea accepted by historians, it is also commonly expressed in everyday speech to convey points in time in reference to major wars, rather than using exact dates.

Since the 1945, or the End of World War II, we ve been experiencing an interruption in the continual international hostility, which is referred to as the zone of peace or the long peace. This period is a marked by decrease in war between democratic countries, spanning an extraordinary 50 years. This absence of war in the last half a century is Fukuyama s evidence for endism.

One must not fail to point out that there has not been any lack of war in our world in the last 5 decades. Clashes in the Middle East, civil war in Africa and coups d etat in numerous countries have not declined simultaneously with the decline of war between democracies. Fukuyama explains that this is because, although America and other developed countries have reached a status of perfection, there are still many less developed states which are stuck in the mire of the past. In these lagging societies, lay the origin of violent conflict and erroneous ideology which reminds us of what we once were, back before we ended history. No doubt countries in the Middle east, sub-Saharan Africa and other regions of the world are diligently following their destined courses of emulating Europe and North America.

Admitting the challenges to his endism theory, religion and nationalism are outlined by Fukuyama as current trends which put a dent in the progression of nations out of the past as well as plaguing countries which already find themselves out of history. He admits that, One is inclined to say that the revival of religion in some way attests to a broad unhappiness with the impersonality and spiritual vacuity of liberal consumerist societies. (Fukuyama,12) In other words, people turn to religion when they find themselves devoid of spiritual support from an imperfect liberal democracy or, alternately, in nations where religion is the cultural base, democracy seems too fragile in religious essence catch on. He makes the argument that Islam is the only religion which has forged its way up to influence government and that no other will follow. But hasn t Islam had a great political affect on the world?

Fukuyama doesn t worry about the rise in religious fundamentalism because he finds it hard to believe that it will take on any universal significance. ( Fukuyama,12)

Nationalism, on the other hand, has more politically focused agendas than religion, so one would consider it a greater threat to democracy. Fukuyama doesn t put fault on liberalism, in general as the source of nationalism but rather on, the fact that the liberalism in question is incomplete. (Fukuyama, 13) In other words, if the democracy is true and accurate, there will be no nationalistic or religious upheaval. Here, he allows himself absolute freedom in the definition of liberal democracies in order to rule out these two element which could be signs of human unrest within the democratic system.

By Fukuyama s unclear standards has there ever been a liberal democracy? He would not be able to consider the United States a true democracy because we have on occasion experienced major flaws in governmental proceedings. The recent representative democratic presidential election is a perfect example of this, where the elected president was not chosen by the majority of Americans but rather by 5 justices. He is vague too in his definitions of the end of history and what a constitutes a liberal democracy.

In addition to democracy, two other functional models of government, namely communism and fascism, pose threats to Fukuyama s regard to democracy as the only form of practicable government. He puts to rest one threat immediately with by stating that, Fascism was destroyed as a living ideology by World War II (Fukuyama, 10). Not for lack of support, but due the imperfect fundamental structure, it failed to be successful a competitor to the democratic government and from the beginning was bound to self-destruct (Fukuyama, 10). Communism looms more pronouncedly in the international arena and has been...
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Fukuyama's Endism. EssayMania.com. Retrieved on 12 Oct, 2010 from