End Of History Essay

End Of History Essay-17
According to Fukuyama, high levels of social trust permit the organization of large, multilevel corporations and economies of scale, as evident in prosperous countries such as the United States, Germany, and Japan.However, in nations such as China, Italy, and France, where trust is either insular, provincial, or weakly linked to the state, the ability to expand beyond small, family-owned businesses into the global marketplace is hampered.Far from extolling this prospect, Fukuyama laments the passing of “history,” which he concludes will usher in “a very sad time.” In this post-historical era, Fukuyama notes, the excitement of revolutionary fervor and ideological possibility will give way to the sterile solving of economic, technological, and environmental problems, and the perpetual boredom of consumerism.

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The “last man,” a concept borrowed from nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, refers to the spiritless inheritors of modern liberal democracy who, in a world devoid of ideological causes, languish in self-satisfaction and mediocrity.

In Trust, Fukuyama examines the relationship between culture, social behavior, and economics, particularly the importance of trust as essential “social capital” that determines the level of economic activity between individuals and groups.

Biographical Information Fukuyama was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in New York City by his Japanese parents.

His father, Yoshio, was a Congregationalist minister and professor of religion. from Cornell in 1974, Fukuyama began graduate work in comparative literature under Paul de Man at Yale University, then spent six months in Paris where he visited the classrooms of preeminent literary theorists Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.

Fukuyama also asserts that increasing mistrust breeds corresponding increases in crime, litigation, and corruption.

In the United States, Fukuyama observes, declining rates of participation in voluntary associations indicate a weakening of social commitment in general, and thus an erosion of valuable social capital that is difficult to replenish and without which society suffers detrimental effects.Despite this apparent “triumph of the West,” Fukuyama notes that international conflict will by no means cease, but that future wars, uprisings, and regional disputes will pit “historical” factions (those who still cling to outmoded, discredited ideologies) against the “post-historical” embodiments of liberal democracy.From this perspective, Fukuyama contends that it is not necessarily important that all societies develop into healthy, prosperous liberal democracies, but that none seriously upholds the pretense that it can offer a superior, viable alternative to liberal democracy.Along these lines, Fukuyama asserts that the chief rivals to liberal democracy—Fascism and Communism—have run their course and ended in disrepute; Fascism was vanquished with the defeat of Germany, Italy, and Japan during World War II, and Communism has been disaffirmed by recent political and economic concessions in the Soviet Union and China, and the reunification of Germany.Thus, as Fukuyama asserts, in the world of ideas, Western liberal democracy has emerged as the unchallenged victor over all other competing ideologies, with only religious fundamentalism and nationalism remaining as potent, though inferior, adversaries.Fukuyama takes up this subject in The Great Disruption, in which he trains his focus on the deterioration of morality and civic values in America and other developed countries between the 1960s and 1990s.His analysis, supplemented with much statistical data and graphs, suggests that the troubling vices—such as divorce, illegitimacy, sexual promiscuity, violent crime, and drug abuse—that have eroded social capital are indicative of a rise of selfish individualism and a lack of regard for traditional authority.Fukuyama's essay, revised and expanded in The End of History and the Last Man (1992), attracted an outpouring of critical commentary and debate in both academic and mainstream media circles.In subsequent works, Trust (1995) and The Great Disruption (1999), he similarly attempted to elucidate and anticipate the grand forces at work behind the major social, political, and economic developments in the contemporary world.,” published in the small-circulation journal The Public Interest in the summer of 1989.In this sixteen-page treatise that captured international attention, he proposed that the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe signaled the end of historical progress and the de facto victory of liberal democracy over all other forms of political ideology.


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