Read Het einde van de geschiedenis en de laatste mens by Francis Fukuyama Free Online
Book Title: Het einde van de geschiedenis en de laatste mens|
The author of the book: Francis Fukuyama
Date of issue: April 2004
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 37.20 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.4
ISBN 13: 9789025421588
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Fukuyama has been an ideological whipping boy since 2001 for his supposed remarks on the 'end of history' being interpreted as triumphal praise for the United States for winning the cold war. Much of this criticism is largely misplaced. He does start off with the bold assertion that liberal-capitalist-democracy is the end point of history, but uses the rest of his chapters to back off from this assertion into a more tepid series of observations.
He does not support liberal-capitalist-democracy from a moral grounding, but instead notes its ability to survive and continue to reproduce itself after repeated economic crises, and its ability to outlast other alternatives from the far-right (fascism), and the far-left (communism). Its status as part of the end of history is taken from Hegel, interpreted by Kojeve and a bit of Kant. Fukuyama draws on these to say that the overall 'meaning' of history itself, or at least the general trend of it, leads to the continued spread of liberal-capitalist-democracy, and its percieved effectiveness in allowing the individual to act and express according to their own personal liberties in a universal, if homogeneous, state.
Despite this, it is still easy to pick apart his argument. The greatest possible drawback is that the historical conditions which led to the spread of liberal-capitalist-democracy might not necessarily continue into the 21st century and beyond. A chief example among these is the economic catastrophe of 2007, and how many have perceived this international system has being unable to meet the needs of its citizens.
Others might point to the resurgence of radical political ideologies from both the left and right. I won't speak too much on either of these in the United States, but instead the more credible threat might be the internal dissolution of the middle class due to the economic crisis, as well as a flawed emphasis in policy - focusing instead only on aiding financial capital, and cutting social services to the middle and lower classes is an incomplete method of addressing recovery. Others might point to an 'endpoint of history' like that of the Russian or Chinese models. I can't speak about Russia that well, but there are multiple domestic issues in the Chinese social and economic system which are a major impedance to any path as a 'global superpower' on par with the US.
Still the biggest contention of the book is imposing a study of teleology onto history. That is, whether human history has any grand trends or purposes behind it. That question is a bit harder to answer, on the grounds that any correct prediction beyond an extrapolation of trends in the short scale and under limited circumstances is exceptionally difficult to accomplish. I might offer as a mere suggestion instead that the only constant in human history is chaos.
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Read information about the authorYoshihiro Francis Fukuyama (born 27 October 1952) is an American philosopher, political economist, and author.
Francis Fukuyama was born in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. His father, Yoshio Fukuyama, a second-generation Japanese-American, was trained as a minister in the Congregational Church and received a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago. His mother, Toshiko Kawata Fukuyama, was born in Kyoto, Japan, and was the daughter of Shiro Kawata, founder of the Economics Department of Kyoto University and first president of Osaka Municipal University in Osaka. Fukuyama's childhood years were spent in New York City. In 1967 his family moved to State College, Pennsylvania, where he attended high school.
Fukuyama received his Bachelor of Arts degree in classics from Cornell University, where he studied political philosophy under Allan Bloom. He earned his Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, studying with Samuel P. Huntington and Harvey C. Mansfield, among others. Fukuyama has been affiliated with the Telluride Association since his undergraduate years at Cornell, an educational enterprise that was home to other significant leaders and intellectuals, including Steven Weinberg and Paul Wolfowitz.
Fukuyama is currently the Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy and Director of the International Development Program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, located in Washington, DC.
Fukuyama is best known as the author of The End of History and the Last Man, in which he argued that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is largely at an end, with the world settling on liberal democracy after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Fukuyama predicted the eventual global triumph of political and economic liberalism.
What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such... That is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
He has written a number of other books, among them Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity and Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. In the latter, he qualified his original 'end of history' thesis, arguing that since biotechnology increasingly allows humans to control their own evolution, it may allow humans to alter human nature, thereby putting liberal democracy at risk. One possible outcome could be that an altered human nature could end in radical inequality. He is a fierce enemy of transhumanism, an intellectual movement asserting that posthumanity is a highly desirable goal.
The current revolution in biological sciences leads him to theorize that in an environment where science and technology are by no means at an end, but rather opening new horizons, history itself cannot therefore be said to be, as he once thought, at an end.
In another work The Great Disruption: Human Nature and the Reconstruction of Social Order, he explores the origins of social norms, and analyses the current disruptions in the fabric of our moral traditions, which he considers as arising from a shift from the manufacturing to the information age. This shift is, he thinks, normal and will prove self-correcting, given the intrinsic human need for social norms and rules.
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