The danger of a book like this is that it can reinforce or pander to some people's prejudices - after the fall of Communism we in the West did deserve a metaphorical pat on the back, but that's a long way from just kicking back as saying "well folks, this is as good as it gets". A cursory reading of "The End of History" would no doubt assure the armchair warriors that all's well with the world now the Reds have gone.
BUT, Fukuyama is not so sure as that. He puts forward an hypothesis about the triumph of liberal democracy (this is what human history has been leading up to) but utterly fails to prove that hypothesis. That's not to say that the hypothesis is not worthy of thought and debate - Fukuyama is at least to be congratulated for that. What I found less satisfactory was the quality of argument and analysis found in the book, and I'm no professional historian or philosopher. Just two among many examples - Fukuyama classes the USA and Great Britain as a "liberal democracies" from, respectively, 1790 and 1848: utterly astounding. I was equally perplexed by this:
"A century of Marxist thought has accustomed us to think of capitalist societies as highly inegalitarian, but the truth is that they are far more egalitarian in their social effects than the agricultural societies they replaced". Well so what? Last time I was in Rome, I noticed they were no longer throwing Christians to the lions.Read more ›