The anti-“End of History and the Last Man”

Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man has often been misconstrued. But, it did argue for the long term trend of the ascendancy of democracy and market values. Though Fukuyama did not necessarily predict the universal dominance of Western liberalism, that is one of the corollaries many associate with The End of History and the Last Man.

About 10 years ago I read a book which in many ways stood at total odds with Fukuyama’s thesis, Beyond the Global Culture War by Adam K Webb. I was very skeptical of Webb’s thesis, but intrigued by it. So much so that I did a 10 questions with him.

With hindsight I now believe that many of Webb’s contentions are much more relevant today in 2017 than they were when he wrote Beyond the Global Culture War. Though Webb was not prescient in the details, I think he did get at the fundamental limits of the Western liberal paradigm which were beginning to be exposed in the wake of 9/11.

(note, he has a newer book, Deep Cosmopolis: Rethinking World Politics and Globalization, which I have not read)

3 thoughts on “The anti-“End of History and the Last Man”

  1. I’m concerned that a certain segment of people, or maybe in the end all youthful strong-hearted people, in every society, simply can’t handle comity-compromise for more than .0 seconds before they/we are already looking for war with their/our neighbor. Why? Animal drive for hormonal high/heightened ‘awareness’ via violent/strong emotion. Sure you might attempt to contain via vessels of sanctioned religious frenzy, or slow-burning ‘ethical’ self restraining ‘flame within’ like hyper-ethical puritans or quakers or bhuddists. But it seems that flame will always burn through its containment, find its enemy in its very own sibling, and away into mace-swinging we shall always go, singing our lusty adrenalized animal song.

    I hope that’s a wrong, too-bleak characterization, and not a real bedrock observation. I’d like for some decent non-Klingon humanity to make it out into the stars…and not just keep looping around terrestrial religio-campfires.

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