The Fukuyama Thesis, Thirty Years On
by Mark Wegierski
Initial drafts of this response to Fukuyama’s article go back to November 1989.
Francis Fukuyama, ‘The End of History?’, The National Interest no 16 (Summer 1989), pp. 3-1; and Alan Bloom, et al. ‘Responses to Fukuyama’, The National Interest no 16 (Summer 1989), pp. 19-35
Fukuyama’s article caught the attention of those who study political philosophy, and who are interested in the future of the West. His article has been seen as a daring éclat on “the end of history”, but certain aspects of these matters, it could be argued, have been poorly represented in the debate. There is the lack of a perspective rooted in the writings of thinkers such as Martin Heidegger, George Parkin Grant, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jacques Ellul. Fukuyama has not entered into a dialogue with these thinkers.
Generally speaking, the thesis of “the end of history” has been received in two main ways: some persons, while embracing the foreseen triumph of liberal democracy and capitalism, have expressed greater or lesser reservations about its completeness and permanence; while others argued that socialism, for example, was still a worthwhile, viable alternative.
Professor Bloom received the thesis very warmly and celebrated the future triumph of liberal democracy, albeit tempered with a curious reference to the “fascist” threat. Considering how opposed Professor Bloom was to many aspects of contemporary American life, as in his coruscating Closing of the American Mind, his embracing of full‑blown liberal democracy seems odd. Continue reading