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Analysis of the End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

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In order to go straight to the essence of the book “The End of History and the Last Man” written by Francis Fukuyama, it is worth to consider the section that occupies, in my opinion, one of the most prominent places - the struggle for recognition as the driving force of history. According to a writer, the combination of liberal democracy and capitalism has proved superiority to any alternative political system, because it can satisfy the basic desires of human nature. These basics imply desires for material goods and wealth, and the main one, desire for recognition of worth by others - the concept of Thumos by Plato. The two elements of Thumos are - the desire for recognition as an equal, and Megalothymia - the pursuit of recognition as exceptional. For people to exist in harmony, he argues, is necessary to use Isothymia, because any system that creates political inequality necessarily feeds the Megalothymia of one member, but liberal democracy can satisfy the Isothymia of all people at the same time without creating conflict. Therefore, this is the end of history, as a movement towards the goal of universal equality and freedom.

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For a counterweight, he prudently added, that no regime and no socio-economic system can satisfy everyone everywhere. And one of democracy's drawbacks is the inability of a society based on freedom and equality to provide space for the pursuit of excellence. Fukuyama believes that this contradiction is the most serious of all. In this regard, he uses the Nietzschean concept of “the last man' - who has does not have his own position, lost the ability to be reverent, does not believe and recognizes anything, except his comfort. The last man is a pacifist and conformist. In the society of the last people, there are no more differences between the strong and the weak, the outstanding and the mediocre. Mister Francis is worried that thanks to the Isothymian control of exclusivity, the great creativity, including science, art and philosophy, will die. This society of equality will become a machine for controlling and suppressing the geniuses, whose Megalothymia seems completely natural, and ethically justified. The total victory of the Isotymic average man - a slave who became the 'last man' leads to the impossibility of the existence of geniuses. And the suppression of the creators' natural human Megalothymia is the real internal problems of democracies, this is a contradiction that calls into question both the value of the democratic system itself and its viability. I also absolutely agree that the Masters become those who put their lives at stake, are not afraid to take risks, so the rest obey and become slaves.

However, the most ironic thing for me in this book is that his main argument about ensuring the quenching of the Isothymia is, on the contrary, a huge problem for democracy because if you are a minority your vote is meaningless and equal only formally. Also, I liked the arguments mentioned above about the end of art, but this threat also seems unlikely to me, since if our natural desire for recognition can not be overcome, then the desire for creativity too.

The disadvantage of this book is that Fukuyama does not appear here completely as an innovator, he ponders the theories of Thomas Hobbes, Alexander Kozhev, John Locke, especially Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche, criticizes Marx. But this is also an advantage of the book since in it, is possible to familiarize yourself with the main thoughts of all these philosophers at once.

Ultimately, my personal subjective opinion of this book is, unfortunately, rather negative than positive. Fukuyama's theory is too obsessed with the West and the sacredness of democracy. His arguments are selective, the historical approach is subjective and ethnocentric. I think that what Fukuyama called the end of history was rather the end of the Cold War era, as well as the victory of democracy over communism. However, democracy still has rivals and the fact that it satisfies our desires and Isothymia does not mean its automatic superiority over all other political systems. Now the opinion that democratic countries are good and authoritarian is bad is rooted, but this is far from the case. He argues that the western path to modernism is universally recognized, therefore non-Western countries will also follow this path, and the goal of modernization and development obliges all societies to respect the values of the West. This is a pragmatic point of view because instead of considering several aspects of the political and social environment that threaten the security and well-being of mankind, he decides to emphasize that people are fortunate to be present at the last stage of human history. However, not everyone is lucky, especially the environment. We see that democracy nevertheless gives runs into corruption and inequality, poverty, and of course environmental irresponsibility, which becomes a bigger and bigger problem every year.

In “crisis zones”, such as Afghanistan, where the imposition of democracy with the help of peacekeepers, however, so far brings conflicting results. Therefore, whether the Fukuyama theory has become a theory of practice is a very contentious issue. A very simple conclusion can be drawn from this - democracy is not suitable for all nations, and, at least, it cannot be adapted by invasions and force. Similarly, it was not discussed whether the development would be interrupted if US global leadership in the economic sector will be disrupted due to the growing economic power of India and, in particular, China.

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