The end of history seems so quaint now. Put forward by Francis Fukuyama in his 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, the concept posited that with the fall of communism, liberal, capitalist democracy became a kind of end state for the world. It was the big-H teleological view of History espoused by Hegel—and, later, Marx—and the 21st century was supposed to be its apotheosis. It was, of course, an idea soon undone, first by 9/11, then by the disastrous invasion of Iraq and the rise of ISIS’s Islamofascism, and, more recently, by the election of authoritarians such as America’s Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, and the rise of populist nationalism in Europe. History, it seems, still has history to make. Thinkers on both the left and right derided Fukuyama’s idea for years.
Nonetheless, perhaps recent events also merit a rethink. A piece in Aeon magazine this spring...
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