When I was done with this book, all I had in my head was a faint buzzing. I took it initially to be a sign of incomprehension but later figured it out to be one of weariness. The weariness stemmed from the theories that the author postulates in the book. A quick look at the reviews tells me that I am not the only one with the same ideas. According to Fukuyama, we reach the end of history when we achieve the liberal-capitalist democratic form of government. He is quick to tell us that this does not mean that events of historical importance will not occur from then on but simply that historical evolution will grind to a halt at this point. All very interesting thoughts but then he fails to observe some of the most notable players on the world stage.
First and foremost, in all the discourse that Fukuyama gives about liberal democracy not one word is mentioned of China. A single party dominated superpower stood looming over the World and yet Fukuyama missed to interpret its importance or the contradiction to his theory. Then again there is Russia which while outwardly called a democracy is also a reminder of the power that authoritarian governments can assume in today’s political scenario. This forms only part of the counter –argument. Then again was the insistence that with the curtains drawn on the Cold War, global conflict had come to an end. In my reading of the counter theses, this was the one point that met with the most vehement opposition. The fact that the author would overlook the escalating issues brought in by religious fundamentalism was met with much scorn. To quote George Will : ’History had just returned from vacation’. Of course, he did come out with detailed points defending his view later on but then accommodating these in the book would have given it much more credibility.
The fact that I could dig up and read so much about this book and its postulates is proof enough that it is an interesting book. I do not necessarily agree with 80% of the book’s contents but totally loved the way it made my mind work and find all the counter arguments to what was in here.