The rule of law and institutions would supplant power politics and tribal divisions.Supranational bodies like the European Union seemed to embody those ideals.Apart from assisting in the preparation of "talking points" for the Secretary of State, he's been besieged with telephone calls from book editors and agents eager to cash in on his famous article. "I don't understand it myself," Fukuyama says quietly, sipping a Coke.
The "end of history" was always more about ideas than events.
For that reason, Fukuyama's most vehement critics over the years were not right-wing nationalists but thinkers on the left who reject the dogma of free markets.
"The Republicans have been at this for quite a while already and it's going to accelerate in these four years." "When democracies start turning on themselves and undermining their own legitimacy, then you're in much more serious trouble," he said.
International institutions don't seem to be faring any better.
Moreover, said Fukuyama, "there really was never any investment in building a shared sense of European identity.” But while the West is lurching through a period of profound uncertainty, Fukuyama calls for patience, not panic.
"We don't know how it's all going to play out," he said.Fukuyama thinks the European Union is "definitely unraveling" due to a series of overlapping mistakes.The creation of the eurozone "was a disaster" and the continued inability to develop a collective policy on immigration has deepened discontent.It turned out to be a horrible thing," Le Pen thundered. "Globalization really does seem to produce these internal tensions within democracies that these institutions have some trouble reconciling," he said.Combined with grievances over immigration and multiculturalism, it created room for the "demagogic populism" that catapulted Trump into the White House. "I have honestly never encountered anyone in political life who I thought had a less suitable personality to be president," Fukuyama said of the new president.Global warming, nuclear proliferation, chaos in Eastern Europe. Post-modernism, post-history, post-culture (to borrow the critic George Steiner's term) - we're beyond that now. Danto theorizes on "the end of art." Bill Mc Kibben, a former staff writer for The New Yorker, issues a dire report on "The End of Nature." Clearly, it's late in the day. The author, Francis Fukuyama, a State Department official, was unknown to the public, but his article was accompanied by "responses" from Irving Kristol, Allan Bloom, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and others notable for their gloomy prognostications. What is happening in the world, claimed his eloquent essay, is nothing less than "the triumph of the West." How else to explain the free elections in Poland and Hungary? Will was among the first to weigh in, with a Newsweek column in August; two weeks later, Fukuyama's photograph appeared in Time. " was "laying the foundation for a Bush doctrine." Not bad for a 16-page article in a foreign-policy journal with a circulation of 6,000."The sun is about to set on the post-industrial era," declares the economist Lester C. On the face of it, the lead article in the summer issue of The National Interest, a neoconservative journal published in Washington, seemed like more bad news. The magazine's readers were in for a surprise. The French quarterly Commentaire announced that it was devoting a special issue to "The End of History? Translations of the piece were scheduled to appear in Dutch, Japanese, Italian and Icelandic. Unlike that other recent philosophical cause celebre, Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind," Fukuyama's essay was the work of a representative from what is often referred to in academic circles as the real world. YOU HAVE TO PASS THROUGH A METAL detector to get to Francis Fukuyama's office in the State Department, and the silver plaques beside the doors - INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS MATTERS, NUCLEAR RISK REDUCTION CENTER - confirm that this isn't a philosophy department.But if the havoc of the Great Recession and the growing clout of authoritarian states like China and Russia hadn't already upset the story, Brexit and the election of President Trump last year certainly did.Now the backlash of right-wing nationalism on both sides of the Atlantic is in full swing.Plush carpets, chandeliers, a sideboard out of Sturbridge Village, oil portraits of 19th-century dignitaries on the walls - an environment conducive to shoptalk about Hegel.It's mid-September, and the arrival of Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze for meetings with Fukuyama's boss, James A. "It's a busy time," says Fukuyama, apologetically.