You are on page 1of 6

DAVID GODSPOWER

A BOOK REVIEW OF FRANCIS FUKUYAMA’S

THE END OF HISTORY and THE LAST MAN.

INTRODUCTION

The book THE END OF THE HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN is written by Francis

Fukuyama. Francis Fukuyama is a former deputy director of USA State Department policy

planning staff. The book has a very attracting title, which compel a person to think upon that

how a technological advanced world could move towards the end of its very own history; does

the writer wants to say something in ironical manner or there is something special in the book.

There are various sources of information given in this book; the writer has a complete command

over the current issues and he has mentioned the past issues with the respect to present world.

This book is written in five parts.


Part 1: AN OLD QUESTION ASKED ANEW

Fukuyama proves the need of viewing development of the world's system in the course of

universal history, which was first stated by Hegel. Here, Fukuyama shows in a logical manner

that history of all countries is going to end when every country accepts liberal democracy as the

only true system of government. He is not asserting that events will stop from happening. By the

end of history, he implies that there will not be any progress or development of new political and

social institutions as all important issues will be set based on two reasons- ECONOMIC and so

called STRUGGLE FOR RECOGNITION.

Man has passed through various forms of government such as monarchy, aristocracy, fascist and

communist dictatorship but at the end the only form of government which has survived is

democracy. Fukuyama has talked about two kinds of democracies:

1. Formal Democracy (Dictatorial Government),

2. Real Democracy (Liberal Democracy).

PART 2: THE OLD AGE OF MAN KIND

Fukuyama, addresses to modern science as one of the most important drive in the human science.

Fukuyama is trying to find the mechanism within science that would explain ‘directional and

logical consistency’ of the History. The importance of science in development of societies is

stressed upon several reasons:

Firstly, technology gives countries military privileges that assure their safety outside the menaces

of war.

Secondly, scientific developments give way to the modernized production, which in turn

guarantees accumulation of wealth and satisfaction of consumption needs. Therefore, science


and modern technology dictates logical development and evolution in the direction of capitalism,

and, thus, liberal political democracy, where a great attention is given to innovations and

information.

While we are talking about the democracy, we must know what our author think about

democracy in the context of industrialization. Well, he regards democracy as a struggle in the

context of industrialization.

PART 3: THE STRUGGLE FOR RECOGNITION

Fukuyama asserts that people act in accordance to their desires, and minds. People give some

value to them and demand acknowledgement of their being worthy from others. Basing his logic

on Hegel’s views, Fukuyama draws the line from fight for equal rights to establishing self esteem

(recognition by others), which in turn, leads to a liberal democracy, thus leading to the end of

history. Therefore, having explained ‘struggle for recognition’, the author connects economic

and political issues of his work that leads to the true liberal political democracy.

PART 4: LEAPING OVER RHODES

There is a very nice concept given in the second last part of the Book. It seems that it is with the

rest to Marx and Communism. Fukuyama looks at how struggle for recognition can influence

other parts of human life as culture, religion, work, etc. He tries to predict how struggle for

recognition can show its worth. However, the author also states that under liberal democracy the

struggle for recognition in order to be superior to someone is substituted with the struggle for

equal recognition.

There is one thing which clearly could be seen and that is raising the military capabilities it has

been happening till today that powerful armies capture the state but this must be clarified that
they can cause more than a state could hold. Recently we have the example of United States of

America.

The most important chapter under the part four of this book is THE UNREALITY OF

REALISM. Definitely this led us to work upon several important issues which have been raised

in here. Then is the POWER of the POWERLESS. Later, there is National Interests and Toward

a Pacific Union. First of all we all need to know what realism is. Well that has emerged from the

group of people who consider everything in a very realistic perspective.

Then comes the point ‘Power of the powerless’; that means to a very extent it tries to avoid

war. Everyone wants to live in a peaceful state of nature, where one can find harmony. In a

realist Mind the struggle for power goes on and on. Francis Fukuyama says that there are

Countries trying to get freedom and establish themselves as a strong democracy. Nationalism is a

specifically modern phenomenon because it replaces the relationship of lordship and bondage

with mutual and equal recognition.

PART 5: THE LAST MAN

The title of Fukuyama’s book is The Last Man. The Last man is the citizen of a capitalist

democracy where equality is practiced. Throughout the complete book one thing could be seen

and that is Fukuyama’s classical liberalism. He has some other views about the communities. He

thinks that each society will demand high respect from the other community; Fukuyama doesn’t

want to sacrifice the rights of democratic citizenship to the intolerable communities. Each is

bound by its own morality. This may ruin the complete theory of Fukuyama’s point of view that

is recognition of individual priority. But still there is assumption in history that man is doing

something to get the superiority. Mutual recognition leads to democracy, for him, it becomes a
compromise that doesn’t get rid of the urge for superiority. Can we regard it as a cultural product

of dominant groups? The struggle for recognition in a very new society is by both male and

female. What would happen if a man or women is not satisfied with applicable rules. He also

tells us that there would be some laws to satisfy some dominant groups. It could be a capitalist

entrepreneurship either a career in foreign policy or Himalayan mountaineering groups. The idea

of boredom in democracy is really a bit phony. It comes to the fact that dominant groups want to

use their rights and don't want to be forced by democracy. This is then all about the socialist

belief that the lower classes must be the guardians of democracy. What Fukuyama overlooks are

the satisfactions within the capitalist democracies, the option for the recognition of superiority

demanded by dominant groups. The capitalist society might have a really great deals of offer but

in this context, capitalist democracy don’t offer us the "mutual recognition", which is fighting

against domination by a powerful nation, class, race, and gender.

Fukuyama still favors in the context the liberal democracy but we must keep in mind he is

giving the idea whether the Last Man is there to have himself in such a community. Lets us

imagine how many rewarding things there are left to do for those whose relations won't get them

into the State Department or whose pocket books won't get them to the Himalayas! And after

equality has eliminated the satisfactions of the collective struggle for justice against dominant

groups? Well, there will still be collective effort on behalf of making social life more rewarding.

This will be the effort of people discussing their differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect.

It will be an effort within a community, but not a community in which members try to become

superior by advancing community goals. The satisfaction will derive from the joint effort to

realize those goals, an effort in which everyone's dignity is recognized. This is, though, a

socialist community, not one based on older patterns of domination.


In conclusion, Francis Fukuyama talks about the end result of the end of history (liberal political

democracy), which is the last man, whom he calls “man without chest”. Following the

suggestion of Nietzsche, Fukuyama asserts that at the end of history, loses the desire for further

developments as all his main needs and desires are satisfied in liberal political democracy.

Nevertheless, Fukuyama ends his book with a new question if the last man is not going to take

on a new journey of searching for development like the first man.