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The End of History?

Francis Fukuyama The National Interest

Summer 1989

IN WATCHING the flow of events the intellectual climate of the world's

over the past decade or so, it is hard to two largest communist countries, and
avoid the feeling that something very the beginnings of significant reform
fundamental has happened in world movements in both. But this
history. The past year has seen a flood phenomenon extends beyond high
of articles commemorating the end of politics and it can be seen also in the
the Cold War, and the fact that "peace" ineluctable spread of consumerist
seems to be breaking out in many Western culture in such diverse
regions of the world. Most of these contexts as the peasants' markets and
analyses lack any larger conceptual color television sets now omnipresent
framework for distinguishing between throughout China, the cooperative
what is essential and what is restaurants and clothing stores opened
contingent or accidental in world in the past year in Moscow, the
history, and are predictably Beethoven piped into Japanese
superficial. If Mr. Gorbachev were department stores, and the rock music
ousted from the Kremlin or a new enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and
Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium Tehran.
from a desolate Middle Eastern
What we may be witnessing is not
capital, these same commentators
just the end of the Cold War, or the
would scramble to announce the
passing of a particular period of
rebirth of a new era of conflict.
postwar history, but the end of history
And yet, all of these people sense as such: that is, the end point of
dimly that there is some larger process mankind's ideological evolution and
at work, a process that gives coherence the universalization of Western liberal
and order to the daily headlines. The democracy as the final form of human
twentieth century saw the developed government. This is not to say that
world descend into a paroxysm of there will no longer be events to fill the
ideological violence, as liberalism pages of Foreign Affair's yearly
contended first with the remnants of summaries of international relations,
absolutism, then bolshevism and for the victory of liberalism has
fascism, and finally an updated occurred primarily in the realm of
Marxism that threatened to lead to the ideas or consciousness and is as yet
ultimate apocalypse of nuclear war. incomplete in. the real or material
But the century that began full of self- world. But there are powerful reasons
confidence in the ultimate triumph of for believing that it is the ideal that
Western liberal democracy seems at its will govern the material world in the
close to be returning full circle to long run. To understand how this is so,
where it started: not to an "end of we must first consider some
ideology" or a convergence between theoretical issues concerning the
capitalism and socialism, as earlier nature of historical change.
predicted, but to an unabashed victory
of economic and political liberalism.
The triumph of the West, of the
Western idea, is evident first of all in
the total exhaustion of viable
THE NOTION of the end of history
systematic alternatives to Western
is not an original one. Its best known
liberalism. In the past decade, there
propagator was Karl Marx, who
have been unmistakable changes in
The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

believed that the direction of historical interpreters and to resurrect him as

development was a purposeful one the philosopher who most correctly
determined by the interplay of speaks to our time. Among those
material forces, and would come to an modern French interpreters of Hegel,
end only with the achievement of a the greatest was certainly Alexandre
communist utopia that would finally Kojve, a brilliant Russian migr who
resolve all prior contradictions. But taught a highly influential series of
the concept of history as a dialectical seminars in Paris in the 1930s at the
process with a beginning, a middle, Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes.1
and an end was borrowed by Marx While largely unknown in the United
from his great German predecessor, States, Kojve had a major impact on
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. the intellectual life of the continent.
Among his students ranged such
For better or worse, much of
future luminaries as Jean-Paul Sartre
Hegel's historicism has become part of
on the Left and Raymond Aron on the
our contemporary intellectual
Right; postwar existentialism
baggage. The notion that mankind has
borrowed many of its basic categories
progressed through a series of
from Hegel via Kojve.
primitive stages of consciousness on
his path to the present, and that these Kojve sought to resurrect the
stages corresponded to concrete forms Hegel of the Phenomenology of Mind,
of social organization, such as tribal, the Hegel who proclaimed history to
slave-owning, theocratic, and finally be at an end in 1806. For as early as
democratic-egalitarian societies, has this Hegel saw in Napoleon's defeat of
become inseparable from the modern the Prussian monarchy at the Battle of
understanding of man. Hegel was the Jena the victory of the ideals of the
first philosopher to speak the language French Revolution, and the imminent
of modern social science, insofar as universalization of the state
man for him was the product of his incorporating the principles of liberty
concrete historical and social and equality. Kojve, far from rejecting
environment and not, as earlier Hegel in light of the turbulent events
natural right theorists would have it, a of the next century and a half, insisted
collection of more or less fixed that the latter had been essentially
"natural" attributes. The mastery and correct.2 The Battle of Jena marked
transformation of man's natural the end of history because it was at
environment through the application that point that the vanguard of
of science and technology was humanity (a term quite familiar to
originally not a Marxist concept, but a
Hegelian one. Unlike later historicists
whose historical relativism 1
Kojve's best known work is his
degenerated into relativism tout court, Introduction la lecture de Hegel (Paris:
however, Hegel believed that history Editions Gallimard, 1947), which is a
culminated in an absolute moment - a transcript of the Ecole Practique lectures
moment in which a final, rational form from the 1930's. This book is available in
of society and state became victorious. English entitled Introduction to the
Reading of Hegel arranged by Raymond
It is Hegel's misfortune to be Queneau, edited by Allan Bloom, and
known now primarily as Marx's translated by James Nichols (New York:
precursor; and it is our misfortune Basic Books, 1969).
that few of us are familiar with Hegel's 2
In this respect Kojve stands in sharp
work from direct study, but only as it contrast to contemporary German
has been filtered through the interpreters of Hegel like Herbert Marcuse
distorting lens of Marxism. In France, who, being more sympathetic to Marx,
however, there has been an effort to regarded Hegel ultimately as an
save Hegel from his Marxist historically bound and incomplete

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

Marxists) actualized the principles of struggle or conflict over "large" issues,

the French Revolution. While there and consequently no need for generals
was considerable work to be done after or statesmen; what remains is
1806 - abolishing slavery and the slave primarily economic activity. And
trade, extending the franchise to indeed, Kojve's life was consistent
workers, women, blacks, and other with his teaching. Believing that there
racial minorities, etc. - the basic was no more work for philosophers as
principles of the liberal democratic well, since Hegel (correctly
state could not be improved upon. The understood) had already achieved
two world wars in this century and absolute knowledge, Kojve left
their attendant revolutions and teaching after the war and spent the
upheavals simply had the effect of remainder of his life working as a
extending those principles spatially, bureaucrat in the European Economic
such that the various provinces of Community, until his death in 1968.
human civilization were brought up to
To his contemporaries at mid-
the level of its most advanced
century, Kojve's proclamation of the
outposts, and of forcing those societies
end of history must have seemed like
in Europe and North America at the
the typical eccentric solipsism of a
vanguard of civilization to implement
French intellectual, coming as it did on
their liberalism more fully.
the heels of World War II and at the
The state that emerges at the end of very height of the Cold War. To
history is liberal insofar as it comprehend how Kojve could have
recognizes and protects through a been so audacious as to assert that
system of law man's universal right to history has ended, we must first of all
freedom, and democratic insofar as it understand the meaning of Hegelian
exists only with the consent of the idealism.
governed. For Kojve, this so-called
"universal homogenous state" found
real-life embodiment in the countries II
of postwar Western Europe - precisely
those flabby, prosperous, self-satisfied,
inward-looking, weak-willed states FOR HEGEL, the contradictions
whose grandest project was nothing that drive history exist first of all in the
more heroic than the creation of the realm of human consciousness, i.e. on
Common Market.3 But this was only to the level of ideas4 - not the trivial
be expected. For human history and election year proposals of American
the conflict that characterized it was politicians, but ideas in the sense of
based on the existence of large unifying world views that might
"contradictions": primitive man's best be understood under the rubric of
quest for mutual recognition, the ideology. Ideology in this sense is not
dialectic of the master and slave, the restricted to the secular and explicit
transformation and mastery of nature, political doctrines we usually associate
the struggle for the universal with the term, but can include religion,
recognition of rights, and the culture, and the complex of moral
dichotomy between proletarian and values underlying any society as well.
capitalist. But in the universal Hegel's view of the relationship
homogenous state, all prior between the ideal and the real or
contradictions are resolved and all
human needs are satisfied. There is no
This notion was expressed in the famous
Kojve alternatively identified the end of aphorism from the preface to the
history with the postwar "American way of Philosophy of History to the effect that
life," toward which he thought the Soviet "everything that is rational is real, and
Union was moving as well. everything that is real is rational."

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

material worlds was an extremely reversed the priority of the real and
complicated one, beginning with the the ideal completely, relegating the
fact that for him the distinction entire realm of consciousness -
between the two was only apparent. 5 religion, art, culture, philosophy itself
He did not believe that the real world - to a "superstructure" that was
conformed or could be made to determined entirely by the prevailing
conform to ideological preconceptions material mode of production. Yet
of philosophy professors in any another unfortunate legacy of
simpleminded way, or that the Marxism is our tendency to retreat
"material" world could not impinge on into materialist or utilitarian
the ideal. Indeed, Hegel the professor explanations of political or historical
was temporarily thrown out of work as phenomena, and our disinclination to
a result of a very material event, the believe in the autonomous power of
Battle of Jena. But while Hegel's ideas. A recent example of this is Paul
writing and thinking could be stopped Kennedy's hugely successful The Rise
by a bullet from the material world, and Fall of the Great Powers, which
the hand on the trigger of the gun was ascribes the decline of great powers to
motivated in turn by the ideas of simple economic overextension.
liberty and equality that had driven the Obviously, this is true on some level:
French Revolution. an empire whose economy is barely
above the level of subsistence cannot
For Hegel, all human behavior in
bankrupt its treasury indefinitely. But
the material world, and hence all
whether a highly productive modern
human history, is rooted in a prior
industrial society chooses to spend 3
state of consciousness - an idea similar
or 7 percent of its GNP on defense
to the one expressed by John Maynard
rather than consumption is entirely a
Keynes when he said that the views of
matter of that society's political
men of affairs were usually derived
priorities, which are in turn
from defunct economists and
determined in the realm of
academic scribblers of earlier
generations. This consciousness may
not be explicit and self-aware, as are The materialist bias of modern
modern political doctrines, but may thought is characteristic not only of
rather take the form of religion or people on the Left who may be
simple cultural or moral habits. And sympathetic to Marxism, but of many
yet this realm of consciousness in the passionate anti-Marxists as well.
long run necessarily becomes manifest Indeed, there is on the Right what one
in the material world, indeed creates might label the Wall Street Journal
the material world in its own image. school of deterministic materialism
Consciousness is cause and not effect, that discounts the importance of
and can develop autonomously from ideology and culture and sees man as
the material world; hence the real essentially a rational, profit-
subtext underlying the apparent maximizing individual. It is precisely
jumble of current events is the history this kind of individual and his pursuit
of ideology. of material incentives that is posited as
the basis for economic life as such in
Hegel's idealism has fared poorly at
economic textbooks.6 One small
the hands of later thinkers. Marx
In fact, modern economists, recognizing
Indeed, for Hegel the very dichotomy that man does not always behave as a
between the ideal and material worlds profit-maximizer, posit a "utility" function,
was itself only an apparent one that was utility being either income or some other
ultimately overcome by the self-conscious good that can be maximized: leisure,
subject; in his system, the material world sexual satisfaction, or the pleasure of
is itself only an aspect of mind. philosophizing. That profit must be

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

example will illustrate the problematic Wall Street Journal school of

character of such materialist views. deterministic materialism habitually
points to the stunning economic
Max Weber begins his famous
success of Asia in the past few decades
book, The Protestant Ethic and the
as evidence of the viability of free
Spirit of Capitalism, by noting the
market economics, with the
different economic performance of
implication that all societies would see
Protestant and Catholic communities
similar development were they simply
throughout Europe and America,
to allow their populations to pursue
summed up in the proverb that
their material self-interest freely.
Protestants eat well while Catholics
Surely free markets and stable political
sleep well. Weber notes that according
systems are a necessary precondition
to any economic theory that posited
to capitalist economic growth. But just
man as a rational profit-maximizer,
as surely the cultural heritage of those
raising the piece-work rate should
Far Eastern societies, the ethic of work
increase labor productivity. But in fact,
and saving and family, a religious
in many traditional peasant
heritage that does not, like Islam,
communities, raising the piece-work
place restrictions on certain forms of
rate actually had the opposite effect of
economic behavior, and other deeply
lowering labor productivity: at the
ingrained moral qualities, are equally
higher rate, a peasant accustomed to
important in explaining their
earning two and one-half marks per
economic performance.7 And yet the
day found he could earn the same
intellectual weight of materialism is
amount by working less, and did so
such that not a single respectable
because he valued leisure more than
contemporary theory of economic
income. The choices of leisure over
development addresses consciousness
income, or of the militaristic life of the
and culture seriously as the matrix
Spartan hoplite over the wealth of the
within which economic behavior is
Athenian trader, or even the ascetic
life of the early capitalist entrepreneur
over that of a traditional leisured
aristocrat, cannot possibly be
FAILURE to understand that the
explained by the impersonal working
roots of economic behavior lie in the
of material forces, but come
realm of consciousness and culture
preeminently out of the sphere of
leads to the common mistake of
consciousness - what we have labeled
attributing material causes to
here broadly as ideology. And indeed,
phenomena that are essentially ideal
a central theme of Weber's work was
in nature. For example, it is
to prove that contrary to Marx, the
commonplace in the West to interpret
material mode of production, far from
the reform movements first in China
being the "base," was itself a
and most recently in the Soviet Union
"superstructure" with roots in religion
as the victory of the material over the
and culture, and that to understand
ideal - that is, a recognition that
the emergence of modern capitalism
ideological incentives could not
and the profit motive one had to study
replace material ones in stimulating a
their antecedents in the realm of the
highly productive modern economy,
As we look around the 7
One need look no further than the recent
contemporary world, the poverty of performance of Vietnamese immigrants in
materialist theories of economic the U.S. school system when compared
development is all too apparent. The to their black of Hispanic classmates to
realize that culture and consciousness are
absolutely crucial to explain not only
replaced with a value like utility indicates economic behavior but virtually every
the cogency of the idealist perspective. other important aspect of life as well.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

and that if one wanted to prosper one world; if ideological development had
had to appeal to baser forms of self- in fact ended, the homogenous state
interest. But the deep defects of would eventually become victorious
socialist economies were evident thirty throughout the material world.
or forty years ago to anyone who chose
I have neither the space nor,
to look. Why was it that these
frankly, the ability to defend in depth
countries moved away from central
Hegel's radical idealist perspective.
planning only in the 1980s' The
The issue is not whether Hegel's
answer must be found in the
system was right, but whether his
consciousness of the elites and leaders
perspective might uncover the
ruling them, who decided to opt for
problematic nature of many
the "Protestant" life of wealth and risk
materialist explanations we often take
over the "Catholic" path of poverty and
for granted. This is not to deny the role
security.8 That change was in no way
of material factors as such. To a literal-
made inevitable by the material
minded idealist, human society can be
conditions in which either country
built around any arbitrary set of
found itself on the eve of the reform,
principles regardless of their
but instead came about as the result of
relationship to the material world. And
the victory of one idea over another.9
in fact men have proven themselves
For Kojve, as for all good able to endure the most extreme
Hegelians, understanding the material hardships in the name of
underlying processes of history ideas that exist in the realm of the
requires understanding developments spirit alone, be it the divinity of cows
in the realm of consciousness or ideas, or the nature of the Holy Trinity.10
since consciousness will ultimately
But while man's very perception of
remake the material world in its own
the material world is shaped by his
image. To say that history ended in
historical consciousness of it, the
1806 meant that mankind's ideological
material world can clearly affect in
evolution ended in the ideals of the
return the viability of a particular state
French or American Revolutions:
of consciousness. In particular, the
while particular regimes in the real
spectacular abundance of advanced
world might not implement these
liberal economies and the infinitely
ideals fully, their theoretical truth is
diverse consumer culture made
absolute and could not be improved
possible by them seem to both foster
upon. Hence it did not matter to
and preserve liberalism in the political
Kojve that the consciousness of the
sphere. I want to avoid the materialist
postwar generation of Europeans had
not been universalized throughout the
The internal politics of the Byzantine
Empire at the time of Justinian revolved
I understand that a full explanation of the around a conflict between the so-called
origins of the reform movements in China monophysites and monothelites, who
and Russia is a good deal more believed that the unity of the Holy Trinity
complicated than this simple formula was alternatively one of nature or of will.
would suggest. The Soviet reform, for This conflict corresponded to some extent
example, was motivated in good measure to one between proponents of different
by Moscow's sense of insecurity in the racing teams in the Hippodrome in
technological-military realm. Nonetheless, Byzantium and led to a not insignificant
neither country ion the eve of its reforms level of political violence. Modern
was in such a state of material crisis that historians would tend to seek the roots of
one could have predicted the surprising such conflicts in antagonisms between
reform paths ultimately taken. social classes or some other modern
It is still not clear whether the Soviet economic category, being unwilling to
people are as "Protestant" as Gorbachev believe that men would kill each other
and will follow him down that path. over the nature of the Trinity.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

determinism that says that liberal weakness, materialism, anomie, and

economics inevitably produces liberal lack of community of the West as
politics, because I believe that both fundamental contradictions in liberal
economics and politics presuppose an societies that could only be resolved by
autonomous prior state of a strong state that forged a new
consciousness that makes them "people" on the basis of national
possible. But that state of exclusiveness. Fascism was destroyed
consciousness that permits the growth as a living ideology by World War II.
of liberalism seems to stabilize in the This was a defeat, of course, on a very
way one would expect at the end of material level, but it amounted to a
history if it is underwritten by the defeat of the idea as well. What
abundance of a modern free market destroyed fascism as an idea was not
economy. We might summarize the universal moral revulsion against it,
content of the universal homogenous since plenty of people were willing to
state as liberal democracy in the endorse the idea as long as it seemed
political sphere combined with easy the wave of the future, but its lack of
access to VCRs and stereos in the success. After the war, it seemed to
economic. most people that German fascism as
well as its other European and Asian
variants were bound to self-destruct.
III There was no material reason why new
fascist movements could not have
sprung up again after the war in other
HAVE WE in fact reached the end locales, but for the fact that
of history? Are there, in other words, expansionist ultranationalism, with its
any fundamental "contradictions" in promise of unending conflict leading
human life that cannot be resolved in to disastrous military defeat, had
the context of modern liberalism, that completely lost its appeal. The ruins of
would be resolvable by an alternative the Reich chancellery as well as the
political-economic structure? If we atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima
accept the idealist premises laid out and Nagasaki killed this ideology on
above, we must seek an answer to this the level of consciousness as well as
question in the realm of ideology and materially, and all of the pro-fascist
consciousness. Our task is not to movements spawned by the German
answer exhaustively the challenges to and Japanese examples like the
liberalism promoted by every crackpot Peronist movement in Argentina or
messiah around the world, but only
those that are embodied in important
social or political forces and
the frequent misuse of this term to
movements, and which are therefore
denounce anyone to the right of the user.
part of world history. For our
"Fascism" here denotes nay organized
purposes, it matters very little what ultra nationalist movement with
strange thoughts occur to people in universalistic pretensions - not
Albania or Burkina Faso, for we are universalistic with regard to its
interested in what one could in some nationalism, of course, since the latter is
sense call the common ideological exclusive by definition, but with regard to
heritage of mankind. the movement's belief in its right to rule
In the past century, there have been other people. Hence Imperial Japan would
two major challenges to liberalism, qualify as fascist while former strongman
Stoessner's Paraguay or Pinochet's Chile
those of fascism and of communism.
would not. Obviously fascist ideologies
The former11 saw the political
cannot be universalistic in the sense of
Marxism or liberalism, but the structure of
I am not using the term "fascism" here the doctrine can be transferred from
in its most precise sense, fully aware of country to country.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

Subhas Chandra Bose's Indian intellectual climate whose most

National Army withered after the war. "advanced" members no longer believe
that bourgeois society is something
The ideological challenge mounted
that ultimately needs to be overcome.
by the other great alternative to
This is not to say that the opinions of
liberalism, communism, was far more
progressive intellectuals in Western
serious. Marx, speaking Hegel's
countries are not deeply pathological
language, asserted that liberal society
in any number of ways. But those who
contained a fundamental contradiction
believe that the future must inevitably
that could not be resolved within its
be socialist tend to be very old, or very
context, that between capital and
marginal to the real political discourse
labor, and this contradiction has
of their societies.
constituted the chief accusation
against liberalism ever since. But
surely, the class issue has actually been
ONE MAY argue that the socialist
successfully resolved in the West. As
alternative was never terribly plausible
Kojve (among others) noted, the
for the North Atlantic world, and was
egalitarianism of modern America
sustained for the last several decades
represents the essential achievement
primarily by its success outside of this
of the classless society envisioned by
region. But it is precisely in the non-
Marx. This is not to say that there are
European world that one is most
not rich people and poor people in the
struck by the occurrence of major
United States, or that the gap between
ideological transformations. Surely the
them has not grown in recent years.
most remarkable changes have
But the root causes of economic
occurred in Asia. Due to the strength
inequality do not have to do with the
and adaptability of the indigenous
underlying legal and social structure of
cultures there, Asia became a
our society, which remains
battleground for a variety of imported
fundamentally egalitarian and
Western ideologies early in this
moderately redistributionist, so much
century. Liberalism in Asia was a very
as with the cultural and social
weak reed in the period after World
characteristics of the groups that make
War I; it is easy today to forget how
it up, which are in turn the historical
gloomy Asia's political future looked as
legacy of premodern conditions. Thus
recently as ten or fifteen years ago. It
black poverty in the United States is
is easy to forget as well how
not the inherent product of liberalism,
momentous the outcome of Asian
but is rather the "legacy of slavery and
ideological struggles seemed for world
racism" which persisted long after the
political development as a whole.
formal abolition of slavery.
The first Asian alternative to
As a result of the receding of the
liberalism to be decisively defeated
class issue, the appeal of communism
was the fascist one represented by
in the developed Western world, it is
Imperial Japan. Japanese fascism (like
safe to say, is lower today than any
its German version) was defeated by
time since the end of the First World
the force of American arms in the
War. This can he measured in any
Pacific war, and liberal democracy was
number of ways: in the declining
imposed on Japan by a victorious
membership and electoral pull of the
United States. Western capitalism and
major European communist parties,
political liberalism when transplanted
and their overtly revisionist programs;
to Japan were adapted and
in the corresponding electoral success
transformed by the Japanese in such a
of conservative parties from Britain
way as to be scarcely recognizable.12
and Germany to the United States and
Japan, which are unabashedly pro-
market and anti-statist; and in an
I use the example of Japan with some
caution, since Kojve late in his life came

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

Many Americans are now aware that Here again we see the victory of the
Japanese industrial organization is idea of the universal homogenous
very different from that prevailing in state. South Korea had developed into
the United States or Europe, and it is a modern, urbanized society with an
questionable what relationship the increasingly large and well-educated
factional maneuvering that takes place middle class that could not possibly be
with the governing Liberal Democratic isolated from the larger democratic
Party bears to democracy. trends around them. Under these
Nonetheless, the very fact that the circumstances it seemed intolerable to
essential elements of economic and a large part of this population that it
political liberalism have been so should be ruled by an anachronistic
successfully grafted onto uniquely military regime while Japan, only a
Japanese traditions and institutions decade or so ahead in economic terms,
guarantees their survival in the long had parliamentary institutions for over
run. More important is the forty years. Even the former socialist
contribution that Japan has made in regime in Burma, which for so many
turn to world history by following in decades existed in dismal isolation
the footsteps of the United States to from the larger trends dominating
create a truly universal consumer Asia, was buffeted in the past year by
culture that has become both a symbol pressures to liberalize both its
and an underpinning of the universal economy and political system. It is
homogenous state. V.S. Naipaul said that unhappiness with strongman
traveling in Khomeini's Iran shortly Ne Win began when a senior Burmese
after the revolution noted the officer went to Singapore for medical
omnipresent signs advertising the treatment and broke down crying
products of Sony, Hitachi, and JVC, when he saw how far socialist Burma
whose appeal remained virtually had been left behind by its ASEAN
irresistible and gave the lie to the neighbors.
regime's pretensions of restoring a
state based on the rule of the Shariah.
Desire for access to the consumer BUT THE power of the liberal idea
culture, created in large measure by would seem much less impressive if it
Japan, has played a crucial role in had not infected the largest and oldest
fostering the spread of economic culture in Asia, China. The simple
liberalism throughout Asia, and hence existence of communist China created
in promoting political liberalism as an alternative pole of ideological
well. attraction, and as such constituted a
threat to liberalism. But the past
The economic success of the other
fifteen years have seen an almost total
newly industrializing countries (NICs)
discrediting of Marxism-Leninism as
in Asia following on the example of
an economic system. Beginning with
Japan is by now a familiar story. What
the famous third plenum of the Tenth
is important from a Hegelian
Central Committee in 1978, the
standpoint is that political liberalism
Chinese Communist party set about
has been following economic
decollectivizing agriculture for the 800
liberalism, more slowly than many had
million Chinese who still lived in the
hoped but with seeming inevitability.
countryside. The role of the state in
agriculture was reduced to that of a tax
to conclude that Japan, with its culture collector, while production of
based on purely formal arts, proved that consumer goods was sharply increased
the universal homogenous state was not in order to give peasants a taste of the
victorious and that history had perhaps universal homogenous state and
not ended. See the long note at the end of thereby an incentive to work. The
the second edition of Introduction la reform doubled Chinese grain output
Lecture de Hegel, 462-3.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

in only five years, and in the process Western countries, almost all of them
created for Deng Xiaoping a solid the children of the Chinese elite. It is
political base from which he was able hard to believe that when they return
to extend the reform to other parts of home to run the country they will be
the economy. Economic Statistics do content for China to be the only
not begin to describe the dynamism, country in Asia unaffected by the
initiative, and openness evident in larger democratizing trend. The
China since the reform began. student demonstrations in Beijing that
broke out first in December 1986 and
China could not now be described
recurred recently on the occasion of
in any way as a liberal democracy. At
Hu Yao-bang's death were only the
present, no more than 20 percent of its
beginning of what will inevitably be
economy has been marketized, and
mounting pressure for change in the
most importantly it continues to be
political system as well.
ruled by a self-appointed Communist
party which has given no hint of What is important about China
wanting to devolve power. Deng has from the standpoint of world history is
made none of Gorbachev's promises not the present state of the reform or
regarding democratization of the even its future prospects. The central
political system and there is no issue is the fact that the People's
Chinese equivalent of ghost. The Republic of China can no longer act as
Chinese leadership has in fact been a beacon for illiberal forces around the
much more circumspect in criticizing world, whether they be guerrillas in
Mao and Maoism than Gorbachev with some Asian jungle or middle class
respect to Brezhnev and Stalin, and students in Paris. Maoism, rather than
the regime continues to pay lip service being the pattern for Asia's future,
to Marxism-Leninism as its ideological became an anachronism, and it was
underpinning. But anyone familiar the mainland Chinese who in fact were
with the outlook and behavior of the decisively influenced by the prosperity
new technocratic elite now governing and dynamism of their overseas co-
China knows that Marxism and ethnics - the ironic ultimate victory of
ideological principle have become Taiwan.
virtually irrelevant as guides to policy,
Important as these changes in
and that bourgeois consumerism has a
China have been, however, it is
real meaning in that country for the
developments in the Soviet Union - the
first time since the revolution. The
original "homeland of the world
various slowdowns in the pace of
proletariat" - that have put the final
reform, the campaigns against
nail in the coffin of the Marxist-
"spiritual pollution" and crackdowns
Leninist alternative to liberal
on political dissent are more properly
democracy. It should be clear that in
seen as tactical adjustments made in
terms of formal institutions, not much
the process of managing what is an
has changed in the four years since
extraordinarily difficult political
Gorbachev has come to power: free
transition. By ducking the question of
markets and the cooperative
political reform while putting the
movement represent only a small part
economy on a new footing, Deng has
of the Soviet economy, which remains
managed to avoid the breakdown of
centrally planned; the political system
authority that has accompanied
is still dominated by the Communist
Gorbachev's perestroika. Yet the pull
party, which has only begun to
of the liberal idea continues to be very
democratize internally and to share
strong as economic power devolves
power with other groups; the regime
and the economy becomes more open
continues to assert that it is seeking
to the outside world. There are
only to modernize socialism and that
currently over 20,000 Chinese
its ideological basis remains Marxism-
students studying in the U.S. and other

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

Leninism; and, finally, Gorbachev become steadily more radical in their

faces a potentially powerful support for free markets, to the point
conservative opposition that could where some like Nikolai Shmelev do
undo many of the changes that have not mind being compared in public to
taken place to date. Moreover, it is Milton Friedman. There is a virtual
hard to be too sanguine about the consensus among the currently
chances for success of Gorbachev's dominant school of Soviet economists
proposed reforms, either in the sphere now that central planning and the
of economics or politics. But my command system of allocation are the
purpose here is not to analyze events root cause of economic inefficiency,
in the short-term, or to make and that if the Soviet system is ever to
predictions for policy purposes, but to heal itself, it must permit free and
look at underlying trends in the sphere decentralized decision-making with
of ideology and consciousness. And in respect to investment, labor, and
that respect, it is clear that an prices. After a couple of initial years of
astounding transformation has ideological confusion, these principles
occurred. have finally been incorporated into
policy with the promulgation of new
migrs from the Soviet Union
laws on enterprise autonomy,
have been reporting for at least the last
cooperatives, and finally in 1988 on
generation now that virtually nobody
lease arrangements and family
in that country truly believed in
farming. There are, of course, a
Marxism-Leninism any longer, and
number of fatal flaws in the current
that this was nowhere more true than
implementation of the reform, most
in the Soviet elite, which continued to
notably the absence of a
mouth Marxist slogans out of sheer
thoroughgoing price reform. But the
cynicism. The corruption and
problem is no longer a conceptual one:
decadence of the late Brezhnev-era
Gorbachev and his lieutenants seem to
Soviet state seemed to matter little,
understand the economic logic of
however, for as long as the state itself
marketization well enough, but like the
refused to throw into question any of
leaders of a Third World country
the fundamental principles underlying
facing the IMF, are afraid of the social
Soviet society, the system was capable
consequences of ending consumer
of functioning adequately out of sheer
subsidies and other forms of
inertia and could even muster some
dependence on the state sector.
dynamism in the realm of foreign and
defense policy. Marxism-Leninism was In the political sphere, the
like a magical incantation which, proposed changes to the Soviet
however absurd and devoid of constitution, legal system, and party
meaning, was the only common basis rules amount to much less than the
on which the elite could agree to rule establishment of a liberal state.
Soviet society. Gorbachev has spoken of
democratization primarily in the
sphere of internal party affairs, and
WHAT HAS happened in the four has shown little intention of ending
years since Gorbachev's coming to the Communist party's monopoly of
power is a revolutionary assault on the power; indeed, the political reform
most fundamental institutions and seeks to legitimize and therefore
principles of Stalinism, and their strengthen the CPSU'S rule.13
replacement by other principles which Nonetheless, the general principles
do not amount to liberalism per se but
whose only connecting thread is 13
This is not true in Poland and Hungary,
liberalism. This is most evident in the however, whose Communist parties have
economic sphere, where the reform taken moves toward true power sharing
economists around Gorbachev have and pluralism.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

underlying many of the reforms - that Gorbachev's claim that he is

the "people" should be truly seeking to return to the true Lenin is
responsible for their own affairs, that perfectly easy to understand: having
higher political bodies should be fostered a thorough denunciation of
answerable to lower ones, and not vice Stalinism and Brezhnevism as the root
versa, that the rule of law should of the USSR's present predicament, he
prevail over arbitrary police actions, needs some point in Soviet history on
with separation of powers and an which to anchor the legitimacy of the
independent judiciary, that there CPSU'S continued rule. But
should be legal protection for property Gorbachev's tactical requirements
rights, the need for open discussion of should not blind us to the fact that the
public issues and the right of public democratizing and decentralizing
dissent, the empowering of the Soviets principles which he has enunciated in
as a forum in which the whole Soviet both the economic and political
people can participate, and of a spheres are highly subversive of some
political culture that is more tolerant of the most fundamental precepts of
and pluralistic - come from a source both Marxism and Leninism. Indeed,
fundamentally alien to the USSR's if the bulk of the present economic
Marxist-Leninist tradition, even if they reform proposals were put into effect,
are incompletely articulated and it is hard to know how the Soviet
poorly implemented in practice. economy would be more socialist than
those of other Western countries with
Gorbachev's repeated assertions
large public sectors.
that he is doing no more than trying to
restore the original meaning of The Soviet Union could in no way
Leninism are themselves a kind of be described as a liberal or democratic
Orwellian doublespeak. Gorbachev country now, nor do I think that it is
and his allies have consistently terribly likely that perestroika will
maintained that intraparty democracy succeed such that the label will be
was somehow the essence of Leninism, thinkable any time in the near future.
and that the various lib era1 practices But at the end of history it is not
of open debate, secret ballot elections, necessary that all societies become
and rule of law were all part of the successful liberal societies, merely that
Leninist heritage, corrupted only later they end their ideological pretensions
by Stalin. While almost anyone would of representing different and higher
look good compared to Stalin, drawing forms of human society. And in this
so sharp a line between Lenin and his respect I believe that something very
successor is questionable. The essence important has happened in the Soviet
of Lenin's democratic centralism was Union in the past few years: the
centralism, not democracy; that is, the criticisms of the Soviet system
absolutely rigid, monolithic, and sanctioned by Gorbachev have been so
disciplined dictatorship of a thorough and devastating that there is
hierarchically organized vanguard very little chance of going back to
Communist party, speaking in the either Stalinism or Brezhnevism in any
name of the demos. All of Lenin's simple way. Gorbachev has finally
vicious polemics against Karl Kautsky, permitted people to say what they had
Rosa Luxemburg, and various other privately understood for many years,
Menshevik and Social Democratic namely, that the magical incantations
rivals, not to mention his contempt for of Marxism-Leninism were nonsense,
"bourgeois legality" and freedoms, that Soviet socialism was not superior
centered around his profound to the West in any respect but was in
conviction that a revolution could not fact a monumental failure. The
be successfully made by a conservative opposition in the USSR,
democratically run organization. consisting both of simple workers
afraid of unemployment and inflation

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

and of party officials fearful of losing is remediable through politics. Modern

their jobs and privileges, is outspoken liberalism itself was historically a
and may be strong enough to force consequence of the weakness of
Gorbachev's ouster in the next few religiously-based societies which,
years. But what both groups desire is failing to agree on the nature of the
tradition, order, and authority; they good life, could not provide even the
manifest no deep commitment to minimal preconditions of peace and
Marxism-Leninism, except insofar as stability. In the contemporary world
they have invested much of their own only Islam has offered a theocratic
lives in it.14 For authority to be state as a political alternative to both
restored in the Soviet Union after liberalism and communism. But the
Gorbachev's demolition work, it must doctrine has little appeal for non-
be on the basis of some new and Muslims, and it is hard to believe that
vigorous ideology which has not yet the movement will take on any
appeared on the horizon. universal significance. Other less
organized religious impulses have
been successfully satisfied within the
IF WE ADMIT for the moment that sphere of personal life that is
the fascist and communist challenges permitted in liberal societies.
to liberalism are dead, are there any
The other major "contradiction"
other ideological competitors left? Or
potentially unresolvable by liberalism
put another way, are there
is the one posed by nationalism and
contradictions in liberal society
other forms of racial and ethnic
beyond that of class that are not
consciousness. It is certainly true that
resolvable? Two possibilities suggest
a very large degree of conflict since the
themselves, those of religion and
Battle of Jena has had its roots in
nationalism. Two cataclysmic world
The rise of religious wars in this century have been
fundamentalism in recent years within spawned by the nationalism of the
the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim developed world in various guises, and
traditions has been widely noted. One if those passions have been muted to a
is inclined to say that the revival of certain extent in postwar Europe, they
religion in some way attests to a broad are still extremely powerful in the
unhappiness with the impersonality Third World. Nationalism has been a
and spiritual vacuity of liberal threat to liberalism historically in
consumerist societies. Yet while the Germany, and continues to be one in
emptiness at the core of liberalism is isolated parts of "post-historical"
most certainly a defect in the ideology Europe like Northern Ireland.
- indeed, a flaw that one does not need
But it is not clear that nationalism
the perspective of religion to
rep resents an irreconcilable
recognize15 - it is not at all clear that it
contradiction in the heart of
liberalism. In the first place,
This is particularly true of the leading nationalism is not one single
Soviet conservative, former Second phenomenon but several, ranging from
Secretary Yegor Ligachev, who has mild cultural nostalgia to the highly
publicly recognized many of the deep organized and elaborately articulated
defects of the Brezhnev period. doctrine of National Socialism. Only
I am thinking particularly of Rousseau systematic nationalisms of the latter
and the Western philosophical tradition sort can qualify as a formal ideology
that flows from him that was highly critical on the level of liberalism or
of Lockean or Hobbesian liberalism, communism. The vast majority of the
though one could criticize liberalism from world's nationalist movements do not
the standpoint of classical political have a political program beyond the
philosophy as well.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

negative desire of independence from developed nations of the West as

some other group or people, and do liberal societies any time in the
not offer anything like a foreseeable future, but suppose for a
comprehensive agenda for socio- moment that Marxism-Leninism
economic organization. As such, they ceases to be a factor driving the foreign
are compatible with doctrines and policies of these states - a prospect
ideologies that do offer such agendas. which, if not yet here, the last few
While they may constitute a source of years have made a real possibility.
conflict for liberal societies, this How will the overall characteristics of
conflict does not arise from liberalism a de-ideologized world differ from
itself so much as from the fact that the those of the one with which we are
liberalism in question is incomplete. familiar at such a hypothetical
Certainly a great deal of the world's juncture?
ethnic and nationalist tension can be
The most common answer is - not
explained in terms of peoples who are
very much. For there is a very
forced to live in unrepresentative
widespread belief among many
political systems that they have not
observers of international relations
that underneath the skin of ideology is
While it is impossible to rule out a hard core of great power national
the sudden appearance of new interest that guarantees a fairly high
ideologies or previously unrecognized level of competition and conflict
contradictions in liberal societies, between nations. Indeed, according to
then, the present world seems to one academically popular school of
confirm that the fundamental international relations theory, conflict
principles of sociopolitical inheres in the international system as
organization have not advanced such, and to understand the prospects
terribly far since 1806. Many of the for conflict one must look at the shape
wars and revolutions fought since that of the system - for example, whether it
time have been undertaken in the is bipolar or multipolar - rather than at
name of ideologies which claimed to the specific character of the nations
be more advanced than liberalism, but and regimes that constitute it. This
whose pretensions were ultimately school in effect applies a Hobbesian
unmasked by history. In the view of politics to international
meantime, they have helped to spread relations, and assumes that aggression
the universal homogenous state to the and insecurity are universal
point where it could have a significant characteristics of human societies
effect on the overall character of rather than the product of specific
international relations. historical circumstances.
Believers in this line of thought take
the relations that existed between the
participants in the classical nineteenth
century European balance of power as
a model for what a de-ideologized
WHAT ARE the implications of the
end of history for international contemporary world would look like.
Charles Krauthammer, for example,
relations? Clearly, the vast bulk of the
recently explained that if as a result of
Third World remains very much mired
Gorbachev's reforms the USSR is
in history, and will be a terrain of
shorn of Marxist-Leninist ideology, its
conflict for many years to come. But
behavior will revert to that of
let us focus for the time being on the
nineteenth century imperial Russia. 16
larger and more developed states of
the world who after all account for the
greater part of world politics. Russia See his article, "Beyond the Cold War,"
and China are not likely to join the New Republic, December 19, 1988.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

While he finds this more reassuring culture of Rabelais and Moliere. But
than the threat posed by a communist whatever the particular ideological
Russia, he implies that there will still basis, every "developed" country
be a substantial degree of competition believed in the acceptability of higher
and conflict in the international civilizations ruling lower ones -
system, just as there was say between including, incidentally, the United
Russia and Britain or Wilhelmine States with regard to the Philippines.
Germany in the last century. This is, of This led to a drive for pure territorial
course, a convenient point of view for aggrandizement in the latter half of the
people who want to admit that century and played no small role in
something major is changing in the causing the Great War.
Soviet Union, but do not want to
The radical and deformed
accept responsibility for
outgrowth of nineteenth-century
recommending the radical policy
imperialism was German fascism, an
redirection implicit in such a view. But
ideology which justified Germany's
is it true?
right not only to rule over non-
In fact, the notion that ideology is a European peoples, but over all non-
superstructure imposed on a German ones. But in retrospect it
substratum of permanent great power seems that Hitler represented a
interest is a highly questionable diseased bypath in the general course
proposition. For the way in which any of European development, and since
state defines its national interest is not his fiery defeat, the legitimacy of any
universal but rests on some kind of kind of territorial aggrandizement has
prior ideological basis, just as we saw been thoroughly discredited.17 Since
that economic behavior is determined the Second World War, European
by a prior state of consciousness. In nationalism has been defanged and
this century, states have adopted shorn of any real relevance to foreign
highly articulated doctrines with policy, with the consequence that the
explicit foreign policy agendas nineteenth-century model of great
legitimizing expansionism, like power behavior has become a serious
Marxism-Leninism or National anachronism. The most extreme form
Socialism. of nationalism that any Western
European state has mustered since
1945 has been Gaullism, whose self-
THE EXPANSIONIST and assertion has been confined largely to
competitive behavior of nineteenth- the realm of nuisance politics and
century European states rested on no culture. International life for the part
less ideal a basis; it just so happened of the world that has reached the end
that the ideology driving it was less of history is far more preoccupied with
explicit than the doctrines of the economics than with politics or
twentieth century. For one thing, most strategy.
"liberal" European societies were
The developed states of the West do
illiberal insofar as they believed in the
maintain defense establishments and
legitimacy of imperialism, that is, the
in the postwar period have competed
right of one nation to rule over other
vigorously for influence to meet a
nations without regard for the wishes
of the ruled. The justifications for
imperialism varied from nation to 17
It took European colonial powers like
nation, from a crude belief in the
France several years after the war to
legitimacy of force, particularly when
admit the illegitimacy of their empires, but
applied to non-Europeans, to the
decolonialization was an inevitable
White Man's Burden and Europe's consequence of the Allied victory which
Christianizing mission, to the desire to had been based on the promise of a
give people of color access to the restoration of democratic freedoms.

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

worldwide communist threat. This troublesome aspects to contemporary

behavior has been driven, however, by Chinese foreign policy, such as the
an external threat from states that reckless sale of ballistic missile
possess overtly expansionist technology in the Middle East; and the
ideologies, and would not exist in their PRC continues to manifest traditional
absence. To take the "neo-realist" great power behavior in its
theory seriously, one would have to sponsorship of the Khmer Rouge
believe that "natural" competitive against Vietnam. But the former is
behavior would reassert itself among explained by commercial motives and
the OECD states were Russia and the latter is a vestige of earlier
China to disappear from the face of the ideologically-based rivalries. The new
earth. That is, West Germany and China far more resembles Gaullist
France would arm themselves against France than pre-World War I
each other as they did in the 193Os, Germany.
Australia and New Zealand would send
The real question for the future,
military advisers to block each others'
however, is the degree to which Soviet
advances in Africa, and the U.S.-
elites have assimilated the
Canadian border would become
consciousness of the universal
fortified. Such a prospect is, of course,
homogenous state that is post-Hitler
ludicrous: minus Marxist-Leninist
Europe. From their writings and from
ideology, we are far more likely to see
my own personal contacts with them,
the "Common Marketization" of world
there is no question in my mind that
politics than the disintegration of the
the liberal Soviet intelligentsia rallying
EEC into nineteenth-century
around Gorbachev have arrived at the
competitiveness. Indeed, as our
end-of-history view in a remarkably
experiences in dealing with Europe on
short time, due in no small measure to
matters such as terrorism or Libya
the contacts they have had since the
prove, they are much further gone
Brezhnev era with the larger European
than we down the road that denies the
civilization around them. "New
legitimacy of the use of force in
political thinking," the general rubric
international politics, even in self-
for their views, describes a world
dominated by economic concerns, in
The automatic assumption that which there are no ideological grounds
Russia shorn of its expansionist for major conflict between nations,
communist ideology should pick up and in which, consequently, the use of
where the czars left off just prior to the military force becomes less legitimate.
Bolshevik Revolution is therefore a As Foreign Minister Shevardnadze put
curious one. It assumes that the it in mid-1988:
evolution of human consciousness has
The struggle between two opposing
stood still in the meantime, and that
systems is no longer a determining
the Soviets, while picking up currently
tendency of the present-day era. At the
fashionable ideas in the realm of
modern stage, the ability to build up
economics, will return to foreign
material wealth at an accelerated rate
policy views a century out of date in
on the basis of front-ranking science
the rest of Europe. This is certainly not
and high-level techniques and
what happened to China after it began
technology, and to distribute it fairly,
its reform process. Chinese
and through joint efforts to restore
competitiveness and expansionism on
and protect the resources necessary for
the world scene have virtually
mankind's survival acquires decisive
disappeared: Beijing no longer
sponsors Maoist insurgencies or tries
to cultivate influence in distant African
countries as it did in the 1960s. This is 18
Vestnik Ministerstva Inostrannikh Del
not to say that there are not SSSR no. 15 (August 1988), 27-46. "New

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

The post-historical consciousness from the Soviet Union will mean its
represented by "new thinking" is only death as a living ideology of world
one possible future for the Soviet historical significance. For while there
Union, however. There has always may be some isolated true believers
been a very strong current of great left in places like Managua,
Russian chauvinism in the Soviet Pyongyang, or Cambridge,
Union, which has found freer Massachusetts, the fact that there is
expression since the advent of not a single large state in which it is a
glasnost. It may be possible to return going concern undermines completely
to traditional Marxism-Leninism for a its pretensions to being in the
while as a simple rallying point for vanguard of human history. And the
those who want to restore the death of this ideology means the
authority that Gorbachev has growing "Common Marketization" of
dissipated. But as in Poland, Marxism- international relations, and the
Leninism is dead as a mobilizing diminution of the likelihood of large-
ideology: under its banner people scale conflict between states.
cannot be made to work harder, and
This does not by any means imply
its adherents have lost confidence in
the end of international conflict per se.
themselves. Unlike the propagators of
For the world at that point would be
traditional Marxism-Leninism,
divided between a part that was
however, ultranationalists in the USSR
historical and a part that was post-
believe in their Slavophile cause
historical. Conflict between states still
passionately, and one gets the sense
in history, and between those states
that the fascist alternative is not one
and those at the end of history, would
that has played itself out entirely
still be possible. There would still be a
high and perhaps rising level of ethnic
The Soviet Union, then, is at a fork and nationalist violence, since those
in the road: it can start down the path are impulses incompletely played out,
that was staked out by Western even in parts of the post-historical
Europe forty-five years ago, a path that world. Palestinians and Kurds, Sikhs
most of Asia has followed, or it can and Tamils, Irish Catholics and
realize its own uniqueness and remain Walloons, Armenians and Azeris, will
stuck in history. The choice it makes continue to have their unresolved
will be highly important for us, given grievances. This implies that terrorism
the Soviet Union's size and military and wars of national liberation will
strength, for that power will continue continue to be an important item on
to preoccupy us and slow our the international agenda. But large-
realization that we have already scale conflict must involve large states
emerged on the other side of history. still caught in the grip of history, and
they are what appear to be passing
from the scene.
The end of history will be a very sad
time. The struggle for recognition, the
THE PASSING of Marxism- willingness to risk one's life for a
purely abstract goal, the worldwide
Leninism first from China and then
ideological struggle that called forth
daring, courage, imagination, and
thinking" does of course serve a idealism, will be replaced by economic
propagandistic purpose in persuading calculation, the endless solving of
Western audiences of Soviet good technical problems, environmental
intentions. But the fact that it is good concerns, and the satisfaction of
propaganda does not mean that is sophisticated consumer demands. In
formulators do not take many of its ideas the post-historical period there will be

The End of History?
Francis Fukuyama The National Interest, Summer 1989

neither art nor philosophy, just the

perpetual caretaking of the museum of
human history. I can feel in myself,
and see in others around me, a
powerful nostalgia for the time when
history existed. Such nostalgia, in fact,
will continue to fuel competition and
conflict even in the post-historical
world for some time to come. Even
though I recognize its inevitability, I
have the most ambivalent feelings for
the civilization that has been created
in Europe since 1945, with its north
Atlantic and Asian offshoots. Perhaps
this very prospect of centuries of
boredom at the end of history will
serve to get history started once again.

Francis Fukuyama is deputy
director of the State Department's
policy planning staff and former
analyst at the RAND Corporation. This
article is based on a lecture presented
at the University of Chicago's John M.
Olin Center and to Nathan Tarcov and
Allan Bloom for their support in this
and many earlier endeavors. The
opinions expresses in this article do
not reflect those of the RAND
Corporation or of any agency of the
U.S. government.