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Fukiyama's staggering complacency

It is remarkable that an essay by a State Department official in the conservative quarterly the National Interest should provoke a storm of debate in the US and be syndicated by papers throughout the world. The burden of Francis Fukuyama’s argument is that we are witnessing the end of history. That end will not be as it has so often been imagined – either apocalypse or utopia. History, in the sense of fundamental ideological and political change, will cease with the worldwide triumph of Western liberalism.

Liberalism as the  as the hegemon of the liberal world order, is a notion ridiculed by its grave diggers (populism) 
- i

For we increasingly live in a post liberal age, witness populist movments in Ausria, Hungary,
Brexit, Marie Le Pen, and of of major significance the rise and rise of Donald Trump. Even if he loses the Election which he no doubt will, the political landscape of the USA is change forever.
Well done Obama. Wasn't Liberalism supposed an ideal that has triumphed, and it is central to the self-identity of America?

What is wrong with Fukuyama is his staggering complacency. History is over, because all problems can be settled by fully-developed liberal institutions that give us all the freedom we are ever likely to get. You can only deliver this kind of over arching judgement if you have Olympian detachment.

The future of liberal democracy is likely to be one of conflict and change, not complacent celebration.

Got to be careful here not to indulge in an excess of erudition, however, what presumption can stay the dialectic and pronounce history at an end? 

How can we know that a given state of affairs represents the realisation of the most complete freedom? 

Only by the philosopher making himself greater than the dialectic. 

As an infinite process, dialectic makes some sense, but it is then divorced from any connection with concrete events. Once the dialectic has to be actualised in actual historical events it reveals its fundamental arbitrariness

How does one move from the idea to its incarnation? The answer is, of course, that the connection of the ideal and the actual is entirely at the mercy of the dialectician’s prejudices.

History can only continue if there is a possibility of alternatives to liberal regimes: ‘Have we in fact reached the end of history? Are there, in other words, any fundamental “contradictions” in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure?

 But why should we assume that the continuation of history depends on the existence of alternatives to liberalism and the possibility that they can supplant it in some new stage of development? Are there not ‘contradictions’ (in the sense of political issues) within liberalism capable of sustaining history (in the sense of large-scale tasks and changes) into the foreseeable future?

Are liberal institutions capable of no development? Are there no major problems within liberal politics that are not capable of fuelling conflict and controversy worthy of being called history?

. In fact, dialectic is most consistent when it is conceived as a potentiallyinfinite development toward higher and higher levels of self-consciousness and freedom.

If history is the struggle for freedom, then its end has been well and truly postponed.

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