Tag Archives: Cold War

Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

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American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

On the 11th hour…

Today there are still a lot of people who do have an idealist view of what ‘military service‘ and ‘military heroes’ are . Many families have lost members at the terrible battlefields of 1914 and 1939-1945.

It is good that the world stand still for remembering all those people who gave their life for what they thought to be ‘giving their live for the good cause”.

Still many consider that service to one’s country only can take place by taking up weapons. To go to defend their country with weapons demands a special breed of person – they consider such a person a true Hero. But throughout the years hopefully many veterans came to see that those hero’s of ‘one day’ were often very soon forgotten by their governments.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

veteran’s give up a 3 lot to serve our country

 

After the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) there have been several rebellious movements, with a.o. the Whiskey Rebellion (1791–1794),  Quasi-War (1798–1800), to get a First Barbary War (1801–1805), Tecumseh’s War (1811), the War of 1812 with the Creek War (1813–1814), Second Barbary War (1815) and so many wars against the local American autochtone inhabitants, the Indians. Many died in a Patriot War (1838) whilst many accepted American Federal authority after the Utah War (1857–1858) but had to go to fight again believing in their cause to dome to a dissolution of the Confederacy and to get a beginning of the Reconstruction Era.

The Spanish–American War (1898) may have brought the collapse of the Spanish Empire, it seemed the Americans did not yet learn from all those battles, but thought they just did it in the right way to get that what they wanted, more power.

The United KingdomRussiaJapan, France, United States, Germany, Italy and  Austria-Hungary had already their little war on a world level with the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901) defending the colours of their flag with the Righteous Harmony Society and  China.

Mexico and Germany got Carrancistas and the United States fighting a Border War (1910–1919) which made them rolling from one war into an other, having their youngsters also going to fight across the Ocean on the battlefields of Flanders and getting many casualties in World War I (for them 1917–1918), the Russian Civil War (1918–1920) and World War II (for them starting two years later = 1941–1945).

But still they did not seem to get enough, though so many cried out for “No more war!”. Soon as part of the Cold War many countries send their boys out to fight in the Korean War (1950–1953).

The Indochina Wars got many from our generation ‘fighting’ on the streets to stop all that killing, but our protestsongs did not do so much to end the Vietnam War (1955–1973). The boom-children could see that those who were afraid of sharing with each other and having common goods where willing to spend lives which belonged to many fathers and mothers who were not interested in politics. The Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961) and the Cuban missile crisis (1962) brought again much fear into many family homes.

Our children and grandchildren came to see how much turned about power over others or over resources of nature (oil, metals, diamonds, a.o.) like in the Gulf War (1990–1991) where like in the Vietnam war innocent civilians and unknowing soldier were victims of chemical experiments.

Those veterans of the many wars certainly had and have nothing to celebrate on a veteran’s day. They are victims of those in power. They are left in the cold when the battle was over or when they got out of the news in the media.

So many of those veterans still living today have horrible nightmares, have tremendous pains to endure,and who is helping them? Who is standing behind them to be there when they are needed? suddenly those veterans are not necessary any more because they became useless for a battlefield.

It are those forgotten soldiers we should remember as well.

It is not right to blame the general public to say

Vietnam War veterans were treated very badly, since public opinion of the war was so low.

The United States government could still take care of the many who returned damaged. They tax people so they receive money from the (working) public to govern and to take care of social issues. But they did and do not enough. and still there is not done enough to make all conscious that never again such a war should be able to get of the ground.

11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

blogger-for-peace-van-2

In the 1960ies we came on the streets to call for peace. Today our call and the call of our children and grandchildren should be so much stronger demanding Peace for all!
Click on the picture to find out more about a peace-movement which should continue to grow!

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  • Revolutionary War hero makes his mark and home in Pottstown (pottsmerc.com)
    When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, Pottstown – or Pottsgrove as it was then named – was a 22-year-old settlement with a few hundred people living in a handful of buildings along a dirt road. By modern standards it was not even a town.But by 18th century American standards it had some strong points. That “dirt road” was the main route from Reading to Philadelphia, then the largest and wealthiest city in America, and Pennsylvania’s third largest city and a source of manufacturing. Other assets were the large, well-built homes that John Potts and some of his many sons constructed in the town, and the fine land that went with them.
  • The Constitution, the Articles, and Federalism: Crash Course US History #8 (warriorgirl3.wordpress.com)
    John Green teaches you about the United States Constitution. During and after the American Revolutionary War, the government of the new country operated under the Articles of Confederation. While these Articles got the young nation through its war with England, they weren’t of much use when it came to running a country.
  • War on terror is the new gold rush Permanent, secret war is new normal (republicbroadcasting.org)
    Why would it ever end, with so many getting so rich?James Risen discusses the massive fraud and waste of this war, covered in his new book, “Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War”, out now.
  • A Salute to Our Veterans on Veterans Day (usguntimes.com)
    George Washington became famous for many reasons; he was the general that defeated the British during the Revolutionary War and the man who would become the first president of the United States. However, George Washington was also a veteran who shared in the combat, fear and misery in the field with his Continental Army
  • Washington’s wartime office goes on display (cbsnews.com)
    A replica of a large canvas tent that served as George Washington‘s home and command center during the Revolutionary War is going on display in Williamsburg.

    The display is part of a commemoration of the 1781 Siege of Yorktown and a special program on Indian diplomacy and the Revolutionary War that runs Thursday through Sunday.

    The commemoration is a collaboration between the planned Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and Colonial Williamsburg.

  • Column: SC honors vets for their service (thesheridanpress.com)

    “Sheridan College,” noted Dr. Paul Young, its president Tuesday during annual Veterans Day ceremonies on campus, “will always be a veterans college.”

    Indeed. The college’s roots date back to post WWII when the Truman Commission in 1946 called for an establishment of a network of community colleges throughout the U.S. Sheridan College was founded two years later.

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    Burtis and Amy King announced the roll call of 120 names of Wyoming armed forces members who lost their lives in Vietnam, including nine from Sheridan County. Burtis also noted that since 1775, some 2.5 million Americans have lost their lives defending this country’s freedoms, from the Revolutionary War to the ongoing global war on terror.
  • Honoring the flag they fought under (wdtn.com)
    While the flags are retired, what they stand for and who stood for them, remain on the minds of many.“It’s our responsibility to honor and never forget those who paid for our freedom with the ultimate sacrifice,” says Col. Mona Vollmer (Ret.) who spoke at Woodland’s Veterans Day ceremony.
  • Preservation Groups Launch `Campaign 76′ to Save Revolutionary War Battlefields (planetprinceton.com)
    Nearly 240 years after the shot heard ‘round the world signaled the beginning of the journey toward American independence, the biggest battlefield preservation group in the country has announced a new initiative to preserve Revolutionary War Battlefields. The first venture of the new initiative will be a fundraising campaign to preserve 4.6 historic acres on the Princeton Battlefield.Historians and preservationists gathered in Princeton today to launch the national project,  called “Campaign 1776,” and announce the Princeton Battlefield initiative.

    The Civil War Trust, the nation’s most successful battlefield preservation advocate, is leading the campaign.

  • The Truth about the Vietnam War (warriorgirl3.wordpress.com)
    Did the United States win or lose the Vietnam War? We are taught that it was a resounding loss for America, one that proves that intervening in the affairs of other nations is usually misguided. The truth is that our military won the war, but our politicians lost it.
  • Today in 1973: The War Powers Resolution is enacted over President Nixon’s veto (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
    the military has become involved in numerous conflicts around the globe without specific declarations of war from Congress. Instead, Congress has given specific authorizations for the use of military force to allow the president, as commander-in-chief, to involve the U.S. in armed conflicts around the world. However, after the Vietnam War dragged on beyond the point at which the public supported it, and after reports that President Richard Nixon was conducting covert bombing campaigns in Cambodia without informing Congress, action was taken.And this action was the War Powers Resolution, which took effect 41 years ago today, when President Nixon’s veto was overridden by the House first, and then the Senate, on November 7, 1973.

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