Essay Example on Fukuyama’s work

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Fukuyama’s work The End of History and the Last Man started a broad discussion in modern sociology and philosophy In the book Fukuyama tries to answer the questions Is history directional And Can the scientific method cease to dominate our lives and is it possible for industrialized societies to return to pre modern prescientific ones Is the directionality of history in short reversible Fukuyama 1992 p 80 81 As the supposed mechanism of directed historical changes he chooses the natural sciences because of scientific knowledge various historical changes the form of production changes culture and education and so on In this essay I will comment on the logic of the reasoning of Fukuyama and what he tried to outline in his work Fukuyama believes that the first of the ways that modern science generates change is a military competition The second way is a progressive conquest of nature in order to satisfy the desires of man in another way it is called economic development The possibility of war is a great force for the rationalization of societies and for the creation of uniform social structures across cultures Any state that hopes to maintain its political autonomy is forced to adopt the technology of its enemies and rivals More than that however the threat of war forces states to restructure their social systems along lines most conducive to producing and deploying technology Fukuyama 1992 p 73 In his view it was these circumstances that prompted the Soviet government to undertake fundamental economic reforms to in the future to maintain competitiveness in the economic and military sphere In his arguments Fukuyama comes to the conclusion that science generates the direction of history 


Then he has another question if science creates the direction of history Is it possible for mankind as a whole to reverse the directionality of history through the rejection or loss of the scientific method Fukuyama 1992 p 82 He divides this question into two can science be deliberately rejected by modern societies can a global cataclysm cause the involuntary loss of modern science Reflecting on these questions he comes to the conclusion that humanity will not give up consciously of the benefits of civilization that are created with the help of scientific achievements Even a global cataclysm cannot cause a loss of modern science Without the destruction or rejection of the scientific method itself modern natural science would eventually reproduce itself and force the recreation of many aspects of the modern rational social world as well p82 that it is very doubtful whether it can ever be forgotten or un invented under conditions other than the physical annihilation of the human race Fukuyama 1992 p 88 He comes to the conclusion that cyclic history is possible only if the existing civilization disappears completely leaving no trace


Progressive movement of science generates the direction of history the dominance of modern natural science over human life is not likely to be reversed under any foreseeable circumstances even unde r the most extreme circumstances Fukuyama 1992 p 89 Western institutions as well as the scientific method that was discovered in the West have universal applicability There is a deep historical mechanism that leads to long term convergence on top of cultural boundaries first most strongly in the economy then in politics and finally in culture First of all this process is moving forward thanks to modern science and technologies whose ability to create material wealth and the weapons of war are so great that they make science and technology necessary for all societies Fukuyama developing his assumption does not think about the negative consequences of scientific progress Fukuyama is convinced that it is science that leads to capitalism in the sphere of economy and liberalism in the sphere of politics But there are such countries that have passed the first stages of industrialization have become economically developed urbanized possessing strong state structures but they have not become either capitalist or democratic These include states with central economic planning and the communist regime 



A vivid example of such state can serve the Soviet Union Thanks to ideological propaganda among the semi literate population the Soviet Union began not only to develop rapidly but also to spread its ideology Fukuyama 1992 Fukuyama believes that it was the spread of communism that prevented the emergence of democracy in the twentieth century since it had a destructive effect on the beginnings of democracy in the backward countries Communist ideas especially in the postwar period were spreading with incredible speed The totalitarian state it was believed could not only perpetuate itself indefinitely it could replicate itself throughout the world like a virus When communism was exported to East Germany Cuba Vietnam or Ethiopia it came complete with a vanguard party centralized ministries a police apparatus and an ideology to govern all aspects of life These institutions appeared to be effective regardless of the national or cultural traditions of the countries in question Fukuyama 1992 p 25 To prevent the spread of communism democratic states began to spread their policies The main idea is that Western liberal democracy is the ideological basis the only ideological model that having defeated others will provide us with a conflict free non contradictory world



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