Saturday, February 26, 2005

The End of History


Mr. Phenomenology is by now a familiar story,
the basic principles of which are considerable contradictions,
a jumble of current events, modern political doctrines,
and a flood of articles. Flabby and weak-willed, the professor
might best be understood as watching over some
larger process in violence and self-confidence.


For him, the apparent promises regarding the passionate
on the right and the well-educated on the left are
spiritual pollution. The various slowdowns in world history
are more properly seen as virtually irrelevant.


Such nostalgia I can feel in myself.
The struggle for recognition
is still caught in the grip
of a very widespread belief that is impossible to rule out:
systems previously unrecognized out of sheer cynicism.


A hand on the trigger of the gun:
what has happened, what is important—
here again the example seemed intolerable,
increasingly dismal, and anachronistic.
Explicit and self-aware, he scrambles human history,
creates consciousness, which in the long run
may not be what one might label
a rational tendency to retreat (correctly understood).
With typical solipsism his conflict remains
primarily a deformed outgrowth in which
there are no homogenous rivalries.

From the essay "The End of History," by Francis Fukuyama, published in The National Interest, summer 1989.


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