I'm obviously a little late to the discussion of Francis Fukuyama's book The End of History and the Last Man from 1992. I have seen numerous references to the book over the years and always wondered why he thought there is going to be an end to history. It seems non-biological. Why should evolution stop if you don't count man made catastrophes? The political development is also part of the evolution.
What happened since Fukuyama wrote this book is the ascent of China. It is therefore interesting to find in the above book that Fukuyama writes that market-oriented authoritarian countries should in theory perform better than democracies, when he obviously does not think China would count as such a country at the time and not later in the book Trust either.
I'm not sure I agree but one of the main themes of the book is the Hegelian quest for recognition which says that the Chinese will eventually demand democracy. It is more probable that we will see continuous cycles of empires as Fukuyama writes about in his recent book The Origins of Political Order.
Should we forget about democracy then? Probably not since freedom of thought and living quality might have important effects on the development of science. This is a yet unknown. Do we want to gamble? The last ten years there has been a lot of talk that China would reform due to the contact with the West but I'm beginning to feel that the reverse is taking place on the altar of the economy. My question then is: how stable is China?
Dick Erixon brought up the question the other day if democracy would be needed in the future. He rushed of to a debate but never commented on what he learned. Should the politician re-school themselves to "whack-a-moleians" Chinese style, without any right to political opinions, or should they instead try to inspire people to work towards some goals? There is this game on American fairs where you take a hammer and begin to hit moles as they appear in the holes. It is very hard to inspire without goals and technocratic goals are not particularly intresting for most people.