Francis Fukuyama's book The End of History and the Last Man is an interesting book. It constantly provokes the reader. However, I'm a little surprised that Fukuyama in 2006, when he writes the Afterword in the book, still believes in his weak determinism that the world is destined for liberal democracy only. I have said most of this earlier but this is a summary.
Despite that 2006 was the culmination of problems of starting democracy in Iraq, Fukuyama discusses this problem in the Afterword and speculates that the problem of separating state and religion might be a permanent problem for Muslims to endorse democracy. The development of the Muslim communities in Europe will probably cast light on this issue. Will Europe become a Eurabia that plays down democracy for authoritarianism and sharia?
However, the largest problem with the idea that liberal democracy will win out eventually is the success of China the last 30 years. They took ideas from West, worked hard and managed to come out on top. At least temporarily. They claim that once ideas are generated democracy is inefficient. If they are equally strong, authoritarianism and liberal democracy might start to oscillate and thus co-exist peacefully.
There is a problem though. If authoritarians buy a company they will affect the lifestyle of the employees more than if liberal democrats buy a company. This asymmetry will definitely cause problems. There was an article on wsj.com the other day that advocated for letting the Chinese buy companies in the US. The argument went that there are now 700,000 Americans working for Japanese companies in the US and this is working just fine. But then, the Japanese do play baseball. In Sweden the Volvo Cars experiment with Chinese ownership is ongoing with initial positive results.
The main philosophical argument used for the weak determinism for liberal democracy is that its driven by the need for recognition. I'm not sure why the strong determinism of Hegel and Marx are to be taken serious. In retrospect they are ridiculous and why spend time on ideas from thinkers that have proven ridiculous ideas? In my own experience philosophers often have a few gems and then a lot of crazy ideas, which could be such an argument.
It is a great difference between the Anglo-Saxon pursuit of happiness and the need for recognition. I was under the impression that the latter created two world wars and that the former saved the day. Ideas that fascinate the masses can be very dangerous when wrong. Fukuyama is in principle saying that a scientist is working for the recognition he might get rather than out of curiosity when the latter is probably more biologically correct. Money comes to you. So does fame. When a scientist is getting a crazy idea the possible effects on his life comes after the fact, obviously.
The reason for why liberal democracy is more universal would be that the majority of people like being free. However, with 1,3bn Chinese, 1,2bn Muslims and 1,1bn Catholics it is possible to start wondering if this really is true. Part of mankind prefer order and no responsibility. They are natural or cultural followers and thrive in hierarchical systems. Liberal democracy is more demanding. I believe liberal democracy is a higher developmental form and that future improvements will derive from it but perhaps not as a majority system.
A good question is if it is possible to figure out if an idea is wrong even if it is popular. Have Fukuyama's idea led to too much give-aways to China so that they have evolved too fast and therefore will become intoxicated of their own invincibility, which could be a risk. During Mao, 1949 to 1976, China bottomed out in relation to the GDP of the UK. Now they will match the US GDP in 2016. If people start thinking like this, we will probably see more protectionism. A few years ago it was not uncommon to hear that doing business with China will make them change their political system. I remember watching Swedish TV where a commune politician from Karlstad was going to China and changing them.
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