Drawing upon the historiographic perspective of nineteenth-century German philosopher Georg W. Hegel, Fukuyama suggests that “history,” viewed as a struggle between competing ideologies, has reached its terminus in liberal democracy.Hegel, as Fukuyama recalls, proclaimed that history had come to an end in 1806 with Napoleon's victory over the Prussian monarchy at the Battle of Jena, signaling the ascendancy of democratic ideals borne of the Enlightenment and French Revolution.
Such rampant amorality, Fukuyama notes, is historically cyclical and typical of periods of great economic change—in the present case, the move from a post-industrial to an information society.
Fukuyama suggests that the women's liberation movement, though ultimately a positive force of social transformation, was also a major source of the “disruption.” Drawing upon research in anthropology, evolutionary biology, game theory, psychology, and moral philosophy, Fukuyama contends that humans by nature tend to self-organize and self-regulate in beneficial ways, leading to his optimistic conclusion that a new era of spontaneous, popular reform is on the horizon, a period during which people will likely demand higher standards of morality and responsibility among themselves, others, and institutions.
In 1989 Fukuyama was named deputy director of the U. Department of State Policy Planning Staff, a position he held until 1990. ,” Fukuyama turned to full-time research, writing, and lecturing. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University.
His The End of History and the Last Man won the Premio Capri International Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Critics Award in 1992.
Biographical Information Fukuyama was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in New York City by his Japanese parents.
His father, Yoshio, was a Congregationalist minister and professor of religion. from Cornell in 1974, Fukuyama began graduate work in comparative literature under Paul de Man at Yale University, then spent six months in Paris where he visited the classrooms of preeminent literary theorists Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida.
Fukuyama identifies two principal “mechanisms” of historical change—man's effort to master nature through scientific progress and thymos, a Greek term adopted from Plato that refers to the individual's desire for recognition.
Noting the universal Judeo-Christian moral code that undergirds democratic egalitarianism, Fukuyama attacks contemporary moral relativism and multiculturalism.
Far from extolling this prospect, Fukuyama laments the passing of “history,” which he concludes will usher in “a very sad time.” In this post-historical era, Fukuyama notes, the excitement of revolutionary fervor and ideological possibility will give way to the sterile solving of economic, technological, and environmental problems, and the perpetual boredom of consumerism.
Fukuyama does, however, hold out the hope that such interminable boredom will eventually give rise to the rebirth of “History.” In The End of History and the Last Man, Fukuyama defends and further elaborates his original thesis, again drawing upon the insights of Hegel as well as twentieth-century Hegel scholar Alexandre Kojève.