Theoretical or Abstract Possibilities

Erasmo Calzadilla

Francis Fukuyama. Photo:

Do you remember the book The End of History?

It was written by the neo-conservative with the nice name “Fukuyama,” though what was not so nice was his resume: he was the co-founder of the (imperialist) Project for the New American Century and was a co-signer along with 40 other conservative American intellectuals of a letter that urged the US president to initiate a second Gulf War.

While people in other places were dancing in the aisles to the end of meta-stories, Fukuyama invented one that was closely attached to the idea of progress:

Industrial development, the advancement of natural science and the desire for recognition that we all human beings hold, led to the victory and stabilization of the only socio-political and economic system that guaranteed—he thought—the satisfaction of fundamental human desires: Liberal Democracy. He saw history as a struggle between ideologies, with that struggle having ended. This therefore meant:

“…the end of wars and bloody revolutions, and people meeting their needs through economic activity without having to risk their lives in such battles.” (1)

I remember enraged Marxists arguing that as long as there were inequality and poverty, history (one of struggle) would continue.

However, Fukuyama had an answer for them. His argument was more or less that not all countries had reached the end of history, and that as long as that condition continued, they would remain erratic, unstable.

By the same logic, when someone in Chile in 1992 (2) asked this Japanese-American about the political future of Europe, he replied:

“…in Europe there has generally taken place a gentrification of society. Therefore the uprisings that I referred to earlier are more theoretical or abstract possibilities rather than real ones.”

(1) From Wikipedia’s article on Francis Fukuyama.

(2) El Futuro Después del Fin de la Historia, Centros de Estudios Publicos, Chile, November 13, 1992.

Erasmo Calzadilla

Erasmo Calzadilla: I find it difficult to introduce myself in public. I've tried many times but it doesn’t flow. I’m more less how I appear in my posts, add some unpresentable qualities and stir; that should do for a first approach. If you want to dig a little deeper, ask me for an appointment and wait for a reply.

Erasmo Calzadilla has 408 posts and counting. See all posts by Erasmo Calzadilla