Headline, May 20 2022/ HISTORY : ''' '' FRANCIS FUKUYAMA FRAMES '' '''



 FRAMES '' '''

ONE THING FUKUYAMA - 69, HAS NOT GOTTEN SICK of is trying to answer the biggest questions about democracy, human nature, and the long arc of historical progress. 

In 1989, he shot to unlikely celebrity with his essay '' The End of History '' which argued that the decline of Communism marked the end of grand ideological struggle and the ''universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.''

Published a few months before the fall of the Berlin's Wall [and expanded into a best-selling book in 1992], it was an instant sensation, and has continued to inspire debate, mockery memes, and at least one nuclear-strength craft beer packaged inside a taxidermied squirrel.

Fukuyama moved on to more earthbound subjects, writing books on social trust, biotechnology, governance, the origins of political order and the decline [by his lights] of the neoconservative movement he emerged from.

But he has also kept tinkering with - and defending - the thesis that made his name.

It looms behind his new book, ''Liberalism and Its Discontents,'' a short, staunch defense of classical liberal values against what he sees as threats from both the identitarian left and - far more dangerously - the populist nationalist right.

The Fukuyama of 1989 saw the end of grand ideological struggle as potentially a little ''boring.'' But the Fukuyama of 2022 has mustered a bit more passion, especially since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a country he has been visiting regularly since 2013.

In early March, he predicted that Russia was ''headed for an outright defeat,'' which will revive ''the spirit of 1989'' and ''get us out of funk about the declining state of global democracy.'' He has been deluged with interview requests ever since.

''There's been so much cynicism about the idea of democracy, including in many democratic countries,'' he said. ''This makes it so vivid why it's better to live in liberal society.''

FUKUYAMA [Frank to his friends] grew up in New York City, where his father was a minister and an academic. [He traces his own love making things partly to his paternal grandfather, a Japanese immigrant who opened a hardware store in the Little Tokyo neighborhood in the early 1900s.]

He fell in love with philosophy at Cornell University, where he studied classics. If '' The End of History '' had a beginning, it might be a seminar on Plato's ''Republic'' taught by the charismatic political philosopher Allan Bloom, the future author ''The Closing of the American Mind.''

In Plato's dialogue, Socrates begins by debating the nature of justice. ''It struck me as what people ought to be doing, asking these really big questions,'' Fukuyama said. But how he got there from neoconservative foreign policy, he said, ''is a bit more complicated.''

After a dalliance with postmodern literary theory at Yale, he transferred to Harvard's Ph.D program in government, where he wrote a dissertation on Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East. Early in the Reagan administration, his friend and fellow neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz hired him at the State Department's Office of Policy Planning.

It was during a later stint there, in the George H.W. administration, Fukuyama wrote ''The End of History?,'' which was originally delivered at a conference organized by Bloom.

Published in the journal The National Interest with commentaries by half-dozen leading figures, the essay [which was grounded in a reading of Hegel's abstruse philosophy of History] landed like a bombshell ''outselling everything, even the pornography,'' one Washington newsstand owner reported.

For some, it was one of the most important foreign policy essays since George Kennan's famous ''X'' article, which called for the ''containment'' of Soviet Communism. For others, it was dangerous Cold War triumphalism.

Fukuyama, currently a senior fellow at Freeman's Spogli Institute for International Studies, still seems a bit amazed by it all, recalling a ''Woody Allen - like experience'' on an airplane.

''The guy next to me pulled out a copy of Time with an article about it,'' he said. ''I wanted to tap him on the shoulder and say, ''Hey, that's me!''

He realized that he wanted to be a writer, not a bureaucrat. And success gave him the freedom, as he put it, ''to teach myself stuff I didn't know.''

For ''Trust,'' a study of the connections between culture and economic life, he dived into the work of the sociologist Max Weber. ''Our Posthuman future'' took on biotechnology. His two book ''Origins of Political Order'' series surveyed 50,000 years of human evolution. [''The research got a little out of hand,'' he admitted.]

Fame, he said, also made him ''less resilient on the good opinion of a circle of friends.'' In 2004, he broke with his fellow neoconservatives over what he saw as their delusionally sunny assessment of the Iraq war.

Liberal democracy, he believes, isn't just an accidental, culturally contingent byproduct of a particular historical moment, as some of his critics have argued.

''I do believe there's an arc of history, and it bends toward some form of justice,'' he said.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Democracy and Great Thinkers, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Jennifer Schuessler.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. SeeYa all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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