Insofar as globalisation results in the 'end of history' (Fukuyama), what are the prospects for social and political change in contemporary society?

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Insofar as globalisation results in the ‘end of history’ (Fukuyama), what are the prospects for social and political change in contemporary society?

Introduction to ‘The End of History Thesis’

In Fukuyama’s views, globalisation is still a superficial subject. The global economy is limited, and the issue of globalisation is restricted to the capital markets.

Communism has fallen to Capitalism, and the spread of capitalism has lead to the globalisation of the world and its cultures. Globalisation aims to make us all the same, a homogeneous society. The affirmation of distinctive cultural identities and homogenisation according to Fukuyama will occur simultaneously, for in terms of large political and economical institutions, cultures are becoming more homogeneous. To be an advanced society, a country has to be a democracy, and it has to be connected to the global marketplace. In such a respect, there is a greater homogenisation of institutions and ideologies. There is no evidence that homogenisation is proceeding as rapidly on a cultural level, however to a certain extent there is a real resistance to cultural homogenisation. Companies such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola spread a global consumer culture, however, a culture really consists of deeper moral norms that affect how people link together. When people examine a culture, they pay too much attention to aspects like the kinds of consumer goods that people buy which is the most superficial aspect of culture.

Recent years have witnessed dramatic changes in Eastern Europe. The dismantling of the Berlin Wall in 1989 signalled the general collapse of the socialist regimes. The ‘satellite’ states (e.g. East Germany) have won their political freedom from Soviet Union control, and the old USSR itself has fragmented and splintered into breakaway republics. The economic and political crisis in these countries has resulted in a move away from centrally planned economies towards Western Style free markets. Many commentators after the collapse of such regimes had predicted an increasing convergence between East and West in the following few decades. Fukuyama claims we have reached the ‘end of history’ or, more precisely, the end of major ideological conflicts. In his highly controversial opinion, the collapse of Soviet style communism signals the death of socialism and the permanent victory of Western style liberal democracy.

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Fukuyama’s theory of the ‘End of History’ originated from a controversial article entitled “The End of History?” written for the journal ‘The National Interest’ in 1989, in which he argued that ‘a remarkable consensus concerning the legitimacy of liberal democracy as a system of government had emerged throughout the world over the past few years, as it conquered rival ideologies like hereditary monarchy, fascism, and most recently communism.’ (Fukuyama 1989) On top of this, Fukuyama argues that liberal democracy might amount to the “end point of mankind’s ideological evolution” and the “final form of human government,” and as such constituted ...

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