• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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. ...read more.

Middle

Since Islamic extremists unhappy with the existence of Western civilization evidently committed the successful attack on the centre of global capitalism, and observers have been handicapping with the Huntington "clash" view over Fukuyama's "end of history" hypothesis. Fukuyama's version of Hegelian essentialism asserts that the human desire for individual 'recognition' drives a universal history in the direction of such a singularity. His argument, like Huntington's, is that the national societies of the world have moved or are moving towards a political culture of liberal democracy. Contentiously, Fukuyama is quite clear that liberal democracy implies a commitment to market capitalism because these guarantee individual rights in the economic sphere. It is the culture rather than the practice of liberal democracy that is critical. "What is emerging victorious...is not so much liberal practice, as the liberal idea. That is to say, for a very large part of the world, there is now no ideology with pretensions to universality that is in a position to challenge liberal democracy" (1992:45, original italics). There is a set of cultural attributes that must accompany economic modernization. These include a greater degree of individualism, understood as people being evaluated based on their achievement rather than in terms of inherited status. According to Fukuyama, recent discussions of globalisation seem to assume that globalisation is going to be much more homogenising than it really is. ...read more.

Conclusion

Giddens' work links the process of globalisation with the development of modern societies. Giddens' main message is that a modern society is not defined entirely by its economic base but by the fact it is a nation state. Fukuyama's celebration of the success of liberalism is problematic, according to Giddens, and merely a 'mirage'. Society must continue to progress, the idea of the end of history is premature; our utopia is not in sight as yet. "Modernity has a cultural basis. Liberal democracy and free markets do not work everywhere. They work best in societies with certain values whose origins may not be entirely rational. It is not an accident that modern liberal democracy emerged first in the Christian west, since the universalism of democratic rights can be seen as a secular form of Christian universalism." (Fukuyama, 2003) 1 Neo-Marxists argue that the culture industry blindfolds Western society away from the rest of the world, which is suffering from poverty, disease and famine. Fukuyama's idea that society as a whole is getting better is therefore merely deceptive. However, a society which lacks the political wool drawn over their eyes to an extent in order to maintain civilised day-to-day actions would be a society surviving on turmoil. One must possess optimism in order to survive an existence in such cultures. The idea of the end of history may be premature, but it still gives us the hope that our own individual existences lead to something more ultimate. 1 From www.guardianunlimited.com, Francis Fukuyama's piece on Iraq affairs, May 2003. 000213541 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Indonesia: Transition and Prospects for Democracy

    Suharto's authoritarian rule lasted 32 years. Massive political pressure, demands for a total reform (Kusumah, 2001), increasing violence and antagonism between Golkar and opposition groups, and the effects of the 1997-8 economic crisis (Suryadinata, 2001) led to Suharto's presidential resignation on 21 May 1998, leaving his vice-president Habibie as the interim president.

  2. Photomontage in Berlin, A critical study of the capitals inter-war artwork

    In fact with most montages this bluntness is perhaps a key factor in making the images interesting. The imperfections of the image make it much more interesting than carefully created montages. It makes photomontage look like a composition of thoughts that are pulled from the mind and pieced together on paper.

  1. Assess critically Marx's distinction between ideology and science

    can be no justice except that which serves the interests of the rulers. Accordingly, only with the withering away of the State, as predicted by Marx, justice would triumph while the legal system as an ideology would also wither away.

  2. Compare the views about the nature and development of Carl Rogers and George Kelly. ...

    These conflicting views had a major impact on their therapy techniques (Maddi, 1996). Kelly believed people continued to try new constructs in order to see which fits their idea of the future, and there was, for Kelly, no innately determined self, rather each individual invents his or her personality (Cromwell, 2003).

  1. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    No party obtained a plurality of the total seats, however. (The party winning the largest number of seats gained 70.) Ideologically, the democratic "center" came out ahead, but the seats were divided among nine parties, as opposed to 1 for the illiberal right, and 2 for the communist left.

  2. What exactly is Weber's Protestant Ethic Thesis?

    wage-labour, markets etc. - but also the creation of the correct mental attitude and personality." (McIntosh, 1997:115) It might be appropriate to mention at this point that Weber never sought to explain capitalism, but rather the 'spirit' of capitalism. He did not seek to understand the process of profit making,

  1. Examine the history of and different types of Anarchism

    Mutualism This is above all associated with Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. In his book What is Property?, Proudhon stated: ?Property is theft.? He condemned laissez-faire capitalism as being based on exploitation and the accumulation of capital. Unlike Marx, however, he was not opposed to all forms of property. He distinguished between ?property? and ?possessions?, to which people had a moral right.

  2. Explain the Impact of Globalisation

    In 2003, that average dropped to less than 3 children per woman. When fertility rates drop in developing countries, such as Peru, it is usually an indication that there is an increase in women's liberation. Women are no longer facing as much social pressure to have lots of children and stay home to raise them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work