63 pages • 2 hours readFrancis Fukuyama
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The use of Hegel’s historicism is one of the central themes in The End of History and the Last Man. The Hegelian approach to history makes it clear that Fukuyama is less interested in specific events and more focused on broadscale historical, political, and ideological trends to establish a secular eschatology of his universal history of humankind. At the same time, this approach to interpreting history seems to take agency away from ordinary people and subordinate them to what could be described as historic destiny. Hegelian historicism is also rooted in Western philosophy even though Fukuyama applies it to both Western and non-Western countries where such thinking may not be as effective at describing historical phenomena.
Hegel was a seminal philosopher of German Idealism and the history of Western thought at large. As a system builder, he was in the same category as Plato and subsequent thinkers whom he influenced, such as Karl Marx. The individual parts of his philosophy are to be understood within the system that he devised. One of the key aspects of this system is the dialectic triad comprised of a thesis and an
By Francis Fukuyama