Notes to Chapter 1
1 Fukuyama appears to agree with Arundhati Roy and other critics of the corporate power, perhaps against himself, as he points out that we hunger less for freedom than for what we currently understand as prosperity—access to technology and purchasable goods. Hopefully, once we satisfy our desires for iPhones and other fashionable gizmos, we can turn our thoughts back to freedom, understood as participation in democratic processes. “I have numerous affiliations with the different strands of the neoconservative movement,” Fukuyama discloses in “After Neoconservatism,” an essay for the New York Times. “I was a student of Strauss’s protégé Allan Bloom, who wrote the bestseller ‘The Closing of the American Mind’; worked at Rand and with Wohlstetter on Persian Gulf issues; and worked also on two occasions for Wolfowitz. Many people have also interpreted my book ‘The End of History and the Last Man’ (1992) as a neoconservative tract, one that argued in favor of the view that there is a universal hunger for liberty in all people that will inevitably lead them to liberal democracy, and that we are living in the midst of an accelerating, transnational movement in favor of that liberal democracy. This is a misreading of the argument. ‘The End of History’ is in the end an argument about modernization (emphasis added). What is initially universal is not the desire for liberal democracy but rather the desire to live in a modern—that is, technologically advanced and...
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