August 7, 2006

Classic Fukuyama

In the Washington Post in "History's Against Him," Francis Fukuyama tries to stick some fingers in the leaking dyke of his End of History theory by explaining that the popularity of Hugo Chavez is a product of high oil prices. Good point, although that's something I noted last February:

Why are anti-American populists Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the news so much?

High oil prices. Populism is a winning political strategy when you have lots of windfall oil profits to spend on publicity stunts.

But what makes his long essay classic Fukuyama is that he tries to explain the upsurge of Latin American leftist populism without ever mentioning ... race. It's obvious just by looking at pictures of representatives of the the different sides in Latin America that the essential root of the conflict is that white people more or less own Latin America and dark people aren't happy about that fact. But Fukuyama is resolved to remain oblivious to the obvious.

As I wrote in VDARE in 2003 in my review of Amy Chua's World on Fire:

Francis Fukuyama famously announced at the end of the Cold War that humanity had reached "the end of history." Unfortunately, he forgot to tell history not to bother coming to work anymore.

Easy as it is to make fun of Fukuyama, where exactly did he go wrong?

Fukuyama's conception was formed by his expensive miseducation in the works of Hegel and other 19th Century German philosophers. History consists of the struggle to determine the proper ideology. Now there are no plausible alternatives to capitalist democracy. History, therefore, must be finished.

Lenin held a more realistic theory of what history is about: not ideology, but "Who? Whom?” (You can insert your own transitive verb between the two words.) History continues because the struggle to determine who will be the who rather than the whom will never end.

Fukuyama may be the only major nonwhite American intellectual who does not write primarily about race. This is admirable in many ways, but it's a fatal shortcoming in a thinker of such expansive ambitions. Race remains enormously relevant in this world.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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