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The End Of History?

By Francis Fukuyama*
IN WATCHING the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to
avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world
history. The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end
of the Cold War, and the fact that peace seems to !e !rea"ing out in
many regions of the world. #ost of these analyses lac" any larger
conceptual framewor" for distinguishing !etween what is essential and
what is contingent or accidental in world history, and are predicta!ly
superficial. If #r. Gor!achev were ousted from the $remlin or a new
Ayatollah proclaimed the millennium from a desolate #iddle %astern
capital, these same commentators would scram!le to announce the
re!irth of a new era of conflict.
And yet, all of these people sense dimly that there is some larger process
at wor", a process that gives coherence and order to the daily headlines.
The twentieth century saw the developed world descend into a paro&ysm
of ideological violence, as li!eralism contended first with the remnants of
a!solutism, then !olshevism and fascism, and finally an updated #ar&ism
that threatened to lead to the ultimate apocalypse of nuclear war. 'ut the
century that !egan full of self(confidence in the ultimate triumph of
Western li!eral democracy seems at its close to !e returning full circle to
where it started) not to an end of ideology or a convergence !etween
capitalism and socialism, as earlier predicted, !ut to an una!ashed victory
of economic and political li!eralism.
The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the
total e&haustion of via!le systematic alternatives to Western li!eralism. In
the past decade, there have !een unmista"a!le changes in the intellectual
climate of the world*s two largest communist countries, and the
!eginnings of significant reform movements in !oth. 'ut this phenomenon
e&tends !eyond high politics and it can !e seen also in the inelucta!le
spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse conte&ts as the
peasants* mar"ets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout
China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past
year in #oscow, the 'eethoven piped into +apanese department stores,
and the roc" music en,oyed ali"e in -rague, .angoon, and Tehran.
What we may !e witnessing is not ,ust the end of the Cold War, or the
passing of a particular period of postwar history, !ut the end of history as
such) that is, the end point of man"ind*s ideological evolution and the
universali/ation of Western li!eral democracy as the final form of human
government. This is not to say that there will no longer !e events to fill the
pages of Foreign Affair's yearly summaries of international relations, for
the victory of li!eralism has occurred primarily in the realm of ideas or
consciousness and is as yet incomplete in. the real or material world. 'ut
there are powerful reasons for !elieving that it is the ideal that will govern
the material world in the long run. To understand how this is so, we must
first consider some theoretical issues concerning the nature of historical
TH% N1TI1N of the end of history is not an original one. Its !est "nown
propagator was $arl #ar&, who !elieved that the direction of historical
development was a purposeful one determined !y the interplay of material
forces, and would come to an end only with the achievement of a
communist utopia that would finally resolve all prior contradictions. 'ut
the concept of history as a dialectical process with a !eginning, a middle,
and an end was !orrowed !y #ar& from his great German predecessor,
Georg Wilhelm 2riedrich Hegel.
2or !etter or worse, much of Hegel*s historicism has !ecome part of our
contemporary intellectual !aggage. The notion that man"ind has
progressed through a series of primitive stages of consciousness on his
path to the present, and that these stages corresponded to concrete forms
of social organi/ation, such as tri!al, slave(owning, theocratic, and finally
democratic(egalitarian societies, has !ecome insepara!le from the modern
understanding of man. Hegel was the first philosopher to spea" the
language of modern social science, insofar as man for him was the product
of his concrete historical and social environment and not, as earlier natural
right theorists would have it, a collection of more or less fi&ed natural
attri!utes. The mastery and transformation of man*s natural environment
through the application of science and technology was originally not a
#ar&ist concept, !ut a Hegelian one. 3nli"e later historicists whose
historical relativism degenerated into relativism tout court, however, Hegel
!elieved that history culminated in an a!solute moment ( a moment in
which a final, rational form of society and state !ecame victorious.
It is Hegel*s misfortune to !e "nown now primarily as #ar&*s precursor4
and it is our misfortune that few of us are familiar with Hegel*s wor" from
direct study, !ut only as it has !een filtered through the distorting lens of
#ar&ism. In 2rance, however, there has !een an effort to save Hegel from
his #ar&ist interpreters and to resurrect him as the philosopher who most
correctly spea"s to our time. Among those modern 2rench interpreters of
Hegel, the greatest was certainly Ale&andre $o,5ve, a !rilliant .ussian
6migr6 who taught a highly influential series of seminars in -aris in the
0789s at the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes.:0; While largely un"nown
in the 3nited <tates, $o,5ve had a ma,or impact on the intellectual life of
the continent. Among his students ranged such future luminaries as +ean(
-aul <artre on the =eft and .aymond Aron on the .ight4 postwar
e&istentialism !orrowed many of its !asic categories from Hegel via
$o,5ve sought to resurrect the Hegel of the Phenomenology of Mind, the
Hegel who proclaimed history to !e at an end in 0?9@. 2or as early as this
Hegel saw in Napoleon*s defeat of the -russian monarchy at the 'attle of
+ena the victory of the ideals of the 2rench .evolution, and the imminent
universali/ation of the state incorporating the principles of li!erty and
eAuality. $o,5ve, far from re,ecting Hegel in light of the tur!ulent events of
the ne&t century and a half, insisted that the latter had !een essentially
correct.:>; The 'attle of +ena mar"ed the end of history !ecause it was at
that point that the vanguard of humanity Ba term Auite familiar to
#ar&istsC actuali/ed the principles of the 2rench .evolution. While there
was considera!le wor" to !e done after 0?9@ ( a!olishing slavery and the
slave trade, e&tending the franchise to wor"ers, women, !lac"s, and other
racial minorities, etc. ( the !asic principles of the li!eral democratic state
could not !e improved upon. The two world wars in this century and their
attendant revolutions and upheavals simply had the effect of e&tending
those principles spatially, such that the various provinces of human
civili/ation were !rought up to the level of its most advanced outposts,
and of forcing those societies in %urope and North America at the
vanguard of civili/ation to implement their li!eralism more fully.
The state that emerges at the end of history is li!eral insofar as it
recogni/es and protects through a system of law man*s universal right to
freedom, and democratic insofar as it e&ists only with the consent of the
governed. 2or $o,5ve, this so(called universal homogenous state found
real(life em!odiment in the countries of postwar Western %urope (
precisely those fla!!y, prosperous, self(satisfied, inward(loo"ing, wea"(
willed states whose grandest pro,ect was nothing more heroic than the
creation of the Common #ar"et.:8; 'ut this was only to !e e&pected. 2or
human history and the conflict that characteri/ed it was !ased on the
e&istence of contradictions) primitive man*s Auest for mutual recognition,
the dialectic of the master and slave, the transformation and mastery of
nature, the struggle for the universal recognition of rights, and the
dichotomy !etween proletarian and capitalist. 'ut in the universal
homogenous state, all prior contradictions are resolved and all human
needs are satisfied. There is no struggle or conflict over large issues, and
conseAuently no need for generals or statesmen4 what remains is primarily
economic activity. And indeed, $o,5ve*s life was consistent with his
teaching. 'elieving that there was no more wor" for philosophers as well,
since Hegel Bcorrectly understoodC had already achieved a!solute
"nowledge, $o,5ve left teaching after the war and spent the remainder of
his life wor"ing as a !ureaucrat in the %uropean %conomic Community,
until his death in 07@?.
To his contemporaries at mid(century, $o,5ve*s proclamation of the end of
history must have seemed li"e the typical eccentric solipsism of a 2rench
intellectual, coming as it did on the heels of World War II and at the very
height of the Cold War. To comprehend how $o,5ve could have !een so
audacious as to assert that history has ended, we must first of all
understand the meaning of Hegelian idealism.
21. H%G%=, the contradictions that drive history e&ist first of all in the
realm of human consciousness, i.e. on the level of ideas:D; ( not the trivial
election year proposals of American politicians, !ut ideas in the sense of
large unifying world views that might !est !e understood under the ru!ric
of ideology. Ideology in this sense is not restricted to the secular and
e&plicit political doctrines we usually associate with the term, !ut can
include religion, culture, and the comple& of moral values underlying any
society as well.
Hegel*s view of the relationship !etween the ideal and the real or material
worlds was an e&tremely complicated one, !eginning with the fact that for
him the distinction !etween the two was only apparent.:E; He did not
!elieve that the real world conformed or could !e made to conform to
ideological preconceptions of philosophy professors in any simpleminded
way, or that the material world could not impinge on the ideal. Indeed,
Hegel the professor was temporarily thrown out of wor" as a result of a
very material event, the 'attle of +ena. 'ut while Hegel*s writing and
thin"ing could !e stopped !y a !ullet from the material world, the hand on
the trigger of the gun was motivated in turn !y the ideas of li!erty and
eAuality that had driven the 2rench .evolution.
2or Hegel, all human !ehavior in the material world, and hence all human
history, is rooted in a prior state of consciousness ( an idea similar to the
one e&pressed !y +ohn #aynard $eynes when he said that the views of
men of affairs were usually derived from defunct economists and
academic scri!!lers of earlier generations. This consciousness may not !e
e&plicit and self(aware, as are modern political doctrines, !ut may rather
ta"e the form of religion or simple cultural or moral ha!its. And yet this
realm of consciousness in the long run necessarily !ecomes manifest in
the material world, indeed creates the material world in its own image.
Consciousness is cause and not effect, and can develop autonomously
from the material world4 hence the real su!te&t underlying the apparent
,um!le of current events is the history of ideology.
Hegel*s idealism has fared poorly at the hands of later thin"ers. #ar&
reversed the priority of the real and the ideal completely, relegating the
entire realm of consciousness ( religion, art, culture, philosophy itself ( to a
superstructure that was determined entirely !y the prevailing material
mode of production. Fet another unfortunate legacy of #ar&ism is our
tendency to retreat into materialist or utilitarian e&planations of political or
historical phenomena, and our disinclination to !elieve in the autonomous
power of ideas. A recent e&ample of this is -aul $ennedy*s hugely
successful The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which ascri!es the
decline of great powers to simple economic overe&tension. 1!viously, this
is true on some level) an empire whose economy is !arely a!ove the level
of su!sistence cannot !an"rupt its treasury indefinitely. 'ut whether a
highly productive modern industrial society chooses to spend 8 or G
percent of its GN- on defense rather than consumption is entirely a matter
of that society*s political priorities, which are in turn determined in the
realm of consciousness.
The materialist !ias of modern thought is characteristic not only of people
on the =eft who may !e sympathetic to #ar&ism, !ut of many passionate
anti(#ar&ists as well. Indeed, there is on the .ight what one might la!el
the Wall <treet +ournal school of deterministic materialism that discounts
the importance of ideology and culture and sees man as essentially a
rational, profit(ma&imi/ing individual. It is precisely this "ind of individual
and his pursuit of material incentives that is posited as the !asis for
economic life as such in economic te&t!oo"s.:@; 1ne small e&ample will
illustrate the pro!lematic character of such materialist views.
#a& We!er !egins his famous !oo", The Protestant Ethic and the !irit of
"a!italism, !y noting the different economic performance of -rotestant
and Catholic communities throughout %urope and America, summed up in
the prover! that -rotestants eat well while Catholics sleep well. We!er
notes that according to any economic theory that posited man as a
rational profit(ma&imi/er, raising the piece(wor" rate should increase la!or
productivity. 'ut in fact, in many traditional peasant communities, raising
the piece(wor" rate actually had the opposite effect of lowering la!or
productivity) at the higher rate, a peasant accustomed to earning two and
one(half mar"s per day found he could earn the same amount !y wor"ing
less, and did so !ecause he valued leisure more than income. The choices
of leisure over income, or of the militaristic life of the <partan hoplite over
the wealth of the Athenian trader, or even the ascetic life of the early
capitalist entrepreneur over that of a traditional leisured aristocrat, cannot
possi!ly !e e&plained !y the impersonal wor"ing of material forces, !ut
come preeminently out of the sphere of consciousness ( what we have
la!eled here !roadly as ideology. And indeed, a central theme of We!er*s
wor" was to prove that contrary to #ar&, the material mode of production,
far from !eing the !ase, was itself a superstructure with roots in
religion and culture, and that to understand the emergence of modern
capitalism and the profit motive one had to study their antecedents in the
realm of the spirit.
As we loo" around the contemporary world, the poverty of materialist
theories of economic development is all too apparent. The #all treet
$ournal school of deterministic materialism ha!itually points to the
stunning economic success of Asia in the past few decades as evidence of
the via!ility of free mar"et economics, with the implication that all
societies would see similar development were they simply to allow their
populations to pursue their material self(interest freely. <urely free mar"ets
and sta!le political systems are a necessary precondition to capitalist
economic growth. 'ut ,ust as surely the cultural heritage of those 2ar
%astern societies, the ethic of wor" and saving and family, a religious
heritage that does not, li"e Islam, place restrictions on certain forms of
economic !ehavior, and other deeply ingrained moral Aualities, are eAually
important in e&plaining their economic performance.:G; And yet the
intellectual weight of materialism is such that not a single respecta!le
contemporary theory of economic development addresses consciousness
and culture seriously as the matri& within which economic !ehavior is
2AI=3.% to understand that the roots of economic !ehavior lie in the realm
of consciousness and culture leads to the common mista"e of attri!uting
material causes to phenomena that are essentially ideal in nature. 2or
e&ample, it is commonplace in the West to interpret the reform
movements first in China and most recently in the <oviet 3nion as the
victory of the material over the ideal ( that is, a recognition that ideological
incentives could not replace material ones in stimulating a highly
productive modern economy, and that if one wanted to prosper one had to
appeal to !aser forms of self(interest. 'ut the deep defects of socialist
economies were evident thirty or forty years ago to anyone who chose to
loo". Why was it that these countries moved away from central planning
only in the 07?9s* The answer must !e found in the consciousness of the
elites and leaders ruling them, who decided to opt for the -rotestant life
of wealth and ris" over the Catholic path of poverty and security.:?; That
change was in no way made inevita!le !y the material conditions in which
either country found itself on the eve of the reform, !ut instead came
a!out as the result of the victory of one idea over another.:7;
2or $o,5ve, as for all good Hegelians, understanding the underlying
processes of history reAuires understanding developments in the realm of
consciousness or ideas, since consciousness will ultimately rema"e the
material world in its own image. To say that history ended in 0?9@ meant
that man"ind*s ideological evolution ended in the ideals of the 2rench or
American .evolutions) while particular regimes in the real world might not
implement these ideals fully, their theoretical truth is a!solute and could
not !e improved upon. Hence it did not matter to $o,5ve that the
consciousness of the postwar generation of %uropeans had not !een
universali/ed throughout the world4 if ideological development had in fact
ended, the homogenous state would eventually !ecome victorious
throughout the material world.
I have neither the space nor, fran"ly, the a!ility to defend in depth Hegel*s
radical idealist perspective. The issue is not whether Hegel*s system was
right, !ut whether his perspective might uncover the pro!lematic nature of
many materialist e&planations we often ta"e for granted. This is not to
deny the role of material factors as such. To a literal(minded idealist,
human society can !e !uilt around any ar!itrary set of principles
regardless of their relationship to the material world. And in fact men have
proven themselves a!le to endure the most e&treme material hardships in
the name of ideas that e&ist in the realm of the spirit alone, !e it the
divinity of cows or the nature of the Holy Trinity.:09;
'ut while man*s very perception of the material world is shaped !y his
historical consciousness of it, the material world can clearly affect in return
the via!ility of a particular state of consciousness. In particular, the
spectacular a!undance of advanced li!eral economies and the infinitely
diverse consumer culture made possi!le !y them seem to !oth foster and
preserve li!eralism in the political sphere. I want to avoid the materialist
determinism that says that li!eral economics inevita!ly produces li!eral
politics, !ecause I !elieve that !oth economics and politics presuppose an
autonomous prior state of consciousness that ma"es them possi!le. 'ut
that state of consciousness that permits the growth of li!eralism seems to
sta!ili/e in the way one would e&pect at the end of history if it is
underwritten !y the a!undance of a modern free mar"et economy. We
might summari/e the content of the universal homogenous state as li!eral
democracy in the political sphere com!ined with easy access to HC.s and
stereos in the economic.
HAH% W% in fact reached the end of historyI Are there, in other words, any
fundamental contradictions in human life that cannot !e resolved in the
conte&t of modern li!eralism, that would !e resolva!le !y an alternative
political(economic structureI If we accept the idealist premises laid out
a!ove, we must see" an answer to this Auestion in the realm of ideology
and consciousness. 1ur tas" is not to answer e&haustively the challenges
to li!eralism promoted !y every crac"pot messiah around the world, !ut
only those that are em!odied in important social or political forces and
movements, and which are therefore part of world history. 2or our
purposes, it matters very little what strange thoughts occur to people in
Al!ania or 'ur"ina 2aso, for we are interested in what one could in some
sense call the common ideological heritage of man"ind.
In the past century, there have !een two ma,or challenges to li!eralism,
those of fascism and of communism. The former:00; saw the political
wea"ness, materialism, anomie, and lac" of community of the West as
fundamental contradictions in li!eral societies that could only !e resolved
!y a strong state that forged a new people on the !asis of national
e&clusiveness. 2ascism was destroyed as a living ideology !y World War II.
This was a defeat, of course, on a very material level, !ut it amounted to a
defeat of the idea as well. What destroyed fascism as an idea was not
universal moral revulsion against it, since plenty of people were willing to
endorse the idea as long as it seemed the wave of the future, !ut its lac"
of success. After the war, it seemed to most people that German fascism
as well as its other %uropean and Asian variants were !ound to self(
destruct. There was no material reason why new fascist movements could
not have sprung up again after the war in other locales, !ut for the fact
that e&pansionist ultranationalism, with its promise of unending conflict
leading to disastrous military defeat, had completely lost its appeal. The
ruins of the .eich chancellery as well as the atomic !om!s dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasa"i "illed this ideology on the level of consciousness
as well as materially, and all of the pro(fascist movements spawned !y the
German and +apanese e&amples li"e the -eronist movement in Argentina
or <u!has Chandra 'ose*s Indian National Army withered after the war.
The ideological challenge mounted !y the other great alternative to
li!eralism, communism, was far more serious. #ar&, spea"ing Hegel*s
language, asserted that li!eral society contained a fundamental
contradiction that could not !e resolved within its conte&t, that !etween
capital and la!or, and this contradiction has constituted the chief
accusation against li!eralism ever since. 'ut surely, the class issue has
actually !een successfully resolved in the West. As $o,5ve Bamong othersC
noted, the egalitarianism of modern America represents the essential
achievement of the classless society envisioned !y #ar&. This is not to say
that there are not rich people and poor people in the 3nited <tates, or that
the gap !etween them has not grown in recent years. 'ut the root causes
of economic ineAuality do not have to do with the underlying legal and
social structure of our society, which remains fundamentally egalitarian
and moderately redistri!utionist, so much as with the cultural and social
characteristics of the groups that ma"e it up, which are in turn the
historical legacy of premodern conditions. Thus !lac" poverty in the 3nited
<tates is not the inherent product of li!eralism, !ut is rather the legacy of
slavery and racism which persisted long after the formal a!olition of
As a result of the receding of the class issue, the appeal of communism in
the developed Western world, it is safe to say, is lower today than any
time since the end of the 2irst World War. This can he measured in any
num!er of ways) in the declining mem!ership and electoral pull of the
ma,or %uropean communist parties, and their overtly revisionist programs4
in the corresponding electoral success of conservative parties from 'ritain
and Germany to the 3nited <tates and +apan, which are una!ashedly pro(
mar"et and anti(statist4 and in an intellectual climate whose most
advanced mem!ers no longer !elieve that !ourgeois society is
something that ultimately needs to !e overcome. This is not to say that
the opinions of progressive intellectuals in Western countries are not
deeply pathological in any num!er of ways. 'ut those who !elieve that the
future must inevita!ly !e socialist tend to !e very old, or very marginal to
the real political discourse of their societies.
1N% #AF argue that the socialist alternative was never terri!ly plausi!le
for the North Atlantic world, and was sustained for the last several
decades primarily !y its success outside of this region. 'ut it is precisely in
the non(%uropean world that one is most struc" !y the occurrence of ma,or
ideological transformations. <urely the most remar"a!le changes have
occurred in Asia. Jue to the strength and adapta!ility of the indigenous
cultures there, Asia !ecame a !attleground for a variety of imported
Western ideologies early in this century. =i!eralism in Asia was a very
wea" reed in the period after World War I4 it is easy today to forget how
gloomy Asia*s political future loo"ed as recently as ten or fifteen years ago.
It is easy to forget as well how momentous the outcome of Asian
ideological struggles seemed for world political development as a whole.
The first Asian alternative to li!eralism to !e decisively defeated was the
fascist one represented !y Imperial +apan. +apanese fascism Bli"e its
German versionC was defeated !y the force of American arms in the -acific
war, and li!eral democracy was imposed on +apan !y a victorious 3nited
<tates. Western capitalism and political li!eralism when transplanted to
+apan were adapted and transformed !y the +apanese in such a way as to
!e scarcely recogni/a!le.:0>; #any Americans are now aware that
+apanese industrial organi/ation is very different from that prevailing in the
3nited <tates or %urope, and it is Auestiona!le what relationship the
factional maneuvering that ta"es place with the governing =i!eral
Jemocratic -arty !ears to democracy. Nonetheless, the very fact that the
essential elements of economic and political li!eralism have !een so
successfully grafted onto uniAuely +apanese traditions and institutions
guarantees their survival in the long run. #ore important is the
contri!ution that +apan has made in turn to world history !y following in
the footsteps of the 3nited <tates to create a truly universal consumer
culture that has !ecome !oth a sym!ol and an underpinning of the
universal homogenous state. H.<. Naipaul traveling in $homeini*s Iran
shortly after the revolution noted the omnipresent signs advertising the
products of <ony, Hitachi, and +HC, whose appeal remained virtually
irresisti!le and gave the lie to the regime*s pretensions of restoring a state
!ased on the rule of the hariah. Jesire for access to the consumer
culture, created in large measure !y +apan, has played a crucial role in
fostering the spread of economic li!eralism throughout Asia, and hence in
promoting political li!eralism as well.
The economic success of the other newly industriali/ing countries BNICsC in
Asia following on the e&ample of +apan is !y now a familiar story. What is
important from a Hegelian standpoint is that political li!eralism has !een
following economic li!eralism, more slowly than many had hoped !ut with
seeming inevita!ility. Here again we see the victory of the idea of the
universal homogenous state. <outh $orea had developed into a modern,
ur!ani/ed society with an increasingly large and well(educated middle
class that could not possi!ly !e isolated from the larger democratic trends
around them. 3nder these circumstances it seemed intolera!le to a large
part of this population that it should !e ruled !y an anachronistic military
regime while +apan, only a decade or so ahead in economic terms, had
parliamentary institutions for over forty years. %ven the former socialist
regime in 'urma, which for so many decades e&isted in dismal isolation
from the larger trends dominating Asia, was !uffeted in the past year !y
pressures to li!erali/e !oth its economy and political system. It is said that
unhappiness with strongman Ne Win !egan when a senior 'urmese officer
went to <ingapore for medical treatment and !ro"e down crying when he
saw how far socialist 'urma had !een left !ehind !y its A<%AN neigh!ors.
'3T TH% power of the li!eral idea would seem much less impressive if it
had not infected the largest and oldest culture in Asia, China. The simple
e&istence of communist China created an alternative pole of ideological
attraction, and as such constituted a threat to li!eralism. 'ut the past
fifteen years have seen an almost total discrediting of #ar&ism(=eninism
as an economic system. 'eginning with the famous third plenum of the
Tenth Central Committee in 07G?, the Chinese Communist party set a!out
decollectivi/ing agriculture for the ?99 million Chinese who still lived in the
countryside. The role of the state in agriculture was reduced to that of a
ta& collector, while production of consumer goods was sharply increased in
order to give peasants a taste of the universal homogenous state and
there!y an incentive to wor". The reform dou!led Chinese grain output in
only five years, and in the process created for Jeng Kiaoping a solid
political !ase from which he was a!le to e&tend the reform to other parts
of the economy. %conomic <tatistics do not !egin to descri!e the
dynamism, initiative, and openness evident in China since the reform
China could not now !e descri!ed in any way as a li!eral democracy. At
present, no more than >9 percent of its economy has !een mar"eti/ed,
and most importantly it continues to !e ruled !y a self(appointed
Communist party which has given no hint of wanting to devolve power.
Jeng has made none of Gor!achev*s promises regarding democrati/ation
of the political system and there is no Chinese eAuivalent of ghost. The
Chinese leadership has in fact !een much more circumspect in critici/ing
#ao and #aoism than Gor!achev with respect to 're/hnev and <talin, and
the regime continues to pay lip service to #ar&ism(=eninism as its
ideological underpinning. 'ut anyone familiar with the outloo" and
!ehavior of the new technocratic elite now governing China "nows that
#ar&ism and ideological principle have !ecome virtually irrelevant as
guides to policy, and that !ourgeois consumerism has a real meaning in
that country for the first time since the revolution. The various slowdowns
in the pace of reform, the campaigns against spiritual pollution and
crac"downs on political dissent are more properly seen as tactical
ad,ustments made in the process of managing what is an e&traordinarily
difficult political transition. 'y duc"ing the Auestion of political reform
while putting the economy on a new footing, Jeng has managed to avoid
the !rea"down of authority that has accompanied Gor!achev*s
!erestroi%a. Fet the pull of the li!eral idea continues to !e very strong as
economic power devolves and the economy !ecomes more open to the
outside world. There are currently over >9,999 Chinese students studying
in the 3.<. and other Western countries, almost all of them the children of
the Chinese elite. It is hard to !elieve that when they return home to run
the country they will !e content for China to !e the only country in Asia
unaffected !y the larger democrati/ing trend. The student demonstrations
in 'ei,ing that !ro"e out first in Jecem!er 07?@ and recurred recently on
the occasion of Hu Fao(!ang*s death were only the !eginning of what will
inevita!ly !e mounting pressure for change in the political system as well.
What is important a!out China from the standpoint of world history is not
the present state of the reform or even its future prospects. The central
issue is the fact that the -eople*s .epu!lic of China can no longer act as a
!eacon for illi!eral forces around the world, whether they !e guerrillas in
some Asian ,ungle or middle class students in -aris. #aoism, rather than
!eing the pattern for Asia*s future, !ecame an anachronism, and it was the
mainland Chinese who in fact were decisively influenced !y the prosperity
and dynamism of their overseas co(ethnics ( the ironic ultimate victory of
Important as these changes in China have !een, however, it is
developments in the <oviet 3nion ( the original homeland of the world
proletariat ( that have put the final nail in the coffin of the #ar&ist(=eninist
alternative to li!eral democracy. It should !e clear that in terms of formal
institutions, not much has changed in the four years since Gor!achev has
come to power) free mar"ets and the cooperative movement represent
only a small part of the <oviet economy, which remains centrally planned4
the political system is still dominated !y the Communist party, which has
only !egun to democrati/e internally and to share power with other
groups4 the regime continues to assert that it is see"ing only to moderni/e
socialism and that its ideological !asis remains #ar&ism(=eninism4 and,
finally, Gor!achev faces a potentially powerful conservative opposition
that could undo many of the changes that have ta"en place to date.
#oreover, it is hard to !e too sanguine a!out the chances for success of
Gor!achev*s proposed reforms, either in the sphere of economics or
politics. 'ut my purpose here is not to analy/e events in the short(term, or
to ma"e predictions for policy purposes, !ut to loo" at underlying trends in
the sphere of ideology and consciousness. And in that respect, it is clear
that an astounding transformation has occurred.
Lmigr6s from the <oviet 3nion have !een reporting for at least the last
generation now that virtually no!ody in that country truly !elieved in
#ar&ism(=eninism any longer, and that this was nowhere more true than in
the <oviet elite, which continued to mouth #ar&ist slogans out of sheer
cynicism. The corruption and decadence of the late 're/hnev(era <oviet
state seemed to matter little, however, for as long as the state itself
refused to throw into Auestion any of the fundamental principles
underlying <oviet society, the system was capa!le of functioning
adeAuately out of sheer inertia and could even muster some dynamism in
the realm of foreign and defense policy. #ar&ism(=eninism was li"e a
magical incantation which, however a!surd and devoid of meaning, was
the only common !asis on which the elite could agree to rule <oviet
WHAT HA< happened in the four years since Gor!achev*s coming to power
is a revolutionary assault on the most fundamental institutions and
principles of <talinism, and their replacement !y other principles which do
not amount to li!eralism per se !ut whose only connecting thread is
li!eralism. This is most evident in the economic sphere, where the reform
economists around Gor!achev have !ecome steadily more radical in their
support for free mar"ets, to the point where some li"e Ni"olai <hmelev do
not mind !eing compared in pu!lic to #ilton 2riedman. There is a virtual
consensus among the currently dominant school of <oviet economists now
that central planning and the command system of allocation are the root
cause of economic inefficiency, and that if the <oviet system is ever to
heal itself, it must permit free and decentrali/ed decision(ma"ing with
respect to investment, la!or, and prices. After a couple of initial years of
ideological confusion, these principles have finally !een incorporated into
policy with the promulgation of new laws on enterprise autonomy,
cooperatives, and finally in 07?? on lease arrangements and family
farming. There are, of course, a num!er of fatal flaws in the current
implementation of the reform, most nota!ly the a!sence of a
thoroughgoing price reform. 'ut the pro!lem is no longer a conceptual
one) Gor!achev and his lieutenants seem to understand the economic
logic of mar"eti/ation well enough, !ut li"e the leaders of a Third World
country facing the I#2, are afraid of the social conseAuences of ending
consumer su!sidies and other forms of dependence on the state sector.
In the political sphere, the proposed changes to the <oviet constitution,
legal system, and party rules amount to much less than the esta!lishment
of a li!eral state. Gor!achev has spo"en of democrati/ation primarily in
the sphere of internal party affairs, and has shown little intention of ending
the Communist party*s monopoly of power4 indeed, the political reform
see"s to legitimi/e and therefore strengthen the C-<3*< rule.:08;
Nonetheless, the general principles underlying many of the reforms ( that
the people should !e truly responsi!le for their own affairs, that higher
political !odies should !e answera!le to lower ones, and not vice versa,
that the rule of law should prevail over ar!itrary police actions, with
separation of powers and an independent ,udiciary, that there should !e
legal protection for property rights, the need for open discussion of pu!lic
issues and the right of pu!lic dissent, the empowering of the <oviets as a
forum in which the whole <oviet people can participate, and of a political
culture that is more tolerant and pluralistic ( come from a source
fundamentally alien to the 3<<.*s #ar&ist(=eninist tradition, even if they
are incompletely articulated and poorly implemented in practice.
Gor!achev*s repeated assertions that he is doing no more than trying to
restore the original meaning of =eninism are themselves a "ind of
1rwellian dou!lespea". Gor!achev and his allies have consistently
maintained that intraparty democracy was somehow the essence of
=eninism, and that the various li! era0 practices of open de!ate, secret
!allot elections, and rule of law were all part of the =eninist heritage,
corrupted only later !y <talin. While almost anyone would loo" good
compared to <talin, drawing so sharp a line !etween =enin and his
successor is Auestiona!le. The essence of =enin*s democratic centralism
was centralism, not democracy4 that is, the a!solutely rigid, monolithic,
and disciplined dictatorship of a hierarchically organi/ed vanguard
Communist party, spea"ing in the name of the demos. All of =enin*s
vicious polemics against $arl $auts"y, .osa =u&em!urg, and various other
#enshevi" and <ocial Jemocratic rivals, not to mention his contempt for
!ourgeois legality and freedoms, centered around his profound
conviction that a revolution could not !e successfully made !y a
democratically run organi/ation.
Gor!achev*s claim that he is see"ing to return to the true =enin is perfectly
easy to understand) having fostered a thorough denunciation of <talinism
and 're/hnevism as the root of the 3<<.*s present predicament, he needs
some point in <oviet history on which to anchor the legitimacy of the
C-<3*< continued rule. 'ut Gor!achev*s tactical reAuirements should not
!lind us to the fact that the democrati/ing and decentrali/ing principles
which he has enunciated in !oth the economic and political spheres are
highly su!versive of some of the most fundamental precepts of !oth
#ar&ism and =eninism. Indeed, if the !ul" of the present economic reform
proposals were put into effect, it is hard to "now how the <oviet economy
would !e more socialist than those of other Western countries with large
pu!lic sectors.
The <oviet 3nion could in no way !e descri!ed as a li!eral or democratic
country now, nor do I thin" that it is terri!ly li"ely that perestroi"a will
succeed such that the la!el will !e thin"a!le any time in the near future.
'ut at the end of history it is not necessary that all societies !ecome
successful li!eral societies, merely that they end their ideological
pretensions of representing different and higher forms of human society.
And in this respect I !elieve that something very important has happened
in the <oviet 3nion in the past few years) the criticisms of the <oviet
system sanctioned !y Gor!achev have !een so thorough and devastating
that there is very little chance of going !ac" to either <talinism or
're/hnevism in any simple way. Gor!achev has finally permitted people to
say what they had privately understood for many years, namely, that the
magical incantations of #ar&ism(=eninism were nonsense, that <oviet
socialism was not superior to the West in any respect !ut was in fact a
monumental failure. The conservative opposition in the 3<<., consisting
!oth of simple wor"ers afraid of unemployment and inflation and of party
officials fearful of losing their ,o!s and privileges, is outspo"en and may !e
strong enough to force Gor!achev*s ouster in the ne&t few years. 'ut what
!oth groups desire is tradition, order, and authority4 they manifest no deep
commitment to #ar&ism(=eninism, e&cept insofar as they have invested
much of their own lives in it.:0D; 2or authority to !e restored in the <oviet
3nion after Gor!achev*s demolition wor", it must !e on the !asis of some
new and vigorous ideology which has not yet appeared on the hori/on.
I2 W% AJ#IT for the moment that the fascist and communist challenges to
li!eralism are dead, are there any other ideological competitors leftI 1r
put another way, are there contradictions in li!eral society !eyond that of
class that are not resolva!leI Two possi!ilities suggest themselves, those
of religion and nationalism.
The rise of religious fundamentalism in recent years within the Christian,
+ewish, and #uslim traditions has !een widely noted. 1ne is inclined to say
that the revival of religion in some way attests to a !road unhappiness
with the impersonality and spiritual vacuity of li!eral consumerist
societies. Fet while the emptiness at the core of li!eralism is most certainly
a defect in the ideology ( indeed, a flaw that one does not need the
perspective of religion to recogni/e:0E; ( it is not at all clear that it is
remedia!le through politics. #odern li!eralism itself was historically a
conseAuence of the wea"ness of religiously(!ased societies which, failing
to agree on the nature of the good life, could not provide even the minimal
preconditions of peace and sta!ility. In the contemporary world only Islam
has offered a theocratic state as a political alternative to !oth li!eralism
and communism. 'ut the doctrine has little appeal for non(#uslims, and it
is hard to !elieve that the movement will ta"e on any universal
significance. 1ther less organi/ed religious impulses have !een
successfully satisfied within the sphere of personal life that is permitted in
li!eral societies.
The other ma,or contradiction potentially unresolva!le !y li!eralism is
the one posed !y nationalism and other forms of racial and ethnic
consciousness. It is certainly true that a very large degree of conflict since
the 'attle of +ena has had its roots in nationalism. Two cataclysmic world
wars in this century have !een spawned !y the nationalism of the
developed world in various guises, and if those passions have !een muted
to a certain e&tent in postwar %urope, they are still e&tremely powerful in
the Third World. Nationalism has !een a threat to li!eralism historically in
Germany, and continues to !e one in isolated parts of post(historical
%urope li"e Northern Ireland.
'ut it is not clear that nationalism rep resents an irreconcila!le
contradiction in the heart of li!eralism. In the first place, nationalism is not
one single phenomenon !ut several, ranging from mild cultural nostalgia
to the highly organi/ed and ela!orately articulated doctrine of National
<ocialism. 1nly systematic nationalisms of the latter sort can Aualify as a
formal ideology on the level of li!eralism or communism. The vast ma,ority
of the world*s nationalist movements do not have a political program
!eyond the negative desire of independence from some other group or
people, and do not offer anything li"e a comprehensive agenda for socio(
economic organi/ation. As such, they are compati!le with doctrines and
ideologies that do offer such agendas. While they may constitute a source
of conflict for li!eral societies, this conflict does not arise from li!eralism
itself so much as from the fact that the li!eralism in Auestion is
incomplete. Certainly a great deal of the world*s ethnic and nationalist
tension can !e e&plained in terms of peoples who are forced to live in
unrepresentative political systems that they have not chosen.
While it is impossi!le to rule out the sudden appearance of new ideologies
or previously unrecogni/ed contradictions in li!eral societies, then, the
present world seems to confirm that the fundamental principles of
sociopolitical organi/ation have not advanced terri!ly far since 0?9@. #any
of the wars and revolutions fought since that time have !een underta"en
in the name of ideologies which claimed to !e more advanced than
li!eralism, !ut whose pretensions were ultimately unmas"ed !y history. In
the meantime, they have helped to spread the universal homogenous
state to the point where it could have a significant effect on the overall
character of international relations.
WHAT A.% the implications of the end of history for international relationsI
Clearly, the vast !ul" of the Third World remains very much mired in
history, and will !e a terrain of conflict for many years to come. 'ut let us
focus for the time !eing on the larger and more developed states of the
world who after all account for the greater part of world politics. .ussia
and China are not li"ely to ,oin the developed nations of the West as li!eral
societies any time in the foreseea!le future, !ut suppose for a moment
that #ar&ism(=eninism ceases to !e a factor driving the foreign policies of
these states ( a prospect which, if not yet here, the last few years have
made a real possi!ility. How will the overall characteristics of a de(
ideologi/ed world differ from those of the one with which we are familiar at
such a hypothetical ,unctureI
The most common answer is ( not very much. 2or there is a very
widespread !elief among many o!servers of international relations that
underneath the s"in of ideology is a hard core of great power national
interest that guarantees a fairly high level of competition and conflict
!etween nations. Indeed, according to one academically popular school of
international relations theory, conflict inheres in the international system
as such, and to understand the prospects for conflict one must loo" at the
shape of the system ( for e&ample, whether it is !ipolar or multipolar (
rather than at the specific character of the nations and regimes that
constitute it. This school in effect applies a Ho!!esian view of politics to
international relations, and assumes that aggression and insecurity are
universal characteristics of human societies rather than the product of
specific historical circumstances.
'elievers in this line of thought ta"e the relations that e&isted !etween the
participants in the classical nineteenth century %uropean !alance of power
as a model for what a de(ideologi/ed contemporary world would loo" li"e.
Charles $rauthammer, for e&ample, recently e&plained that if as a result of
Gor!achev*s reforms the 3<<. is shorn of #ar&ist(=eninist ideology, its
!ehavior will revert to that of nineteenth century imperial .ussia.:0@;
While he finds this more reassuring than the threat posed !y a communist
.ussia, he implies that there will still !e a su!stantial degree of
competition and conflict in the international system, ,ust as there was say
!etween .ussia and 'ritain or Wilhelmine Germany in the last century. This
is, of course, a convenient point of view for people who want to admit that
something ma,or is changing in the <oviet 3nion, !ut do not want to
accept responsi!ility for recommending the radical policy redirection
implicit in such a view. 'ut is it trueI
In fact, the notion that ideology is a superstructure imposed on a
su!stratum of permanent great power interest is a highly Auestiona!le
proposition. 2or the way in which any state defines its national interest is
not universal !ut rests on some "ind of prior ideological !asis, ,ust as we
saw that economic !ehavior is determined !y a prior state of
consciousness. In this century, states have adopted highly articulated
doctrines with e&plicit foreign policy agendas legitimi/ing e&pansionism,
li"e #ar&ism(=eninism or National <ocialism.
TH% %K-AN<I1NI<T and competitive !ehavior of nineteenth(century
%uropean states rested on no less ideal a !asis4 it ,ust so happened that
the ideology driving it was less e&plicit than the doctrines of the twentieth
century. 2or one thing, most li!eral %uropean societies were illi!eral
insofar as they !elieved in the legitimacy of imperialism, that is, the right
of one nation to rule over other nations without regard for the wishes of
the ruled. The ,ustifications for imperialism varied from nation to nation,
from a crude !elief in the legitimacy of force, particularly when applied to
non(%uropeans, to the White #an*s 'urden and %urope*s Christiani/ing
mission, to the desire to give people of color access to the culture of
.a!elais and #oliere. 'ut whatever the particular ideological !asis, every
developed country !elieved in the accepta!ility of higher civili/ations
ruling lower ones ( including, incidentally, the 3nited <tates with regard to
the -hilippines. This led to a drive for pure territorial aggrandi/ement in
the latter half of the century and played no small role in causing the Great
The radical and deformed outgrowth of nineteenth(century imperialism
was German fascism, an ideology which ,ustified Germany*s right not only
to rule over non(%uropean peoples, !ut over all non(German ones. 'ut in
retrospect it seems that Hitler represented a diseased !ypath in the
general course of %uropean development, and since his fiery defeat, the
legitimacy of any "ind of territorial aggrandi/ement has !een thoroughly
discredited.:0G; <ince the <econd World War, %uropean nationalism has
!een defanged and shorn of any real relevance to foreign policy, with the
conseAuence that the nineteenth(century model of great power !ehavior
has !ecome a serious anachronism. The most e&treme form of nationalism
that any Western %uropean state has mustered since 07DE has !een
Gaullism, whose self(assertion has !een confined largely to the realm of
nuisance politics and culture. International life for the part of the world
that has reached the end of history is far more preoccupied with
economics than with politics or strategy.
The developed states of the West do maintain defense esta!lishments and
in the postwar period have competed vigorously for influence to meet a
worldwide communist threat. This !ehavior has !een driven, however, !y
an e&ternal threat from states that possess overtly e&pansionist
ideologies, and would not e&ist in their a!sence. To ta"e the neo(realist
theory seriously, one would have to !elieve that natural competitive
!ehavior would reassert itself among the 1%CJ states were .ussia and
China to disappear from the face of the earth. That is, West Germany and
2rance would arm themselves against each other as they did in the 0781s,
Australia and New Mealand would send military advisers to !loc" each
others* advances in Africa, and the 3.<.(Canadian !order would !ecome
fortified. <uch a prospect is, of course, ludicrous) minus #ar&ist(=eninist
ideology, we are far more li"ely to see the Common #ar"eti/ation of
world politics than the disintegration of the %%C into nineteenth(century
competitiveness. Indeed, as our e&periences in dealing with %urope on
matters such as terrorism or =i!ya prove, they are much further gone than
we down the road that denies the legitimacy of the use of force in
international politics, even in self(defense.
The automatic assumption that .ussia shorn of its e&pansionist communist
ideology should pic" up where the c/ars left off ,ust prior to the 'olshevi"
.evolution is therefore a curious one. It assumes that the evolution of
human consciousness has stood still in the meantime, and that the
<oviets, while pic"ing up currently fashiona!le ideas in the realm of
economics, will return to foreign policy views a century out of date in the
rest of %urope. This is certainly not what happened to China after it !egan
its reform process. Chinese competitiveness and e&pansionism on the
world scene have virtually disappeared) 'ei,ing no longer sponsors #aoist
insurgencies or tries to cultivate influence in distant African countries as it
did in the 07@9s. This is not to say that there are not trou!lesome aspects
to contemporary Chinese foreign policy, such as the rec"less sale of
!allistic missile technology in the #iddle %ast4 and the -.C continues to
manifest traditional great power !ehavior in its sponsorship of the $hmer
.ouge against Hietnam. 'ut the former is e&plained !y commercial
motives and the latter is a vestige of earlier ideologically(!ased rivalries.
The new China far more resem!les Gaullist 2rance than pre(World War I
The real Auestion for the future, however, is the degree to which <oviet
elites have assimilated the consciousness of the universal homogenous
state that is post(Hitler %urope. 2rom their writings and from my own
personal contacts with them, there is no Auestion in my mind that the
li!eral <oviet intelligentsia rallying around Gor!achev have arrived at the
end(of(history view in a remar"a!ly short time, due in no small measure to
the contacts they have had since the 're/hnev era with the larger
%uropean civili/ation around them. New political thin"ing, the general
ru!ric for their views, descri!es a world dominated !y economic concerns,
in which there are no ideological grounds for ma,or conflict !etween
nations, and in which, conseAuently, the use of military force !ecomes less
legitimate. As 2oreign #inister <hevardnad/e put it in mid(07??)
The struggle !etween two opposing systems is no longer a determining
tendency of the present(day era. At the modern stage, the a!ility to !uild
up material wealth at an accelerated rate on the !asis of front(ran"ing
science and high(level techniAues and technology, and to distri!ute it
fairly, and through ,oint efforts to restore and protect the resources
necessary for man"ind*s survival acAuires decisive importance.:0?;
The post(historical consciousness represented !y new thin"ing is only
one possi!le future for the <oviet 3nion, however. There has always !een
a very strong current of great .ussian chauvinism in the <oviet 3nion,
which has found freer e&pression since the advent of glasnost. It may !e
possi!le to return to traditional #ar&ism(=eninism for a while as a simple
rallying point for those who want to restore the authority that Gor!achev
has dissipated. 'ut as in -oland, #ar&ism(=eninism is dead as a mo!ili/ing
ideology) under its !anner people cannot !e made to wor" harder, and its
adherents have lost confidence in themselves. 3nli"e the propagators of
traditional #ar&ism(=eninism, however, ultranationalists in the 3<<.
!elieve in their <lavophile cause passionately, and one gets the sense that
the fascist alternative is not one that has played itself out entirely there.
The <oviet 3nion, then, is at a for" in the road) it can start down the path
that was sta"ed out !y Western %urope forty(five years ago, a path that
most of Asia has followed, or it can reali/e its own uniAueness and remain
stuc" in history. The choice it ma"es will !e highly important for us, given
the <oviet 3nion*s si/e and military strength, for that power will continue
to preoccupy us and slow our reali/ation that we have already emerged on
the other side of history.
TH% -A<<ING of #ar&ism(=eninism first from China and then from the
<oviet 3nion will mean its death as a living ideology of world historical
significance. 2or while there may !e some isolated true !elievers left in
places li"e #anagua, -yongyang, or Cam!ridge, #assachusetts, the fact
that there is not a single large state in which it is a going concern
undermines completely its pretensions to !eing in the vanguard of human
history. And the death of this ideology means the growing Common
#ar"eti/ation of international relations, and the diminution of the
li"elihood of large(scale conflict !etween states.
This does not !y any means imply the end of international conflict per se.
2or the world at that point would !e divided !etween a part that was
historical and a part that was post(historical. Conflict !etween states still
in history, and !etween those states and those at the end of history, would
still !e possi!le. There would still !e a high and perhaps rising level of
ethnic and nationalist violence, since those are impulses incompletely
played out, even in parts of the post(historical world. -alestinians and
$urds, <i"hs and Tamils, Irish Catholics and Walloons, Armenians and
A/eris, will continue to have their unresolved grievances. This implies that
terrorism and wars of national li!eration will continue to !e an important
item on the international agenda. 'ut large(scale conflict must involve
large states still caught in the grip of history, and they are what appear to
!e passing from the scene.
The end of history will !e a very sad time. The struggle for recognition, the
willingness to ris" one*s life for a purely a!stract goal, the worldwide
ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and
idealism, will !e replaced !y economic calculation, the endless solving of
technical pro!lems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of
sophisticated consumer demands. In the post(historical period there will
!e neither art nor philosophy, ,ust the perpetual careta"ing of the museum
of human history. I can feel in myself, and see in others around me, a
powerful nostalgia for the time when history e&isted. <uch nostalgia, in
fact, will continue to fuel competition and conflict even in the post(
historical world for some time to come. %ven though I recogni/e its
inevita!ility, I have the most am!ivalent feelings for the civili/ation that
has !een created in %urope since 07DE, with its north Atlantic and Asian
offshoots. -erhaps this very prospect of centuries of !oredom at the end of
history will serve to get history started once again.


0. $o,5ve*s !est "nown wor" is his &ntroduction ' la lecture de Hegel B-aris) %ditions
Gallimard, 07DGC, which is a transcript of the %cole -ractiAue lectures from the 0789*s.
This !oo" is availa!le in %nglish entitled &ntroduction to the Reading of Hegel arranged !y
.aymond Nueneau, edited !y Allan 'loom, and translated !y +ames Nichols BNew For")
'asic 'oo"s, 07@7C.
>. In this respect $o,5ve stands in sharp contrast to contemporary German interpreters of
Hegel li"e Her!ert #arcuse who, !eing more sympathetic to #ar&, regarded Hegel
ultimately as an historically !ound and incomplete philosopher.
8. $o,5ve alternatively identified the end of history with the postwar American way of
life, toward which he thought the <oviet 3nion was moving as well.
D. This notion was e&pressed in the famous aphorism from the preface to the Philoso!hy
of History to the effect that everything that is rational is real, and everything that is real
is rational.
E. Indeed, for Hegel the very dichotomy !etween the ideal and material worlds was itself
only an apparent one that was ultimately overcome !y the self(conscious su!,ect4 in his
system, the material world is itself only an aspect of mind.
@. In fact, modern economists, recogni/ing that man does not always !ehave as a !rofit(
ma&imi/er, posit a utility function, utility !eing either income or some other good that
can !e ma&imi/ed) leisure, se&ual satisfaction, or the pleasure of philosophi/ing. That
profit must !e replaced with a value li"e utility indicates the cogency of the idealist
G. 1ne need loo" no further than the recent performance of Hietnamese immigrants in
the 3.<. school system when compared to their !lac" of Hispanic classmates to reali/e
that culture and consciousness are a!solutely crucial to e&plain not only economic
!ehavior !ut virtually every other important aspect of life as well.
?. I understand that a full e&planation of the origins of the reform movements in China
and .ussia is a good deal more complicated than this simple formula would suggest. The
<oviet reform, for e&ample, was motivated in good measure !y #oscow*s sense of
insecurity in the technological(military realm. Nonetheless, neither country ion the eve of
its reforms was in such a state of material crisis that one could have predicted the
surprising reform paths ultimately ta"en.
7. It is still not clear whether the <oviet people are as -rotestant as Gor!achev and will
follow him down that path.
09. The internal politics of the 'y/antine %mpire at the time of +ustinian revolved around a
conflict !etween the so(called monophysites and monothelites, who !elieved that the
unity of the Holy Trinity was alternatively one of nature or of will. This conflict
corresponded to some e&tent to one !etween proponents of different racing teams in the
Hippodrome in 'y/antium and led to a not insignificant level of political violence. #odern
historians would tend to see" the roots of such conflicts in antagonisms !etween social
classes or some other modern economic category, !eing unwilling to !elieve that men
would "ill each other over the nature of the Trinity.
00. I am not using the term fascism here in its most precise sense, fully aware of the
freAuent misuse of this term to denounce anyone to the right of the user. 2ascism here
denotes nay organi/ed ultra nationalist movement with universalistic pretensions ( not
universalistic with regard to its nationalism, of course, since the latter is e&clusive !y
definition, !ut with regard to the movement*s !elief in its right to rule other people.
Hence Imperial +apan would Aualify as fascist while former strongman <toessner*s
-araguay or -inochet*s Chile would not. 1!viously fascist ideologies cannot !e
universalistic in the sense of #ar&ism or li!eralism, !ut the structure of the doctrine can
!e transferred from country to country.
0>. I use the e&ample of +apan with some caution, since $o,5ve late in his life came to
conclude that +apan, with its culture !ased on purely formal arts, proved that the
universal homogenous state was not victorious and that history had perhaps not ended.
<ee the long note at the end of the second edition of &ntroduction ' la (ecture de Hegel,
08. This is not true in -oland and Hungary, however, whose Communist parties have
ta"en moves toward true power sharing and pluralism.
0D. This is particularly true of the leading <oviet conservative, former <econd <ecretary
Fegor =igachev, who has pu!licly recogni/ed many of the deep defects of the 're/hnev
0E. I am thin"ing particularly of .ousseau and the Western philosophical tradition that
flows from him that was highly critical of =oc"ean or Ho!!esian li!eralism, though one
could critici/e li!eralism from the standpoint of classical political philosophy as well.
0@. <ee his article, 'eyond the Cold War, New .epu!lic, Jecem!er 07, 07??.
0G. It too" %uropean colonial powers li"e 2rance several years after the war to admit the
illegitimacy of their empires, !ut decoloniali/ation was an inevita!le conseAuence of the
Allied victory which had !een !ased on the promise of a restoration of democratic
0?. Hestni" #inisterstva Inostranni"h Jel <<<. no. 0E BAugust 07??C, >G(D@. New
thin"ing does of course serve a propagandistic purpose in persuading Western audiences
of <oviet good intentions. 'ut the fact that it is good propaganda does not mean that is
formulators do not ta"e many of its ideas seriously.

OO <ummer 07?7, The )ational &nterest.
* 2rancis 2u"uyama is deputy director of the <tate Jepartment*s policy planning staff and former
analyst at the .ANJ Corporation. This article is !ased on a lecture presented at the 3niversity of
Chicago*s +ohn #. 1lin Center and to Nathan Tarcov and Allan 'loom for their support in this and
many earlier endeavors. The opinions e&presses in this article do not reflect those of the .ANJ
Corporation or of any agency of the 3.<. government.