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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

CHINA AND “THE END OF HISTORY” #279

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Graham Perry
Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer.

GOOD MORNING FROM LONDON

Francis Fukuyama has just published “After The End of History”. It focuses on the development of history + asks the question, “Where is History Leading To?”. Hegel said History would lead to a Liberal Society, whereas Marx said it would lead to a Marxist Society. Fukuyama has hitherto argued that only liberal democracy can handle long term development + the transfer of power.

But Fukuyama now admits to two problems. First, he notes with worry that one-third of Americans do not believe the 2020 election was legitimate – for him, a very unhealthy sign for democracy. Internet access has become a negative – an opportunity, exploited by Trump, to stir dissent + unrest.

A second problem is the emergence of China. If China continues to remain stable and outpace western democracies, then it calls into question a key aspect of FF’s core thinking – that liberal democracy will always win.

If in the next 20 years the US continues its decline and China continues its rise, other countries will prefer the China model to the liberal democratic model, and, FF says, he may have to admit, “I got it wrong”. China is not suffering the dysfunction of the US, + if it proves to be sustainable, it will amount to a refutation of the liberal democratic concept of the End of History.

This is a significant development in the world of Western academic + political thinking. Can the West continue to debunk China if China continues to rise and the US – with Trump lurking prominently in the shadows – continues to decline. Does China become the only plausible alternative to liberal democracy?

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