Social Seminar I 2021/2022
Deadline: March 18, 2022
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Liberalism, democracy and the end of history
You have read Fukuyama’s article. We have discussed and contextualized the text in class. You have also listened to David Runciman’s podcast episode on the end of history. Now I would like you to answer the following question (in no more than 400 words):
On liberal contradictions
How can we be sure if we have reached the end of history? According to Francis Fukuyama, the answer depends on whether any alternative political-economic structure could ‘resolve’ a fundamental contradiction that modern liberalism cannot. History may not be over yet, therefore, if an alternative ideology could offer resolutions to societal contradictions that liberalism cannot. Yet if all the ‘contradictions’ of human life can be resolved by liberalism within liberal societies, we might need to accept that we have reached the highest point of history in the realm of ideological development. This is the core logic of Fukuyama's philosophical-historicist argument.
But what are the fundamental "contradictions" of liberalism itself and what major alternatives have aimed to resolve these contradictions?
The information you need to answer the question can be found in the article. Please stick to the contradictions highlighted by Fukuyama and identify only the alternatives that the author discusses in the text.
An excellent answer will identify: (1) all the relevant contradictions within liberalism as discussed in the text; (2) which main alternatives have attempted to resolve them and (3) how they have done so. Your answer must address the question directly. Attempts to deviate from the question or to add irrelevant information to ‘fill out’ the space will not be evaluated positively.