As we envision a non-negligible likelihood of nuclear battle, the tip of historical past (i.e. the tip of social discontent and nice wars) envisioned by Francis Fukuyama in his e book The tip of the story and the final man (Simon and Schuster, 1992) appears very, very distant. Furthermore, its triumphant liberal democracy was conceived as very democratic however nonetheless removed from being liberal within the sense of classical liberalism. Within the Fall problem of RegulationI evaluation this broadly debated e book by Fukuyama in addition to the creator’s most up-to-date Liberalism and its discontent (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022). I present how, between the 2 books, Fukuyama’s thought has moved nearer to classical liberalism, even when many weaknesses stay. (See “Fukuyama: fascinating books, with some baggage“, Regulation 45:3 [Fall 2022], pages 48-53; additionally in html model.)
Fukuyama now clearly admits the necessity for binding democracy, however his sensible proposals are sometimes inconsistent with the theoretical precept. An instance I give in my evaluation:
There is no such thing as a purpose, [Fukuyama] explains “why financial effectivity should trump all different social values”, a moot level when one understands that financial effectivity is solely a means through which voluntary trade reconciles, with out coercion, preferences and values of all people.
For example of a fascinating democratic selection, Fukuyama proposes the primacy of labor over shopper welfare. The query is whether or not “human beings” “eat animals” or “produce animals”. “It’s a selection that has not been supplied to voters underneath the hegemony of neoliberal concepts.” The absurdity of submitting such a option to the voters is well demonstrated by imagining a referendum which might ask “the individuals”: “Which animal do you (or can we) wish to be, a shopper animal or a producer animal? Ask your self what could be the which means of X% (< 100%) deciding a method or one other. "All of us produce animals and now we're again to work!" Extra realistically maybe, we will think about complicated baskets of sensible political measures and marketing campaign guarantees tied to such a selection and supplied to rationally ignorant voters, who would perceive the implications of the measures even lower than their supporters. The one liberal answer, after all, is to let every particular person determine for himself what sort of animal he desires to be, given the impersonal constraints generated by the equally free selections of all different people.
EconLog readers could discover different factors of curiosity in my evaluation, in addition to in Fukuyama’s books themselves. This reflection brings collectively many threads within the critique of illiberalism.