A thought-provoking essay from Fukuyama on critiques of his The End of History. My summary of his position: liberty and equality are evolution-driven goals in considerable tension. While Hegel thought the unfolding of reason would lead to communist utopia, events lead Fukuyama to suggest that it leads instead to modern liberal democracy (contrast the number of people who chose to live in communes with those who choose to live in LA).

My 2c – why should liberal democracy in 20 years look anything like it does today? What about “Culture”-style voting on everything because we’re all hooked into the net? What about local areas of influence rather than strict administrative boundaries?

He discusses four challenges to the delightful prospect outlined:
Islam – but surely Christianity was used to justify slavery, so why should Islam have a problem with liberal democracy?
Democracy – can it transcend the nation-state? Could a United Nations with teeth work across the world?
Authority – politics must drive economic development; you cannot just expose a country to the world economy and expect it to improve. Just examine Africa.
Technology – Fukuyama talks more about how changing ourselves might affect the future, rather than climate change or armageddon.

Contrast with Orhan Pamuk on Turkey, being drawn to politics through direct experience of injustice. And George Monbiot on the West’s hypocrisy over renationalisation of oil assets (you’re thinking Bolivia, but Chad did the same). And Max Hastings on how rubbish New Labour has been in terms of policy execution (while its politics has been excellent).