We cited the Fukuyama discussion in WHEE, but readers might wish to read the whole chapter on the modern transition, and the whole section series of the Endnotes, starting with the above.
Note that in a discrete-continuous model overlaid on a continuous historical stream, the ‘divide’ point at the end of the transition becomes significant, and to our surprise we see this phenomenon in the wake of the enlightenement/French rev period. And it is the era in which Hegel wrote. It is thus almost spooky that he began talking about the ‘end of history’. Actually he never used the phrase, but his point was clear enough. Hegel did to modernity what the Prophets did to the Axial period of Israel: he made it the result of the action of spirit and the emergence of freedom got a new dose of ‘sacralization’. It was a gesture effective against the reactionary traditionalists who thought modernity to be a form of decline.
The whole discussion is better seen in the light of ‘evolution’ in the sense of the eonic effect, as a discrete series of transitions. Ironically Hegel makes better sense in this ‘modeler’s vein’.
The modern transition is a vast study, and its properties make no sense without something like the model of the eonic effect.
Here Fukuyama’s latest thesis failss abysmally: Hegel was closer.
We can see that the modern politics of liberalism is direcly correlated with this transition. It has nothing to do with Darwin, whose theories threaten to throw modernity into decline, and to discredit science.