The work of Fukuyama on the ‘end of history’ has been one of the hidden pillars of the neo-liberal age, but its basic core serves the opposite argument: the reign of capitalism was seen from the beginning as temporary or transitional. But the propaganda of capitalism has entered the unconscious and has turned into a delusive obsession of great force. It is hard, otherwise, to explain how the logical absurdities of someone like Ayn Rand could be taken seriously by intelligent students of economics.
Globalization, Postcapitalism, and the ‘End of History’
The modern period shows the emergence of the phenomenon of revolution, from the sixteenth century onward, with the French and American revolutions at the climax, ushering in the era of democratic republics. This phenomenon immediately passed into a prophecy of a ‘next and final’ revolution to complete the creation of democracy in a phase of post-capitalist communism. This strange conjunction of elements makes sense in our own time as the crisis of capitalism demands a rational response on the level of global civilization. We can see the prophetic omens at the start in Münzer, and the Utopia of More.
The idea of the ‘end of history’ has been wrongly understood, and emerged in the wake of the Hegelian philosophy of history and became a staple of economic ideology as legitimation. The term, however, was never used by Hegel who nonetheless seems to point to a ‘teleology of emergent freedom’, and we see that, rightly understood, the term ‘end of history’ can be understood in this sense. As we study the macro effect we will see that indeed the appearance of democracy and the associated socialism/communism are part of a larger macroevolutionary process, as remarkable as that might seem. A powerful model is required to see the relation of emergent freedom and teleology.
We can see that the short term history of ‘communism’ has distorted its meaning, and discredited its application. But this failed history was never truly relevant as an instance of communism, whose meaning is simply that of stable postcapitalism in a framework of democracy. This is by definition an aspect of the ‘end of history’.