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The End of History and the Last Man
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28 von 33 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 15. Mai 2000
Fukuyama's far fetched and frankly irrelevant theories bore me, I'm afraid to say. This was the book that introduced me to that way of thinking - it's basically written by a wealthy American academic (who has spent most of his life employed by the US government), claiming that the American capitalist system has conquered all political alternatives, surpassing even that of democracy and especially that of communism. Capitalism is, for Fukuyama, the end of the evolution of man and the start of an eternal status quo. This idea is laughable in concept and is further ridiculed by his over-selective choice of material which is already outdated. Clearly it is his ideal world - but I not sure that everyone shares it and even less sure that we have reached it.
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5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 29. Juli 1997
Fukuyama's book is very well written, easy to read and fun. In the end, however, the fundamental premise is unbelievable, and the facts he presents do not appear to support the conclusion. His argument that liberal democracy will win out is based on history since about 1970. Extrapolating a grand historical drama from 20 or 30 years worth of data is unconvincing.

I have also read Huntington's book, "The Clash of Civilizations," against which Fukuyama is frequently compared. Huntington is nowhere near as well written, and while his fundamental premise is more plausible, the data he presents is equally suspect. The major difference between the two books is the authors' attitudes toward western civilization: Huntington claims that it is declining, while Fukuyama asserts it is marching toward inexorable victory. Leaving aside grand philosophical questions about the scope of history, I think Fukuyama is closer to the truth on this issue.

I recommend reading "The End of History." Just don't take it too seriously.
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8 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 30. Mai 1999
It takes several hundred pages for Fukuyama to build some kind of pseudo-philosophical model on the course of history and then essentially refute his own thesis in the last paragraph of the book. I can't believe I wasted the time it took to read this book. It's only value is to showcase the arrogance of Western (mainly American, i.e. George Will and his ilk) conservatives who believe that the entire world should adopt the liberal democratic political model. Fukuyama makes a number of questionable claims about global politics and the state of democracy in the world, and the book is too full of contradictions to list here. If you must read this book, then simply read the introducton, since he makes all his main arguments there, and then skip to the last few paragraphs where, as I mentioned, he contradicts his own thesis. Readers would be better off reading the actual works of Hegel, Nietzche, etc. than Fukuyama's sloppy re-hashing and "development" of their ideas.
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9 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 3. Mai 2000
Fukuyama, your book's incandescent
With male fantasies adolescent.
If your thoughts are profound,
So is Bugbear, my hound--
I think Hegel would find it putrescent.
The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit
Will probably think you're astute.
No one ever went broke here
Giving Karl Marx a poke, dear,
Or licking Das Kapital's boot.
Hurrah for the Rand Corporation
Who pay the best minds of our nation
To think in their tank
Of Weltgeist and WeltBank,
And ignore corporate depredation.
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5 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 4. Mai 2000
It's really hard to top that priceless review below, but I'll give it a shot. It's really amazing that after about seven years of hindsight, people are still writing rave reviews of this book for its amazing philosophical insights. Fukuyama himself had to back-pedal several times to qualify the bubbling optimism he expressed in the early nineties about the final victory of liberal democracy and the "end of History" (he essentially refutes his own thesis in the conclusion to this book). It's also quite interesting that none of the reviewers who loved this book so much noted the inherent contradiction in Fukuyama's use of Marxist philosophical methods to arrive at a "non-Marxist conclusion," or his continuous extolling of Hegel as some sort of predecessor to liberal democracy. Hegel was hardly democratic in outlook (he greatly admired the powerful and autocratic Prussian state) and he can rightfully be considered an early proponent of an exclusive northern German nationalism. Fukuyama's book is very flawed, and should have been relegated to the dustbin of history (no capital "H") long ago.
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
am 26. Februar 2000
Doubtless, this book received so much media attention because it was a gullible attempt at turning liberal democracy into a philosophy. This was unskillfully done through cutting and pasting from other existing modes of thought. I particullarly found his generalisations about Islam, Japan or even China quite offensive. If one wishes to stigmatise a whole civilisation, I suggest Mr. Fukuyama ignore the current modes of politicised Islam and have a look at the Middle ages when Muslim and Arab scholary work was the first thing scientists and thinkers turned to salvage themselves from the darkness of the middle ages. It is sufficient to point out that Greek philosophy was revived in Europe through back translation of Muslim scholars not to mention other fields such as Medicine, Chemistry, Math, the list goes on... I beleive that in order to understand where the world is going, one should not engage in re-constructing a meta-narrative with half-truths like that which pertains to liberal democracy which may have offered more choice in terms of how many brands of tea are available but at the expence of creating violence, anxieties, tattered family structures and social fiber. I suggest Mr. Fukuyama read history a bit more closely next time and he will find that the only system which managed to truly free humnity and push civlisation to the forefront is the version of Islam that existed before the 16th century.
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am 5. April 1998
Contrary to the common interpretation, Fukuyama, in fact, predicts the implosion of liberal democracy because of its inherent contradiction between liberty and democracy. Liberty encourages differentiation among people, while democracy is predicated on equality. Understanding the implications of this contradiction is critical for all of us living in the end of History.
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am 14. März 1999
Fukuyama's The End of History is one of the major answers of liberal internationalism to the crumbled doctrines of marxism-leninism, which had finally been defeated. Fukuyama shows that liberalism at last has the chance to become the dominating political force to sweep the globe and liberate humanity. It is the stepping stone for its inevitable victory.
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You may not agree with every point that Mr. Fukuyama makes about history and humanity, but at the very least you should be stimulated to think about historical events with a new perspective. His is a wonderfully researched and developed account of something that I wondered sometimes: why are we here, and where are we going?
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5 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich.
The End Of History And The Last Man, by Francis Fukuyama: A Review
It is seldom that one comes across a book which can hold us spellbound from beginning to end. But this is the case of this masterpiece by Fukuyama. In this book, Fukuyama proposes a return to Hegel's historiosophical concept of a Universal History which has a clear direction, purpose and progress. After having passed through many stages of development, history has finally come to its end. This, of course, does not mean that time has come to an end. Life and death will continue, the season of the year and the passage of the decades go forward. But history is a particular process in which we witness specific changes in the political organization and cultural arrangements of human societies. This process seems to evolve in accordance with specific laws, such as the expansion of the levels of human freedom. The liberal democracies developed in the modern times are the culmination of such a process, because they embody the fullness of the ideal of human freedom. Sure, there are adjustments which can be made to perfect particular democracies, but the concept itself of democracy as the self-determination of peoples cannot be improved upon. Hence, history has reached its end, its goal.
Fukuyama brilliantly developes throughout the book the theme of Plato's tripartite division of the human soul into reason, passion and desire, and its consequences for political science. Political systems are reflections of human yearnings, the attempt of human beings to give full expression to their own humanness. What ultimately matters is how a particular society balances these three elements of human nature. Hegel's thesis is that history begins with the first man who was able to gain mastery over his fellow man and thus achieve a level of recognition as a superior being. Masters come to rule over slaves first and foremost because they are able to face courageously the fear of death, whereas slaves prefer to obey submissively the stronger man than to forfeit their own lives. Fear of death is the primary motivation of the slave. Aristocrats, on the other hand, are driven by the impulse to seek superior recognition through fearless self-sacrifice in battle and war. The element of the human soul which is emphasized in aristocratic societies is passion (thymos).
Modern liberal democracies came into existence as the reslut of a rebellion of the masses of servants who yearned for freedom and recognition of their value as human beings. Theirs too was a search based on thymos, but it is distinguisgable from the thymos of the aristocracy. The masses search for the dignity that comes with the equality of all human beings (isothymia), is contradistinction to the aristocratic dignity which is based on their lordship over other people (megalothymia). A liberal democracy is based on the principle of freedom and equality of all human beings.
But what is the purpose of a liberal democratic system ? Here is where Fukuyama's analysis reaches its peak of subtlety. The end of human life is "the pursuit of happiness", understood as the search for safety, survival, comfort and material well-being. The furtherance of private property to the highest possible degree becomes the ultimate expression of success in a liberal democracy such as the one in the United States. In order to assure the accomplishment of happiness for the largest possible number of people we must restrict the impulse of thymos and allow for the development of the rational side of human nature. Through science, human beings come to subdue nature and are thus capable of fulfilling as well the third part of their souls, "desire". Reason and desire go hand in hand, the former being the means to satisfy the latter. The two of them thrive best in the context of the peaceful coexistence of human beings who show, above all, the virtue of tolerance for the differences of their fellow human beings.
One might think that such an ideal picture would be easily supported by all people. But the nature of thymos is not to be restricted without its devastating consequences. Its elimination carries with it the trivialization of human pursuits. The modern liberal man finds himself suffocated under the weight of unbearably petty pursuits and wants which diminish his sense of meaningfulness in life. He wastes his life away in the meaningless search for comfort and lives constantly with the crippling fear of loosing his security, safety and comfort. He becomes sub-human. He looses all the ideals for which his ancestors were willing to risk their lives.
Democracy may have built into itself a contradiction which may become its nemesis. The last man, having achieved physical security and material well-being under the protection of the peaceful coexistence of liberal democracies, may find a gnawing sense of dis-satisfaction that could drive him, in his pursuit of meaning for himself and the world surrounding him, to renewed conflict with his fellow human beings.
In the wake of an incredible wave of democratization in the world, following the collapse of communism and authoritarianism, we must face the question of whether we are in some sense approaching the end of history. Are we coming to the culmination of a linear process that once fulfilled may usher in a new era a peaceful coexistence, or will we experience a rebellion of the human soul against a system that imposes the imprint of shallow materialism across all borders ? This question is one which remains yet to be answered. Fukuyama has brought us, in an impeccably lucid and compelling way, to the edge of our historical journey, and he provided us with tools to understand and appreciate the ultimate existential dilemma which we now face. His work has unquestionably earned its rightful place as a classic in contemporary political theory.
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