Studio International

Published 15/01/2002

Not quite the end

Francis Fukuyama has been strident, since 11 September, in re-asserting, in the Wall Street Journal, that history is indeed foreclosed, terminally in suspense, on a drip feed, but nonetheless ‘we remain at the end of history’. There was surely a distinct feeling in late September as the bombing escalated, that this was not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning. For Fukuyama, who must certainly be close to delivery of the sequel volume to the End of History, there is surely an overweening imperative to remain in the non-fiction best-seller league. The new volume is keenly awaited. Why in a postmodern global culture must modernity continue to be the assumed ideal state? Fukuyama persists that, ‘I remain right. Modernity is a very powerful freight train that will not be derailed by recent events, however painful’. Fukuyama does admit, ‘there does seem to be something about Islam, or at least fundamentalist Islam, that makes Muslim societies particularly resistant to modernity’. Roll on 2002, and bring back the shutters on history. But actually, post-Foucault, post-Lacan, post-Jameson (let alone Derrida) some of us also feel modernity is not the endgame.