Question 1: What are Fukuyama’s main points in his “end of history” thesis? Does he truly think there is an actual “end” to history?
Fukuyama’s main point in his “end of history” argues that the existent aspect of liberal democracy coupled with the free market capitalism of the west and its way of life may indicate the end of the human socio-cultural evolution thus become the ultimate form of human authority. As such, Fukuyama believes that the contention and progression of human history that has been existent through the struggle of ideologies following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War is no longer in existent because the world has embraced liberal democracy.
Fukuyama does not truly believe that there is an actual “end” to history. He acknowledges that the world keeps evolving at least with regard to the historical events which he believes will keep changing. Considering the fact that the aspects of liberal democracy are dominant in the world today, Fukuyama believes that no other form of governance would trounce it and believes that due to its continued appeal the world over, liberal democracy and market oriented capitalism will eventually spread throughout the world. He however acknowledges that liberal democracy which according to him represents modernity is under threat from due to the existence of weapons of mass destruction. It is therefore safe to conclude that Fukuyama does not “truly” believe that there is an actual end to history.
Question 2: What are the main components of Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis?
Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” thesis relates to the theory that the religious and cultural identities would be the major source of conflict after the end of the Cold War. As such, he believes that the conflicts in contemporary societies will be on the basis of culture rather than ideology. Huntington provides five main components namely: a world of civilizations, the shifting balance of civilization, the emerging order of civilizations, the clashes of civilizations, and the future of civilizations.
Question 3: How does Huntington view the spread of democracy to traditionally nondemocratic states? How does he predict it will affect the United States?
Huntington believes that there is a continuing power shift from the democratic to non-democratic nations especially after the cold war. He believes that the spread of democracy would be through the global power of technology aided by the cultural reaction. Conversely, Huntington predicts that the rein by the demographic growth of the Muslim, the economic development of Eastern Asia, the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East, and the Muslim propensity towards violence as the real threat to the world peace and the United States power.
Question 4: How do the two articles view the “end of history” and the “clash of civilizations” in terms of the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks?
With regard to the “the Clash of Civilization”, Huntington considers some developments that reflect this aspect. Among the developments is the terrorist attack on the core cultural symbols. He postulates that the intended attack on Iraq would reveal the manner in which the Arab and the Muslim world would join forces in opposition of the American and the western invasion. Huntington’s “clash of civilizations” therefore advances the aspect of mobilization along the western policies on the one hand and the Islamic belief on the other.
Fukuyama, discussing the ‘end of history’ maintains that the end of history is imminent. According to Fukuyama the September 11 attack provides an opportunity for the forces to drive fundamentalist reaction in the Islamic world which is a crucial aspect for achieving modernization. He believes that the inherent parochial phenomenon of Islamism has the no ability to rival liberal democracy because it is not founded upon universal ideology.
Question 5: Which is the better description of the state of the world in the early twenty-first century: an integrated "global village" moving toward a single world culture, or a "clash of civilizations" leading to increased global fragmentation and conflict based on ethnic, cultural, or religious differences?
The better description to the early 21st century is, a "clash of civilizations" leading to increased global fragmentation and conflict based on ethnic, cultural, and religious differences. This description is descriptive of the increased terror attacks on American investments by the extremists groups usually affiliated to Islamism, the reaction by the United States where America invaded Iraq in the pretense that there were nuclear weapons, and many other conflicts around the world.