political revue


Year LX, 2018, Single Issue



International Social and Democratic Federalism as the End of History






This essay revisits Fukuyama’s famous “end of history” thesis by enlarging its original paradigm, based on triumphant national liberal democracies, to one in which the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution is, rather, characterised by a social democratic polity[1] that, operating in a supranational framework,[2] is designed to achieve both civil and social peace.

The closest thing in the real world to this ideal is the European Union, a supranational political project that effectively put an end to wars on the continent by creating a cross-border social market economy, even though the institutional framework of the EU is not yet fully federal in many respects.[3]

Interestingly, although Fukuyama’s original article and subsequent book were widely interpreted as celebrating the victory of US-style democratic capitalism over Soviet communism,[4] he himself acknowledged that Europe was actually closer to the end of history than America, even emphasising the former’s overcoming of national sovereignty[5] rather than its bias towards a higher provision of social goods.[6]

As in any political philosophy, there is a certain degree of ambiguity in Fukuyama’s work. To start with, the very idea that history has an end necessarily rests on a previous belief in progress. Yet World War II and the genocide of the Jewish people, the development of the atomic bomb, and the problem of climate change, have, among other negative milestones, all cast doubt on the idea of progress,[7] since they clearly show that humanity is perfectly capable of destroying itself.

Overall, however, it can be argued that human history is moving progressively towards democracy[8] and a more united world, even though this progress does not always follow a linear, upward trend, but rather allows for regressions and setbacks,[9] such as, most recently, Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. From this perspective, progressivism can be understood as an ideology that tries, at once, to favour and accelerate the aforementioned positive trend and prevent the world from regressing to previous stages of human development.

Consequently, both the end of history thesis and the idea of progress are in some ways deterministic, and thus generate some confusion between the positive (something is going to happen) and normative (something must happen) perspectives. The reading of Fukuyama’s position set out in this essay is essentially a normative one, even though it shares his belief that no alternative paradigm, able to compete with the democratic one, is likely to arise anytime soon.[10]

This notwithstanding, this essay considers the most desirable outcome of human political development to be a global federal pact guaranteeing peace, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and social protection. The first two goals are fundamental for the survival of humanity. The second two are necessary in order to provide decent living conditions for all, thereby reducing social conflicts and ensuring stable democratic societies.

Thereforefrom a normative perspective, the end of history is just another term for real-world utopia or (in Kantian terms) perpetual peace, i.e. that moment at which certain fundamental transformations have been achieved, thus opening the way for an era in which war no longer exists and social and economic conflicts are fundamentally resolved.[11] But, to come about, all this requires something more than economic liberalism and democratic politics: it demands the triumph of an ideology that pursues the establishment of supranational political institutions (the ultimate guarantee of peace) whose aim is to bring about global social and ecological justice.

Perhaps mankind’s final liberation from war, disease and want will result in a genuine post-materialistic spiritual renaissance, expressed entirely through the arts, public life and open love,[12] or as some put it, in the pursuit of happiness and eternal life.[13]

Ends of History.

The concept of the end of history has its roots in the thought of important philosophers such as Kant and Hegel,[14] and it can be considered a specific framing of the more general Enlightenment belief in human progress, even though the latter, as already mentioned, remains for many a somewhat questionable idea.

Kant saw, in history, an evolution towards “freedom” and “republican government”,[15] while also advocating a global federal pact that would guarantee permanent peace among nations.[16]

Hegel continued in this tradition.[17] He believed that the material world is shaped by ideas, and therefore saw history as the evolution of human consciousness, which will culminate in a rational form of society. In particular, the German philosopher argued that history proceeds by a dialectical process[18] that should culminate in a state of equal freedom for all,[19] which, in political terms, corresponds to a liberal democratic state.[20]

The original end of history thesis has been revisited and developed by, among others, Karl Marx and, more recently, Alexandre Kojève[21] and Francis Fukuyama. As already mentioned, the latter wrote a famous article on the topic, published just before of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989,[22] and later converted it into a best-selling book.[23]

Marx, while sharing Hegel’s belief in the concept of an end of history,[24] instead envisaged this being achieved by a victorious working class seizing power and establishing a communist society.[25]

As for Kojève, he agreed with Hegel’s view that Napoleon’s victory in the battle of Jena in 1806 marked the end of history, given that, according to the German philosopher, mankind’s ideological evolution culminated in the triumph of the ideals of the French Revolution: liberty and equality.[26]

Essentially, Kojève’s contribution was to take Hegel’s original vision of the liberal order as the endpoint of ideological evolution and attempt to apply it to 20th Century realityspecifically to a context in which political Marxism was a powerful cultural force. His efforts led him to predict the emergence of a “universal and homogeneous state”[27] characterised by political and economic liberalism.

Interestingly, Kojève believed that the post-war Western European countries that established the European Coal and Steel Community embodied the very ideals of political and economic liberalism that he considered to have emerged triumphant in Jena. This prompted him to give up his scholarly activities, and he ended up working as a French negotiator for the establishment of the European Economic Community.[28]

Fukuyama updated Kojève’s thinking, concluding that the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet empire represented the universal triumph of the free market philosophy and liberal democracy, given that fascism, communism and nationalism could not possibly challenge the primacy of the liberal-capitalist ideology.[29]

Clearly, for Hegel, Marx, Kojève and Fukuyama, the end of history did not mean the end of human events — this is, in fact, a common misinterpretation[30] —, but rather the end of the main ideological struggles, also because victory in the field of ideas is never translated immediately into victory in the real world.

The End of History, but Not the End of the Nation-State.

According to Fukuyama, though, the general spread, across the world, of the market economy, and incidentally (and less extensively) of democratisation, did not mean the end of cultural identity and of the nation-state as a key player in international relations, and in this sense his views differ from Kojève’s universalistic conception,[31] not to mention Kant’s federalist paradigm.

Fukuyama felt that cultural differences are destined to prevent the emergence of fully fledged political supranationalism, at least for the time being, even though he engaged in a very interesting critique of nationalism, portraying it as a rather artificial and relatively new construct in political thought,[32] a view that will resonate with European and world federalists. This American political scientist actually acknowledged the role played by the European Union in overcoming nationalism[33] and predicted that the latter would ultimately be cancelled out by economic globalisation,[34] even though he perhaps failed to take adequately into account the fact that free trade and production relocation would produce winners and losers, and thus result in a backlash against both market liberalisation and cosmopolitism.

Furthermore, Fukuyama also predicted, in a world increasingly made up of liberal and capitalist democracies, the end of imperialism,[35] a reduction in political competition and military conflict (also considering the very few wars fought among liberal democracies),[36] and a greater emphasis on economics and technocratic management.[37]

He even asserted that a non-communist Russia would not revert to great power strategies, or at least large-scale conflicts,[38] a prediction whose accuracy has turned out to be rather questionable, given Putin’s aggressive tendencies, although Fukuyama did concede that conflict between “historical” states (those not at the end of history), and even between historical and “post-historical” ones,[39] was still possible.

The aggressive international policies pursued by Donald Trump show that there are actually many ways to exert pressure on and power over other countries without resorting to military conflict, and this should perhaps prompt us to pause and reconsider Fukuyama’s hopes regarding the end of imperialism and political and economic domination as an effect of the spread of political and economic liberalism.[40]

Democracy, Liberal but Also Social.

It is easy to agree with Fukuyama that liberal democracy is a more advanced and humane ideology, and hence more powerful and resilient, than other ideologies, including now almost dead ones like fascism and communism, others that are old but still very much alive, like nationalism, and newer ones, such as radical Islam and free-market authoritarianism.[41]

However, Fukuyama’s assessment of liberal democracy as the end of history, understood as the only real political alternative, is incomplete, from at least two very important perspectives: the role of social justice and the organisation of regional and global governance.

According to Fukuyama, liberal democracy embodies a classless society, in which class conflict is somehow magically “resolved”.[42]

This is, to say the least, inaccurate, given the increasing income and wealth inequalities observed in Western societies as a result of open-borders capitalism,[43] and the rise of populism as the political reaction to the growing imbalance between capital and labour.

Class conflict can potentially be overcome only if the political system, in addition to ensuring free elections, the protection of individual and of civil rights, and the rule of law, which are the main pillars of liberalism, also pursues, as explicit public policy objectives, social justice and economic rights.

In this respect, the European social market economy, with all its shortcomings, appears a better potential embodiment of the end of history, understood as an equilibrium between the state, the market, society and the environment, than capitalistic society in the Regan mould (a model recently taken to extremes by Donald Trump’s international and domestic policies). This, as indicated in the introduction, is something that Fukuyama himself has acknowledged. As claimed by some authors, social democracy, understood as an endless process of market regulation and economic redistribution, is the most successful ideology in contemporary history.[44]

Social democracy and federalist ideology both share a number of key principles (liberalism, democracy and socialism), although the latter, over time, has also embraced additional ones, namely environmentalism[45] and feminism.

The goal of federalism is civil peace, which goes hand in hand with social peace. But perpetual peace will remain unreachable as long as countries, or the world at large, are corroded by wealth inequalities, race and gender bias, discrimination towards immigrants and refugees, and environmental harm.[46] In short, continued lack of global social and ecological justice will continue to jeopardise world peace.

Democracy, Liberal but Also Transnational.

The second flaw in Fukuyama’s depiction of the end of history is its purely national focus,[47] as he himself has more recently acknowledged;[48] nevertheless, it rests on the belief that liberal democracies are likely to remain at peace since they have a common interest in cooperating[49] and extending the reach of their common values around the world.[50]

Fukuyama also acknowledged the Kantian world federation as a liberal project, stressing, however, that it is workable only if the member states share the same values.[51] He considered the League of Nations and, to some extent, the United Nations to be essentially flawed, on account of their inclusion of undemocratic countries,[52] while suggesting that a true Kantian version of such leagues would resemble the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).

However, while it is true that an international federation must be based on a liberal (and we would add social) democratic setting, both within and among its member states, this alone is certainly not enough. On this point, Fukuyama appears unable to distinguish between international and supranational organisations.

If the UN (like NATO) is far less effective than the EU, this is not just because these organisations include undemocratic members, but above all because they are subject to national vetoes and super-majority and unanimity voting requirements, and lack binding parliamentary bodies. In short, the UN and NATO are not federal, whereas the EU, albeit in a partial way, does possess key federal elements, as shown by the supremacy of Union law, the co-decision between the Council and the Parliament, and so on.

In hindsight, Fukuyama ended up conceding that national liberal democracies can potentially exercise violence against other countries and their citizens, and therefore accepted the European idea of the need to transcend national sovereignty.[53] Nevertheless, in view of the limited political progress made by the EU so far, and in what seems to be a contradiction of his own critique of nationalism and his assertion that transnational democracy embodies the end of history, the author concludes that the latter, while nice in theory, is not realistic on account of insurmountable cultural barriers.[54]


The final question that must be posed is whether the end of history as understood by Hegel, Kojève and Fukuyama, i.e. a state of perpetual peace and political and economic freedoms, can be reached simply through global market capitalism and an ever-increasing number of national liberal democracies (which must nevertheless be allied in an inter-governmental organisation such as NATO). The answer is no. The end of history will also require the provision of social and economic rights, guaranteed by a global and democratic political federation.

It must be recalled that peace is not just the absence of armed conflict. While two peoples that ignore each other are technically at peace, at the same time, they are not cooperating with each other or building anything of value together.[55] Countries, beyond being at peace in this narrower sense, need to confront, together, transnational challenges such as climate change, migration, poverty, etc. And they cannot do this effectively in isolation or through traditional international organisations in which sovereignty is not pooled and most decisions have to be unanimously agreed.

Thus, the end of history can only take the form of a social and democratic world federation, composed of regional federations, of which the European Union is the most advanced example. Regardless of whether or not history is already moving in this direction, all peace-loving people must undoubtedly strive for such a future world order, and support the worthy causes promoted by the Union of European Federalists and the World Federalist Movement.

[1] For an early proposal of (social) democracy as the end of history, see Domènec Ruiz Devesa, ¿La socialdemocracia como fin de la historia?, El País, 03/02/2009. Madrid.

[2] See Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Donald Trump y el fin de la historia, El País, 15/03/2017. Madrid (2017): “Paradójicamente, el ensayo de Fukuyama pasó por alto los proyectos de integración regional en clave federal como otra dimensión de la conclusión del proceso histórico, y que enlazarían con la aspiración kantiana de garantizar la paz perpetua”.

[3] This is despite the fact that the federal nature of the integration project was made clear from the outset, as stated in the Schuman Declaration of 9th May 1950.

[4] The original article was published just a few months before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

[5] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?, National Interest, n. 16 (Summer 1989), pp. 3-18, Washington DC, 1989, p. 5: “For Kojève, this so-called ‘universal homogeneous state’ found real-life embodiment in the countries of postwar Western Europe – precisely those flabby, prosperous, self-satisfied, inward-looking, weak-willed states whose grandest project was nothing more heroic than the creation of the Common Market”, and Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición [2006] en rústica de El fin de la historia y el último hombre, in: Juan García-Morán Escobedo (ed.), Fukuyama. ¿El fin de la historia? y otros ensayos, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 2015, pp. 149-150: “Una interpretación errónea que me gustaría clarificar, sin embargo, concierne al muy difundido malentendido de que, de alguna manera, estaba defendiendo una version específicamente estadounidense del fin de la historia (…) nada puede estar más lejos de la verdad. Cualquiera que conozca a Kojève y los orígenes intelectuales de su versión del fin de la historia, entenderá que la Unión Europea representa una encarnación más realista del concepto que los Estados Unidos. En la línea de Kojève, sostuve que el proyecto europeo era en realidad una casa construida como un hogar para el último hombre que surgiría al final de la historia. El sueño europeo –percibido sobre todo en Alemania- es trascender la soberanía nacional, la política del poder y el tipo de luchas que hacen necesario el poder militar (…) en cambio, los estadounidenses tienen una comprensión de la soberanía bastante tradicional”.

[6] Fukuyama does not see Europe’s social model as either desirable or fundamentally different from that of the US, simply regarding them as two different modalities of liberal democracy, see Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición…, op. cit., p. 150 and 151: “La democracia liberal moderna se basa en el doble principio de la libertad y la igualdad (…) cada democracia liberal tiene, por tanto, que mantener un equilibrio entre las dos. Los europeos contemporáneos tienden a preferir más la igualdad a expensas de la libertad, y los estadounidenses, por razones arraigadas en la historia, lo contrario. Hay diferencias de grado y no de principio; aunque yo prefiero la versión estadounidense a la europea en algunos aspectos, es más una cuestión de gustos”.

[7] See, among many others, Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Donald Trump y el fin de la historia, op. cit.: “Esta creencia determinista entró en crisis con la Segunda Guerra Mundial y el holocausto del pueblo judío, y sobre todo con la fabricación de la bomba atómica, al resultar posible la propia autodestrucción de los terrícolas. La elección de Trump al mando de la primera potencia mundial supondría solamente la más reciente y pintoresca prueba en contra de la inevitabilidad del progreso”.

[8] There is ample empirical evidence of this trend in international politics, even before the end of the Cold War. See, in particular, Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave. Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, Norman (Oklahoma), University of Oklahoma Press, 1991, and Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, Barcelona, Penguin Random House, 2016, p. 296: “En el sur de Europa (...) los regímenes autoritarios de Grecia, España y Portugal sucumbieron y dieron paso a gobiernos democráticos (...) durante la década de 1980, las dictaduras militares de Asia Oriental y América Latina fueron sustituidas por gobiernos democráticos; algunos ejemplos son Brasil, Argentina, Taiwán y Corea del Sur. En los últimos años de la década de 1980 y en los primeros de la de 1990, la oleada liberal se transformó en un verdadero tsunami que barrió al poderoso imperio soviético y creó expectativas sobre el inminente final de la historia”.

[9] See Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Donald Trump y el fin de la historia, op. cit.: “Pero también es cierto que las condiciones materiales y tecnológicas del Homo Sapiens, incluido el respeto de los Derechos Humanos, no ha dejado de mejorar con el paso del tiempo. Cabe entonces concebir el progreso como una poderosa tendencia, si bien no exenta de retrocesos y peligros”, and Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, op. cit., p. 11: “En los albores del tercer milenio (….) hemos conseguido controlar la hambruna, la peste y la guerra”.

[10] See Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición…, op. cit., p. 163: “Existe una tendencia histórica general hacia la democracia liberal”, and Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, op. cit., pp. 297 and 298: “En 2016 no existe una alternativa seria al paquete liberal de individualismo, derechos humanos, democracia y mercado libre. Las protestas sociales que barrieron el mundo occidental en 2011 (como Occupy Wall Street y el movimiento del 15-M español) no tienen absolutamente nada contra la democracia, el individualismo y los derechos humanos, ni siquiera contra los principios básicos de la economía de libre mercado. Todo lo contrario: llaman la atención de los gobiernos por no estar a la altura de estos ideales liberales (...) incluso los que arremeten contra las bolsas de valores y los parlamentos con las más duras críticas carecen de un modelo alternativo viable para hacer funcionar el mundo. Aunque uno de los pasatiempos favoritos de los académicos y los activistas occidentales es encontrar fallos en el paquete liberal, hasta el momemnto no han conseguido idear nada mejor”; and Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Donald Trump y el fin de la historia, op. cit.: “No se divisa ninguna alternativa creíble o deseable a la democracia representativa, sostenida sobre una economía social de mercado, y expandida a través de la integración supranacional, como medio para poder realizar de manera efectiva los valores de libertad, bienestar y paz”.

[11] Some believe this final stage will be reached only when technology makes it possible to re-design the human mind. See Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, op. cit., p. 59: “Cuando la tecnología nos permita remodelar la mente humana, Homo sapiens desaparecerá, la historia humana llegará a su fin y se iniciará un tipo de proceso completamente nuevo”.

[12] See Pilar Llorente Ruiz de Azúa and Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Europa, ideal de unidad humana, in: Eugenio Nasarre, Francisco Aldecoa Luzárraga and Miguel Angel Benedicto Solsona (Eds) Europa como tarea. A los sesenta años de los Tratados de Roma y a los setenta del Congreso de Europa de La Haya, Madrid, Marcial Pons, 2018, p. 403: “La Unión Europea y, al cabo, la federación mundial deben por tanto ser instrumentos al servicio de este ideal de unidad, de socialización, de comunidad, para asegurar una paz perpetua sobre la que asegurar a todos los seres humanos la justicia social y el desarrollo de una vida plena, es decir, intelectual, filosófica, moral y placentera”.

[13] See Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, op. cit., p. 32: “Es probable que los próximos objetivos de la humanidad sean la inmortalidad, la felicidad y la divinidad. Después de haber reducido la mortalidad debida al hambre, la enfermedad y la violencia, ahora nos dedicaremos a superar la vejez e incluso la muerte”.

[14] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, London, Penguin, 1992, p. 59: “Kant’s project of writing a Universal History that was at once philosophically serious and grounded in a mastery of empirical history was left to his successor, Georg Wilhem Friedrich Hegel, to complete in the generation following Kant’s death”.

[15] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 58: “Kant suggested that history would have an end point, that is to say, a final purpose that was implied in man’s current potentialities and which made the whole of history intelligible. This end point was the realization of human freedom (...) when taking all societies into account, there was overall reason to expect general human progress in the direction of republican government, that is what we today understand as liberal democracy”.

[16] See Immanuel Kant, Projet de paix perpétuelle, Paris, Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin, 1948.

[17] See footnote 14.

[18] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 60: “history proceeds through a continual process of conflict, wherein systems collide and fall apart from their own internal contradictions. They are then replaced by less contradictory and therefore higher ones, which give rise to new and different contradictions-the so-called dialectic”.

[19] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, ibid.: “As Kant postulated, there was an end point to the process of history, which is the realization of freedom here on earth (...) the unfolding of Universal History could be understood as the growth of the equality of human freedom”.

[20] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, ibid.: “For Hegel, the embodiment of human freedom was the modern constitutional state, or again, what we have called liberal democracy”.

[21] See Alexandre Kojève, Introduction à la lecture de Hegel, Paris, Gallimard, 1947, and Shadia B. Drury, Alexandre Kojève. The Roots of Postmodern Politics, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

[22] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?, op. cit.

[23] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit.

[24] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 65: “Marx shared Hegel’s belief in the possibility of an end of history. That is, he foresaw a final form of society that was free from contradictions, and whose achievement would terminate the historical process”.

[25] See Francis Fukuyama, ibid.: “Where Marx differed from Hegel was over just what kind of society emerged at the end of history. Marx believed that the liberal state failed to resolve one fundamental contradiction, that of class conflict, the struggle between the bourgeoisie and proletariat. Marx turned Hegel’s historicism against him, arguing that the liberal state did not represent the universalization of freedom, but only the victory of freedom for a certain class, the bourgeoisie (…) Marx, on the other hand, observed that in liberal societies man remains alienated from himself because capital, a human creation, has turned into man’s lord and master and controls him (…) the Marxist end of history would come only with victory of the true ‘universal class’, the proletariat, and the subsequent achievement of a global communist utopia that would end class struggle once and for all”.

[26] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 64: “Hegel (...) did not mean that there would be an end to events arising out of the births, deaths, and social interactions of humankind (...) when Hegel declared that history had ended after the Battle of Jena in 1806, he was obviously not making the claim that the liberal state was victorious throughout the world (...) what he was saying was that the principles of liberty and equality underlying the modern liberal state had been discovered and implemented in the most advanced countries, and that there were no alternative principles or forms of social and political organization that were superior to liberalism”.

[27] See Shadia B. Drury, Alexandre Kojève. The Roots of Postmodern Politics, op. cit., p. x: “Since capitalism will also undermine national boundaries and homogenize culture around the globe, Kojève anticipated that history will culminate in the final and unsurpassable triumph of a global capitalist order. Soon we will be living in what Kojève called a universal and homogeneous state”.

[28] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 311: “Kojève (…) was content to play out the rest of his life working in that bureaucracy meant to supervise construction of the final home for the last man, the European Commission”.

[29] See Juan García-Morán Escobedo, El ‘gran relato’ rehabilitado: Francis Fukuyama y el fin de la Historia, in id. (Ed) Fukuyama ¿El fin de la historia? y otros ensayos, op. cit., p. 13: “El conflicto entre ideologías rivales que había impulsado el desarrollo de la Historia en estos dos últimos siglos – y lo que es más, el debate ideológico de siglos de antigüedad sobre la mejor forma de gobierno – se habría resuelto definitivamente en favor de la democracia liberal”.

[30] See Escobedo García-Morán, El ‘gran relato’ rehabilitado..., op. cit., p. 14: “Con la expresión ‘el fin de la historia’ nuestro autor no se refería –como algunos de sus más apresurados y atolondrados intérpretes corrieron a señalar con manifiesta ligereza- a la supresión de todo conflicto social significativo ni, menos aún, al cese de todo acontecimiento empírico digno de mayor o menor trascendencia histórica”.

[31] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 244: “On the one hand, there is the ever-increasing homogenization of mankind brought about by modern economics and technology, and by the spread of the idea of rational recognition as the only legitimate basis of government around the world. On the other hand, there is everywhere a resistance to that homogenization, and a reassertion, largely on a sub-political level, of cultural identities that ultimately reinforce existing barriers between people and nations (…) these differences further suggest that the existing state system will not collapse anytime soon into a literally universal and homogenous state. The nation will continue to be a central pole of identification, even if more and more nations come to share common economic and political forms of organization”.

[32] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., pp. 268 and 269: “While admitting the very great power of nationalism over the past couple of centuries, however, it is necessary to put this phenomenon in proper perspective (…) this perspective misunderstands how recent and contingent a phenomenon nationalism is. Nationalism does not, in Ernest Gellner’s words ‘have any roots in the human psyche’ (…) political entities took no account of nationality: the Hapsburg emperor Charles V could rule over parts of Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands simultaneously, while the Turkish Ottomans ruled Turks, Arabs, Berbers, and European Christians (…) nationalism was therefore very much the product of industrialization and the democratic, egalitarian ideologies that accompanied it. The nations that were created as a result of modern nationalism (…) were also the deliberate fabrications of nationalists, who had a degree of freedom in defining who or what constituted a language or a nation”.

[33] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 270: “The passing of the initial, intense period of nationalism is most advanced in the region most damaged by nationalist passions, Europe. On that continent, the two world wars acted as a great spur to redefining nationalism in a more tolerant fashion. Having experienced the horrendous irrationality latent in the nationalist form of recognition, Europe’s population have gradually come to accept universal and equal recognition as an alternative. The result was a deliberate effort on the part of the survivors of those wars to dismantle national borders, and to turn popular passions away from national self-assertion into economic activity. The result, of course, was the European Community (…) the EC has obviously not abolished national differences, and the organization has difficulty building attributes of super-sovereignty as its founders hoped. But the sort of nationalism displayed in the EC over questions like agricultural policy and monetary union is already a highly domesticated version, and a far cry from the force that drove two world wars”.

[34] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 275: “Economic forces encouraged nationalism by replacing class with national barriers and created centralized, linguistically homogeneous entities in the process. Those same economic forces are now encouraging the breakdown of national barriers through the creation of a single, integrated world market. The fact that the final political neutralization of nationalism may not occur in this generation or the next does not affect the prospect of its ultimately taking place”.

[35] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 60: “The civil peace brought about by liberalism should logically have its counterpart in relations between states. Imperialism and war were historically the product of aristocratic societies. If liberal democracy abolished the class distinction between masters and slaves by making the slaves their own masters, then it should eventually abolish imperialism”.

[36] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 262: “The fundamentally un-warlike character of liberal societies is evident in the extraordinary peaceful relations they maintain among one another. There is by now a substantial body of literature noting the fact that there have been few, if any, instances of one liberal democracy going to war with another”.

[37] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 262: “Given the fact that access to those same resources can be obtained peacefully through a global system of free trade, war makes much less economic sense that it did two or three hundred years ago”.

[38] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?, op. cit., p. 18: “The automatic assumption that Russia shorn of its expansionist communist ideology should pick up where the czars left off just prior to the Bolshevik Revolution is therefore a curious one”, and p. 19: “the growing ‘Common Marketization’ of international relations, and the diminution of the likelihood of large-scale conflict between states”.

[39] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 263: “Liberal democracies can, of course, fight states that are not liberal democracies”.

[40] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 263: “… among each other, liberal democracies manifest little distrust or interest in mutual domination. They share with one another principles of universal equality and rights, and therefore have no grounds on which to contest each other’s legitimacy (…) the argument is not so much that liberal democracy constrains man’s natural instincts for aggression and violence, but that it has fundamentally transformed the instincts themselves and eliminated the motive for imperialism”.

[41] On the last two ideologies, Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit. p. 243, says: “A new Asia authoritarianism would most likely not be the harsh totalitarian state with which we have become familiar (…) it is doubtful whether such a political system would be exportable to other cultures that did not share Asia’s Confucian heritage, any more than Islamic fundamentalism has been exportable to the non-Islamic parts of the world”. See also Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus. Breve historia del mañana, op. cit., p. 298: “El islamismo radical no plantea ninguna amenaza seria al paquete liberal, porque, a pesar de todo su fervor, los fanáticos en realidad no entienden el mundo del siglo XXI”.

[42] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 5: “In the universal homogeneous state, all prior contradictions are resolved and all human needs are satisfied (…) what remains is primarily economic activity”.

[43] On the growing economic inequalities see among others, Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 2014, and Branko Milanovic. Global inequality. A New Approach for the Age of Globalization, Cambridge MA, Harvard University Press, 2016.

[44] See Sheri Berman, The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making Europe’s Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006.

[45] See Guido Montani, Ecologia e federalismo. La politica, la natura e il futuro de la specie umana, Quaderni di Ventotene, n. 5 (2004), Ventotene, Istituto di Studi Federalisti Altiero Spinelli, and David Grace, Guido Montani, and John Pinder, Cambiamento climatico e federalismo, Quaderni di Ventotene, n. 7 (2008), Ventotene, Istituto di Studi Federalisti Altiero Spinelli.

[46] See Pilar Llorente Ruiz de Azúa and Alejandro Peinado García, El manifiesto de Ventotene. Por una Europa libre y unida. Altiero Spinelli y Ernesto Rossi, Sistema, n. 245, January, (2017), Madrid, and Pilar Llorente Ruiz de Azúa and Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Europa, ideal de unidad humana..., op. cit.

[47] Even though these ideas are actually to be found in chapter 26 entitled Toward a Pacific Union, see Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 276.

[48] See Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición…, op. cit., p. 155: “Cuando escribí sobre la democracia liberal como la forma de gobierno final me refería a escala del Estado nacional. No vislumbré la posibilidad de crear una democracia global que de alguna manera trascendiera al Estado nacional soberano por medio del derecho internacional”.

[49] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 280: “Democracies that choose their friends and enemies by ideological considerations -that is, whether they are democratic- are likely to have stronger and more durable allies in the long run”.

[50] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 280: “The peaceful behaviour of democracies further suggests that the United States and other democracies have a long-term interest in preserving the sphere of democracy in the world, and in expanding it where possible and prudent. That is, if democracies do not fight one another, then a steadily expanding post-historical world will be more peaceful and prosperous”.

[51] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., p. 281: “The need for democratic states to work together to promote democracy and international peace is an idea almost as old as liberalism itself. The case for an international league of democracies governed by a rule of law was laid out by Immanuel Kant in his famous essay, Perpetual Peace, as well as in his Idea for a Universal History (…) an international federation, to work, must share common liberal principles of right”.

[52] See Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, op. cit., pp. 281 and 282: “The manifest failure of the League of Nations and the United Nations to provide collective security (…) has led to the general discrediting of Kantian internationalism and of international law in general (…) however (…) the actual incarnations of the Kantian idea have been seriously flawed from the start by not following Kant’s own precepts (…) if one wanted to create a league of national according to Kant’s own precepts, that did not suffer from the fatal flaws of earlier international organizations, it is clear that it would have to look much more like NATO than the United Nations – that is, a league of truly free states brought together by their common commitment to liberal principles”.

[53] See Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición…, op. cit., p. 157: “La idea europea de la necesidad de normas que trasciendan al Estado nacional es indudablemente correcta a nivel teórico. No hay razón alguna para pensar que las democracias liberales soberanas no puedan cometer terribles abusos en sus tratos con otras naciones o incluso con sus propios ciudadanos”.

[54] See Francis Fukuyama, Epílogo a la segunda edición…, op. cit., pp. 157 and 158: “Si bien es posible defender teóricamente cierta forma de democracia que trasciende el Estado nacional, hay en mi opinión obstáculos insuperables para realizar este proyecto. El éxito de la democracia depende en gran medida de la existencia de una comunidad política genuina que esté de acuerdo con ciertos valores e instituciones básicas comunes. Los valores culturales comunes generan confianza y digamos que lubrifican la interacción entre los ciudadanos. La democracia a escala internacional es casi imposible de imaginar dada la diversidad real de pueblos y culturas implicadas”.

[55] See Pilar Llorente Ruiz de Azúa and Domènec Ruiz Devesa, Europa, ideal de unidad humana..., op. cit., p. 403: “La paz no es solamente la ausencia de guerras entre Estados, lo que se puede denominar paz civil internacional. Es también la paz social, es decir, la reducción de las desigualdades económicas y de los conflictos interclasistas (...) se trata en definitiva de una paz caliente, positiva, constructiva, que no se define exclusivamente en negativo, sino que es la base sobre la que se funda el progreso, la prosperidad y la búsqueda de oportunidades”.




il federalista logo trasparente

The Federalist / Le Fédéraliste / Il Federalista
Via Villa Glori, 8
I-27100 Pavia