Friday, March 21, 2008

Some were speaking in the early Nineties of the "End of HIstory"

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama wrote a seminal article entitled The End of History? He subsequently expanded the thesis of the article into a book, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1992). The opening of the article essentially stated its thesis (emphasis added):
In watching the flow of events over the past decade or so, it is hard to avoid the feeling that something very fundamental has happened in world history. The past year has seen a flood of articles commemorating the end of the Cold War, and the fact that "peace" seems to be breaking out in many regions of the world. . . .

The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism. In the past decade, there have been unmistakable changes in the intellectual climate of the world's two largest communist countries, and the beginnings of significant reform movements in both. But this phenomenon extends beyond high politics and it can be seen also in the ineluctable spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse contexts as the peasants' markets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past year in Moscow, the Beethoven piped into Japanese department stores, and the rock music enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and Tehran.

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

NME, November 13, 1993 (emphasis added):
THE KLF's Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty released their K Foundation/Red Army Choir collaboration 'K Cera Cera (War Is Over If You Want It)' as a single in Israel last week.

The pair originally vowed only to release the track once "world peace has been achieved"* but decided to make a limited issue in celebration of the peace deal between the Israeli government and the PLO.

The 3,000 copy limited release, which has the title in English, Arabic and Hebrew on its cover, was made available by mail order to readers of one Israeli paper and one Palestinian paper through Israeli record label NMC.

Quoted in Israel's leading daily 'Yediot Ahronot', Drummond said, "Only a few days after the production (of the single) was finished, I turned on the TV and saw Itzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat standing next to each other in front of the White House. I was very moved. It was like something you never dream would happen suddenly being realised. I phoned Jimmy and we decided to release the limited edition. For us, it's a sort of tribute."
*The London Times inferred that the announcement that the recording would be released once "world peace had been achieved" meant, "[t]hat is, presumably never."

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