63 pages 2 hours read

Francis Fukuyama

The End of History and the Last Man

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | Published in 1992

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Part 4

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 4: “Leaping Over Rhodes”

Chapter 20 Summary and Analysis: “The Coldest of All Cold Monsters”

In Part 4, the author discusses the obstacles for establishing liberal democracies posed by religion and nationalism, and the ways to declaw these powerful cultural forces. He also examines the links between the concept of work and attitudes toward it, communally and individually oriented societies, the nature of the state, and the rise of liberal democracy. Finally, Fukuyama addresses the relationship between liberal democracy and foreign policy styles, focusing his criticism on the realist school of international relations.

The title of this section, “Leaping Over Rhodes,” alludes to the Aesop Fable in which an arrogant athlete claimed to have jumped over the Colossus of Rhodes monument. The athlete was taught a lesson by being asked to show how he jumped at that very moment. The moral of the fable is that actions speak louder than words—a theme in this section. As noted earlier, the author uses evocative chapter titles to add an additional layer of meaning to this work.

Fukuyama reasserts the notion that liberal democracy is free of ideological competition at the end of the Cold War. He believes that choosing this political system and ideology is a “rational political act,” and the creation of a state itself is a deliberate action (211).