Wednesday, June 27, 2012

History's Truth Is Marching On

I recently came into possession of a hardcover copy of Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man. Surprisingly, it still had a great sales rank and resale value, and, true to those numbers, it barely had time to get settled in inventory before someone bought it. People still read that book and take it seriously? I thought it had been nothing but a punchline for years now, go figure. Well, at least Marxists and their neoconservative mirror images have been so thoroughly discredited by now that no intelligent person would subscribe to, uh... oh.

And if you’re one of the people who has been whining about dealing with harassment, suck it — you’re on the wrong side of history.

Eh? Since when does history take the form of geometric shapes? For all we know, the final punctuation mark at the conclusion of the human story might be an asteroid. Or a viral mutation. Or maybe the more catastrophic possibilities of climate change will be realized, and the resulting sociopolitical unrest will undo much of the post-Enlightenment social change that the complacent take for granted.

Now, I realize that such statements are mainly just unthinking recitation of the progressivist creed in order to rally the faithful, but, you know, sloppy metaphors often indicate sloppy thinking, and so I have to ask: shouldn't the imperative for men to not act like obnoxious jerks toward women rest on a firmer bedrock than that of a dubious teleological vision of human existence as a story of linear moral progress? On reason, perhaps, rather than Hegelian faith?