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Introduction: Western Civilization in the Modern Era. The End of History and the Last Man - Francis Fukuyama 1992.

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The end of history and the last man francis fukuyama 1992 l.jpg
The End of History and the Last Man- Francis Fukuyama 1992

The contemporary West at the end of the Cold War [1989] is “the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”


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We are the champions

  • Modern era rife w/ ideological conflict

  • End of Cold War means:- triumph of Liberalism- triumph of free markets (capitalism)

  • Western politics, ethics, economics achieve global dominance


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The “End” of History?

  • History for human reasons- human nature Greeks / Romans / Christians

  • We are a product of the age- stages (dialectic) Hegel

  • We are a product of larger forces- Marx


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A “sad” ending?

  • Maintaining, not expanding…- standard of living- ecology

  • No alternative but Nihilism…


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The essential, undeniable fact is that the West was the first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

The Betrayal of the West 1978 - Jacques Ellul


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I. The story so far… first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

200,000 BCE – Homo sapiens

50,000 BCE – intellectually “us”

8,000 BCE – agriculture

5,000 BCE – civilization

1200 BCE – sky gods/monotheism

500 BCE – 500 CE“Classical” civilization

500 – 1500 CE – Middle Ages


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II. The Roots of Modernity first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.ca. 1500-1969

Collapse of Medieval Europe

The Renaissance

The Reformation


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A. Collapse of Medieval Europe first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

100 Years War

Ecological Crisis

Religious Controversy


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B. The Renaissance first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.1350-1650

Emphasis on human achievement - centrality of this life


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C. The Reformation first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

Martin Luther / John Calvin

Individual & salvation Nationalism & the state


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D. The Nation-State first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

Decline in Church Primacy

Exploration / colonization

Market Revolution


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III. Era of Western Dominance first civilization in history to focus attention on the individual and on freedom…we have committed crimes, but we have also caused the whole of mankind to take a gigantic step forward and to leave its childhood behind.

Age of Revolutionsintellectual

economic / ecological

political


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