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Derrida and the End of History (Post-modern encounters)
by Stuart Sim
ISBN 1840460946 / 9781840460940 / 1-84046-094-6
Publisher Totem Books
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When Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that history had ended with the victory of liberal democracy over Communism he was articulating a general triumphalism, an optimism that totalitarianism, proved morally and fiscally bankrupt, had been banished forever as a way to organise state and civil society. Derrida, in his most political book The Specters of Marx saw in Fukuyama's critique a hidden agenda, that most totalitarian gesture of all: stifling debate. In deconstructing Fukuyama, and some of the postmodern thinkers equally affected by Endism, Derrida brought attention back to the poverty and suffering endemic to capitalism with a use of Marx that was invigorating if thoroughly non-Marxist. Stuart Sim, in this well written, focused little guide, renders a very sympathetic, subtle Derrida against the blockheadedness of Fukuyama's semi-religious evangelism of Western values. History by its nature does not end it simply produces different narratives with which to formulate itself. By way of an introduction to this important debate Sim's essay would be difficult to beat. --Mark Thwaite [via]