The single question I’ve been asked most incessantly since 1989 is, “Well, what about the end of history? Doesn’t X invalidate the thesis?” where X is some event that has happened in international affairs or politics, like a coup in Peru or the September 11 attacks or a financial crisis on Wall Street. This question is usually asked by somebody who did not understand the meaning of the end of history, and who has not read my book The End of History and the Last Man, published in 1992.

There is a core of the concept that I still think remains valid, though we are clearly living in a different phase of global politics than when the original article was written. It would be strange if the passage of almost thirty years did not change the way I thought about the world. It’s nonetheless important to distinguish between reasonable critiques and ones that are silly or based on simple misunderstandings.

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