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It has been 30 years since Fukuyama wrote his now famous essay “The End of History” and professionals are still arguing whether the conclusion to this essay is true or untrue. Western Liberal Democracy was by far the most successful form of government no matter what it was compared to. Fukuyama wrote the essay not as an opinion, but rather as a statement of pure fact. It is important to note that Fukuyama wrote this essay before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and before any of the unrest in the Middle East. These events aided his statement in the essay in profound ways. Even now having seen China growing into a world leader and North Korea’s attempt in rampant communism, “The End of History” still sings the same truth, Western Liberal Democracy is the superior form of government.
Following World War II, Japan rose to success at an alarming rate. The Japanese assumed the democratic constitution that the United States drafted and threw militarism out the window. The Japanese quickly worked to begin their rebirthing into a domestic government. As the oil prices began to rise in the 70s, Japan became aware of their weakness in the economy. The Japanese were heavily dependent on energy imports and began to fall in line with many other Asian countries attempt to export as the main strategy of income. At this point, Japan decided to begin focusing on high tech productions as the source of income. The Voyages of World History says this about the Japanese, “Backed by large government subsidies for research and development, Japanese corporations in the 1980s increasingly focused on such high-profit activities while relocating many of their factories to other countries.” (Hanson & Curtis, 2013) However, as Fukuyama released his famous essay, the Tokyo Stock exchange collapsed. During the 1990s, Japan needed time to stabilize. The economy stopped growing for a few years, however, it never shrank. Today, Japan’s economy is the third largest in the world. With a history of quick rebounds from adversity, Japan’s future of economics looks promising.
Economically speaking, Japan is thriving as a liberal democracy, but the thriving culture through liberal democracy is taking place in another part of Asia. As one of the most religiously and culturally diverse countries in the world, India stands as a beacon of cultural success through liberal democracy. India is the second most populist country in the world with 1.3 billion people residing there. Economic liberalization during the early 1990s led India into the spirit of entrepreneurship. The rise of high-tech usage and the telecommunications system is continually aiding the country. The Voyages of World History states, “Earlier, under socialist policies, Indians might wait for years to have a telephone installed or to become eligible to purchase a car. Now members of the greatly expanded middle class buy the latest-model cars and electronics on credit, take foreign holidays, and get mortgages on newly constructed homes.” (Hanson & Curtis, Voyages in World History, Volume 2: Since 1500, 2013) The influence of India reaches beyond technology and telecommunications systems, in fact, India holds the largest film industry in the world. According to the latest statistic in the M&E sector, the film industry of India grew 27% in 2017. Bollywood churns out over a thousand movies a year that are shown across the globe. The United States has begun to show increasingly more Indian films in their theaters. The global reach of the Bollywood film industry is spreading like wildfire as more people show interest in Indian culture through films. However, India’s global influence does not stop at the film industry. Recently individuals from across the globe have begun to practice Hinduism. Hinduism is the third most practiced religion across the globe. Namaste and Om are often practiced in yoga which has become a common form of exercise and meditation for many globally. With the influence of Indian culture stretching throughout different continents, liberal democracy in India has nothing but a positive effect on current societies.
While India remains a successful example of culture through liberal democracy and Japan as a successful example of the economy through liberal democracy, it appears that Fukuyama’s statement has proved true. Although both countries are strong in either economic ways or cultural ways, a country can have success in both the economy and societal culture. In fact, both India and Japan are successful in each area. India has a GDP ranking of seventh overall in the world and continues to grow. The fastest growing economy in India with a growth rate of around 8% per year according to the International Monetary Fund. Japan, on the other hand, has grown to be one of the most influential pop culture centers in the world. Anime and Manga are exceedingly popular in current society. The interest shown in these forms of artistic styles has led to an increase in the curiosity of the Japanese culture. According to a recent journal published “Foreigners studying the language in 1990, the peak of the Japanese economic titan, numbered 981,407 whereas in 2003, after more than a decade of economic stagnation, the number studying Japanese had leaped to 2,356,745.” Norris, M. J. (2010). The amount of people interested in Japanese culture is astounding. The blatant success of each country cannot be ignored and should be attributed to the liberal democratic system. Economic and Cultural success is prevalent in each country as liberal democracy is still the prevalent form of government.
Despite the setbacks liberal democracy has had in the past 30 years, it still remains the best form of government compared to all others. Liberal democracy allows individuals to have the inherent freedom that every individual should have. This is what sets liberal democracy apart from the other government forms. The foundations that Liberal Democracy was initially founded on is that each individual has the right to equality based on the fact that they are an individual and on that alone. As long as Liberal Democracy holds onto this truth, it will maintain its success as the superior form of government. Winston Churchill once declared that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all of the others. This statement has never been more relevant and has no feasible argument against it. Liberal Democracy proves to be the only decent form of government.
- Hanson, V., & Curtis, K. R. (2013). Voyages in World History, Volume 2: Since 1500. In V. Hanson, & K. R. Curtis, Voyages in World History, Volume 2: Since 1500 (pp. 31-4a). Cengage Learning.
- Hanson, V., & Curtis, K. R. (2013). Voyages in World History, Volume 2: Since 1500. In V. Hanson, & K. R. Curtis, Voyages in World History, Volume 2: Since 1500 (pp. 32-1). Cengage Learning.
- Norris, M. J. (2010). “Exploring Japanese Popular Culture as a Soft Power Resource.” Inquiries Journal/Student Pulse, 2(05). Retrieved from http://www.inquiriesjournal.com/a?id=253
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