July 3, 2022

A BIOETHICS CHALLENGE AT THE END OF HISTORY

Control over human biology will be one of the main challenges to liberal democracy in the post-Cold War work, according to American social commentator Francis Fukuyama. In a new afterword to his famous 1992 essay "The End of History and the Last Man", he lists four movements which could derail the unfolding of secular liberal democracy: Islam, global governance, failed states in the developing world, and "our ability to manipulate ourselves biologically". The last of these, says Fukuyama, "will provide us with new approaches to social engineering that will raise the possibility of new forms of politics".

This is a theme that Fukuyama already elaborated in his 2002 book Our Posthuman Future. He feels that the threat posed by control over the human genome, by psychotropic drugs, by life extension and so on is more subtle than nuclear weapons or climate change because their drawbacks are closely linked to things that people want.