ON THE TITLE ROLE : FUKUYAMA, DRAMATIC MACHINE
In the opera, Professor Fukuyama is a fictional character based on documentary elements taken from Francis Fukuyama’s real life. His state of doubt, his mea culpa, his mad prediction, and the relationship he has with his ancestors and his family – these are the authors’ projections of Fukuyama’s life, but they do not match up with the actual biography of the “true” Fukuyama.
The title character of The Fall of Fukuyama is a “potential Fukuyama” who oscillates from a moment of fear to a wild new prophecy; he is an intellectual figure turned pop icon linked to the “grand narrative” of the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st.
THE STORY OF A MAN HAUNTED BY HISTORY
Francis Fukuyama, born October 27, 1952 in Chicago, is an American philosopher, economist, and political scientist of Japanese origin. An influential intellectual, Fukuyama is currently professor of international political economy. He was one of the key actors in the neo-conservative movement in the United States. The article which won him his celebrity, “The End of History”, was written in the summer of 1989, just several months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. He later developed the article’s theses in a 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, in which he defends the idea that the progression of human history as a struggle between ideologies is coming at a close, with liberal democracy as the end point. After pledging unconditional support for George W. Bush during the years following September 11, Fukuyama opposed the invasion of Iraq and called for Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation as Secretary of Defense. In 2004, however, he served the Bush administration as a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.His 2002 work Our Posthuman Future makes a return to the eschatological passion that characterizes his thinking.
Throughout the years, Fukuyama has found himself at the center of many intellectual debates, notably with his former mentor Samuel Huntington, who opposed Fukuyama’s “endist” vision of History to his own idea of a clash between the West and East. Neither one of these theses are taken up by the authors of the opera. Instead, a more complex vision sets the action of the piece between History’s beginning once again and the faltering stutter of the media. The Fukuyama of the opera is dealt with in the way of Einstein in Reich’s Einstein on the Beach: he is a figure of popular culture stuck in a moment of doubt and fear. Despite several a posteriori criticisms of the Bush era and his support of Barack Obama, Fukuyama has kept intact his faith in an America made strong by the principals of liberalism and democracy. Here, then, is one of the questions the authors of The Fall of Fukuyama have not stopped asking: how was it possible to err so egregiously, and yet persevere in blindness?
See Fukuyama’s Wikipedia page
L’heure des conquêtes culturelles de l’Islam, semble-t-il, est passée : l’Islam peut gagner à elle quelques adhérents attardés, mais elle n’a aucun attrait pour les jeunes de Berlin, Tokyo, ou Moscou.
Francis Fukuyama dans La Fin de l’Histoire et le Dernier Homme, 1992.