Future imperfectBMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7351.1462 (Published 15 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1462
- Trevor Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Francis Fukuyama is back. This time he wants us to worry about biotechnology
Francis Fukuyama knows how to make an impact. In 1989, he famously declared that history was at an end, arguing that with the fall of communism “the major alternatives to liberal democracy had exhausted themselves.” The book that followed, The End of History and the Last Man, became an international bestseller, appearing in more than 20 foreign editions.
Now Fukuyama has turned his attention to medicine and biotechnology—in particular to drugs such as Prozac and methylphenidate (Ritalin) and to the ethics of stem cell research and human cloning—revising his views about history. In his new book, Our Posthuman Future, he argues that until we reach the end of science, we cannot reach the end of history. The biotechnology revolution is tearing ahead, threatening to alter humanity and with it the basis of the Western liberal democratic tradition. In other words, history is back and this time it looks like Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
If this sounds far …