http://www.sacbee.com/voices/national/will/will_19990617.html is a very interesting column by George Will. He describes Francis Fukuyama's recent article following up 10 years after Fukuyama's influential "The End of History" article in The National Interest.
Fukuyama's new article, "Second Thoughts", affirms the political conclusions of "End of History". The great ideological battles are over, won by liberal, democratic capitalism. The future ideology is one of consumerism and materialism, with cooperative trade rather than competitive warfare controlling international relations.
However, Fukuyama now understands that this is not in fact the end of history. Rather, technological development in the next century will redefine what it means to be human, with biological interventions in brain chemistry and the human genome itself. Rather than the end of history, this is actually the beginning of a new chapter in human development.
It is quite startling to see such Extropian sentiments presented by an old fashioned, scholarly writer like Will. He refers to the abolition of human nature and the beginning of post-human history. Just a few years ago such sentiments remained firmly in the domain of science fiction if not outright lunacy. This is dramatic evidence of how rapidly our ideas are entering the mainstream.