Can anyone help me to describe the meaning of using "There was wild talk about the end of history" in the context below ? (what does "wild talk" mean exactly?)


With the Cold War over, there was wild talk about the end of history. Mao, Stalin and Hitler had all attempted to reshape humanity using political terror. But now it seemed there was only one way forward - capitalism. But history didn't stop. Other people were trying to reshape the merely human and they included scientists working in the beating heart of capitalism, New York.

Source: History of the world by Adrew Marr - Episode 8

Does the bold sentence indicate "Many people in the world talk/discuss about the end of the world" or it means "We can wildly predict the end of history (it would be human with capitalism)" ?

  • 2
    Here, I think, "wild" just means "intemperate" or "not carefully thought out" or "motivated by unrestrained and exaggerated presumptions." For what it's worth, I don't remember anyone outside a coterie of silly trend-watching journalists making any pronouncements about "the end of history" at the close of the Cold War.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 8, 2016 at 8:15

2 Answers 2


It means that a lot of people who should have known better rushed to put in their two cents; that their ideas were premature, ill-conceived, and often outlandish; that many of them took the cavalier approach, submitting theories and logical constructs on the chance that they might prove right in the end; that some of these outlandish ideas and theories inspired other people to come up with their own, just as outlandish. That said, "some wild talk" rather than "an avalanche of doomsday speeches" would indicate that the show turned out to be less exciting than the media expected it to be.


'The end of history' was an idea proposed by political scientist Francis Fukuyama in his 1992 book 'The End of History and the Last Man'. He argued that liberal western democracy represents a kind of end point in social and political 'evolution', and that all societies are traveling towards the same configuration - hence 'the end of history'. Today, with nothing at all certain about the future of liberal democracy, such talk appears to have been 'wild' or ill-conceived.

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