Another bloody chapter
IN 1992 political scientist Francis Fukuyama declared the end of history. His hypothesis insisted that with the collapse of communism, the great ideological war that had been fought for centuries between kingdoms, empires, republics, tyrannies and nation-states – and all the world-views in between – had come to its natural conclusion.
The organic evolution of this struggle was, and would always be, he argued “the universalisation of the Western liberal democracy as the final point of human government”.
Many have argued since that Fukuyama displayed a degree of naivete and undue optimism as a result of the end of the Cold War.
One of their main criticisms levelled was that his presupposition ignored fundamentalism, especially that of radical Islam.
Fukuyama did briefly discuss the dangers of Islamic overzealousness but insisted that such a system would collapse upon itself or evolve into the aforementioned political endpoint due to an inherent instability and lack of imperial ambition. Therefore such entities must rely on terror to inflict harm.
Recent attacks by radical outcroppings of Islam in London, Manchester, Paris, Stockholm and Brussels, to name but a handful, suggest that the great ideological war that he decreed over, arguably, had not ended but itself evolved.
The end of history? More like a clash of civilizations and another bloody chapter in the violent tale of human endeavour.