An­other bloody chap­ter

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

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.

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