The End of History

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”

Francis Fukuyama uttered the aforementioned words with an almost prophetic overtone after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Though his prophetic proclamation is still contested within academic circles,though his assertion that the ideological evolution of modern day states have ceased might not be easily refuted. True, the 20th century has been an age of “ISMs” with “Fascism”, “Colonialism”, “Communism”, “Socialism”, “Stalinism”, “Capitalism”,”Ataturkism”, “Secularism” all serving as the basis for regional and/or global conflicts among states. But the fall of Nazi Germany in the Second World War and the inevitable disintegration of the Soviet Union marked the end of competition, end of rivalry, end of a century, end of ideologies and lastly, the end of history.

What emerged after this Great Flood type event, was an era devoid of any major “ism”. An era which had to rely upon the established norms of economic ideologies such as capitalism without having any global political alignment as was the case in the 20th century when political ideologies were ‘primary’ in comparison to economic doctrines. It is the latter that makes a modern day state more ‘selfish’ than its predecessor which was ideology driven. Though proponents of the “Realist” theory of international relations will quickly aim to rectify that states have always been ‘selfish’ in their conduct yet it is only in modern times that we see states being vocal about it which was not the case in the past when ‘ideological’ mobilization of the masses was the norm.

In international geopolitics, religion, humanity and morality are mere words that are used to justify the end which is seldom ‘moral’ in a universal sense. Though the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” is meant to serve as a guide for all the members of the United Nations (which is roughly the world), yet it fails to align its members to a universal “accepted” definition of morality; and make them abide by it as well. Therefore, one thing is for certain, universality of morality is a mirage (or a blatant lie) constructed by the policy makers at the higher echelon of power at the highest level (and I am not talking about 4-5 years term serving politician) to give rationale to their decisions and use concepts such as “religious brotherhood”, “shared culture”, “human rights” etc to extract approval and advocacy from the general populace. After all, there will always be people left in this world who would draw parallels between Hitler’s Anti-Semitism with Israel’s treatment of Palestinians without pondering upon the reasons which led to Hitler’s anti-Semitism and grasping the overall context. In short, we are now living in an age of “generalization”.

The reason to bring this into consideration of the general populace are quite simple once you grasp the overall gravity of the issue:

Firstly, we are now living in a post-ideological world driven by state interests which are primarily short-sighted and mostly a result of hunger for quick material gains driven solely by gain and instincts as is the case with many countries with the means to realize their aims. Secondly, the mass proliferation of weapons and other destructive technologies ensures that states can exercise their influence either directly or indirectly using unprecedented power resulting in mass casualties albeit being gradual yet continuous just to achieve their short term goals.Thirdly, as time will pass by, the vacuum will be filled in by non-state ideologies such as religious extremism etc which are almost unilaterally rejected by states and the mass population yet infecting a few who spread this contagion at an individual level. Finally, with no long term ideological reference, guide or global alignment, it will become increasingly difficult for the international community to understand or at least try to understand each other to better accommodate demands and expectations.

This might serve as a wake up call for all intellectuals within the power corridors of the state. If you do not evolve, you will die. After all, that is how evolution works. It is survival of the fittest.

About the Author
Syed Wajahat Ali is just another Machiavellian living in an Orwellian society based in Pakistan.