Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The End of the Beginning of History

Distinguished academic, Professor Fukyu-karma responds to criticism that, in 2011, his thesis "The End of History" looks more than ever like it was essentially a pipe dream:-

"Okay, guys. I know what you're going to say. The End of History repeated itself, first as tragedy after 911, then as farce after the economic meltdown of 2008.

"You'll say I didn't take into account the power of ethnic loyalties and religious fundamentalism as a counter-force to the spread of liberal democracy. That's the tragedy, right? You'll say I didn't foresee that the economic meltdown of 2008 would leave neo-liberal democracies weak in the face of the nascent economic and political powers of China and Russia that prefer more authoritarian approach to capitalism. That's the farce, right?

"But I say that lots of people never really understand my thesis in the first place. And some of those who did "understand" - but now reject it - weren't real neo-cons anyway. They were crypto-cons, pseudo-cons, also-cons and also-rans. They just were pretending that they like my theory for their own particular ends, but they never really take it on board. They just thought it useful at the time because it help them get things they want, like power, like global influence, like money. And how neo-liberal is that? Right, guys?

"But none of that was what I was talking about at the time. I was talking about the end of history being in the making - not that the end of history was actually ended as in over. I was saying it was an end more as in the end game. And remember folks: The end of history, like Rome, wasn't built in a day! You can believe it!!!

"And whilst I accept that Iran isn't going to embrace neo-liberalism any time soon, and whilst I accept that Iraq and Afghanistan will end up as theocracies and whilst I accept that South and Central American people (like Chavez, like the Zapatistas etc) have yet to take neo-liberalism totally to their bosoms, and whilst I accept that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia aren't exactly showing a keenness for it either right now, and whilst I accept that Russia and China have a tendency to lock up opponents of the government and exercise a rather authoritarian form of capitalism... apart from all that... was it not indeed great, when at the Beijing Olympics, President Hu Jintao talked about democracy? He actually mentioned it. Democracy! Okay, he hasn't mentioned it again since. But it's a start, isn't it? Surely, it is a clear sign that "the times they are a changin'." Isn't it?

"So now I conclude by stating the following: This might not be "the end of history" as some suggested; this indeed might not be the beginning of the end of history... But, well... at least it could be the end of the beginning of history.

"Or something.

"Right guys? Help me out here!"

No comments:

Post a Comment