3 August 2015 Lasă un comentariu
The backlash against the end of history thesis began almost immediately. Beginning with the 1991 Gulf War, critics noted triumphantly that events (important events, even!) were continuing to occur, an observation that was recapitulated after every major geopolitical occurrence of the past quarter century. But this represented a simple misunderstanding. For one thing, Fukuyama did not think that history had ended everywhere; much of the world remained “stuck in history,” if only temporarily. More importantly, he was concerned not with history in the sense of the everyday flow of events, but with history as the story of the broader ideological frameworks by which we live. The only kind of event his theory ruled out was the rise of a world-historical challenge to liberal capitalist democracy.
The more serious critiques, found in both right-wing and left-wing flavors, came from those who charged that such a challenge was emerging. The right-wing critique, more prominent in everyday political debate, found its most famous expression in the 1993 essay “The Clash of Civilizations?” by Fukuyama’s old mentor Samuel Huntington. (Huntington’s piece, seemingly destined to be mentioned alongside Fukuyama’s “End of History?” in perpetuity, likewise lost its question mark on the way to becoming a book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.) Huntington posited a number of distinct civilizations alongside the “Western” one that Fukuyama took to be potentially universal, but the most salient was Islam. Fukuyama’s ostensible failure to account for the rise of radical Islam became a commonplace on the right; as one hawkish critic jeered, “the ‘end of history’ ended on September 11, 2001.” The consensus that radical Islam had taken the place of fascism and communism as the existential threat to Western liberalism reflected a genuine fear of terrorism, of course, but its appeal also reflected something deeper: the desire for an enemy that would allow today’s Westerners to relive the Manichean conflicts of generations past. It reflected, in others words, something like the need to “struggle for the sake of struggle” that had worried Fukuyama all along.