By Raed Omari
2 May 2014
With this article intended to be on the present distressing condition of the world, I was entirely preoccupied with Francis Fukuyama’s notion on “The End of History.” It might be due to my belief that the conclusion would be someway different if the renowned political economist was to write his well-received book now. Perhaps.
In his 1989 widely-read essay “The End of History,” which was expanded into a book titled “The End of History and the Last Man” in 1992 and then to an established theory in political and socioeconomic science, Fukuyama assumes that the initiation of Western liberal democracy may signal the endpoint of humanity's socio-cultural evolution and the final form of human government. Of course terms such as capitalism, U.S.-led West and also globalism incorporate into Fukuyama’s account on history although not that explicitly put.
In ‘The End of History,” Fukuyama writes: “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 universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
The idea of the book is not so simple that it can be discussed in an article mainly due to space limitations and editors’ tough stance on brevity. However, the gist of the book lies primarily in the assumption that the makings of nations’ distinctive histories are no longer in place with the massive prevalence of the Western liberal doctrines over the world’s cultures. For Fukuyama, the human history might no longer be a combination of varied cultures, ideas and thoughts as all is shaped in borrowed and imposed Western liberal terms. In other words, a nation’s distinctiveness is no way to preserve with the immense influence of the Western liberalism on the entire world.
Fukuyama’s rationale is so correct and in fact indisputable, taking into consideration the fact that international politics has been long theorized, dogmatized and utilized according to the Western style. As just an example, any democratic election has to be through the Western-invented ballot box in order to be accredited, hailed and well-received.
Though Fukuyama’s theory has to do much with the notions of the alluring vs. repellent and the oppressed vs. oppressor, much of the world’s woes now are caused by the absence of a leading international power and unifying political system.
Western Liberal Democracy
Inasmuch as the prevalence of the U.S.-led West style has led to the alluring Western liberal democracy being the final form of human government, as put by Fukuyama, much of the world’s woes nowadays have to do with America’s decaying prominence and influence and its withdrawal from the international arena. This rationale assumes that the U.S.-led international community is a synonym for America-led West. The Russians and the Chinese have embraced and incorporated much of the Western liberal democracy into their government systems.
Much of the world’s human history nowadays is to be depicted with words such as war, instability, insecurity, dictatorship, poverty and even famine. The U.S.-led West is unable to solve crises of many countries that have embraced or are trying to embrace Western-style democracy, with America deliberately abandoning many people around the globe who are so much attached to its soft power and its alluring style.
Whether by force or due to its alluring soft power, the U.S. has been internationally accredited as the leader of the world. However, the world’s unrivaled power has been unable to resolve crises in Syria, Palestine, Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Iran, North Korea and elsewhere.
Can it be real that the U.S. is unable to end the ongoing war in Syria although it has claimed the lives of more than 150,000 people so far? America is not doing what it should do to help the Westernized-Syrian opposition in their war against the Syrian regime who rules and acts in total opposite of the Western style of democracy.
Unable To Find a Solution
The U.S. has been unable to find a solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict despite the fact that the Palestinians’ envisioned goal is an independent state ruled on the basis of the Western liberal democracy.
The U.S. is watching the almost daily public hanging of Iranians, not criminals, but mostly politicians, activists and liberal opponents without doing anything except for the same rhetoric condemnation.
The U.S.-led West is not helping the North Koreans get rid of the totalitarian dictators although they have been boldly defying America in total disregard of Washington’s international status and image as the world’s unchallenged power.
In countries like Libya and Iraq, where the Western liberal democracy is imposed to prevail even through military intervention, the U.S. has abandoned these countries to live again in instability as it is the case in Libya or resurrect dictatorship as it is in Iraq.
One would argue against such a rationale, saying that interests are America’s first and foremost concern but leading the world has a moral responsibility anyway.
Not only that, the U.S. has allowed the introduction of other rivalling powers, thus leaving the international arena and history subject to fierce competition in which no human responsibility is bore.
To sum it up echoing Fukuyama’s theory, the U.S.-led West and its accompanying liberal democracy is no longer an international unifying element with its weakness being the direct cause of the world’s nowadays woes, manifested in wars, instability and insecurity.
In many parts of the world, peoples’ aspiration and fight for the Western style of democracy, as opposed to the totalitarian rules they suffer from, has brought them chaos and insecurity as they are abandoned by the U.S.-led West. Their histories are thus to be depicted with bloodshed, hostility and despair all due to their longing for the alluring Western democracy.
Raed Omari is a Jordanian journalist, political analyst, parliamentary affairs expert, and commentator on local and regional political affairs. His writing focuses on the Arab Spring, press freedoms, Islamist groups, emerging economies, climate change, natural disasters, agriculture, the environment and social media. He is a writer for The Jordan Times, and contributes to Al Arabiya English.