Ukraine: As history returns to haunt the world…
Hegel viewed human history as a continuous struggle between opposing ideas till all conflicts get synthesised finally into the perfect State.
In the early 1990s, Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that with the liberal democracy and the free market economy of the West finally emerging as a one-size-fits-all model for all nations, all conflicts that were the source of history had ended. That became the “moolmantra” of globalisation. Fukuyama ambitiously saw the convergence of the conflicting opposites — Free Market and Liberal State with Communism and Stateless Marxism — as the end of history leading to the perfect society-State envisioned by Hegel, the 18th century German philosopher. How? It calls for a recall of the short socio-political history since Fukuyama wrote his thesis.
Faking “End of history”
Hegel viewed human history as a continuous struggle between opposing ideas till all conflicts get synthesised finally into the perfect State. Karl Marx adopted the Hegelian process to understand the historic struggle of the human race from slavery to feudalism and to capitalism, and concluded that the Hegelian perfect State would be Stateless communism. Fukuyama made one small change to Karl Marx and said that the perfect State would be the Stateless free market, nicknamed globalisation. With the title of his book End of History itself declaring that the history of conflicts had ended, Fukuyama proclaimed that the Hegelian goal of a perfect nation-state was almost at hand. Through the attractive package of globalisation that assured prosperity for all, the West made the Rest believe that with the end of cold war, all conflicts had ended and the naive world believed it. But the short 30-year history since the prophecy on the end of history shows that neither could communism that Marx held out as the only way for the future to obliterate the past history, nor could the free market capitalism that was held out as the highway for the future, forget it. The Ukraine war has exploded the myth that the history of conflicts had ended or could ever end. It proves that the human propensity for conflict is so inherent that no ideology can subside or subsume it. The power of history to return to run over the human race is clearly unstoppable. The promise held out by the West, particularly the US, that the cold war was over was false, intended to fake the end of history. Coming to the real world in recent history, the continuation of the NATO alliance was itself a remnant of the cold war. But, Russia had ignored it. With the eastward expansion of the NATO alliance from the late 1990s, bringing in some 15 countries into it, Putin clearly saw the embers of cold war beneath the US moves. Russia had truthfully moved away from the cold war psyche in the 1990s, but the US did not. This explains what created the Vladimir Putin we see today. Here is a brief recall of how history did it.