In the wake of the Berlin Wall — what if Francis Fukuyama was right?

Potsdamer Platz in the former East Berlin, in 1963. Photo by Roger Wollstadt via Flickr, Creative Commons

Potsdamer Platz in the former East Berlin, in 1963. Photo by Roger Wollstadt via Flickr, Creative Commons

A quarter century ago the Berlin Wall came crashing down, taking the post-WW II world order with it.

Beneath all the headlines, the predictions and recapitulations, recriminations and geopolitical events of the last 25 years can be found signals of profound change. Francis Fukuyama’s bold prediction that history had ended may have been overly optimistic, writes International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. But here’s the thing: the game is not yet over yet. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column, History still waits for the Fat Lady to sing:

The world would be a different place if Francis Fukuyama had been right in the essay he wrote, shortly before the demolition of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago this weekend, arguing that the Soviet Union  collapse was indeed “the end of history.”

“What we may be witnessing,” wrote the Stanford University political scientist, “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.”

That was a bold prediction to say the least, and Fukuyama has had to suffer a quarter century of guffaws over what appears to be one of the major misjudgements of modern times…. log in to read History still waits for the Fat Lady to sing (paywall*)

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