Dear Sancho Governor of cheap Isle,
In 1984, the same date obtained by George Orwell inverting the last two ciphers of 1948, Paul Kennedy published “The rise and fall of the Great Powers”, forecasting the collapse of the United States’ Empire and the subsequent take over by the communist Big Brother.
He got it wrong. The weakened Russian bear was already gasping and the “perestroikan” tamer Gorbachev forced him to its last dance.
Scared not to have a philosophical overview to fiddle with, the West reacted producing robust and omni-comprehensive theoretical frameworks concerned with the destiny of human kind. We always want to know where we stand. It’s a human, biological weak spot.
In 1992, with the book “The end of History and the last man” Francis Fukuyama predicted:
“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 universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.”
A hypothesis which derives from the Hegelian theory of the end of history under the entity of the Universal Spirit. The very same ghost that dwelled the dreams of Marxists and Nazis.
In 1996 Samuel P. Huntington produced another fascinating theory, the notorious “Clash of civilizations” scenario:
“It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.”
The historical- anthropological research was accompanied by a tempting simplified map of the present world, with ten different colors to represent each of the thousand-year-old cultures, the competing protagonists of the future: the Western, including Europe, North America and Australia; the Orthodox, that is to say, the ex communist countries; Latin America, stretching up to Mexico and including Cuba, the survivor; the Islamic, swallowing up the northern half of Africa and the entire Middle East; The African, getting what remains of the continent; the Hindu and the Sinic, little indeed but bursting with acolytes; the Stray Dogs, eventually: the Buddhist, the Japanese and the “Lone” countries like Ethiopia, Indonesia and Israel.
You are never quite sure about the validity of these “absolute” mumbo-jumbos. Of their honesty, yes. But what about the suspicion that a stream of will, an infective imagination pervades these magnificent cathedrals of thoughts? The splendor of these buildings reeks of literature, of will, of Will to Power. In fact, we have to admit, both the “end of history” and the “clash of civilizations” are taking place. Every historic description is a historic proposition, it seems.
Can anyone deny that the Arab Spring is the outcome of the “natural” drive towards democratic freedom as decent aquarium for human existence? Can anyone deny that here in our neighborhood the Shakespearian ghost of “asiatification” is choking the barbeques’ flames of a special-related West, mooching sausage after sausage?
Perhaps the poor Kennedy wasn’t that wrong, after all. He just cocked up names and timing.
When URSS imploded China was busy with Tiananmen, ancestor of Tahir.
One year later Bush father decided that the Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was unacceptable, and crashed the Baathist army of Saddam, which US had supplied with shiploads of nerve and mustard gas during the Iranian-Iraqi war. US had never forgiven Khomeini for the revolution that had dismantled the invention of a westernized Sha.
The same process took place in Afghanistan, where the US fed the Islamic insurgents in order to weaken the Soviet colonialist project. In 1996 Bill Clinton intervened to put out forever the Balkan sparkle. It worked. Few weeks ago Mladic, the Serbian butcher, got arrested, making way to the Serbian inclusion in the European Union. In 2001, amid the rubble of the Twin Towers, America found the lost address of a couple of old, nasty friends, Saddam and Osama Bin Laden.
Is this the way democracy kills history? At the moments history has only created two crippled social entities: Iraq and Afghanistan.
In the mean time China fleshed out its GDP at a pace of 10% per year, becoming, just a month ago, the second economy of the world after the American. At present Tiananmen is just a dream and China possess 900 billion of US’s public debt. The old Russian bear rose up on his feet again. The ONU resolution n 1973 with which NATO intervened to save the besieged city of Benghazi in Libya passed with the votes of France, Great Britain and United States and the abstention of China and Russia. The western powers share the Sinic and Orthodox silence for what concerns Bahrain and Syria. The very same silence welcomed last Obama’s speech about the Arab Spring. “Does America think that Arabs really care about what its president says?, was a common answer.
Are we so sure that the democratic instances of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Bahrain will end up in democratic systems? Which shape will these different “civilizations” give to the spelling-book of democracy? If a democratic standard was to be met, would it mean any thing in terms of foreign policies? Is democracy democratic outside its own boundaries?
There is an area in Huntington’s map where two different civilizations are so close to each other to be impossible to distinguish: Israel and Palestine. Here, more than half a century ago, Adolph Hitler involuntarily planted his black seed. Here the latest stage of the “rise and fall of the Great Powers” began. The spring is turning into summer and no end of history appears at the horizon.