Over the past weeks including the night just before Russia invaded and attacked the sovereignty of the Ukraine using infantry, tanks, missiles, and her Air Force; most of those whom I spoke with about the possibility of a Russian invasion dismissed this imminent possibility. The reasoning for their certainty, keeping in mind that many of them where former residents of Russia and the Ukraine, was along the following lines; Putin wants Russia to be more like a Western country, what’s important for Russia is making Russian society prosperous, technological, and to free Russia from the shackles of Communism. Russia wanted and needed to join the family of nations of the world, so they said.
The following morning as the news spread of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine with the full force of her military superiority, I was reminded of Fukuyama's influential essay 'The End of History' announcing the triumph of worldwide liberal democracy. It also seemed that Vladimir Putin had missed this bestseller and was busy reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince.”
In the summer of 1989, the American magazine The National Interest published an essay entitled "The End of History?” Its author, political scientist Francis Fukuyama, announced that the great ideological battles between East and the West were over, and that Western liberal democracy had triumphed. The ascendancy of Western liberal democracy would not only end the cold war but would lead to a general calming in world affairs. Fukuyama claimed that humanity has reached "not just ... 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."
The "end of history" thesis has been repeated so often over the years until it has, despite much evidence to the contrary, acquired a ring of truth. That is, until Russia invaded the Ukraine seemingly out of nowhere challenging this almost uncontested given in current modern intellectual thought.
The notion that nations of the world would all adopt a kind of liberal democratic model and join together in a fraternal bond of human society seems to have been largely overlooked by Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin. With reports of hundreds of civilians killed and wounded during the early hours of the invasion, and with the future of a whole nation at risk, it seems that the expectation that “the end of history” would sway authoritarian nations to succumb to the universalization of Western liberal democracy with its balance of liberty and equality has been proven false once and for all.
The expectation that “the end of history” is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution seems more than ever farther from the truth, and resonates today as Russian forces attack and bombard the City of Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. The “end of history” is not only a progressive miscalculation that weakens the Democratic West’s ability to defend and overcome global threats, but goes to the heart of why the progressive agenda has evolved into a direct and strategic threat on the Western World.
The Democratic Party and the progressive agenda promoted by most Democratic politicians at all levels of government of which the “end of history” is a cornerstone, is a false prophecy. President Biden and the Democratic Party as a whole seem to be genuinely oblivious to the harsh realities created due to the progressive agenda defining American society since the national elections almost a year and a half ago. As the world order becomes more fragile day by day, and the stark realization that the global forces threatening the democratic way of life and the free world will never accept the “end of history” as anything more than another false progressive narrative that weakens the Western World and invites invasions similar to what is transpiring in the Ukraine.
For most Americans willing to be honest with themselves, the “end of history” liberal narrative is no less a problem on the local and national level and not just an international threat. The idea of others adopting a liberal outlook and liberal understanding of how society should function has not only backfired but instead has created a grim reality facing most Americans as they go about their daily routines only praying to reach their home safely by the end of the day.
The Democratic Party by empowering this false prophecy has infected all sectors of life in American society; energy (voluntarily shutting down energy production and self-sufficiency), police enforcement (defunding the police), economic disincentives (raising private and corporate taxes to the ceiling), violent street crime and bail reform (dismissing concerns about rising violent crime as “hysteria”), military recruitment (banning US military recruiting via Twitch), and ignoring the deterioration of the quality of life in most urban cities throughout the United States.
For most American’s, the “end of history” liberal agenda has simply made lives more susceptible, and more vulnerable. The “end of history” narrative will not be like the civilization shifting period of the French revolution nor that of the Industrial Revolution but more likely a re-run of “Ground Hog Day” with every day bringing more of the dismal dis-functioning of the Democratic Party just like the day before.
As the tides of history hit the shores of reality, and “the end of history” becomes just another bestseller from an earlier generation, what can we expect in the near future?
-The invasion of the Ukraine will become just another historical blip largely forgotten until the next invasion by a totalitarian state emulating Russia and her leader Vladimir Putin.
-The Democratic Party and their progressive cohorts will continue to promote false prophecies of the supremacy of liberal and progressive thought that most likely be coming to an end during the midterm elections this coming November.
-Americans will slowly but surely become tired and disgusted by the normalization of the declining quality of life as if it’s OK to live in fear, OK to live with daily shootings, OK to steal, and OK to make life miserable for others.
This is the legacy of Francis Fukuyama’s “the end of history”, this is the legacy of the Democratic Party and her liberal progressive agenda that has made the world and America that more dangerous for us all. The Democratic Party will move on as if it’s not her problem, not her responsibility, and will refuse to be held accountable.
Ron Jagergrew up in the South Bronx of New York City, making Aliyah in 1980. Served for 25 years in the IDF as a Mental Health Field Officer in operational units. Prior to retiring was Commander of the Central Psychiatric Clinic for Reserve Solders at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring has been involved in strategic consultancy to NGO's and communities in the Gaza Envelope on resiliency projects to assist first responders and communities. Ron has written numerous articles for outlets in Israel and abroad focusing on Israel and the Jewish world. To contact: [email protected], Website: www.ronjager.com.