Francis Fukuyama, a well-known American academic, published in 1992 his famous book, The End of History and the Last Man, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the absolute domination of the United States over the world.
Fukuyama’s main idea was that this event represented the end of historical conflicts, and that Western liberal democracy had become the only inevitable path before humanity. His idea represented a general optimistic trend at that stage, so much that many science fiction writers and film producers turned towards envisioning a future free of conflicts and greed in which humanity together fights the evil coming from outside the planet after the evils from within disappear.
But this optimism did not last long. By the end of 20th century, it turned out that Fukuyama’s theory was nothing but a wish, and this was evident from the collapse of the two towers of World Trade Centre in New York at the beginning of this century, and the wars and conflicts that followed. The world is certain that humanity has not arrived yet, and is not even close to the end of history.
By the end of the second decade of this century, human ambition was retreating in the face of a torrent of failures and a roar from victims of wars, conflicts and diseases, and Trump’s period came as a culmination of this general human failure, especially with the entry of the Corona pandemic, the first pandemic in more than a century.
Suddenly, our dreams turned into nightmares. But with the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine and Joe Biden’s arrival as US president, it seems there is light at the end of the tunnel, but there are also signs the tunnel returns you to where you entered it.
The problem is that, as was the case with Fukuyama’s ambition, humanity’s ambition to return to a peaceful world is unrealistic as well. Statements of World Health Organization (WHO) and communicable disease experts like Anthony Fauci indicate that the elimination of the virus is not nearly as close as we had imagined.
It seems we will have to live with it for at least another year, and the emergence of new viruses and variants makes the task more challenging. It’s a sign of what we have to face in the future, but God’s mercy surrounds everything, and we pray that this not be the case.
Also, on the political front, despite the changes in America and the optimism of the Western world and from the east about the future, what is happening does not represent an end to the Trump era. Trump was the symptom of an illness, of the decline of Western values and political life.
Populist discourse continues in the US and the two parties are heading towards extremism and the world in general is gradually moving towards a multi-polar world, which is essentially a world in which conflicts increase with each party striving to be on top of the other.
The decline of democracy and the reversal of democratic principles during the second half of the last century, in various regions of the world, including Europe which is considered the cradle of the liberal democratic practice in its current form, is also an issue of serious concern.
A return to a normal life is a dream for many of us, a life without facemasks and a life of hassle-free travel. We are surrounded by a flood of news about collapse of governments and casualties running into thousands. But these news no longer draw our attention and raise our eyebrows; the news bulletins that used to contain a tragedy or two have become full of tragic news and news of conflicts.
But, despite all of this, it is important to remember that this is not the worst period for humanity nor its darkest time. A few decades ago the world went through conflicts; whole societies were wiped out. Often, after difficult periods, we will have a period of peace after humanity is exhausted from conflicts, and natural disasters such as this epidemic will be a platform for the launch of new human creativity that limits the effects of viruses and microbes. Human history is a cycle. God, we ask for a travel without a facemask, and a new bulletin that doesn’t talk about death.