Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The End of History

In an interview with Foreign Affairs (“The Polish Model," May/June 2013), Radek Sikorski, Poland’s minister of foreign affairs, remarks, “The twentieth century was a roller coaster for Poland, regaining independence after World War I, then losing it and getting ethnically cleansed by Stalin and Hitler together and the 45 years of struggle for democracy. Hopefully, we’ll produce less history than in the past.” Back in the sixties the sociologist Daniel Bell wrote an influential tome called The End of Ideology and then in the 90’s Francis Fukuyama created a stir with his The End of History and the Last Man. Like Sikorski’s prediction about Poland, are the great powers at the threshold of a new Age of Aquarius? Despite the turbulence in the Mideast, is the modern world on the verge of a period of ideological calm, in which McCluhan’s Global Village will be a practical every day reality? Will terrorist ideologies go the way of colonialism, fascism and communism? Will connectivity become like the water that killed the Wicked Witch of the West? Sikorski’s locution is that of the modern European state united with contemporaries by common currencies and political objectives. Will the EU eventually become a world union or WU, with the Euro giving way to the Global? Will the information age and the internet create one union, without passports or borders, where publishers no longer produce histories, at least the kind which recount battles for  ethnic hegemony, economic domination and political control? 

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