The New Gong Magazine

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By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

Back in 1989, in the heady days of the commotion in then Soviet Union and much of Eastern
Europe, the hitherto unknown scholar Francis Fukuyama published an essay entitled “The
End of History?” in the American magazine The National Interest. The article quickly made
Fukuyama one of the most famous names in the 20th century, as it was debated across the
globe, garnering humungous amounts of television and radio airtime as well as newspaper,
magazine and journal space.

It was the wacky American artist Andy Warhol who famously said something to the effect that
everybody is entitled to 15-minute fame in the global scheme of things. Fukuyama’s time in
the global spotlight was without question spellbinding!
In his essay Fukuyama celebrated the collapse of the Soviet Union and the reformation in
Eastern Europe as “The triumph of the West, of the Western idea,” stressing quite
forcefully that, “What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the
passing of a particular period of postwar 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.”

Fukuyama’s voice carried in the wake of the ultra-rightist sweep of the regimes of Ronald
Reagan in America and Margaret Thatcher in Britain. The market was seen as the god of all
economies, and the erstwhile big government presence in the eastern hemisphere was
made an ample mockery of. One would like to hear Fukuyama’s voice once more today that
President George W. Bush’s $700 billion bailout plan has been passed into law by the
American government in a manner that would put the stamp of communism on good old
United States of America!

The global financial system is in a tailspin, and all the old rules of engagement have been
put on one side. America survived the Great Depression when Franklin Delano Roosevelt
was elected President in 1933 and he used “socialist” methods to put America back on track
by telling his hapless countrymen and women that the only thing to fear was fear itself. Now
poor President George W. is going all the whole hog to the red end that starts with the
dreaded “C” word: communist! President Bush has taken charge of business from the
fumbling hands of the conglomerates such as Lehman Brothers, HBOS, Meryl Lynch, Fortis
and Bear Stearns. The world has literally gone communist given that the US controls almost
half of the world’s GDP, and business over there is right now in the red hands of the
government no less!

Fukuyama should speak up fast in defence of the triumph of the so-called Western Idea and
all the gobbledygook about the ideal of Western liberalism governing the material world in
the long run. It does appear to me that Fukuyama ended his thinking when the world is yet to
begin!

It is not my measure to join the talk on the end of the so-called American Century. I do not
want to suffer the fatuous impetuosity of right-wing pundits. It suffices to stress that just as
President George W. Bush did not properly think things through before invading Iraq, and
concomitantly undertaking his nebulous war on terror, one cannot come to conclusion just
yet until I see the end of the just starting communistic America!

The point really is that Fukuyama misread the German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel whose
ideas gave the pedestal to the “End of History” thesis. As anybody who has read Hegel, who
incidentally was the forerunner of Karl Marx, knows, the motor of history is the idea. Of
course the idea in the Hegelian worldview is made up of the thesis, the antithesis and the
synthesis.

In Fukuyama’s misreading of Hegel, he thinks that synthesis in any given application of
things ought to be the end of the matter. The fact though is that the synthesis of an earlier
stage inevitably forges the thesis of current time. This way, the commotion in then Soviet
Union and Eastern Europe can only be seen as the thesis underpinning the convolutions we
are witnessing today.

The dialectics of nature can therefore not come to an end in the short-sighted manner
germane to impulsive thinkers like Fukuyama. So even as we are seeing what I have here
dubbed as Communist America there is no ruling out at a great future date seeing the
ebullition of capitalistic resurgence!  History is theatre with all the climaxes and sub-plots.
The promoters of the mighty and unimpeachable America, in the manner of the champions
of the earlier Pax Britannia, could not have in their wildest dreams guessed the turnabout
that is the lot of the US today.

The entire world has since taken notice of the communism coming from very unfathomable
quarters. It is no longer within the ambit of big business or the multi-national corporations to
fix matters. Just like in the old days of, say, Josef Stalin standing up to count in all matters,
the leaders in the government houses across the globe are daily putting their fingers on the
pulse of the economic life of the world.
The heads of the European Union governments have met in France to plot the doing of
business for their out of sorts businessmen. It may not be out of place for these worthies to
in the days ahead consult our dear Fidel Castro in the art and science of government
involvement in business.

Communism is now all the rage, with Britain recently nationalizing the bank Northern Rock
and the mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley. The books on market economics belong to a
new shelf in the library: Fiction!

Germans have theorized on communism over the years without actually practising the art  
until now! We have earlier mentioned how Hegel gave impetus to the afflatus of Karl Marx.
Now German Chancellor Angela Merkel is stepping into big business in the Marxian manner
of “from each according to his abilities and to each according to his needs.” Madam Merkel
has taken over business from the German giant Hypo Real Estate AG, battling with the
governmental acumen within reach to keep afloat the top financial institution. Government is
reportedly stepping in because it will not let the failure of any company disrupt Europe’s
biggest economy.

According to the no-nonsense Merkel, “We will not allow the distress of one financial
institution to distress the entire system. For that reason, we are working hard to secure Hypo
Real Estate.” Time was when the pontification would have been that no responsible
government should disturb the smooth running of market forces, a line of thinking aped to
no end by such Third World sedulous types as ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida who
infamously told Nigerians that there was no alternative on earth to the Structural Adjustment
Programme (SAP).

To drive a further nail into the coffin of market forces, Merkel strenuously asserted that the
Hypo Real Estate rescue plan would ensure that anyone who made reckless market
decisions would be made to answer for their actions. It needs recalling that the euro35 billion
rescue plan for the blue chip company that was approved by the EU unraveled at the seams.

To return to Fukuyama, the end of history which he saw in the collapse of the Soviet Union
did not take into reckoning the coming of Communist America which we are celebrating here
today. So Fukuyama was wrong, and I am right, for now, until yet another transmutation that
makes fools out of all pundits.