In 1992, American political scientist Francis Fukuyama published his famous book, The End of History and the Last Man. The author asserted that the fall of the Iron Curtain marked a milestone of immense importance for the West.
He claimed that the end of the Cold War was 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.”
Borrowing from Hegel and Marx about the evolution of events, he predicted that henceforth liberal democracy would be the final form of government for all nations. There would be no later progression to an alternative system.
A Narrative that Limped Along Until Now
Subsequent events challenged his end-of-history scenario. Terrorism, Islamic wars and polarization all seemed to conspire against Prof. Fukuyama by adding chapters to the closed history book. However, throughout the post-Cold War period, the liberal democratic system remained the ideal form of government. The globalized world standardized economies using the framework and protocols developed under liberal democracy. The Fukuyama narrative limped along because no credible alternatives contested it.
With the invasion of Ukraine, however, the end of history just ended.
Liberal democracy appears weak, self-destructive and unfocused. Strong alternatives are not only on the horizon but are advancing across the landscape in the form of tanks and troop movements.
The Ukraine crisis is another milestone moment when two worldviews enter into conflict: liberal democracies and autocratic regimes.
Both Sides Are in Crisis
The moment comes as both sides are in crisis.
On the one hand, liberal democracy is in disarray. Basic institutions like family, community and faith are coming apart, destroying the social fabric. The radical wing of liberalism is engaged in suicidal behavior as it seeks to destroy social structures deemed too oppressive. The mechanisms of the rule of law that allow the system to resolve problems through peaceful and legal processes are breaking down. As a result, things are getting violent and unstable inside liberal democratic regimes.
On the other hand, the autocratic regimes opposing liberal democracy are likewise in crisis. They face looming demographic implosions due to eroded morals or Draconian population policies. Their social structures are also in disarray amid widespread corruption. However, the hard mechanisms of governmental power are put in place to give a semblance of direction to a society irreparably in decay.
Two Systems Born of Modernity
Thus, a clash between the two decaying systems is set in motion—jumpstarting the processes of history that supposedly ended.
However, it would be wrong to assume that the two systems are diametric opposites. Both are products of modernity and share the same philosophies. They may differ in methods but agree on the modern vision of humanity and history.
Both systems have advanced in decadence to the point that they now want to overthrow oppressive structures that restrain them. Liberal democracy intends to eliminate social structures that radicals claim promote systemic oppression. Autocratic regimes want to destroy international political structures (like NATO) that undergird the post-war order.
Thus this conflict is not a political disagreement but a paradigm shift to an anti-Western world.
The Target Is the West
The target of the Ukrainian war is the destruction of the West as a concept. Indeed, the media are all reporting on the destruction of the post-Cold War order. They register the challenge to Western hegemony. No one contests this goal.
However, most media do not allude to the dangerous alternatives that will replace the West. Russia, China and their client states see the West as a repressive framework that must be supplanted by a deconstructed world that recycles old errors based upon nationalism, Marxism, Gnosticism and even mystical elements. Whether it be Russia’s pan-Slavic Eurasianism (of Aleksandr Dugin) or Xi Jinping’s “new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics,” the overwhelming emphasis is anti-Western, anti-Catholic and pro-Marxist.
On their part, liberal democratic societies are questioning their Westernness. Critical Race theory and other schemes consider the West to be the root of all evil embedded in its institutions.
Thus, the West faces internal and external enemies that seek to bring down the geopolitical structures and military alliances sustaining Western hegemony. The attacks come at a moment of great Western decadence, pathetic leadership and pandemic disharmony.
Why the West Is Targeted
The reason behind this laser focus on the West is not arbitrary. It is not a question of roughly equivalent geographic regions fighting among themselves. These autocratic regimes are not reacting to degenerate Western morals that deserve every condemnation. Indeed, they share the same depravity, although manifested differently.
This anti-Western hostility focuses on the tiny lingering remnants of the Christian order that built the West. The roots of Western civilization are based on the Christian institutions, morals and truths that make true order and progress possible. Thus, the present conflict targets this moral framework now in ruins as well as Church-generated structures like the rule of law, hierarchy, classical logic and systematized thought that elevated the West and still exert influence. As long as this tiny platform exists, it must be safeguarded.
The West must be defended. This is not done by the conflict of two decadent strains of modernity. Their fight resolves nothing. The true objective should be to defend the remnants of Christian order in the West as a springboard to a full return to order. The West must oppose, internally and externally, the deconstructed errors that target these remnants and will throw the world into chaos.
However, the defense of the West can only be effective with a moral regeneration that must include Divine action as foreseen by Our Lady at Fatima.
The end of history has ended. History once again is moving. Will the West return to order?