The End Of History

Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By Paul Martin

by Free Radical

There is properly no history, only biography. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was famously proclaimed that what we were likely witnessing was

… 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.

In reality, however, what we are witnessing is the ideological exhaustion of “Western liberal democracy” and therefore the last gasp of the fraud upon which it rests: the state, even its best form. No longer able to hide behind the Jeffersonian dream of constitutional freedom and order or the Lincolnian myth that the dream could be preserved at the expense of the principle upon which it was founded, the American state’s demise proves that “the final form of human government” has not yet arrived – not because a final form shouldn’t have arrived but because, for those who have had so much fun during historical times, the aftermath won’t be any fun. On the contrary, it will be “a very sad time”:

The struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism, will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.

How sad, in other words, that if people were in fact freed from “the worldwide ideological struggle” (though of course they have not been), they would at long last be able to live their lives on their own terms. How sad that without “the struggle for recognition,” people would not have to endure another Pharoah, Caesar, Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Clinton, Bush, or Obama, and would instead be left to while away the hours in the peaceful pursuit of their own happiness. How sad that without the “purely abstract goal” of one or another statist ideology, grandparents, parents, spouses, children, and grandchildren would not know the “daring, courage, imagination, and idealism” that continues to send their loved ones home in flag-draped cartons. How sad that “environmental concerns” could actually be solved, rather than perpetrated by governments and perpetuated by their bloated “regulatory” agencies. And how sad that “economic calculation and the endless solving of technical problems” – i.e., the day-by-day work of an increasingly complex and thus more richly rewarding world – would not be complicated by the relentless onslaught of the state.

The Rest…HERE

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