Philosopher Francis Fukuyama proclaims the “unabashed victory of economic and political liberalism.” By this he means that Western capitalism, its free enterprise system, and liberal democracy had overcome four main challenges to their dominance in the 20th century: absolutism, bolshevism, fascism, and communism. Fukuyama uses the phrase “end of history” to describe the end of human “ideological evolution,” that is, the search for the optimal government and economic system. He argues that Western liberal democracy will ultimately be accepted in most countries of the world.
Various Western commentators have described the thesis of The End of History as flawed because it does not sufficiently take into account the power of ethnic loyalties and religious fundamentalism as a counter-force to the spread of liberal democracy; with the specific example of Islamic fundamentalism, or radical Islam, as the most powerful of these.
UMNO is such counter-force to The End Of History that most Western commentators acknowledged the record UMNO is holding the longest ruling party in the modern world. But not only Sakmongkol AK47 refused to admit the strength of UMNO, he goes further to collude with enemy to decapitate UMNO!
Benjamin Barber wrote a 1992 article and 1995 book, Jihad vs. McWorld, that addressed this theme. Barber described "McWorld" as a secular, liberal, corporate-friendly transformation of the world, and used the word "jihad" to refer to the competing forces of tribalism and religious fundamentalism, with a special emphasis on Islamic fundamentalism.
Samuel P. Huntington wrote a 1993 essay, "The Clash of Civilizations", in direct response to The End of History; he then expanded the essay into a 1996 book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. In the essay and book, Huntington argued that the temporary conflict between ideologies is being replaced by the ancient conflict between civilizations. The dominant civilization decides the form of human government, and these will not be constant. He especially singled out Islam, which he described as having "bloody borders".
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, in which a group of terrorists, masterminded by Osama bin Laden, hijacked airplanes and flew them into various targets in the United States, The End of History was cited by some commentators as a symbol of the supposed naivete and undue optimism of the Western world during the 1990s, in thinking that the end of the Cold War also represented the end of major global conflict. In the weeks after the attacks, Fareed Zakaria called the events "the end of the end of history", while George Will wrote that history had "returned from vacation".
Fukuyama did discuss radical Islam briefly in The End of History. He argued that Islam is not an Imperialist force like Stalinism and Fascism: i.e. that it has little intellectual or emotional appeal outside the Islamic 'heartlands'. Fukuyama pointed to the economic and political difficulties that Iran and Saudi Arabia face, and argued that such states are fundamentally unstable: either they will become democracies with a Muslim society (like Malaysia) or they will simply disintegrate. Moreover, when Islamic states have actually been created, they were easily dominated by the powerful Western states.
In October 2001, Fukuyama, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, responded to the declarations that the September 11 attacks had disproved his views by stating that "time and resources are on the side of modernity, and I see no lack of a will to prevail in the United States today." He also noted that his original thesis "does not imply a world free from conflict, nor the disappearance of culture as a distinguishing characteristic of societies."
In a 2008 Washington Post opinion piece, Fukuyama wrote:
Democracy's only real competitor in the realm of ideas today is radical Islamism. Indeed, one of the world's most dangerous nation-states today is Iran, run by extremist Shiite mullahs. But as Peter Bergen pointed out in these pages last week, Sunni radicalism has been remarkably ineffective in actually taking control of a nation-state, due to its propensity to devour its own potential supporters. Some disenfranchised Muslims thrill to the rantings of Osama bin Laden or Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the appeal of this kind of medieval Islamism is strictly limited.
Robert Potter criticized "the End of History". In his thesis Recalcitrant Interdependence, he reasoned that even if an idea is objectively better than the other possible alternatives, states are still free to ignore it. In Recalcitrant Interdependence illiberal states cluster together, providing reinforcing diplomatic protection upon one another. The result being that it becomes entirely possible that "the End of History" may never happen, even if its predictions are correct. The criticism centers on the contention that "the End of History" can fail without it being overcome by another "the End of History" style concept. A good idea is compelling but not necessarily obligatory to adopt and can be resisted.
Fukuyama outlines two ways in which his view could fail:
The first is megalothymia—the ego rebelling against a society seeking to establish equality.
The second is isothymia—a desire to establish an impossible level of equality... very few of the reasons (in Recalcitrant Interdependence) cited for attempting to defy the international consensus fit into these two categories set forth by Fukuyama...However, what Fukuyama essentially fails to recognise is that people can say ‘no’, even to an objectively good idea. His options for the failure of the ‘End of History’ hypothesis are essentially intellectual. Under recalcitrant interdependence, the failure occurs simply because people reject the idea, for a myriad of very bad reasons.
Another challenge to the "End of History" theory is a perceived growth in economic and political power for two countries, Russia and China; China has a single-party state government, while Russia, though a democracy, has been described by some as de facto authoritarian.
Azar Gat, Professor of National Security at Tel Aviv University, argued this point in his 2007 Foreign Affairs article "The Return of Authoritarian Great Powers", stating that the success of these two countries could "end the end of history". Gat discussed radical Islam as well, but stated that the movements associated with it "represent no viable alternative to modernity and pose no significant military threat to the developed world". He considered the challenge of China and Russia to be the more major threat, since they could pose a viable rival model which could inspire other states.
Fukuyama himself later conceded that his thesis was incomplete, but for a different reason: "there can be no end of history without an end of modern natural science and technology". Fukuyama predicts that humanity's control of its own evolution will have a great and possibly terrible effect on the liberal democracy.
Does Malaysia need an Arab Spring? That was the question on WZWH mind when Sakmongkol AK47 called Frank Fukuyama, the Stanford professor and author of “The End of History and the Last Man.” Fukuyama has been working on a two-volume opus called “The Origins of Political Order,” and WZWH could detect from Sakmongkol recent writings that his conclusion on UMNO fate was leading him to ask a very radical question about Malaysia’s political order today, namely: has Malaysia gone from a democracy to a “vetocracy” — from a system designed to prevent anyone in government from amassing too much power to a system in which no one can aggregate enough power to make any important decisions at all?