As much as Francis Fukayama has been ridiculed since he put forth his thesis about an “end of history” over three decades ago, liberal leaders are in essence still informed by Fukayama’s ideas. These ideas are encapsulated by his assertion that “The triumph of the West, of the Western Idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.”
This assertion’s basis has since been negated by the economic rise of China, and by the successes of other Communist Party-run countries like Cuba in areas such as vaccine development. But these recent examples of practical functionality within non-liberal systems still don’t meet Fukayama’s criteria for what “success” means. By success, he meant not being able to effectively manage health crises, mitigate economic crises, or the other ways the socialist countries have proven themselves superior compared to the capitalist ones. That history has shown there are contradictions which liberalism doesn’t appear capable of resolving, and can be resolved by alternative structures, hasn’t been able to sway those who share Fukayama’s ideas. Because while talking about success, above all else he meant the upholding of “freedom” by the definition that liberalism gives for the term. He made this clear by stating: “The state that emerges at the end of history is liberal insofar as it recognizes and protects through a system of law man’s universal right to freedom, and democratic insofar as it exists only with the consent of the governed.”
This is the logic which drives liberal policymakers: that even if history is still in flux, it’s their system which represents the best possible system, the one that’s capable of resolving to the greatest extent the greatest amount of contradictions. This is shown in how the USA continues to try to export its model of government to the world. The great obstacle to justifying this logic is that upon studying the impacts that liberalism has on the majority of the globe’s people, including in increasing extent the working class of the economic core, the perception that this system exists only with the consent of the governed is shown to be fundamentally wrong.
It’s under liberalism that the International Monetary Fund has used predatory loans to trap the formerly colonized world in debt, and coerced the affected countries into adopting policies which stunt their development. It’s under liberalism that poverty has been greatly increased throughout the last half-century following the neoliberal shift. The proletarians who live under these exploitative policies aren’t able to vote this system out. And when they try to resist with strikes or protests, they’re responded to at best with concessions that don’t reverse the process of living standard decline, and at worst with bullets.
Fukayama talked about these evils of capitalism in a vague sense, but claimed they can still be taken out of the system. Such an assertion, informed by preexisting inclinations rather than empirical research, grew out from the foundational notion behind Fukayama’s stance. This notion being that liberalism, rather than Marxism, is the true ideological successor to Hegel’s thesis that history can be brought towards an “end.” The Hegelian dialectic views history as a process in which opposing forces struggle with each other, then reach a synthesis, where history has “ended” insofar as it relates to that struggle.
Marx and Engels interpreted this as meaning that the bourgeoisie and the proletariat must undergo a process of conflict, after which the bourgeoisie’s social order gets abolished. Fukayama and the others in his ideological strain interpret this as meaning that the struggle has already been concluded, and that liberalism is the final synthesis. These liberal thinkers have recognized that Hegel was right, but then extrapolated something additional from his analysis. Something that, should socialism continue to show itself more effective than capitalism, will be proven wrong in an objective sense. As in that scenario, liberalism will be fully and irreversibly replaced.
The decision by the liberals to keep operating under this belief, to not accept the evidence that their model isn’t the epitome of civilizational development, has consequences for how history unfolds. It makes the struggle to replace liberalism with communism more difficult, creating greater resistance towards progress. And that resistance, at its most intense, inevitably takes the form of fascism. This is because when the class conflict has escalated to the point where the bourgeois state is under serious threat, and capitalism’s crises have reached levels that imperil the functionings of civilization, fascism is the tool the bourgeoisie must turn to in order to maintain their power.
Washington’s campaign throughout the last decade to back Ukraine’s Bandera Nazis has shown that when liberalism reaches this point in its decay, where the ruling class has fully normalized an alliance with the forces of reactionary terror, the ideological frameworks which drive both the liberals and the fascists are compatible. That’s because they’re the same framework. Like fascists, liberals believe they represent a societal model that’s civilization’s highest form, that’s the final outcome of all of history’s synthesis-building. And they both do so while opposing the class interests of the proletariat, believing bourgeois rule is acceptable because the capitalists and the workers can come to unite.
Because “peace between the classes” is an impossible goal, given that the nature of class society is necessarily one where groups with opposing material interests are at odds with each other, what liberals and fascists always end up actually doing is creating an alliance between the bourgeoisie, the petty bourgeoisie, and the labor aristocrats to fight off the proletarian revolutionary movement. Both these ideologies have the essential goal of defending capital, and therefore entail a war waged by the parasitic classes against the producing class.
When one understands that liberalism and fascism share this aim, it becomes apparent that fascism doesn’t truly represent something separate from liberalism. It’s nothing more than the tool liberalism uses to survive when liberalism’s crimes against the working class provoke popular resistance, and the liberals don’t want to be held accountable. Washington’s Ukraine proxy war is what this looks like on the level of international conflict. To try to reverse the decline of U.S. hegemony, and the globe’s turning away from American imperial rule, the liberals are arming Nazis to fight against Russia. Their hope is that these Nazis will counter Russia effectively enough that it becomes destabilized, leaving China vulnerable in the great-power competition and thereby letting Washington save neo-colonialism from the BRI.
Because this goal was shown to be unfeasible months ago, when the sanctions failed to be as damaging as the liberals expected, the liberals are trying to salvage the fallout from their backfired geopolitical maneuver. They’re letting the oil and arms companies exploit the war through price gouging, and through taking advantage of a Europe that’s closed off from Russian oil, while imposing further austerity and attacking unions. This is keeping up profits, which maintains the system in an immediate sense. But it’s ultimately making the system’s demise far more likely, as it’s destroying the livelihoods of the working class. The more the proletariat asserts its interests amid this cruel paradigm, the more the ruling class will ally with the fascists to exact violence against the revolutionary movement. This is why Russian officials are expecting the U.S. and its imperial allies to soon turn into Nazi states, like Ukraine has. At that point, the decisive factor in which class prevails will be how prepared communists are to fight off fascism in our own neighborhoods.
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here.