That Joe Biden won the US election, and that Boris Johnson's popularity in the UK is now collapsing, is no indication that the established democracies will soon be back to normal, writes Ivor Sarakinsky. He argues that a dynamic has been unleashed globally, which will not easily be contained.
It was Francis Fukuyama who predicted that liberal democracy, following the collapse of communism in the late 1980s, was the end of history, the end of the evolution of ideas and institutions that embody freedom and liberty. He was fundamentally wrong about that. He also misunderstood the German philosopher, G.W.F. Hegel, from whom he misappropriated the idea of history as teleology.
For Hegel, ideas and institutions reflect and embody freedom, and some countries in Europe in the early 19th century reflected his ideal. However, Hegel was too smart to believe in stasis. His whole philosophical system is premised on the idea of uncertainty, conflict, progress and regression – sometimes all happening simultaneously. Just when we glimpse the future, the prospects of psychological and institutional regression have their greatest potentiality.