Against the New Pessimism
The end of the cold war has brought about a remarkable consensus between former hawks and doves—at least those professionally involved in some fashion with international affairs, whether they be journalists, academics, or politicians—to the effect that the world has become a much worse place since the demise of the Soviet Union. The pessimistic analysis runs roughly as follows:
In 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall, everyone was filled with euphoria over the collapse of Communism and believed that the entire world was turning to democracy. But this expectation proved extraordinarily naive: the collapse of Communism led not to democracy but to the unleashing of virulent nationalism and/or religious passion. Now, about four years later, we see that the world is not progressing toward the “global village” but retreating into atavistic tribalism, whose ugliest expression is the “ethnic cleansing” witnessed in Bosnia.
About the Author
Francis Fukuyama is professor of international political economy at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.