WORLD: ‘Identity Politics’ Belittled in the Face of Covid 19 Global Assault

By Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi

Francis Fukuyama in his Identity: Demand for Dignity and Politics of Resentment (2018) from particular perspective is a ‘soft apology’ for a ‘ miscalculated and misinterpreted’ narrative in his End of History and the Last man (1992). Some argue that he more or less provided the ideological foundation to the basically unsubstantiated information in Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington, originally proposed in a lecture by him at the American Enterprise Institute (1992), in the same year that Fukuyama published his book (1992) above.

Subsequently Huntington developed the lecture notes into an article and published it in Foreign Affairs as Clash of Civilizations? (1993) as if a response to his former student Fukuyama. However, Huntington’s actual book appeared four years later to Fukuyama’s, as Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of the World Order (1996).

Five years later the shia Muslim leader of Iran, the then president Mohammad Khatami in 2001, introduced the concept of Dialogue among Civilizations at the global level. Later the United Nations proclaimed the year 2001 as the United Nations (UN) Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and was welcomed as a conceptual counterpoint to the neo liberal ideological camp but by then were already devising the new world order by the ideologues including Fukuyama and Huntington, later joined by many others in the United States and their ideological allies across the globe.

Interestingly what I view as Fukuyama’s ‘soft apology’, Identity, it seems to me might also have been on behalf of his late guru Huntington, but appears 25 years later in 2018, too long for an apology, however better than never. Here, we are in 2020, 2 years after Fukuyama’s Identity (2018) discourse as a self-emulating factor politically and socially for identity politics and his well-argued politics of resentment. Both discourses in the same book are once again displaced now with the priority of the assault of Corvid 19 in the heart of Europe. Now across the Atlantic in the (in)famous ‘America First’, resulted in the obsessive compulsive behavior of most political leadership of the United States. 
Fukuyama’s thesis (2018) looks like is made redundant, because the identity and politics of resentment is gone to the back burner and it is very clear as to what really are the failed states might be at point in time. The US State department’s jargon continued and was campaigned by the INGOs to the rest of the world had been to point specific nations as ‘failed states’ and ‘rouge states’. If a nation cannot protect its people with all the technology and the intellectual capacity in their highest position then what more can be the definition of a failure, gross negligence and complacency. What was being risked is the ‘mandated political will’ by the people and not ‘politics of resentment’ but ‘politics of power gambling’ impeding the lives of the people. Both competing power mongers of China and the United states over trade and the European Union for its apathy, negligence and political dissension especially that of the Brexit and the wasted time, resources and energy were under the spot light. As much as this is not a time to point one’s finger at each other, at least something ‘close to the truth’ must be recorded, so that it could be proven wrong as not the truth.

It seems not an end of history but almost apocalypse (but for some actually now is the end of history not early 1990s as per Fukuyama, I would like him to respond to this crisis as a political scientist and as an ideological fodder supplier to the neo liberal pandits of both among the obstinate Republicans as well as the failed Democrats) this time, certainly calling for an end of a cumulative and solely market and trade led human and their institutional conduct.

Yuval Noah Harari in his recent publications such as Sapiens (2017), Home Deus (also 2017) then more poignantly in his 21 Lessons for 21st Century (2018), where he refers humbly to the 10 articles written by 10 worlds scholars during 2000-2018 in the New York Times, accepts and acknowledges their insight adding his own to the final production of the book. He brings some sense to the mess, and certainly we must put all our heads together for a sensible future for all, not definitely to recommence the old version because that version is already fractured.

Corvid 19 is before us, alive and kicking in most insidious ways, hidden but active bypassing all scientific discoveries and G5 technology with artificial intelligence prepared to take over many areas in human activity. All such plans are on hold. The ordinary lives among us are taken over by the overwhelming fear of disease and death. The virus is silently attacking all sophistication hitherto considered human progress and development. Humans must pause as most of them are stuck without answers, locked and quarantined. This ‘shut down’ could sharpen human imagination to rethink human behavior anew and set priorities right here and now.

Document Type : Article
Document ID : AHRC-ART-007-2020
Countries : World,
Issues : Civil and Political Rights, Democracy, Freedom of expression,