The End of History

Non-cooperation with the system as it stands essentially combines itself with a push for social democracy. And it is social democracy and socialism rather than liberalism or neoliberalism which we should perhaps perceive as constituting the final stage of world history. Arguably, non-cooperation with the system and a push for social democracy are two sides of the same coin. In a sense, non-cooperation with the system can be seen as tacit or subtle cooperation with the strategies and tactics of social democracy. Hence, non-cooperation can also be seen as part of an evolution in the political and social history of the United States into what is perhaps its final stage. As Michael Lind has argued, the history of political and social evolution in the United States most likely consists of five stages, namely, green environmentalism, isolationism, global hegemony, populism, and social democracy. Thus, social democracy is the final stage of this overall evolution in the political and social history of the United States.

Hence, it is the very basic evolution and progression of political and social history which renders the overall danger and risk of civil disobedience and non-cooperation and thus the strategies and tactics of social democracy less than that of riding on an airplane in this day and age. As Friedrich Engels wrote: “The irony of world history turns everything upside down. We, the ‘revolutionists,’ the ‘overthrowers’ – we are thriving far better on legal methods than on illegal methods and overthrow. The parties of Order, as they call themselves, are perishing under the legal conditions created by themselves.” 

Nevertheless, the repression or suppression of social democracy is “the major theme and preoccupation of US policies” both on a domestic level and on an international level. As Richard Wolff wrote: “Nearly everywhere, socialists, communists, and their organizations were undermined, repressed, or outright destroyed. The progress of socialism that had so frightened capitalism’s supporters before, during, and in the aftermath of fascism was slowed by US-led global anti-communism. The demise of the USSR and Eastern European socialist governments especially raised the triumphalist idea that perhaps anti-communism had succeeded beyond its hopes.”

Wolff added: “Perhaps the 20th century’s struggle between capitalism and socialism/communism had been definitively decided in the former’s favor. Amid a surging global neoliberalism – as the post-1970’s successor to the previously (1930s-1970s) dominant Keynesianism – post-communism seemed assured.” 

But even though socialism and social democracy were down, they were never out. As Wolff noted:

“However, the 2008 global crash reminded many millions that capitalism was its own worst enemy. As hundreds of millions lost jobs, incomes, homes, and savings, socialist criticisms of capitalism resurfaced and captured new generations’ loyalties. Once again, capitalism’s tendencies towards inequality, instability, and injustice became common knowledge. The capitalist triumphalism that had soared since 1989 faded quickly. For the first time in 70 years, a candidate for the US presidency could accept the label ‘socialist’ and do far, far better in getting votes than anyone had foreseen. Thereafter, hundreds of US socialists are seeking political office, and increasing numbers are winning.”

In sum, the global struggle between the forces of social democracy on one hand and those forces who seek to suppress it on the other hand – with the latter forces commonly known in socialist lingo as “reactionary forces” – is a global struggle which is “very much alive and ongoing.” And in turn, it is this particular struggle which will for the most part determine and shape the politics and social affairs of international society in the coming years and decades just as it did in previous decades and in previous centuries. 

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