L’Histoire contre-attaque

MADRID – Suite à la fin de la guerre froide et à l’effondrement de l’Union Soviétique, les vainqueurs étaient au-delà de la complaisance, convaincus qu’ils étaient depuis le début de leur inévitable triomphe. Ils étaient nombreux en Occident à penser que la victoire du capitalisme libéral sur le socialisme totalitaire mettrait fin aux guerres et aux révolutions sanguinaires. Mais deux dirigeants puissants – le président russe Vladimir Poutine et le président chinois Xi Jinping -  démontrent aujourd’hui à quel point cette vision était improbable.

La vision occidentale dominante a été illustrée en 1992 par Francis Fukuyama dans son livre La Fin de l’histoire et le dernier homme (The End of History and the Last Man), qui présumait que la démocratie occidentale libérale était le point final de l’évolution socioculturelle de l’humanité. En d’autres termes, l’eschatologie chrétienne se transformait en un postulat historique laïc.

Cette transformation n’était pas nouvelle. Hegel et Marx l’avaient adoptée. En 1842, l’historien Thomas Arnold avait déclaré, avec une complaisance toute victorienne, que le règne de la Reine Victoria montrait « des indications évidentes de l’ampleur du temps. » Ces prophètes historiques – qu’ils annoncent la réalisation de l’idée absolue ou la dictature du prolétariat – se sont tristement trompés.

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