La historia contraataca

MADRID – Cuando la Guerra Fría terminó y sobrevino el colapso de la Unión Soviética, los vencedores estaban más que satisfechos, ya que estaban convencidos de que su triunfo había sido inevitable desde un principio. Muchos en Occidente suponían que la victoria del capitalismo liberal sobre el socialismo totalitario necesariamente traería aparejado el fin de las guerras y las revoluciones sanguinarias. Hoy, dos líderes poderosos -el presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, y el presidente chino, Xi Jinping- están demostrando lo inverosímil de esa concepción.

La opinión occidental predominante quedó ejemplificada en el libro de Francis Fukuyama de 1992 El fin de la historia y el último hombre, que presumía que la democracia liberal occidental era el punto final de la evolución sociocultural de la humanidad. En otras palabras, la escatología cristiana se transformó en un postulado histórico secular.

Esa transformación no era nueva. Ya la habían abrazado Hegel y Marx. En 1842, el historiador Thomas Arnold dijo, con una típica complacencia victoriana, que el reino de la Reina Victoria contenía "indicios claros de la plenitud del tiempo". Luego resultó que todos estos profetas históricos -que proclamaban la materialización de la Idea Absoluta o la dictadura del proletariado- estaban absolutamente equivocados.

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