Dr Khalid A Al-Saleh
There is no doubt that the United States succeeded in spreading its culture, through military power, of which it has much, and through soft power such as cinema, fast food, journalism and media. The American civilization is not the first that has dominated the world’s cultures and will not be the last, as many civilizations came around. History mentions some of them but not most.
American historians and intellectuals were occupied some time ago with the end of history, as they discussed how to make their civilization the final one. Many arguments were made during intellectuals’ meetings, even at the level of Congress sessions in both houses about the reasons for the collapse of previous civilizations. American leaders were asked to avoid these reasons in order to maintain the sustainability of the American civilization and its control of the world.
I listened to a discussion at the US Senate during the trial of President Bill Clinton in 1999, which was presided over by Supreme Justice William Rehnquist. That trial was similar to litigations presented by senators about the importance of upholding values to maintain American dominance.
When I heard the litigations and arguments, I thought that a nation that is keen on justice and adopts values is very difficult to remove from the peak of dominance. Yet on Feb 12, Clinton was found innocent. Clinton’s innocence was the first deviation of the senators’ credibility, as the litigations and values were closer to hypocrisy that hit previous civilizations at the start of their decay.
It became clear since that date that the US will not end history, as the American philosopher and ideologist Francis Fukuyama presented the end of history theory in his book “The End of History and the Last Man” in 1992.
Following the fall of Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union and the publication of this book and theory, intellectual scientists were discussing the possibility of applying it to the American civilization, until the Clinton trial revealed weak points deep inside the new civilization. Then deviations in principles became wider, as well as the distortion of human rights at the hands of American politicians, be they inside the US or outside.
What we see today confirms that the end of history is not here yet and there are new civilizations in the East and West that will arrive after tens or hundreds of years. Power will change due to the change in values, and the inability of US leaders to maintain the conditions of power and dominance.