When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down on November 9, 1989, a novel argument popped up that ‘history’ itself had come to an end. Grasping what exactly the end of history meant depended upon double entendre – just the sort of wordplay the rising neo-conservative movement delighted in as the twentieth century closed. Of course there would still be plenty of events to fi ll the pages of Foreign Affairs, quipped Francis Fukuyama, its fi rst and most famous publicist, but the central historical issue of the modern era had been resolved with the sudden collapse of the ‘Evil Empire’. When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, it produced an intellectual shockwave that Fukuyama and his followers rode like surfboarders at Big Sur. All viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism had disappeared, he declared. What we may be witnessing, he added, was not just the end of the Cold War, ‘but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the fi nal form of human government’.1