It turns out that Francis Fukuyama, widely mocked post-9/11 for his proclamation that history has "ended," was right after all – but not in the way his journalistic interpreters imagined. Fukuyamas thesis was that the ideological struggle over the forms of governance had been decisively won by the forces of liberal democracy: this, he averred, was the lesson of the Soviet implosion, and the earlier destruction of the fascist regimes of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Yet he did not say, as widely believed, that the passing of history would mean the end of international conflicts:
"There would still be a high and perhaps rising level of ethnic and nationalist violence, since those are impulses incompletely played out, even in parts of the post-historical world. Palestinians and Kurds, Sikhs and Tamils, Irish Catholics and Walloons, Armenians and Azeris, will continue to have their unresolved grievances. This implies that terrorism and wars of national liberation will continue to be an important item on the international agenda. But large-scale conflict must involve large states still caught in the grip of history, and they are what appear to be passing from the scene."