CHAPTER 29. POST-INDUSTRIAL ORDER

In the West the age of great industrial class conflicts has receded as the process of industrialization has become more complete. The extreme philosophies of communism on the left and fascism on the right have been greatly weakened. The Second World War ended the threat of fascism and the continuing success of the capitalist economies has brought the death knell to western communism. Most of the countries of the west, with a few exceptions, such as the United States and South Africa, have largely accepted some form of managed capitalism. Except for the United States and South Africa, capitalism today appears pretty similar the world over. It largely functions within some type of welfare state and under considerable domestic governmental regulation.

Unfortunately for the United States, the nation has not been keeping up with worldwide trends in capitalism. Capitalism has entered a new economic phase of managed capitalism. In this new phase, government has become a major player in the actual workings of capitalism. Governments increasingly sponsor and insure competitiveness by such measures as coordinating investment in research and development and financing capital expansion. Outside the United States, this government-business alliance is seen as both necessary and good, and as a natural extension of national power.

This book has described many civilizations that have declined. The United States appears to be on a similar path and for similar reasons. The world economy has changed, but the United States is finding it hard to adapt. To admit that government cooperation with business is necessary strikes a death blow to laissez-faire capitalism, and thus strikes at the heart of the American racist system. And this is what American conservatives most fear. The racism of the white middle and upper classes is going to keep the United States behind the times, unless liberals and radicals work together to change the situation. The international community should also work to change the United States. If not, America will fall further behind the other western nations, and this will hurt the international community as a whole.

 

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