The end of liberalism: what's next?
American political scientist, philosopher, writer Francis Fukuyama in 1989, when the erosion of real socialism began, in the National Interest magazine published an article under the catchy title “End stories". And when the USSR collapsed and real socialism sunk into oblivion, Fukuyama turned the article into a book and published it in 1992, entitled “The End of History and the Last Man.” The book was a stunning success, 20 was reprinted once and in many countries became a bestseller. That is what it means, as they say, to be in the right place at the right time. After all, many wondered: how the world will be arranged after the disappearance of the bipolar social system.
But what did Fukuyama say about this, what caused such a great interest in the article and then in the book? Here, perhaps, is his main conclusion: “The triumph of the West, the Western idea is obvious primarily because liberalism has no viable alternatives left ... we are probably witnesses - not just the end of the Cold War or the next period of post-war history, but the end of history as such, the end of the ideological evolution of mankind and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of government. " With the victory of the liberal revolutions and the establishment of liberal systems in the leading countries of the world, Fukuyama explained his position, the ground for conflicts for political or ideological reasons disappeared. Thus, these countries reached the level of post-history, harmonious coexistence, and backward, peripheral countries, between which conflicts and wars are possible, still remain in history, but they do not make the weather in world development. Conflicts between historical and post-historical states of Fukuyama are not excluded, but they cannot be significant, since large states are moving to the level of post-historical, that is, liberal development. This is similar to the “transformation” of Maxim Marx.
Only according to Marx, is the history of mankind replaced by real history after it reaches its peak - the building of communism, and according to Fukuyama - history ends with the global triumph of the liberal social system.
A few years later, another close-up theory of another American professor, political scientist Samuel Huntington, whom the younger Fukuyama called his teacher and friend, appeared in America in the Western world. Huntington (who passed away in 2008), like Fukuyama, not only repelled by the fact of the collapse of world socialism, but also acted in approximately the same way. Initially, he published an article entitled “The Clash of Civilizations” in Foreign Affairs magazine in 1993, and a book with the same name in 1996. In a nutshell, after the end of the Cold War as a product of two opposing social systems, the political, ideological and other struggle turns into an inter-civilizational struggle. Of the eight civilizations named by him, he emphasized the Islamic civilization as the most militant.
Well, it is impossible not to mention the "godfather" of modern neo-liberalism Milton Friedman, who received the Nobel Prize mainly for the development of monetary theory, on which the notorious "Washington Consensus" and the policies of the International Monetary Fund, which for many years was influenced by the United States, are built. The world is obliged to Friedman by the concept of “economic fundamentalism”, which follows from his theory.
Totalitarian thinking in a democratic shell
I want to emphasize: both Fukuyama, and Huntington, and Friedman, and their eminent adherents were in great demand by the American establishment and by the centers that are engaged in developing a strategy for domestic and foreign policy of the United States and in fact influence it, as well as public opinion, sometimes very strong. What is common that unites these three prominent Western social scientists and ftorologov? A totalitarian view of the social process and the desire to see the world unified, fitted to the Western and, in particular, the American model at the current stage of its development. Moreover, a glance deprived of not only historicism, an understanding of the diversity of the world, whose different peoples are at different levels of social development and in different ways make an upward movement, but also dynamism.
Let's start with Fukuyama, who in his 60 years is a leading researcher at one of the structures at Stanford University. Firstly, why should the liberal model of social structure become the crown of historical development? And who proved that between countries with such a social system there can be no friction and conflicts of a political, ideological or confessional nature? Moreover, within the framework of these countries themselves, even armed conflicts often occurred, as, for example, in Britain - between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants.
Secondly, Fukuyama clearly saw the world in statics and did not foresee the rapid economic growth of China and India, which every year have an increasing influence on the course of world events, but which do not live by the laws of liberalism.
While Western serious analysts do not believe that, for example, in China, even in the distant future, the liberal model of social order will prevail. But besides China and India, in recent decades, a number of other Asian countries have made a breakthrough into a developed economy and a new quality of public life, who are not dreaming about the end of their story.
British analyst and writer Richard MacGregor, who led the Financial Times in Beijing for twenty years, notes, not without irony, “the development and transformation of a number of Asian states (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea) followed the decolonization process after World War II lift for the entire region. As for Japan, this economic giant shook the West and challenged it. And the economic transformation of China, a country with one fifth of the world's population, is an unprecedented global event. China is a true megatrend, a phenomenon that can reshape the global economy sector by sector. And it is headed by the Communist Party, which only aggravates the irritation of the West, which only a few years earlier reveled in the idea of the “end of history” and the final triumph of liberal democracy. ”
Thirdly, any movement forward goes through overcoming the contradictions inherent in nature itself, and in public life - through competition. The existing bipolar social system, on the one hand, provided people with a choice, and, on the other hand, forced each of the two systems to increase their economic efficiency and social attractiveness. After all, it is well known that capitalism in the Western countries began to turn into post-capitalism or social capitalism under the strong influence of the socialist revolution in Russia. Although it can be said in another way: the ruling circles of the West sought to prevent a social revolution in their own countries and therefore began the "socialization of capitalism." And with the disappearance of “world socialism”, the ruling circles of the West, and above all the United States, obviously “relaxed” and did not notice how the money-commodity-money Marx formula was turned into a money-money-money form by no one. .
Experts estimate that the Americans, and after them the citizens of several EU countries, consumed more percent by about 15-20 than they produced.
Finally, is the relationship between the “post-historic countries” harmonious in reality? Probably millions of Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese, residents of other countries who have fallen into unprecedented poverty over the past decades, not because of their own will, but because of the neo-liberal development model that dominates the European Union, dream of the life they had in “historical time”. ". One cannot but say that in the EU countries most affected by the crisis there is growing discontent with the tough policy of the Federal Republic of Germany and personally Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is demanding an even greater reduction in government spending, which further reduces their growth rates and increases unemployment.
Here it is appropriate to quote the words of another Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Samuelson (1915-2010), one of the largest American and world economists. It was formed during the years of Roosevelt's activities, knew Friedman well, because they both studied in Chicago, but was opposed to his theory of boundless economic liberalism, believing that it was impossible to completely abandon government regulation. Thus, already in the conditions of the current crisis, he said that “today it is clear how wrong M. Friedman’s idea was that the market system could regulate itself ... The Keynesian idea again became that the tax policy and scarce financing should play an important role in regulating market economy. I would like M. Friedman to be alive and could watch with us how the extremism he preached led to a fiasco of his idea. ” (Samuelson experienced Friedman, born in 1912, for two years.) But the leaders who set the tone for the European Union even under crisis conditions seemed to continue to follow monetary theory, and the result was a deepening crisis in the eurozone.
Samuel Huntington's Megaidea about the transition of the world from ideological and political contradictions and civilizations to conflicts has some external credibility, but also does not stand the test of time.
Having seen quite a bit in his long life journey, Huntington (1927-2008) could personally observe how untenable his concept was. First, if the United States considers China to be its geopolitical rival, not because of cultural and civilizational differences, but because of its rapidly growing economic and military power. Presidential candidate from the Republican Party, Mitt Romney, recently announced Russia a geopolitical adversary №1 not because of some civilizational contradictions, but because it has the second largest nuclear missile in the world.
Secondly, if Islam as a young and, using the expression of Lev Gumilyov, passionary religion carries the threat of Christian civilization, then why is the West so actively involved in the elimination of secular regimes in Arab countries? In Iraq and Syria, at the dawn of the emergence of "Arab socialism" secular regimes were established. In Egypt, Libya and some other countries of the Arab Spring, Islam played the role that religion plays in any country with a predominantly religious population, but radical Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood organization, and even more so Al Qaeda, were resolutely suppressed.
And, thirdly, a few decades ago, the largest European political scientist and sociologist Ralph Dahrendorf introduced the concept of “self-fulfilling prophecy”. This is if something repeatedly and many times repeats, then it eventually comes true. And there is no mysticism here, for it has a scientific basis. The spoken word is not only information, but also energy, and if it is constantly repeated by many, then the combined energy of these many can have tremendous power. You can, of course, argue whether the book by American science fiction writer Morgan Robertson, played by many people, played its ominous role, which in 1898 published the book Vainness or The Death of Titan gave a similar picture of the death of the real Titanic in 1912.
But recently, in a speech on TV, one Russian science fiction writer said that he refused to write fantastic scripts with a tragic end, as they began to come true in his eyes.
In other words, if instead of looking for the reasons for the growth of the same radical Islam and to eliminate them as much as possible, rather than multiplying, as happened after the aggression of the US troops and their allies against Iraq and their troops in Afghanistan, write and talk in the media the inevitable struggle of different religions, cultures and civilizations, it is likely that it can happen. And it will be, I emphasize, in the vein of not esotericism (which also deserves to be studied), but a scientific conclusion to which such an authoritative scientist as R. Dahrendorf came.
Does the world have an ideal model of social development?
When the USSR developed faster than the capitalist countries of the West, socialism was a social ideal for a considerable part of the advanced social forces of many countries. And after the launch of the world's first artificial earth satellite in 1957, and especially the world's first manned space flight in 1961, the number of learners of Russian in many countries has increased dramatically. But most vividly about the popularity of the idea of socialism in the world is the fact that most of the countries that have liberated themselves from colonial dependence in the late 80's - early 90's of the last century declared their orientation towards the socialist way of development. But the lack of political competition, the desire of Soviet leaders for life-long rule led to the intellectual impoverishment of the top leadership of the state, to the loss of their ability to keep up with the times. This prevented him from adequately responding to the challenges associated with the beginning of the scientific and technological revolution (STD), on the one hand, and the changing balance of forces in the international arena and the growing role of humanistic values in advanced countries, on the other. The inability to transform the long-obsolete Stalinist economic model and political system turned into a progressive backwardness of the USSR from the advanced countries of the West and discredit the so-called real socialism in the eyes of not only the world, but also a considerable part of Soviet citizens.
The West, using the growing achievements of scientific and technological revolution and the possibilities of globalization that is gaining pace, gained high and rare growth rates of production and on this basis managed to build social-market relations and a social state, to expand the scope of democracy. As a result, it became the center of attraction for other countries, including the former socialist countries.
The voice of those analysts who have seen that the prosperity of the West is largely based on financial speculation, the creation of economic and financial “bubbles” did not rest on the so-called “mainstream” until the banking sector began to collapse.
And when Western countries shake the demonstrations of hundreds of thousands of "outraged" who have lost their jobs and homes over their heads, unprecedented in the post-war history, the leaders of those countries that still rush to the European Union are surprised.
As the already mentioned P. Samuelson said, the complete recovery of Western economies and, in particular, the American, will not come soon. “The difference in the modern destruction of the financial basis,” he stressed, “is that according to the devilish financial projects of the“ brilliant ”graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Wharton School, we built such a“ skillful ”house of cards, which will take a lot of time, to sort out this mess and restore confidence in the financial system. ”
It is obvious that the existing model of rapid growth has exhausted itself, but the new one has not yet identified itself. It is necessary to bring the standard of living in line with the level of production and services, which, naturally, causes a protest of citizens. It is necessary to reduce government spending, because US sovereign debt already exceeds GDP, and in some European countries it is even more. And nobody knows how to do this without lowering the purchasing power and production growth. In the European Union they started talking about the fact that they recklessly donated many industries to other countries, and above all to China, and it would be necessary to return them in order to get new jobs. But nobody knows how to do this either, because no one has yet succeeded in successfully competing with China in the production of consumer goods.
Whose development model was the most viable? Perhaps, above all, the Chinese.
Despite the fact that it placed great emphasis on the export of goods, consumption of which has greatly decreased in Europe and America, during the crisis years, China continues to grow rapidly: 2008 g. - 8,6%, 2009 g. - 8,7%, 2010 g. - 10,3%, 2011 g. - 9,2%. The reduction in exports to Europe and the United States, China has compensated for its sharp increase in the countries of Latin America, Africa, and neighboring countries, as well as the expansion of domestic demand due to the growth of incomes of its citizens. Frequent conversations about the decline in production in China, if not the result of weak awareness of their authors, then pursue some political goals, since even in 2012, GDP growth is expected to be within 8%. We would have such a "fall" and such a range of goods produced!
The Chinese development model, if I may say so, was continued in the former non-European socialist countries, such as Vietnam and Laos. Some of its components are used in Kazakhstan, other countries of Central Asia and in Cuba. The first signs appeared that they began to look closely at her in North Korea.
By the way, the Belarusian model is close to the Chinese one by the nature of the economic system.
In all those countries which they began to call "new industrial" (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.), at the initial stages of development of a transitional economy there was a model of state capitalism. If wild capitalism came to Russia after the collapse of the USSR, with oligarchy at the head, state capitalism came to Belarus. The only difference is that the current “new industrial countries” were for the most part richer in Belarus with resources and had access to the sea. And the West, first of all the USA, treated them well. Washington turned a blind eye to the presence of dictatorial regimes in them, sometimes very cruel, as in South Korea, for it looked on them as its allies and helped them in every possible way to get on their feet. (After all, even now the West "does not notice" the violation of human rights in those Arab countries that are its allies.)
But the West “crushes” Belarus, wants one of the liberal Westernizers to take the place of Alexander Lukashenko, who would take this country away from Russia. Lukashenko can be blamed for the lack of flexibility, diplomacy (which, of course, harms his image), but not that he stands in the way of the liberal opposition coming to power. It is very weak there, unpopular, in principle not capable of governing the state. In the West, this is well known, but they continue to bend their line. Western circles are attacking the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, who replaced their favorite Russophobe Viktor Yushchenko, who turned out to be an incredibly weak leader. Demanding the release from prison of Yulia Tymoshenko from Yanukovych, they are ready to give a damn about the fact that Ukraine has the principle of separation of powers, and, in particular, there is an independent court, which only has the right to decide such issues. (I would like to see what would happen to the President of the United States or France if, bypassing the existing procedures, he would release the convicted high-ranking official by will. And I remember 1996 the year when the presidential elections were held in Russia. There were so many violations bordering on crime that in any western country there would have been very many high-ranking individuals in the dock. The West, however, was interested in the election results and remained silent about the violations). But if you look, as they say at the root, then Western strategists are asleep and see Ukraine and Belarus unequivocally in the orbit of their influence, and the fact that this does not succeed, makes them very angry.
Western governments, especially the European Union, even in the midst of the deepest crisis, confused, making blunders and greatly delayed in taking the necessary anti-crisis measures, in fact, they themselves need competent advice from outside, continue to teach other countries how to live.
They are still trying to impose the Western model of democracy on countries with strong feudal and patrimonial remnants. We, Russians, are trying to - in a rush of "high spirituality" drawn from their "deep religiosity" - make love to homosexuals and lesbians, force the country with an endangered population to legalize same-sex marriages, etc. It would be nice for those who want to teach others first look carefully in the mirror.
Unlike China, the development model of Russia, alas, did not become a role model on the part of the former socialist countries not only in Europe, but also in Asia. As is well known, our liberal reformers, with the permission of President Boris Yeltsin, were "presented" by America, who was "generous" also to advisers headed by Harvard professor Jeffrey Sachs. Together with the team of E. Gaidar - A. Chubais, they, following the postulates of M. Friedman, reformed the country in such a way that in its development it was thrown back many years ago. At the same time, large-scale (and often irrecoverable) losses were incurred by industry, high technology, science, culture, education, and health care, and the phenomenon of “extinction of Russia” appeared.
And the logic of our former “brothers in socialism” is simple and clear: why should they imitate a country with undeveloped, wildly and thievish capitalism, if there are countries in the world with developed and more or less civilized capitalism that did not suffer such losses as Russia suffered during shock reform ?!
I remember well how our Western liberals, and after them, sinners, shouted ":" America will help us! ". This, obviously, was her help, which we have no right to forget.
But this requires clarification. Russia is the successor of a mighty power, and it has military power, political influence in the world, natural and financial resources, and it is needed by very many. Otherwise, there would have been neither the SCO, nor BRICS, nor the CSTO, nor the EurAsEC. Nobody needs just her development model.
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