Francis Fukuyama Thesis

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Being an absolute economic superpower (by 1992 producing 26 percent of the world's gross product and controlling around a half patents in force), the United States performed a super-friendly and an extremely decent economic policy vis-à-vis all potential rivals.

It supported the economic reforms in Russia in the early 1990s, it bailed out Mexico from its debt crisis in 1994, it refrained from introducing any restrictions on the cheap Asian imports after the 1997–1998 financial crisis, and advocated the accep­tance of China to the World Trade Organization on conditions designed rather for a mid-sized develo­ping economy rather than for a rising indu­­strial powerhouse.

S.-based companies—Apple and Google are clear lea­ders with 75 percent. As of March 2017, all the top ten com­pa­nies by market capitalization were once again American—for the first time ever since the 1970s!

I believe that, these days, purely financial achievement sho­uldn’t be overestimated: as of April, 2019, both mainland China and Hong Kong hold aro­und $1.33 trillion in U. Treasuries—but if they try to sell them off no “finan­cial tsunami” will arise since U. banks can easily buy them out and get loans from the Federal Reserve using Treasuries as a perfect collateral: one may remember that between 20 the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet grew by $2.1 trillion, so the same can well be repeated if China engages in a full-scale financial confrontation.

I don’t want to go into the details of his argument, but his major idea was that, since the authoritarian communist regimes and the planned economies were crumbling around the world, liberal democracy and mar­ket economy will prevail in a manner which excludes the major conflicts common for centuries—and therefore the traditional “history” terminates.

In the years that passed since the essay went out, dozens of scholars have dedicated their time and efforts in denouncing Fukuyama’s thesis by arguing that history is alive and well, while those who think another way are simply “dreamers.” Of course, there is some evidence these days that not every trend supports the idea that history has ended—but I would say that outside of the political dimension, there was another one which firmly stood for quite a long time behind Fukuyama’s propo­sition.Both parts of the world’s economy became well dependent on each other, and in this new order there were no reasons for economic wars and quarrels.If one remembers the economic history of both the 1990s and 2000s, then one will find few ca­ses of rivalry.If one looks on the global economy, then one should admit it has changed from 1989 to 2019 much more than global politics has.While the political rivalry actually never disappeared entirely, and nations like Russia never became liberal democracies, the “end of economic history” could be easily recorded.As of early 2019, more than half of all desktop or notebook computers in the world were produced in China, but the country can furnish with locally made microchips less than one-third of this number, therefore remaining highly dependent on im­­ports while up to 60 percent of all global manufacturers rely on Intel microchips.In ser­ver pro­cessors, the Intel domination is much larger—98 percent.It se­emed that the resurging industrial world successively challenged the post-in­du­strial one, and the final outcome of this epic combat was far from predetermined.But all these numbers that for­mally confirm that the gap between the leader and the follow-ups has dramatically been bridged do not reflect the whole situation in the global economy—and if one lo­oks at the United States’ technological dominance, one recognizes that it’s as remarkable as it was a quarter of a century ago.Selling its software, the Western powers didn’t sell the know­ledge embodied in the original program, they sold just the copies which could be reproduced in any additional quantity at zero cost.At the sa­me time, the newly emerged economies in Asia used the American technologies to create the sophisticated hardware producing these goods in increasing amo­unts therefore establishing themselves as “ultimate industrial societies.” This new configuration was perfectly post-historical in Fukuyama’s sense.


Comments Francis Fukuyama Thesis

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