The World

The World - The World's Most Dangerous Ideas But an equally...

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The World's Most Dangerous Ideas But an equally important force propelling anti-Americanism around the world is an ideological vacuum. Political scientist Francis Fukuyama was right when he noted that the collapse of the Soviet Union also meant the collapse of the great ideological debate on how to organize economic and political life. The clash between socialism and capitalism created political debates and shaped political parties and their agendas across the world for more than a century. Capitalism's victory left the world without an ideology of discontent, a systematic set of ideas that are critical of the world as it exists. There is always a market for an ideology of discontent—it allows those outside the mainstream to relate to the world. These beliefs usually form in reaction to the world's dominant reality. So the rise of capitalism and democracy over the last 200 years produced ideologies of opposition from the left (communism, socialism) and from the right (hypernationalism, fascism). Today, the dominant reality in the world is the power of the United States, currently being wielded in a particularly aggressive manner. Anti-Americanism is becoming the way people think about the world and position themselves within it. It is a mindset that extends beyond politics to economic and cultural realms. So, in recent elections in Brazil, Germany, Pakistan, Kuwait, and Spain, the United States became a campaign issue. In all these places, resisting U.S. power won votes.
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This note was uploaded on 06/30/2010 for the course CAT CAT 3 taught by Professor Knight during the Spring '09 term at UCSD.

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The World - The World's Most Dangerous Ideas But an equally...

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