chapter  7
26 Pages

Corporate Liberalism and the Structure of Modern Capitalism

TheUnitedStatesemergedfromtheSecondWorldWarastheeconomicallyandpoliticallymostpowerfulnationintheworld.WhileJapan, WesternEurope,China,andtheSovietUnionwereforcedtorebuild shatteredeconomiesandbomb-leveledcitiesandindustrialcenters, Americafacedthefutureblessedwithhummingfactories,accumulated consumerandbusinesssavings,aworldmarketwithoutseriouscompetitors,andamonopoly(foratime)onpeacefulandnot-so-peaceful atomicpower.Afterashortperiodofpostwareconomicadjustment, theAmericanjuggernauttookoff,producingby1947"57percentof theworld'ssteel,43percentofitselectricity,and62percentofitsoil.It ownedthree-quartersoftheworld'sautomobilesandwasimprovingon thatshowingbymanufacturingwellover80percentofthenewcars builtintheworld."1Bythelate1940s,theDepressionseemedlikea distantmemory;thefutureseemedboundless,thecoming"American century"inevitable,beneficial,andbeneficent.Outofthedestruction ofthewarthereseemedtohaveemergedanAmericaneconomicand politicalorderthathadtranscendedtheproblemsofcapitalistdevelopment,asystemfreeofbasicantagonismsandcontradictions.