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of the of the century. Democratic

By the 1970s, the U.S. social science literature was dwelling on the failures of capitalist development in the so-called Third W orId, echoing the thinking of the conservative mainstream dating back to the tum of the century. Democratic "excesses" were singled out as to blame for faltering economic growth and political breakdown, not capitalism itself. In calling for a "politics of order,'''' conservative academics argued that efficiency and democracy are fundamentally incompatible because democracy provides an opening for movements from below to achieve a redistribution of wealth and power to the injury of the capitalist class and therefore to economic growth. The proposition that authoritarianism is efficient was hardly new, nor the corollary that capitalism was the embodiment of efficiency. That had, in fact, been the perspective of Japan's capitalist elite since its coalescence in the World War I era. After a brief eclipse in the wake of World War II, when Japan underwent a democratic revolution, that same perspective reemerged in the late 1940s when U.S. and Japanese businessmen and politicians made common cause in attacking the postwar reforms and social movements for democratic "excesses" that purportedly undermined capitalist efficiency and rapid capitalist economic recovery. The same perspective still reigns in Japan, albeit suitably dressed up in the clothing of democracy and cooperation.