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What is the relationship between the end of the Cold War, Western liberal democracies...

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rkatz179 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM via web

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What is the relationship between the end of the Cold War, Western liberal democracies and the logic associated with financial capital's exploitation and expansion?

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 20, 2013 at 12:34 AM (Answer #1)

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The original question had to be edited.  Lanchester's argument is a fairly interesting one related to economic expansion and fairness convergent with the end of the Cold War.  Essentially, the argument suggests that the end of the Cold War removed a reference point for the "jet engine" of capitalism.  As long as the Soviet ideology was in full force competing with Western style capitalism, the reference point for fairness and equality was present.  The "oxcart" of egalitarianism did, to a certain extent, keep capitalism "honest."  It was the reminder that Western capitalism was always going to be judged in its treatment of everyone because the presence of the Soviet ideology was seen as a constant threat to capitalism.  Even if the "oxcart" Soviet style of thought was never going to overtake the "jet engine" of capitalism, its presence ensured that issues such as fairness, equality, and representational wealth were issues that capitalism had to address.

Yet, when the Berlin Wall fell, Lanchester believes that issues of economic equality fell with it.  There was no longer a need to have to use concepts as "fairness" as a reference point because with the fall of the Soviet Union, all of its ideology could be discarded.  The "jet engine" of capitalism thus roared completely free, able to expand and thus exploit individuals without any hesitancy or limitation.  It was here in which Lanchester makes his argument that the ending of the Cold War and thus the victory of Western democracies have a direct link to financial capitali's expansion and exploitation.

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