When we try to analyze the modern world today, we’ll notice that it’s going through several changes. No one is sure who will control or shape the future. The big economic powers are either strengthening their politics, as is the case with China, or are gradually falling apart, as is...
When we try to analyze the modern world today, we’ll notice that it’s going through several changes. No one is sure who will control or shape the future. The big economic powers are either strengthening their politics, as is the case with China, or are gradually falling apart, as is the case with Europe; and instead of a disastrous economic crisis, the US seems to be facing an ideological one.
However, when we try to analyze the world from a historical standpoint and put our focus on the first half of the 20th century, we’ll notice that, even though things were much harder, they were also simpler. If today is all about politics, ethics, and ideology, then the past century was all about principles and political and socio-economic stability. Thus, we’ll mention the birth and the visions of modernity which took place in the 1930s.
When capitalism successfully tore down the old traditional and religious systems of the 18th and 19th century, it successfully paved the way for the rise of a new movement which preached the modern concepts of individualism, market economy, capitalism, democracy, and personal rights and freedoms. This new movement is called "classical liberalism". To express their different political opinions, anti-democratic supporters formed the concept of authoritarianism; and as a response to both movements, anti-colonialism was born.
Unlike liberalists, authoritarian supporters believed that democracy is not the best way to run a country and instead proposed authoritarian control, a strong central government, and limited political freedoms. Anti-colonialists, on the other hand, rejected both liberal and authoritarian regimes, calling them imperialistic. Instead directly opposed colonialism, they suggested the removal of all foreign powers and politics from native lands. According to them, the only way to achieve modernity was to achieve independence first.
All of these different visions of modernity came to a clash in the First World War. The Great Depression destroyed the liberal concept; the authoritarian regime was on the rise in the majority of the countries that participated in the war, each one promising a stable society and economy run by a capable leader; and the anti-colonial movement was overshadowed by the seemingly never-ending problem about imperialism. It was, however, successful in several countries, such as Turkey.
Over time, the problems with all of these movements and their various visions of modernity became clear, and everyone began to focus on the creation of a stable capitalistic, mass-democratic political system that promised solidarity, compromise, stability, and a balanced system of values.