2] It signals in addition the resolution of the challenge to capitalism on these multiple fronts.
Capitalism was ordinarily understood as the preferred path, but modernization theorists were most often political liberals who conceded that capitalism had costs and capitalist growth was difficult to achieve in less developed societies.
What made modernization theory so attractive during the first quarter century of the Cold War were three basic features: it provided scholars and policymakers with some genuine purchase on the very real and extremely dramatic social changes through which all societies seemed to be passing; it offered a relatively non-threatening reading of the conflict between capitalism and communism which nevertheless held our the prospect of the ultimate triumph of liberal capitalism; and, finally, in the hands of development experts it could be fashioned into a program of non-communist progress.
The popularization of a political rhetoric based on the concept of totalitarianism was also a tactically brilliant move in the early years of the Cold War, for it allowed the advocates of liberal capitalism to build upon the pre-existing critique of fascism elaborated during the Second World War while redirecting its animus toward the Soviet Union and its allies.
In an invidious and oft-repeated comparison, he portrays global capitalism and the now-defunct ideal of collectivism as two sides of the same rationalist coin: "Even though a global free market cannot be reconciled with any kind of planned economy, what these Utopias have in common is more fundamental than their differences.
Meanwhile, Gray argues, in familiar globalphobic fashion, that the world economy today follows a kind of "Gresham's Law," in which "bad" capitalism drives out "good.
Through all his zigs and zags, he is steadfast in his loathing of American-style capitalism as it has emerged during the past couple of decades.
Hyperbole aside, Gray is correct that American capitalism has undergone a fundamental shift in recent years.
I'm making this claim for one simple reason: we're living in a moment when, for the first time, capitalism has become a truly universal system.
In the Communist Manifesto, there is a striking and prophetic image of capitalism spreading throughout the world, battering down all Chinese walls, as Marx and Engels put it.
Now I'll come back to this in a minute, and to why, paradoxically, the localized quality of Marx's analysis makes it more, not less, relevant to our current condition, even though, or precisely because, capitalism is so universal.
Then international competition stepped into the breach, and suddenly post-cold War writers and pundits began noticing a fairly obvious fact: capitalism is not, and has never been, a monolith.
Hampden-Turner and Trompenaars deduced that each of the seven cultures of capitalism that they studied - the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the Netherlands - has unique cultural habits and traditions reflected in their economies and social systems.
For example, under the hyper-individualist brand of American-British capitalism, poverty is a sign of personal failure, idleness, and disgrace, the poor are culpable.