The US banking system faces losses of over $3,000bn. Japan is in a depression. China is headed for zero growth. Some still hope that urgent surgery can restore the status quo. But more feel that we are at one of those rare points of inflection when nothing is the same again.
But if one dream is over, what other dreams wait in the shadows? Will capitalism adapt? Or should we be asking again one of the great questions which has animated political life for nearly two centuries: what might come after capitalism?
Only a few years ago that question had been parked, deemed about as sensible as asking what would come after electricity. Global markets had pulled China and India into their orbit, and capitalism’s triumph appeared complete, with medievalist Islam and the ragged armies that surround the G8 summits jostling to be its last enfeebled competitor. Multinational companies were said to command empires greater than most nation states, and in some accounts had won the affiliation of the masses through their brands.
OOooooh you gonna sit there and take this stuff, Fukuyama? Where's your last man now?