6:21 PM Comment0 Comments

With the death of Kim Jong-il North Korea's totalitarian dictator, the world can finally say goodbye to the era of 20th century 'socialism' that dominated much of the globe throughout the century. The world can say goodbye to the Stalinist dictators and the kleptocrats and say hello to... what? Consumer capitalism? Or maybe, 21st century Socialism, in the style of Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales.

As we've seen with Fidel Castro's retirement from dictating, Cuba has made moves towards liberalizing it's economy and ameliorating some of its more criticized human rights problems. North Korea, which is on track to build a railway and gas pipeline connecting Russia and South Korea looks to be headed down a similar path if transition goes smoothly. Will Korea continue on its political path, collapse or turn into a state capitalist economy like China? It's too early to tell. One thing is for sure, the era of 20th century socialism is in its dying days.

What will this mean for American foreign policy? Well, it will likely spell trouble, if communism dies in Korea. Who will American authorities point at to say, "look you don't want to be like them, right?" The negativist approach to tackling the socialist problem. Not North Korea. Not Cuba. Venezuela is looking pretty peachy these days. As are Vietnam and Bolivia. Also, China. But wait, China isn't socialist, its state capitalist. Right, that may be America's last chance at salvaging the image of 'capitalism.' But they'll never admit that the burgeoning China is capitalist even if it will restore faith in capitalism, they're just too prideful.

Either way, two conceivable paths could be drawn with the end of 20th century socialism. The waning of capitalism in favour of 21st century democratic socialism, or a newfound respect for China's state capitalism, and the birth of the concept of 21st century capitalism with China at its head. This spells a dramatic shift away from democratic process and widespread human rights violations in favour of economic growth.

Thus ends 20th century Socialism. Your move, China.


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