Chris Van Es

El extraño renacimiento de la capacidad de dirección americana

FLORENCIA – En las recientes reuniones anuales de la Asociación Americana de Economía, había un pesimismo generalizado sobre el futuro de los Estados Unidos. “La era del predominio americano se ha acabado”, declaró un economista. “Los Estados Unidos deben prepararse para afrontar disturbios sociales entre acusaciones sobre quién ha sido el responsable del despilfarro de la primacía mundial”, dijo otro.

Ya hemos oído esa historia muchas otras veces, no sólo en los EE.UU., sino también en otros sitios. La polémica historia de George Dangerfield, The Strange Death of Liberal England (“La extraña muerte de la Inglaterra liberal”), describe la repentina decadencia de su país en el culmen de su poder al comienzo del siglo pasado. El mundo que todos habían conocido pareció desaparecer simple e inexplicablemente. Muchos americanos –pensemos en los partidarios del Tea Party, por ejemplo– temen que algo similar esté ocurriendo a su país o que ya haya ocurrido.

Dangerfield basó su diagnóstico en una muestra de instituciones, políticas y personalidades, sobre el fondo de la enconada lucha de clases de aquella época. Sin embargo, los americanos han sido en general reacios a la lucha de clases. Cierto es que los EE.UU. han albergado una estructura de clases rígida, si bien con relativa movilidad social, desde su fundación, pero a los americanos no les gusta, sencillamente, hablar de eso, ni siquiera cuando se quejan de las insensateces de la “minoría dirigente”. Casi todos los americanos, aparte de los más ricos y los más pobres, se califican a sí mismos de “clase media”. Ése sigue siendo el espíritu democrático de los Estados Unidos.

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