Hacia un Consenso Sobre el Tercer Camino

El siglo recién terminado fue duro con las ideologías simplistas, tanto de izquierda como de derecha. El experimento del Gran Comunismo está virtualmente terminado (exceptuando a algunos bastiones, como Cuba y Corea del Norte). La ideología de derecha, representada por el fundamentalismo neoliberal de mercado del Consenso de Washington, no tuvo mucho más éxito, aunque sus fallas con frecuencia no sean reconocidas.

Los últimos cincuenta años han mostrado que aunque el desarrollo es posible, no es ineludible. Los países más exitosos en este renglón –los de Lejano Oriente– aplicaron políticas por completo distintas al Consenso de Washington. Antes de la crísis financiera de 1997, Asia oriental no sólo experimentó tres décadas de crecimiento sin precedente, sino también de una reducción de la pobreza sin precedente.

A partir de estos éxitos surgió un nuevo punto de vista, un "Tercer Camino" entre el socialismo y el fundamentalismo de mercado. Irónicamente, Estados Unidos, por largo tiempo un celoso defensor del fundamentalismo de mercado, se desarrolló siguiendo su propio "Tercer Camino". La industria estadounidense creció tras paredes tarifarias. Desde la primer línea de telégrafo entre Washington y Baltimore, construída por el Gobierno Federal en 1842, hasta la moderna Internet; desde los servicios de extensión agrícola en el siglo XIX hasta las investigaciones del sector militar en el siglo XX y XXI, se promovió a las nuevas industrias a través de una silenciosa política industrial de mercado.

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