Research Articles

February 14, 2023

Hypotheses of Lipset and Fukuyama and their verification on the example of Modern China

The article attempts to test the universality of the hypotheses of Francis Fukuyama and Seymour Martin Lipset about the positive correlation of wealth and consumer culture with liberalism and democracy on the example of some developing countries and modern China. The key component of the analysis is the middle class, which is traditionally considered an indicator of the economic state of society, the basis of consumer culture and the bearer of the values of economic liberalism. The problem of a qualitative transition of the middle class from confessing the values of economic liberalism to the values of political liberalism and to the requirements of their practical implementation in the form of democratization of society and the state is also analyzed. The article presents the results of a study of the middle class in the most successful developing countries, conducted by Pew Research Center in 2009, which generally confirm the hypothesis of the existence of a global middle class from a value point of view, regardless of whether it is a developed or developing country. At the same time, more recent studies do not yet confirm the successful transition from economic liberalism to political liberalism in these developing countries. In this regard, the key conceptual issue that will have to confirm or refute the hypotheses of Lipset and Fukuyama is the further fate of the development of the middle class in China, which has already become the largest in the world in terms of numbers, has a taste of consumption and economic liberalism. Considering that the Chinese middle class makes up more than 50% of the country's population, it remains a mystery why it has not yet made demands for the political transformation of the state and what reasons are holding back the transition of the strengthening economic liberalism in Chinese society to political liberalism, and whether this transition is possible at all.

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