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American TianxiaChinese Money, American Power and the End of History$
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Salvatore Babones

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336808

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336808.001.0001

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The hiatus of history

The hiatus of history

(p.55) 4 The hiatus of history
American Tianxia

Salvatore Babones

Policy Press

When Henry Luce famously called the twentieth century the "American Century," he strongly implied that it was the "first" American century (i.e., not the only one). Subsequent commentators have misunderstood Luce because they have failed to identify the relevant "width of a time point" for world-historical analysis. World-historical trends unfold over centuries, not decades. Demographic change is also slow but sure. China's low fertility rate means that China's population will soon by declining. By 2100 China may have roughly the same population as the Anglo-Saxon core of the American Tianxia. Francis Fukuyama's famous "end of history" is thus much more stable than he has subsequently maintained. The American Tianxia is the universal homogeneous state that Fukuyama once claimed was to be found at the end of history. The Pax Americana of the American Tianxia is very stable because it is based on personal incentives, not interstate relations. It constitutes a new, postmodern world-system, the millennial world-system, that is likely to last for several centuries.

Keywords:   The American Century, Width of a time point, Chinese fertility rate, China 2100, End of history thesis, Francis Fukuyama, Universal homogeneous state, Pax Americana, Millennial world-system

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