In Germany, Italy, and Spain, anti-elite movements gained popular strength under the banners of socialism, communism, or anarchism. Thus, it was not surprising that the elites in those and other countries welcomed and encouraged the rise of fascist movements. Fascism was virulently anti-communist, pro-capitalist, and willing to brutally suppress any who opposed its agenda.
Hitler began his political career as an operative of German military intelligence and received funding and support from Western industrialists. While in prison, writing Mein Kampf, he kept a portrait of Henry Ford on his desk. Mein Kampf made it unambiguous that Hitler's primary objective was the subjugation and economic exploitation of Russia. By ignoring their own prohibition on German re-armament, the Western elite in fact collaborated with Hitler in the development of an invasion force targeted on socialism's bastion. Meanwhile, it watched with discomfort Japan's growing economic power and imperial scope.
The latter was a significant threat. Not only would markets and investment opportunities in populous Asia be highly curtailed, but Japan would be dislodging the West from its accustomed role as collective master of the seas and arbiter of global imperial arrangements.
The US handled this complex situation with all the finesse and subtlety of a skilled martial-arts expert, guided by a strategic vision unsurpassed by the imperial masterminds of any previous age. The war-popularizing incident was the inevitable Japanese strike on the US Pacific fleet, sparked by the cutoff of Japanese oil supplies, which the US convinced Holland to undertake. President Roosevelt feigned surprise and outrage, and the most formidable, popularly supported military crusade of all time was launched.
By end of the war, the US was very close to total global hegemony. It had the run of the seven seas, an intact military machine and national infrastructure, a monopoly on nuclear weapons, greatly expanded influence in the oil-rich Middle East, and the lion's share of the world's disposable wealth and industrial capacity. Meanwhile, most of the rest of the world was in shambles, deep debt, and/or under occupation. The US had the prestige, power, and resources to guide the construction of post-war arrangements largely according to its own designs.
Following the war, the Western elite, led by the US, drew a line on the globe, separating the part they dominated from the part they didn't. The "free world" (doublespeak for "elite-controlled zone") was organized into a new kind of investment realm, while much of the "free" population was systematically subjected to military dictatorships responsive to elite interests. The doublespeak usage of "freedom," originating during the American Revolution, had been globalized. Meanwhile, the "communist bloc" (doublespeak for "beyond elite control") was contained: ostracized, pestered around its periphery by provocative military deployments, and subjected to chronic economic destabilization via the "arms race," expensive brushfire engagements, and trade restrictions.
2. Politically mature and economically active middle-income countries need to be brought into the international processes if stability and open trading systems are to be sustained in a world tending to political fragmentation and economic blocs.
2. Following the dissolution of the USSR, although the USA can no longer provide the hegemonic stability that it did during the Cold War, it remains the only power able to protect militarily the world open-trading system against ambitious, nationalistic regional powers, as was demonstrated by the Gulf War. The major players in the world economy have to support and encourage commitment by the USA to a liberal regime of trade and to the defence of democracy, or they will all suffer the consequences. These players must therefore defer to the USA on certain issues or accept higher costs for enforcing stability in a politically volatile world.
3. Global free trade has in the past been shored up by a hegemonic power, initially the UK and subsequently the USA. The USA no longer has the economic power or cultural resources of a global hegemonic power.