The return of history and the closure of McDonald’s in Russia

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is further confirmation that history, despite what political scientist Francis Fukuyama had predicted in the late 1980s, is never over. The so-called “unipolar” period led by the US can be said to be over, because the new world order must and must take into account two other powers, in particular: China and Russia. Indicative and symbolic, in this sense, the closure of McDonald’s restaurants in Russia, the symbol par excellence of globalization. As reported byHandlein fact, McDonald’s and Starbucks, but also Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have announced the suspension of their activities in the country. “We will continue to monitor the situation and assess whether further measures are needed. At this moment it is impossible to predict when we will be able to reopen“says McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczincki, announcing the closure of all 850 stores in Russia.”Our values ​​urge us not to ignore unnecessary human suffering“which is taking place in Ukraine, he adds, specifying that the company will continue to pay its 62,000 employees in the country anyway. But the closure of McDonald’s is much more than a reaction of the American company to the Russian invasion of Ukraine: it is the symptom of a changing world.

Russia, goodbye to McDonald’s: why it matters

When she arrived in Moscow in 1990, she remembers theHandle, which was then still part of the Soviet Union, McDonald’s has become the symbol of the rise of capitalism at the expense of communism. Liberalism had defeated Soviet communism, and, according to the most optimists, there would be only peace and democracy. On its first day of operation, an estimated 30,000 Russians had lined up to sample his famous burgers. That is why the closure of McDonald’s now becomes symbolically revealing in a world that is no longer what we knew until a few days ago, while a new Iron Curtain is ready to rise between the West and the Russian Federation.

To better contextualize that period, at the end of the Cold War the United States faced the world with the possibility of exercising unprecedented power and influence. With the defeat of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the bipolar era, in fact, American strategists began to dream of modeling the globe in the image and likeness of the only remaining superpower. The opening of McDonald’s in Moscow was one of the symbols. An optimistic vision of the future well expressed by the aforementioned Francis Fukuyama in the reflection formulated in the essay The End of History?Published on The National Interest in the summer of 1989, in which liberalism, in the eyes of the illustrious political scientist, appears as the only possible winner and final goal of the historical evolution of man and society.

The illusion of economic interdependence and “peaceful” globalization

The widespread opinion was that the nation states, due to this economic interdependence and the new global market, of which McDonald’s was in its own way one of the symbols, were “outdated”. After all, the presence of a single great superpower (the United States) suggested that the age of political realism and conflict was doomed to oblivion. However, this world view soon ran into crisis. First with the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001; then with the great economic crisis of 2007-2008. The victory of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum of 2016 raised the conviction that a new era was emerging, up to the war in Ukraine, the last piece of a history that is ferociously reclaiming its spaces. “Two countries that both have McDonald’s have never fought a war against each other “declared the editorialist of the New York Times Thomas Friedman in 1996, as La Repubblica recalls, in the wake of the euphoria for the end of the Cold War and the unbridled globalization of the 1990s. Yet the most attentive and enlightened historians, even then, had warned that a strong economic interdependence would not avert the hypothesis of a war. Unfortunately, today we see how right they were.

Source link

About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

Check Also

investors scream scam

New Financial Technology, a startup active in the crypto market without authorization, has blocked access …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.