Communism has collapsed. Capitalism has rid itself of the competition on which it thrives. But though now victorious, capitalism has become a threat. The future of us all may be shaped by the outcome of the conflict between capitalism as victor and capitalism as threat. Not only in Europe, but also in the US and Japan - and no doubt shortly in the Eastern countries too - the great debate is capitalism versus capitalism.
On the one hand is the "neo-American" model based on individual achievement and short-term profits. On the other is the Rhine model practices in Switzerland, Germany, Benelux, Northern Europe and, partly, in Japan. In the Rhine model collective achievement and public concensus are seen as the keys to long-term success.
The first is more seductive, the second more effective. These two opposing forms of capitalism are engaged in a war which, like all internal conflicts, involves both secrecy and even hypocrisy. The outcome of this struggle could affect the quality of life on all levels of society.
The author of this book aims to provide a synthesis which will force the reader to consider the political and economic issues at stake towards the end of the century.