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What 1989 Can Teach Us About The Problems Of 2019

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26.04.2019

We are not yet a third of the way through 2019, and yet the anniversaries of 1989 have come thick and fast. The events that marked it may be fading in the rear view mirror, but it is emerging as a chapter in its own right in the history books, a defining moment of the 1948-2016 era.

Quite rightly. From the upheavals that swept the Soviet Union out of Eastern Europe to the idea of a worldwide web to the crushing of the Tiananmen Square demonstrations that began thirty years ago this week, 1989 was a year of tumultuous change. And the revolution was televised, so the images are tattooed in our collective memory. ‘Tank Man’, standing alone before a column of armoured vehicles in Beijing, holding bags as if returning from a shopping trip. The denim and euphoria of the first protesters to breach the Berlin Wall. The villainy of the Marcos and Ceausescus.

But what was it really all about? 1989 had its own hot takes. That summer, Francis Fukuyama famously concluded that we were witnessing the end of history. He was not saying events would stop, but that free market liberal democracy had seen off autocracy, Fascism, communism and authoritarianism, for good. Humanity’s path was set – convergence. Clearly not everyone in Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and the mountains of Afghanistan agreed. Fareed Zakaria would write........

© HuffPost