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The Partial Triumph of 1989

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22.10.2019

MADRID – November 9, 1989, is a date my generation will never forget, and one that will forever be inscribed in human history. On that day nearly 30 years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. The break-up of the Soviet bloc showed that communism was to become the second great ideological failure of the twentieth century, following the demise of fascism a few decades earlier. Liberal capitalism and its main exponent, the United States, reigned supreme, seemingly destined to enjoy a long, unchallenged hegemony.

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    Many countries flourished in the new environment. Poland, for example, installed a non-communist-led government shortly before the Berlin Wall fell, and, after overcoming some early transition problems, moved smoothly toward NATO and the European Union. The Polish economy last experienced a full-year contraction in 1991. And in 2009, when every other EU member state’s GDP shrank, Poland’s........

    © Project Syndicate