De Amerikaanse econoom James Galbraith (zoon van J.K.) blikt terug op de pogingen van het westen om na de ontmanteling van de Sovjet-Unie de wereld te veroveren.
The big idea of the 1990s was that a unified open liberal world order dominated by banks could bring democracy and prosperity to the East. (…)The promise of prosperity faded in an orgy of privatization, asset-stripping and wage and pension theft and demographic disaster. By the late 1990s, the hoax had been openly exposed, corrective measures had to begin, and the Russian flirtation with “Western” democracy was over.
Over het tijdperk Bush/Cheney:
Globalization became a synonym for accepting that one country, working in its own interest and heeding no-one else, would set the terms by which the world was governed, throwing its military force into the balance even long after it became obvious to any detached observer by how much benefits fell short of costs.
For the West, all this poses a deep and difficult question. Having squandered your reputation for superior values, having debased democracy before finance, having shown disregard for the postwar structures of international law and, at the same time, having demonstrated that Mao was not far off when he coined the accolade “paper tiger” – how, having done all of this, do you restore your reputation and your position in the world?
A bit of humility, of recognition that the delusion of “globalization” as it was conceived twenty years ago by very foolish people, cannot be sustained, and a program of national and regional reconstruction focused on the most urgent social, resource and climate challenges – that might be the right way to start.