The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall

When we think about the collapse of communism do we really can celebrate the attractiveness of a social market economy, because what about free enterprise, regulated competition and a commitment to social equality and a safety net, that were incorporated into the law establishing the economic and monetary union of West and East Germany.

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 19...

Juggling on the Berlin Wall on 16. November 1989. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did in the ideological competition between free enterprise and communism, the social market won the Cold War?

The fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, was just one of many interrelated events that led to the end of the system of Soviet client states in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Soviet Union itself, in December of 1991. {, The Economics Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall}

Not only President Bush when he first heard news of developments in Berlin was cautious. All West Europe was cautious not to fall in a set up trap to let the communist regime look in their cards. For many families the occasion was a way to have a new breath and new hopes to get back in touch with their families living at the other site.

Democrats, too, misread the fall of the Berlin Wall. They agreed that the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union discredited the role of government and demonstrated the superiority of free markets. They embraced open trade and globalization, the North American Free Trade Act and the World Trade Organization.

East and West Germans converge at the newly cr...

East and West Germans converge at the newly created opening in the Berlin Wall after a crane removed a section of the structure beside the Brandenburg Gate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To take in mind:

The end of the Wall, the collapse of the Russian economy, and the dissolution of the Soviet Union finalized the embrace of neoliberal economic policies by both sides of American politics.

Some people are afraid we are again on the brink of a new Cold War. Europe has taken the opportunity with Ukraine to bring attention away form the lamentable state of the internal financial state of many European countries. Plus it shows to the rest of the world the individual states are not so willing to co-operate with each other and share the burdens of each state, with the willingness to contribute to make them lighter. the selfishness of each country has weakened the European Union like the selfishness of the individuals made it impossible to have a real communist system to develop the good way.

As in the past Gorbachev showed he has a good nose for political analysis. He is right in saying the West had exploited Russia’s weakness after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Euphoria and triumphalism went to the heads of Western leaders,”

said the ex General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and continued

“Taking advantage of Russia’s weakening and the lack of a counterweight, they claimed monopoly leadership and domination of the world, refusing to heed words of caution from many of those present here.”

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Find also to read:

  1. Still Hope though Power generating long train of abuses
  2. Doomthinking or a real problem for Europe
  3. Left behind for economical emigration
  4. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall

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  • Video: Gorbachev in ‘new Cold War’ warning (bbc.co.uk)
    The world is on the brink of a new Cold War, and trust should be restored by dialogue with Russia, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has said.
    He expressed alarm about recent Middle Eastern and European conflicts at an event to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Editorial: 25 years since the Berlin Wall fell (ocregister.com)
    “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come her to this gate,” said Mr. Reagan. “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
  • Is The West About To Use The Oil Weapon Against Russia? (warnewsupdates.blogspot.com)
    , it wasn’t political ideology, the failure of Mr Gorbachev’s so called “Perestroika” reforms, or the desire of most people behind the iron curtain to own a pair of Levi’s jeans and listen to pop music that saw the Kremlin’s power crumble.
    It was the collapse in oil prices engineered by Saudi Arabia, which literally bankrupted the old Soviet Union and ripped up the post-war map of Eastern Europe that had been brutally created in the aftermath of Adolf Hitler’s downfall by the equally ruthless Joseoption.ph Stalin.
  • Gwynne Dyer: Don’t fret about a new Cold War (ocregister.com)
    Nothing could have saved the old Soviet Union. It was the last of the European empires to fall, mainly because it was land-based rather than sea-based, but only half its population was Russian. When it finally dissolved, 15 nations emerged from the wreckage, and its collapse was no greater a loss to civilization than the fall of the British or French empires.
    And the main reason you can’t have a new Cold War is precisely because the “evil empire” (as Ronald Reagan famously called the Soviet Union) no longer exists. There is only Russia, a largely deindustrialised country that is run by a kleptocratic elite and makes its living by exporting oil and gas.
    Russia has 140 million people (less than half the United States, less than a third of the European Union), and its armies are no longer based around Berlin and all through Eastern Europe. They are 500 miles further east, guarding Russia’s own frontiers. They occasionally grab a bit of territory that isn’t covered by a NATO guarantee (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transnistria, Crimea, Luhansk, Donestk), but they dare not go any further.
  • See the 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s Fall (time.com)
    The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall was marked by the release of 8,000 helium balloons over the German capital.
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    Twenty-five years ago, the Berlin Wall opened — suddenly, joyously, peacefully. On this important anniversary, the world press is once again full of images of this astounding, unexpected development. These images remind readers, viewers and listeners of the excitement of that time.
    One of the most interesting aspects of autumn 1989 is the way that the world press not only covered the dramatic events but actually helped to cause them as well. There were three particularly crucial times when members of the media actually help to drive the events that they were covering — moments when the news reports made the news.
  • May God bless and damn you, Ukraine (blogs.timesofisrael.com)
    … the Russian army is poised to invade and annex and unknown portion of your southern territories. Part of the most blatant bid for imperial conquest since the fall of the Cold War, the advance of Putin the ersatz-Czar, is truly frightening for the peoples of Eastern Europe as a whole. As a democrat and a firm believer in the right of the self-determination of nations, I wish you the best of luck in stopping the invader. But as a Jew, I cannot help but feel torn about a land with such a history.Bogdan Khmelnytsky is your national hero, the leader of the uprising against Polish rule and domination. You dedicate statues and currency to the Hetman. For my people, he is nothing more than a butcher, a monster second only to Adolf Hitler whom we hold responsible for one of the worst slaughters of Jews in the pre-Modern era. You remember 1648 as a glorious year of revolt; we remember it as the year of the evil decree. Similarly, what you remember as your struggle against the Reds in 1919, my people remembers as 1648 redux.
  • Despite the Berlin Wall, Believers Persist In Faith (blackchristiannews.com)
    The fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago brought great hopes of a new birth of spiritual and political freedom, not only in the communist orbit but around the world.
    In many ways, those hopes were realized. Old tyrannies began to crumble. The Cold War ended after more than a generation of East-West conflict. Churches and believers long imprisoned by persecution and fear were released into the sunlight of liberty.The collapse of the Soviet Union followed the glorious opening in Berlin. Waves of Christian workers from the West flooded into Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics to assist their brothers and sisters in the faith. An exciting era of evangelism and church planting began.
    That era continues, despite the turmoil that has followed Soviet communism’s demise.

    “The wall was an outward symbol of an inward reality,” Mark Edworthy, IMB strategy leader for Europe, told IMB writer Nicole Lee.

    “Communism had erected a spiritual barrier with its incessant denial of God’s existence and its cycle of cruelty. Spiritually, we eagerly took up a hammer and chisel to work against that greater barrier.” A quarter-century later, “we can see greater trophies than stone and mortar as the Lord has continued to build His church throughout the former Soviet sphere.”

    But believers are working with urgency in Eastern Europe, Lee reported, “because no one knows how long the door to some of these countries will remain open. The ongoing war in Ukraine highlights the fact that, although the Cold War is over, communism and other secular philosophies are still at work.”

  • Gorbachev Warns World Is on Brink of ‘New Cold War’ (nbcnews.com) (Video)
    Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev warned in a speech in Berlin on Saturday that East-West tensions over the Ukraine crisis were threatening to push the world into a new Cold War, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Gorbachev, who is credited with forging a rapprochement with the West that led to the demise of communist regimes across Eastern Europe, accused the West, and the United States in particular, of not fulfilling their promises after 1989.

 

Mostly Economics

There are certain narratives which are never questioned. One such narrative is rise of free market thinking in the last 30 years or so. Now, this itself was not new as before great depression we had similar thinking. But then you know our memories are short and most of us are ignorant of history.

After fall of Berlin Wall (stunning picture here) we are lectured through numerous articles and books that how that phase signalled the end of communism and rise of American brand of capitalism.In 25 years of celebrating Berlin Wall we continue to do the same. Some experts by force point whether certain leaders have learnt the free market lessons from the fall, least bothered whether  the leader knows anything about the event. They actually even add that yes these lessons have been learnt!

The reality seems to be lot different. This FP piece explains what really happened. What was…

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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