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Steve Davies

Eric, I find your historical analysis of two long waves highly persuasive. If you look at the fin de siecle there was a major cultural reaction against the dominant liberalism of the Belle Epoque very reminiscent of what we have seen over the last couple of decades and all of those trends wend on to much fuller expression after 1919. I think that if you look at things from this very long historical perspective, what emerges is the constant problem that liberalism has with the question of a political order above and beyond that of the territorial state (national or otherwise). In the nineteenth century one emerged that rested upon a particular world monetary system, a world trade system, and a political order founded on the existence of several large and powerful empires (particularly the British but others as well). This international order was shattered by the War - a lot of the liberal thinking of the interwar period was about how to replace it (I think that is what Keynes's Economic Consequences is actually about). You can see the whole period since 1944 as an attempt to move to a particular vision of international order, particularly after 1989 when the major obstacle of the Soviet Union was removed. That order has clearly come to an end as well, it's cracking up visibly and has been for some time.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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