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FROM THE ANTHOLOGY: The Clash of Ideas

Making Modernity Work

The Reconciliation of Capitalism and Democracy

Courtesy Reuters

We are living, so we are told, through an ideological crisis. The United States is trapped in political deadlock and dysfunction, Europe is broke and breaking, authoritarian China is on the rise. Protesters take to the streets across the advanced industrial democracies; the high and mighty meet in Davos to search for “new models” as sober commentators ponder who and what will shape the future.

In historical perspective, however, the true narrative of the era is actually the reverse -- not ideological upheaval but stability. Today’s troubles are real enough, but they relate more to policies than to principles. The major battles about how to structure modern politics and economics were fought in the first half of the last century, and they ended with the emergence of the most successful system the world has ever seen.

Nine decades ago, in one of the first issues of this magazine, the

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