The 1980s have been a good decade for the West. For the United States and for Europe alike they have been years of growing prosperity, reassurance and stability. The 1960s were a decade of illusion and baseless fantasies of utopia; the 1970s were a decade of disillusion, shattered hopes and rising fears. The 1980s have been a decade of realism, in which the affairs of the world, and of the West in particular, have been placed on a firmer, more concrete foundation.
These years have been marked, above all, by a return of confidence in the disciplines and rewards of the market system and a corresponding collapse of faith in collectivist solutions and the capacity of command economies to deliver. Capitalism seems to have recovered its entrepreneurial vigor. Marxist socialism appears to be dying, except perhaps in that home of lost causes, the university campus.
In all these developments Ronald
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