July 26, 2022

/276/ Broken Promises ft. Fritz Bartel

On the end of the Cold War and the rise of neoliberalism.

Fritz Bartel talks to us about his new book in which the 1970s crisis and its aftermath takes centre-stage. How did the response to this global crisis differ in Western democratic capitalism versus Eastern state socialism? And why did this determine which side won the Cold War? How did the twin factors of global finance and energy emerge then, to the extent they still seem so determining today?

We discuss Bartel's striking claim that democracies, rather than authoritarian systems, were better able to 'break promises' – that is, impose economic discipline. And we conclude by discussing whether it could have been otherwise, whether neoliberalism and the collapse of the 'really existing socialism' were inevitable.


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