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The meaning of 1989

The year 1989 was as great a revolution in world affairs as 1789. Europe now unites around the values of free markets and democracy

By Robert Cooper   December 1999

Ten years ago the Berlin wall fell. This was a revolution in world affairs-as great a revolution as the French revolution. We who were lucky enough to have lived through 1989 can now perhaps believe that the struggles of the 20th century had a meaning. The consequences are still working themselves out. The most obvious consequences are direct and local: Berlin is again the capital of a reunified Germany; Poland, the Czech Republic and other ex-communist countries have democratic governments and pluralistic politics; border fences have moved to the east. I want to look at how some of these results…

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