The Lessons of History and the Developing World
AbstractThe world of the 1980s presents a sharp contrast to the optimistic visions and hopes of just thirty years ago. In the developed world the sublime confidence of the 1950s—which announced "the end of ideology" and the conquest of the business cycle—has given way to confusion and cynicism. The promise that economic growth would bring ever greater prosperity, increasing leisure, a greater concern with culture, and growing social harmony has proven more than a little problematic. In fact, despite rising per capita incomes, the mass production of disposable junk is irreparably damaging the environment; homelessness, unemployment, illiteracy and malnutrition are again emerging as major social problems in the "developed" world; the incidence of mental illness and severe depression is on the increase; trade unionism is on the retreat; and job security is rapidly becoming an unaffordable luxury.
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