I nod in passing to my German friends celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall...
...and the end of more than four decades of partition of the land "von den Maas bis an die Memel".
Y'know what's interesting, tho? (and it's me, it IS just me and my woolgathering mind) But what comes to the front of my brain is that it was just this period that inspired Frank Fukuyama to pen "The End of History", that paean to Ayn Rand's panty-sniffers in the Mergers and Acquisition Department as the Big Winner in the Civilization Sweepstakes. In the Showdown the Evil Commies had to turn up a pair of deuces and Capitalist Goodness raked in the big pot of the historical triumph. Or so the story went.
Yet here we are, twenty years on and the Bullpen of Big Business is mired in pointless foreign wars with a ragged band of 12th Century wannabes, her roads, bridges and schools decaying whilst ignorant armies clash on shout-radio and that triumphant "unfettered free market" done went and shat the bed.
Well, well, well...
I'm sure glad I was wise enough to invest my Peace Dividend in my rock-solid 401K. Who can imagine what would have happened if my country had refused to seize the opportunity to completely reassess itself in the wake of the Soviet collapse and instead chose to embark on a program of self-impoverishment, reckless privatization, social stratification and foolish pseudoimperialism?
Erich Honecker laughs somewhere in Hell.