Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall

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The Year That Changed the World: The Untold Story Behind the Fall of the Berlin Wall by Michael Meyer


Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, BRICs, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, haute couture, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, union organizing

Chamber of Commerce, November 6, 2003; Eulogy at the National Funeral Service for Ronald Wilson Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington, June 11, 2004; Speech to the National Endowment for Democracy, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, October 6, 2005; Commencement Address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, May 27, 2006; Remarks at the Dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial, June 12, 2007; Remarks to Conservative Union at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, February 8, 2008. I drew additional background from contemporary news accounts, including “Raze Berlin Wall, Reagan Urges Soviet” by Gerald M. Boyd, the New York Times, June 13, 1987, as well as retrospectives on the twentieth anniversary of the speech: Bild, “The Great Speech That Changed the World”; Associated Press, “Reagan’sTear Down This Wall’ Speech Turns 20”; Time, “20 Years After ‘Tear Down This Wall’ ”; American Conservative, review of Rise of the Vulcans, by Georgie Anne Geyer, June 7, 2004.

Boyd, the New York Times, June 13, 1987, as well as retrospectives on the twentieth anniversary of the speech: Bild, “The Great Speech That Changed the World”; Associated Press, “Reagan’s ‘Tear Down This Wall’ Speech Turns 20”; Time, “20 Years After ‘Tear Down This Wall’ ”; American Conservative, review of Rise of the Vulcans, by Georgie Anne Geyer, June 7, 2004. For George H. W. Bush’s reaction to the fall of the Wall, see Michael R. Beschloss and Strobe Talbott, At the Highest Levels: The Inside Story of the End of the Cold War, 1993. Peter Robinson’s fascinating book, How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, 2003, was a key source for the background on Reagan’s immortal speech. Additional references: Hoover Digest, “Tearing Down That Wall,” by Peter M. Robinson, reprinted from the Weekly Standard, June 23, 1997. Also by Robinson, “Why Reagan Matters,” Speech to the Commonwealth Club, January 7, 2004. Ronald Reagan: Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin, June 12, 1987; Address to the Students of Moscow University, May 31, 1988.

“We stood our ground” in Afghanistan and Iraq. “We stood our ground” for America as a “leading light, a guiding star, the greatest nation on the face of the Earth”—language inspired directly by Reagan. Then he concluded with the ultimate exculpation, as if he were a latter-day Saint Sebastian: “Ronald Reagan, too, was called a ‘warmonger,’ an ‘amiable dunce,’ an actor detached from reality. Yet within a few years after President Reagan left office, the Berlin Wall came down, the Evil Empire collapsed, the Cold War was won.” Everyone hears the echo. Everyone knows the reference. “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” A generation of speechwriters wish they had crafted that clarion call. A generation of statesmen wish they had uttered it, among them many who belittled it at the time. Rightly, it is included in collections of the century’s great presidential addresses.

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Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War by Ken Adelman


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haight Ashbury, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Sinatra Doctrine, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

Chancellor Helmut Kohl would never forget what was said there and who said it. He later called Reagan “a stroke of luck for the world, especially for Europe.” But some traditional diplomats, even gifted ones, never grasped the power of public diplomacy nor the role that Reagan’s campaign to delegitimize the Soviet system played in bending history. George Shultz, in his thousand-plus-page memoir, Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, makes no mention of Reagan’s speech that day. Nor does Jack Matlock in his book, Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended. Nor did Paul Nitze in his five-hundred-page memoir. Nonetheless, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall” became the hallmark, if not the highlight, of Reagan’s foreign policy, and, as Time declared twenty years later, the most famous words of his presidency.

This he did consistently—from his first presidential press conference, when he said that “they reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat” to further the Communist goal of world domination, to his Farewell Address, when he urged that we must “keep up our guard” when dealing with Communists. Reagan intended to create a safer world by developing SDI, sharing it with the Soviets, building up America’s strength, building down nuclear arsenals, and having Gorbachev “tear down this Wall.” He would end his predecessors’ policy of détente, considering it piecemeal at best and craven at worst. If this be a hollow subject, it is one with considerable substance in it. Reagan got the big issues right while his smarter, more knowledgeable skeptics seemed to get so many of them wrong. The role of lifeguard was central to Reagan’s self-image and surviving the 1981 assassination attempt affected him profoundly. Saving others when he was young and being saved when he was old were two formative experiences in his life. Reagan can best be known by his deeds. The great architect Christopher Wren is buried in his masterpiece, Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Screens had been set up to protect him against any East German sniper. The president called out, “Mr. Gorbachev,” paused, and then repeated the name for emphasis—“Mr. Gorbachev—tear down this Wall!” It had an electrifying effect that day, and was evoked again when the Wall fell two years later. (Ronald Reagan Library) Raisa Gorbachev and Nancy Reagan were mostly just tolerating each other by the time of the welcoming ceremonies for the Gorbachevs’ arrival at the Washington Summit on December 7, 1987. (Dirck Halstead/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images) When Reagan repeated his favorite Russian adage, Doveryai, no proveryai—“Trust but verify”—during the signing ceremonies for the most sweeping arms accord in history, held on December 8, 1987, in the East Room of the White House, Gorbachev ribbed him.

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The Cold War: A New History by John Lewis Gaddis


anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, full employment, land reform, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine

Robert Orwell, George Ostpolitik Pahlavi, Mohammad Reza Shah Paine, Thomas Pakistan Paul VI, pope “peaceful coexistence,” Pearl Harbor attack Peloponnesian War Pentagon Papers People’s Daily perestroika (restructuring) Perestroika (Gorbachev) Pershing II missiles Pervukhin, Mikhail Philby, Kim Philippines Pinochet, Augusto “Plastic People of the Universe,” Plumbers Poland John Paul II and 1989 election in rise of Solidarity in Soviet non-intervention in Politburo, Soviet Pol Pot Portugal Potsdam Conference of 1945 Powers, Francis Gary Prague spring Pravda Public Group to Promote Observance of the Helsinki Accords Quemoy and Matsu crises Radio Free Europe Rákosi, Mátyás Reagan, Ronald abolition of nuclear weapons proposed by attempted assassination of détente as target of “evil empire” speech of Gorbachev and at Reykjavik summit rise of SDI concept and Soviet Union visited by “tear down this wall” speech of U.S.-Soviet relations and Reagan Doctrine Red Guards Republican Party, U.S. Reykjavik summit of 1986 Rhee, Syngman Rice, Condoleezza Ridgway, Matthew B. Romania 1989 Revolution in Roosevelt, Franklin D. postwar settlement as seen by U.S.-Soviet alliance and Rostow, Walt Rusk, Dean Russell, Richard Russia, Imperial Russo-Japanese War of 1904–5 Sadat, Anwar-el Safire, William Sakhalin Island Sakharov, Andrei SALT, see Strategic Arms Limitation Talks SALT II Sandinistas Saudi Arabia Schabowski, Günter Schell, Jonathan Schneider, René Schumacher, Kurt Scowcroft, Brent SDI, see Strategic Defense Initiative SEATO, see Southeast Asian Treaty Organization Senate, U.S.

Gorbachev’s emergence raised the possibility of convincing a Kremlin leader himself that the “evil empire” was a lost cause, and over the next several years Reagan tried to do this. His methods included quiet persuasion, continued assistance to anti-Soviet resistance movements, and as always dramatic speeches: the most sensational one came at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin on June 12, 1987, when—against the advice of the State Department—the president demanded: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”97 For once, a Reagan performance fell flat: the reaction in Moscow was unexpectedly restrained. Despite this challenge to the most visible symbol of Soviet authority in Europe, planning went ahead for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Washington summit later that year. The reason, it is now clear, is that the Brezhnev Doctrine had died when the Politburo decided, six years earlier, against invading Poland. From that moment on Kremlin leaders depended upon threats to use force to maintain their control over Eastern Europe—but they knew that they could not actually use force.

., #11 (Winter, 1998), 5–14. 62 Interview, CNN Cold War, Episode 19, “Freeze.” 63 I have drawn, in the following two sections, upon arguments developed in further detail in Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, pp. 353–79. 64 Speech at Notre Dame University, May 17, 1981, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Ronald Reagan, 1981 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1982), p. 434. 65 Speech to members of the British Parliament, London, June 8, 1982, Reagan Public Papers, 1982, pp. 744—47. For the drafting of this speech, see Richard Pipes, Vixi: Memoirs of a Non-Belonger (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), pp. 197–200. 66 Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, March 8, 1983, Reagan Public Papers, 1983, p. 364; Ronald Reagan, An American Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990), pp. 569–70. 67 The figures are in Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, pp. 393–94. 68 Lettow, Ronald Reagan, p. 23; Reagan, An American Life, p. 13. 69 Radio-television address, March 23, 1983, Reagan Public Papers, 1983, pp. 442—43. 70 Ibid., p. 364. Lettow, Ronald Reagan, provides the best discussion of Reagan’s nuclear abolitionism. 71 Dobrynin, In Confidence, p. 528. 72 Ibid., p. 523. 73 Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky, KGB: The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev (New York: HarperCollins, 1990), pp. 583–99. 74 Raymond Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War (Washington: Brookings Institution, 1994), pp. 118–31. 75 Ibid., pp. 138—41; Don Oberdorfer, From the Cold War to a New Era: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1983–1991, updated edition (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), pp. 65—68. 76 Radio-television address, January 16, 1984, Reagan Public Papers, 1984, p. 45.

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America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Neoconservative Legacy by Francis Fukuyama


affirmative action, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, European colonialism, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Internet Archive, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus

The latter position was shared by people on the left who had some sympathy for the socialist aims of communism and disagreed only with the means, and by realists on the right who accepted communism as another form of government to which Western democracies would have to accommodate themselves. Neoconservatives after Vietnam simply continued to bear the torch of the earlier Cold War view about communism as a unique evil. Ronald Reagan was ridiculed by sophisticated people on the American left and in Europe for labeling the Soviet Union and its allies an "evil empire" and for challenging Mikhail Gorbachev not just to reform his system but to "tear down this wall." His as- The Neoconservative Legacy sistant secretary of defense for international security policy, Richard Perle, was denounced as the "prince of darkness" for this uncompromising, hard-line position; and his proposal for a double zero in the intermediate-range nuclear forces negotiations (that is, the complete elimination of medium-range missiles) was attacked as hopelessly out of touch by the bien pensant centrist foreign policy experts at places like the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department.

But it should be clear that the neoconservative heritage was a complex one that had multiple strands, and that the specific policy implications for how to deal with China, Iraq, or the Europeans that one could derive from the underlying principles were not necessarily those chosen by Kristol and Kagan. WAS RONALD REAGAN A NEOCONSERVATIVE? IS GEORGE W. BUSH? The intertwining of neoconservatives with the mainstream conservative movement in America from the 1980s on raises some The Neoconservative Legacy interesting questions about who qualifies as a neoconservative. Kristol and Kagan explicitly claimed the mantle of Reaganism and sought to derive their foreign policy from his. To what extent is the foreign policy of George W. Bush simply a continuation of the tradition of Reaganism, and, to that extent, does it qualify President Bush as a neoconservative? On one level, it seems somewhat odd to call either Reagan or Bush a neoconservative. Neoconservatives were in their origin (mostly) Jewish intellectuals who loved to read, write, argue, and debate; in a sense, it was their intellectual brilliance, their ability to reflect, and the nuance and flexibility associated with intellectual debate that was most notable about them, and what set them apart from the paleoconservatives.

It is thus not surprising that most neo-conservatives were broadly supportive of Ronald Reagan's effort to remoralize the struggle between Soviet communism and liberal democracy and did not wince in embarrassment when he spoke of the Soviet Union as an "evil empire." On the other hand, from the late 1970s on it became increasingly hard to disentangle neoconservatism from other, more traditional varieties of American conservatism, whether based on small-government libertarianism, religious or social conservatism, or American nationalism. Even identifying who qualified as a neoconservative became difficult. This was true for two reasons. First, many neoconservative ideas were wholeheartedly adopted by mainstream conservatives and, indeed, by a broader American public. Ronald Reagan may have offered anecdotes of "welfare queens," but the debate about welfare turned much more serious when the link between social programs like AFDC and welfare dependency was supported by empirical social scientists in the pages of The Public Interest.

The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard


affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Live Aid, Marc Andreessen, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional

The legacy of Reykjavik was hope, and it came as much from Gorbachev as from Reagan. ‘‘We have reached agreements on many things,’’ said the Soviet General Secretary. ‘‘We have traveled a long road.’’55 The spirit of disarmament continued after the summit in various meetings with representatives of both sides, but Reagan was mired in the Iran-Contra revelations and on the political defensive through much of the spring and summer of 1987. Like presidents before him, Reagan sought solace by traveling abroad, even though at his age trips were a strain. In June, he made a ten-day tour of Europe, capped by a visit to West Berlin. There, before a worldwide audience, he challenged the Soviet Union to make good on its proposals for world peace. ‘‘If you seek liberation: Come here to the gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’’56 The speech was the most impressive since John Kennedy confronted the Soviet Union at the same place, but this time the United States stood poised to vanquish its adversary.

., Information Please Almanac: 1997 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1977), p. 31. Notes 253 3. Lou Cannon, President Reagan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991), p. 207. 4. Lou Cannon, President Reagan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991), p. 58. 5. Lou Cannon, President Reagan (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991), pp. 88–92. 6. Dinesh D’Souza, Ronald Reagan (New York: Touchstone, 1997), p. 28. 7. John Kenneth White, The New Politics of Old Values (London: University Press of New England, 1988), pp. 60–61. 8. Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), p. 132. 9. Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan (New York: Public Affairs, 2003), p. 79. 10. Interview with the author, March 1985. 11. Frank Van Der Linden, The Real Reagan (New York: William Morrow, 1981), p. 87. 12. Reagan’s ideas were a continuation of policies begun by Richard Nixon, whose New Federalism of general revenue grants and block grants returned money to the local level.

The review board implicated North, Poindexter, and Weinberger, but could not conclusively determine the degree of Reagan’s involvement. In the final Tower Commission report, Reagan was rebuked for not having a firm control on his national security staff.39 A partial explanation for presidential mismanagement rested with his wife. After the attempted assassination of her husband, Nancy Reagan began regular consultations with an astrologer, Joan Quigley, whose charts helped set the president’s schedule.40 Ronald Reagan was casual in his superstitions, but Nancy Reagan became convinced that Quigley’s advice had protected her husband from repeated assassination attempts. Real and imagined dangers led the White House to defer final acceptance for any event until Mrs. Reagan had approved. Much of the Bitburg fiasco was attributable to Nancy Reagan’s superstitions, and the world will never know how much of the Iran-Contra mismanagement was a consequence of Nancy Reagan and her astrologer.

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The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy by David Hoffman


active measures, anti-communist, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, failed state, joint-stock company, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Stanislav Petrov, Thomas L Friedman, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, zero-sum game

This will put an end to gossip about the military's opposition to Gorbachev, that he's afraid of them, and they are close to ousting him."34 On June 12, 1987, in Berlin, Reagan stood before the Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Europe's division between East and West, and addressed Gorbachev directly. "We hear much from Moscow about a new policy of reform and openness," he said. "Are these the beginnings of profound changes in the Soviet state? Or are they token gestures, intended to raise false hopes in the West or to strengthen the Soviet state without changing it? "General Secretary Gorbachev," Reagan declared, "if you seek peace--if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe--if you seek liberalization, come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" The speech was classic Reagan, infused with his powerful faith in freedom and prosperity and the link between the two. Reagan recalled in his memoir that when he saw the wall, he spoke with genuine anger in his voice.

When Suzanne Massie, author of several books on Russian culture and history, came by to see Reagan on March 1, after a trip to Moscow, Reagan expressed admiration for her insights and said "she reinforced my gut feeling that it's time for me to personally meet with Chernenko."2 The next day, Reagan held a high-level meeting to plan next steps with the Soviets. The secret gathering, kept off Reagan's public schedule, brought together all of Reagan's top cabinet and staff advisers on Soviet affairs. Reagan announced at the opening of the meeting he wanted to arrange a summit, to show Chernenko he was not the sort of person who would "eat his own offspring." But the session wandered off, and ended without a decision.3 "I'm convinced the time has come for me to meet with Chernenko along about July," Reagan wrote that night. 4 On March 5, Reagan met West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.

This would end the nuclear nightmare for the people of the United States, the Soviet Union, indeed for "all people." Gorbachev started to interrupt Reagan. Why wouldn't Reagan believe him when he said the Soviet Union would never attack? Before Reagan could answer, Gorbachev repeated the question. He again interrupted Reagan's answer to insist on a response. Gorbachev questioned Reagan's sincerity in offering to share research, saying the United States did not even share advanced technology with its allies. Reagan tried to overcome the interruptions, and in exasperation at one point spilled out one of his deepest hopes--nuclear weapons could be eliminated altogether. At another point, he asked Gorbachev whether he believed in reincarnation and then speculated that perhaps he, Reagan, had invented the shield in an earlier life. Listening to one of Reagan's pitches for cooperation on Star Wars, Gorbachev lost his cool.

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Age of Greed: The Triumph of Finance and the Decline of America, 1970 to the Present by Jeff Madrick


accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, John Meriwether, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

Also, Jeff Madrick, “Time for a New Deal,” New York Review of Books, September 25, 2008. 13 MANY CLAIMED, DESPITE THE LOW WAGES: See, for example, economist Jason Furman, 14 SUCH AS COSTCO: See, for example, Christine Fey, “Costco’s Love of Labor,” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 29, 2004, 15 MCKINSEY, THE CONSULTING FIRM: James Hoopes, “Tear Down This Wall,” The American Prospect, June 4, 2004, Web only, 16 IT WAS NOT A MODEL: Fishman, The Wal-Mart Effect, pp. 102–8. 17 SOON, KINNEY WAS GENERATING ENOUGH PROFIT: Connie Bruck, Master of the Game (New York: Penguin, 1994), pp. 48–58. 18 THEY IN TURN RESPONDED TO HIS CHARM: Ibid., p. 129. 19 “HE WAS A GUY”: Ibid., p. 363. 20 HE EVEN CLAIMED: Ibid., p. 84. 21 WITH SO MUCH MONEY COMING IN: Ibid., p. 104. 22 BY THE END OF THE 1970S, ROSS WAS AT THE TOP: The following information is based on press releases and media reports of the periods cited. 23 TURNER WAS BORN IN 1938: What follows is based on several books about Ted Turner, many of which corroborate the same facts.

Dallek also makes much of Reagan’s fear of a loss of self-control, a more spurious claim, at least to the degree Dallek stresses it. 3 “HE SUCCEEDED IN EVERYTHING HE TRIED”: Lou Cannon, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 33. 4 HE SHOWED LITTLE OF THE DEEPER EMOTION: Garry Wills, Reagan’s America: Innocents at Home (New York: Doubleday, 1987), pp. 305–6. 5 REAGAN RETAINED: Edmund Morris, Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan (New York: Random House, 1999), pp. 157–60. 6 “THE PROFITS OF CORPORATIONS HAVE DOUBLED”: Dallek, Ronald Reagan, p. 27. 7 GARRY WILLS ARGUES PERSUASIVELY: Wills, Reagan’s America, pp. 288–97. 8 “THE COMMUNIST PLAN”: Reagan and Hubler, Where’s the Rest of Me?, p. 162. See also Lou Cannon, Governor Reagan: His Rise to Power (New York: PublicAffairs, 2003), pp. 85–90. 9 IT WAS LATER DISCOVERED: On the code name, T-10: Wills, Reagan’s America, pp. 290–99. Also see Morris, Dutch, p. 288. 10 BUT REAGAN HAD SAG: Cannon, Governor Reagan, pp. 103–5. 11 REAGAN WAS CALLED TO TESTIFY: Cannon, Governor Reagan, pp. 103–5. 12 “SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE CENTURY”: Ibid., p. 123. 13 “NEAR HOPELESS HEMOPHILIC LIBERAL”: Reagan and Hubler, Where’s the Rest of Me?

, p. 311. 24 IT SHOULD NOT HAVE COME AS A SURPRISE: Morris, Dutch, pp. 472–73. 25 THE STORY HE TOLD AMERICANS: In general, Wills, Reagan’s America, and in particular, p. 338. 26 “THE BASIS OF THE DRAMATIC FORM”: Reagan and Hubler, Where’s the Rest of Me?, p. 294. 27 “REAGAN’S CAPACITY FOR SELF-DENIAL”: Cannon, President Reagan, p. 190. 28 CANNON BELIEVED REAGAN SIMPLY THOUGHT: Cannon, Governor Reagan, pp. 116–17. 29 HE WROTE IN A LATER MEMOIR: Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson, eds., Reagan in His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America (New York: Free Press, 2001), p. 67. 30 GARRY WILLS, HOWEVER: Wills, Reagan’s America, p. 339. 31 CANNON LEANS TOWARD: Cannon, Governor Reagan, pp. 112–13. 32 “A TIME FOR CHOOSING”: For the speech actually made, with a different opening paragraph, see 33 “GOLDWATER HAD BECOME A CAUSE”: Morris, Dutch, p. 333. 34 IT WAS MORE LIKELY A STANCE: For example, Wills, Reagan’s America, p. 367. 35 THEIR ADVICE WAS PREDICTABLE: Cannon, Governor Reagan, pp. 136–40; Wills, Reagan’s America, pp. 346–54. 36 WHEN FOX WENT TO SELL IT SOON AFTER: Cannon, President Reagan, p. 354; Dan Moldea and Jeff Goldberg, “Film Company Paid the Candidate a Steep Price for Some Steep Land to Make Him a Millionaire,” Wall Street Journal, August 1, 1980. 37 WELFARE POLICIES WERE RESULTING: Cannon, Governor Reagan, p. 350. 38 “WE MUST RETURN”: Ibid., p. 216. 39 REAGAN HAD A PERFECT CAMPAIGN ISSUE: Ibid., pp. 338–39. 40 “WELFARE IS THE GREATEST DOMESTIC PROBLEM”: Ibid., p. 342. 41 LOU CANNON INSISTED REAGAN: Ibid., p. 122. 42 “WE NEVER THOUGHT”: Author interview with Walter Shorenstein, July 2004. 43 HE AND THE DEMOCRATS JOINTLY AGREED: Cannon, Governor Reagan, p. 359. 44 GOVERNMENT SPENDING KEPT RISING UNDER REAGAN: Wills, Reagan’s America, p. 373. 45 REAGAN FORMED THE TAX REDUCTION TASK FORCE: Author interviews with Lewis Uhler, January 12, 2004, and February and March 2004.

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The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom by Evgeny Morozov


A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Earth, illegal immigration, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, peer-to-peer, pirate software, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Sinatra Doctrine, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, social graph, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

“As in the cold war [when] you had an Iron Curtain, there is concern that authoritarian governments ... are developing a Virtual Curtain,” says Arvind Ganesan of Human Rights Watch. Journalists, always keen to sacrifice nuance in the name of supposed clarity, are the worst abusers of Cold War history for the purpose of explaining the imperative to promote Internet freedom to their audience. Roger Cohen, a foreign affairs columnist for the International Herald Tribune, writes that while “Tear down this wall!” was a twentieth-century cry, the proper cry for the twenty-first century is “Tear down this firewall!” Foreign Affairs’ David Feith argues that “just as East Germans diminished Soviet legitimacy by escaping across Checkpoint Charlie, ‘hacktivists’ today do the same by breaching Internet cyber walls.” And to dispel any suspicions that such linguistic promiscuity could be a mere coincidence, Eli Lake, a contributing editor for the New Republic, opines that “during the cold war, the dominant metaphor for describing the repression of totalitarian regimes was The Berlin Wall.

The person to blame for popularizing such views happens to be the same hero many conservatives widely believe to have won the Cold War itself: Ronald Reagan. Since he was the man in charge of all those Western radio broadcasts and spearheaded the undercover support to samizdat-printing dissidents, any account that links the fall of communism to the role of technology would invariably glorify Reagan’s own role in the process. Reagan, however, did not have to wait for future interpretations. Proclaiming that “breezes of electronic beams blow through the Iron Curtain as if it was lace,” he started the conversation that eventually degenerated into the dreamy world of “virtual curtains” and “cyber-walls.” Once Reagan announced that “information is the oxygen of the modern age” and that “it seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders,” pundits, politicians, and think-tankers knew they had a metaphorical treasure trove while Reagan’s numerous supporters saw this narrative as finally acknowledging their hero’s own gigantic contribution to ushering in democracy into Europe.

Once Reagan announced that “information is the oxygen of the modern age” and that “it seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders,” pundits, politicians, and think-tankers knew they had a metaphorical treasure trove while Reagan’s numerous supporters saw this narrative as finally acknowledging their hero’s own gigantic contribution to ushering in democracy into Europe. (China’s microchip manufacturers must have been laughing all the way to the bank when Reagan predicted that “the Goliath of totalitarianism will be brought down by the David of the microchip.”) It just took a few months to add analytical luster to Reagan’s pronouncements and turn it into something of a coherent history. In 1990, the RAND Corporation, a California-based think tank that, perhaps by the sheer virtue of its propitious location, never passes up an opportunity to praise the powers of modern technology, reached a strikingly similar conclusion.

pages: 270 words: 79,992

The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath by Nicco Mele


3D printing, 4chan, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, business climate, call centre, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative editing, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, death of newspapers, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart,, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Gordon Gekko, Hacker Ethic, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, Mohammed Bouazizi, Mother of all demos, Narrative Science, new economy, Occupy movement, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, period drama, Peter Thiel, pirate software, publication bias, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, social web, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Who was not moved watching the great journalist choke up while announcing the president’s death? The names of two respected newspaper journalists—Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein—likewise became indelibly linked to the Watergate scandal. Network television footage of crowds at the Berlin Wall in the darkness of November 9, 1989, provided unforgettable, collective images of the end of the Cold War, echoing President Reagan’s powerful rhetoric a few years earlier: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” And burned into the consciousness of many Americans following September 11, 2001, is the television footage of the airplanes plunging into the Twin Towers, not to mention the figure of Mayor Rudy Giuliani, standing at the podium answering questions at press conference after press conference with a mixture of calm, grief, and determination. Nowhere has the threat to existing big institutions seemed so much in evidence as in the news world.

The front-runner for their party’s nomination, Walter Mondale, didn’t stir up much excitement, and he faced an enormously popular incumbent Republican president—Ronald Reagan—who was also an incredible communicator and former movie star. Mondale represented the consummate Democratic insider. A former U.S. senator and vice president under Jimmy Carter, he had spent much of his public life preparing to run for president, working his way up the Democratic Party food chain. Conventional wisdom judged him unbeatable in the primaries because he had locked up the Democratic Party’s fund-raising machinery and most of the critical endorsements, leaving his competitors out in the cold. Still, he remained an uninspiring figure widely regarded as unable to mount a credible challenge to Reagan. Mondale easily won the Iowa caucus. But then, to everyone’s shock, he lost the New Hampshire primary to the charismatic and handsome Gary Hart, a young upstart U.S. senator from the American West.

Somebody then needed to open these checks, endorse them, and deposit them, and the campaign had to wait two to four additional weeks for out-of-state checks to clear.3 Hart literally couldn’t get the money in the bank fast enough to spend it so as to challenge Mondale in subsequent primaries. The Hart campaign remained disorganized and underfunded compared to the well-organized, well-funded establishment campaign of Walter Mondale. Mondale locked up the Democratic nomination—before losing forty-nine states to Reagan in the 1984 election. Now fast-forward to 2007. The Democratic Party again had an establishment front-runner—Hillary Clinton—who had spent her entire adult life in Democratic politics. Having served in the White House for eight years as first lady, she enjoyed one of the best political fund-raising operations ever seen, honed by decades of fund-raising for Democrats around the country. Although many Democrats harbored reservations about sending another Clinton to the White House (if Hillary won and then was reelected, that would mean twenty-eight years of either a Bush or a Clinton as chief executive), her charismatic upstart opponent, Barack Obama, was relatively unknown and unproven, not having served out a full single term as U.S. senator.

The Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting German History in the Urban Landscape by Brian Ladd


Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, full employment, New Urbanism, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, urban planning, urban renewal

Before long, however, West Germany and its allies began to exploit the propaganda value of the Wall as a symbol of Communism's failure. 11 By the time of Kennedy's triumphal visit in June of 1963, a pilgrimage to the safely fortified forward post had become a favorite photo opportunity. Every state visitor in Bonn was if possible brought to Berlin to view the infamous Wall. President Ronald Reagan's visit in 1987, for example, sounded the metaphor of mobility and connectedness. He stood before the walled-off Brandenburg Gate and demanded, "Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." The East could respond in kind: it declared the statements of Western politicians at the Wall to be a provocation showing the necessity and the efficacy of the border fortifications, which they, too, proudly displayed to guestsat least to carefully selected ones. One of the old guardhouses flanking the Brandenburg Gate housed an exhibition justifying the "modern border."

Kohl's way of honoring victims had already created a furor eight years before, when he persuaded President Ronald Reagan to accompany him to a German military cemetery in the town of Bitburg. The graves he asked Reagan to honor were of soldiers who had fought against U.S. troops in World War II; a few were members of the Waffen-SS. The Bitburg visit became a publicrelations disaster for Reagan, since he refused to embarrass Kohl by canceling it, despite protests from American war veterans and from Jewish groups. Under American pressure, however, the day's itinerary for May 5, 1985, was expanded to include a visit to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Through their remembrance, Kohl and Reagan linked, and effectively equated, two groups of victims: concentration camp prisoners and German soldiers.

A brochure prepared for the Fort Lee auction described the segments of Wall as the perfect way to "decorate the entrance hall of your corporate headquarters, museum, or estate." 4 Some pieces were re-erected as works of artor were they just souvenirs? Others stood as victory monuments or Cold War booty, such as the piece ("hated symbol of, yes, an evil empire") proudly unveiled by former president Ronald Reagan at the dedication of his presidential library.5 It was difficult enough to define the meaning of Wall fragments removed to sites where they stood alone. The idea of leaving pieces on their original site made no sense at all to most Berliners. Proposals to preserve parts of the Wall, and to create a Wall memorial in Berlin, faced organized and unorganized opposition. Every suggestion to preserve one section or another was met with a chorus of objections, particularly from neighbors.

pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

Now young people were protesting on Wall Street because the whole thing was hog-tied, but Dean tried to make the occupiers see the change that was coming, right there in Greensboro. In Tampa, Matt Weidner started blogging about Occupy just a few days after the protesters took the park, and didn’t let up. He compared it to Shays’ Rebellion just after the Revolutionary War, called it “the Tea Party with brains,” and in a post titled “Mr. President—Tear Down This Wall (Street),” he wrote: The Occupy Wall Street movement is just the beginning. Admittedly small, but powerful and frankly quite dangerous. Both to the established order and to the way of life that this country is currently infected by. This current way of life is not sustainable. This country has become a lie. It has become a lie because our leaders, both elected and business, have become utterly corrupt.

It took Dean six years of bartending to graduate—at one stage his education was interrupted by a five-month trip with his best friend, Chris, to California, where they lived in a VW bus and pursued girls and good times—but in 1989 he finally earned his degree, in political science. Dean was a registered Republican, and Reagan was his idol. To Dean, Reagan was like a soothing grandfather: he had that ability to communicate and inspire people, like when he spoke about “a city upon a hill.” It was something Dean thought he could do as well, since he was a good speaker and came from a family of preachers. When Reagan talked, you trusted him, and he gave you hope that America could be great again. He was the only politician who ever made Dean want to become one himself—an idea that ended the week he was busted for smoking pot on the steps of a campus building and arrested a few days later for driving under the influence.

He made damn good money for 1981, but it was the kind of job he’d always feared ending up in—the lifers around him with no ambition, spending their days talking about drinking, racing, and fucking. Dean hated it so much that he decided to go to college. The only one his father would help pay for was Bob Jones University, a Bible school in South Carolina. Bob Jones barred interracial dating and marriage, and in early 1982, a few months after Dean enrolled, the school became national news when the Reagan administration challenged an IRS decision that had denied Bob Jones tax-exempt status. After a storm of criticism, Reagan reversed himself. According to Dean, Bob Jones was the only college in the world where the barbed wire around the campus was turned inward, not outward, like at a prison. The boys had to keep their hair above their ears, and the only way to communicate with the girls on the other side of campus was to write a note and put it in a box that a runner would take from dorm to dorm.

pages: 220 words: 88,994

1989 The Berlin Wall: My Part in Its Downfall by Peter Millar


anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, glass ceiling, kremlinology, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, urban sprawl, working-age population

The East German and Soviet leaders still greeted each other on arrival and departure with the old comrades’ kiss – just as they had done in Brezhnev’s day – even if those of us who considered Soviet kisses another branch of Kremlinology couldn’t help but notice that Gorbachev puckered up as if kissing a lemon. Only a week later US President Ronald Reagan visited West Berlin and delivered a challenge to the Soviet leader that would, more than two years later, seem like a prophetic demand: ‘General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalisation, come here to this gate. Mr Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!’ Reagan’s speech has since been hailed as a decisive factor, if only because Gorbachev’s actions – or rather inaction – were key to the events of 1989. At the time, it just seemed Reagan was trying to compete with the ghost of John F. Kennedy. There were many in the White House who advised him to leave it out, rather than embarrass a relatively new Soviet leader with whom he was getting on remarkably well.

Leonid Brezhnev’s successor, Yuri Andropov, had been ambassador to Hungary in 1956 and played a crucial role in coordinating the Soviet invasion. He returned home to become head of the KGB and had been a leading light in advocating the brutal suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring. His promotion to the top job was greeted with despair in a Poland still labouring under martial law. Washington saw him as a fittingly sinister head for what President Ronald Reagan now termed the ‘evil empire’. A few months later, in September 1983, we reached one of those bleak moments when the awful reality of the superpower standoff came home. Soviet fighter pilots shot down a South Korean airliner which had – allegedly because of a navigational error – strayed into prohibited airspace over the Kamchatka peninsula, home to some of Moscow’s missiles sites. All 269 passengers and crew were lost.

He took some memorable snaps of me ‘cuddling’ dead rabbits that local Yakuti tribesmen had trapped and left sitting, apparently as pert and ready to bound off across the snow, outside their yurts to be skinned and eaten whenever they chose to bring them ‘in, out of the freezer’. Lev had previously been foreign minister Andrei Gromyko’s personal snapper, he boasted. Which made me realise I was now also just ‘two handshakes’ away from Josef Stalin. As links to twentieth-century tyrants went, I had done the double! Back on the Cold War front, a memorable Time magazine cover named Reagan and Andropov jointly ‘Men of the Year’, showing them standing back to back, like adversaries about to take part in a deadly duel. The American television correspondents meanwhile were engaged in a battle of their own: trying to get their domestic anchors to pronounce the new Soviet leader’s relatively simple name properly. Almost unanimously US newsreaders had taken to calling him Andropov, putting the stress – vitally important in Russian – wrongly on the first syllable.

pages: 741 words: 179,454

Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das


affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman,, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson,, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

The ideas of influential economists, like John Maynard Keynes and Milton Friedman, were subsumed into political agendas to shape the money economy. 7. Los Cee-Ca-Go Boys For a quarter of a century, the Berlin Wall symbolized the difference between the free markets of the West and the socialist economies of the East. On June 12, 1987, speaking at the Brandenburg Gate to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Berlin, U.S. President Ronald Reagan issued a challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev, the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union: “Tear down this wall!” On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. At the fall of the Wall, when asked “Who won?”, Western political scientists cited the triumph of capitalism over socialism. The economists’ response was “Chicago.” The University of Chicago radically changed how the world thought about economics, politics, and business, with a system based on: “belief in the efficacy of the free market as a means for organizing resources...skepticism about government intervention into economic affairs and...emphasis on the quantity theory of money as a key factor in producing inflation.”1 In the early part of the twentieth century, work in theoretical physics was centered around the Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, England), Göttingen (Germany), and the Institute of Theoretical Physics (Copenhagen, Denmark).

There was the misery index—the sum of inflation and unemployment rates. In a presidential debate, Reagan delivered the killer blow: “Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls...and make a decision. ...when you make that decision...ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?” Reagan defeated President Carter easily. In the UK, Margaret Hilda Thatcher defeated the ill-fated James Callaghan and a tired Labour government in 1979 to become the first woman prime minister of the UK. Ten years earlier Thatcher had said: “no woman in my time will be Prime Minister.” Thatcher became a close ally of Reagan. An aide observed that when together a crowbar was needed to pry them apart. Like Reagan, Thatcher was elected with a mandate to reverse the country’s economic and social decline. She wrote of “a feeling of helplessness that a once great nation has somehow fallen behind.”

Election of conservative governments in the United States (under President Ronald Reagan) and in the UK (under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher) hastened a return to free markets. Asked about her political philosophy, Thatcher produced a copy of Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty: “This is what we believe.”15 Reagan identified the nine most terrifying words in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Efficient markets rather than efficient government was the new battle cry. The Gipper and the Iron Lady In 1956, Clinton Rossiter, a political scientist, identified the skills needed by the occupant of the Oval Office: “scoutmaster, Delphic Oracle, hero of the silver screen and father of the multitudes.”16 Ronald Wilson Reagan, a Hollywood B film actor, possessed one of these qualities.

pages: 564 words: 182,946

The Berlin Wall: A World Divided, 1961-1989 by Frederick Taylor


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, German hyperinflation, land reform, mass immigration, mutually assured destruction, oil shock, open borders, Plutocrats, plutocrats, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Sinatra Doctrine, the market place, young professional, éminence grise

The only major political figure to challenge this increasingly relaxed attitude towards the Wall was the same man who, in 1978, had attracted 396 / THE BERLIN WALL the attention of the Stasi observers at Checkpoint Charlie: Ronald Reagan. Now more than half-way through his second term as president of the United States, the 76-year-old had lost none of his fierce and occasionally undiplomatic anti-Communist drive. In June 1987 he arrived in West Berlin to join the city’s 750th-anniversary celebrations. ‘General Secretary Gorbachev,’ Reagan thundered in front of the Brandenburg Gate, ‘if you seek peace-if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe-if you seek liberalisation, come here to this gate, Mr Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ All the same, three months later, Erich Honecker was received with honours in West Germany. No one was impolite enough to raise the matter of the Wall, or the deaths, or the continuing persecution of dissidents by the Stasi, or the fact that his people still had to put their hands in the fire before they wrote exit-visa applications.

Khruschev’s remarks, though not so aggresively meant as some thought at the time, did indicate a new sense of self-confidence. A quarter of a century later, Reagan’s words were intended to convey the same. There followed a period of nervous stand-off. The Pershings and ‘cruise’ missiles were introduced into Western Europe, despite protests throughout the continent. Then in 1983 Reagan pulled what many still regard as a stroke of genius. He announced his intention to break the stalemate of ‘mutually assured destruction’ by developing a futuristic anti-missile system capable of preventing Soviet warheads from reaching American soil. This idea seemed to come straight from a Hollywood sci-fi epic (much talk of laser beams) and became known as the ‘Star Wars’ project. In Moscow, Reagan’s announcement caused something approaching panic and, as the conviction strengthened that perhaps the Americans could carry out their threat, a steady sense of demoralisation.

When the filming finished, at 10.40, it was reported that they left the area. However, about four hours later they returned in a black Plymouth sedan with US Mission licence plates. An army sergeant drove them through the checkpoint and into East Berlin. Only when they presented their passports were the couple in the back of the Plymouth identified as two Americans, a man of sixty-seven and a woman ten years younger. Their names were Ronald and Nancy Reagan. The Reagans took an hour’s drive around East Berlin, like any tourists, and then returned to the West. The East German authorities had for the ENDGAME / 381 first time laid eyes on the man who, many say, would prove to be the nemesis of their regime and all it represented. However, the Stasi observers do not, at that point, even seem to have realised who the man and his wife were.1 This would change very soon.

pages: 306 words: 92,704

After the Berlin Wall by Christopher Hilton


anti-communist, Berlin Wall, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce

TIMELINE 1945 7 May Germany surrenders 3 July Allied troops take over their four sectors in Berlin 16 July Potsdam Conference begins 2 August Potsdam Conference ends 1946 21 April Communist Party and Social Democrats form the SED (Socialist Unity Party) to rule East Germany 1947 5 June Marshall Plan launched 1948 21 June Deutsche Mark introduced in the West 24 June Berlin blockade and airlift begins 24 July East German Mark introduced 1949 4 April NATO formed 11 May Berlin blockade and airlift ends 24 May FRG (Federal Republic of Germany) founded in the West, merging the American, British and French Zones 7 October GDR (German Democratic Republic) founded in the East from the Soviet Zone, with East Berlin as its capital 1953 16 June GDR workers uprising over increasing work norms 1955 9 May FRG accepted into NATO 14 May Communist states, including the GDR, sign the Warsaw Pact 1958 27 October Walter Ulbricht, GDR leader, threatens West Berlin 10 November Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev says it is time to cancel Berlin’s four-power status 1961 4 June At a summit in Vienna, Khruschev tries to pressure US President John Kennedy to demilitarise Berlin 1–12 August 21,828 refugees arrive in West Berlin 13 August Berlin Wall built 1963 26 June Kennedy visits Berlin and makes his ‘Ich Bin Ein Berliner’ speech 1968 21 August Warsaw Pact countries crush Prague Spring 1970 19 March Willy Brandt visits GDR city Erfurt as part of his Ostpolitik policy 1971 3 May Ulbricht forced to resign, succeeded by Erich Honecker 1972 October Traffic Agreement signed, giving FRG citizens access to the GDR 21 December Basic Treaty signed, the FRG in effect recognising the GDR 1973 18 September The GDR and the FRG admitted to the United Nations 1985 11 March Mikhail Gorbachev elected General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party 1987 12 June Ronald Reagan speaks at the Brandenburg Gate: ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ 7–11 September Honecker visits FRG 1989 2 May Hungary opens its border with Austria, allowing GDR holidaymakers to cross 7 May GDR elections with 98.85 per cent for the government and widespread allegations of fraud 4 September Leipzig demonstrations begin 30 September GDR citizens in FRG Prague Embassy told they can travel to the West 6 October GDR fortieth anniversary 18 October Honecker forced to resign, succeeded by Egon Krenz 4 November A million people demonstrate in East Berlin 9 November The Wall opens 29 November Chancellor Helmut Kohl issues plan for a ‘confederation leading to a federation in Germany’ 7 December Krenz resigns.

You have to stand, peer and concentrate because one photograph, a panoramic view, gives you everything all at once. It is so stark it does not require a caption and, like emerging from sunlight, your eyes need time to adjust. At first it seems to be a lunarscape with houses – the apartments – but as your eyes adjust it transforms itself into the Leuschnerdamm which was somewhere else altogether: depending on which side chance had placed you, a frontier community confronting Ronald Reagan’s evil empire or a frontier community confronting the imperialist-fascist-capitalist running dogs. The Wall ran where the dark tarmac holes are – they were supports for an earlier version of it – so the terraced houses and the unkempt pavement were in the West, the cobbled road in the East. The pavement became a gully; the 12ft Wall to one side of it, the apartments and their little gardens to the other.

He founded the museum which overlooked Checkpoint Charlie in 1963 and it grew into a vivid home for the artefacts of escapes (as which it remains). Hildebrandt became a propagandist for non-violent resistance all over the world and published extensively on that as well as The Wall. He loomed as a father figure, slightly eccentric, slightly innocent but right. 8. Interview in July 2008. 9. Lieutenant Oliver North, a U.S. marine, was involved in the Iran-Contra Affair when, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, he sold weapons clandestinely to Iran. He subsequently became a right-wing commentator, appeared on Fox TV and wrote best-selling books. 10. Ulbricht’s words were used on tall posters on the Western side of The Wall pointing East so the population there could read them: NOBODY HAS ANY INTENTION OF BUILDING A WALL. Taken out of context, as this was, the words could scarcely be more ironic or damning. 11.

pages: 180 words: 61,340

Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis


Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, fiat currency, financial thriller, full employment, German hyperinflation, Irish property bubble, Kenneth Rogoff, offshore financial centre, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, South Sea Bubble, the new new thing, tulip mania, women in the workforce

The Commerzbank chairman, Klaus-Peter Müller, actually works in Berlin, inside another very German kind of place. His office is attached to the side of the Brandenburg Gate. The Berlin Wall once ran, roughly speaking, right through the middle of it. One side of his building was once a field of fire for East German border guards, the other a backdrop for Ronald Reagan’s famous speech. (“Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”) From looking at it you would never guess any of this. “After the wall came down we were offered the chance to buy it back,” says Müller. “This building had been ours before the war. But the condition was that we had to put everything back exactly the way it was. It all had to be hand-fabricated.” He points out the seemingly antique brass doorknobs and the seemingly antique windows.

pages: 424 words: 121,425

How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy by Mehrsa Baradaran


access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, barriers to entry, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cashless society, credit crunch, David Graeber, disintermediation, diversification, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, income inequality, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, McMansion, microcredit, mobile money, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, Own Your Own Home, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, price discrimination, profit maximization, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, the built environment, the payments system, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, union organizing, white flight, working poor

Journalist Matt Taibbi called Goldman Sachs “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” The Occupy Wall Street movement embodied this disdain for reckless moneylending with demands that bankers be sent to jail. Their signs could have been written by a modern-day Nehemiah or Andrew Jackson: “Tax Wall Street Leeches,” “Turn Wall Street into Tahrir Square,” “JP Morgan is a Kleptomaniac,” “Jail the Bankers,” “Tear Down this Wall Street,” “Jesus was the 99%,” and “Kick ‘M in the Junk Bonds.”29 (Timothy Geithner dismissed those who were uncomfortable with bailing out banks as demanding “Old Testament Justice,”30 which seems accurate given the admonitions against usury in the book, but the modern state is no longer persuaded by Nehemiah’s arguments.) And so, perhaps having inherited some of these long-standing prejudices and moral pronouncements, we find ourselves today in a society that disparages some mortgage holders, payday borrowers, and the bankrupt as irresponsible or even immoral.

Technology and market changes came first, and banks could not survive without a significant alteration of the New Deal rules and barriers. Something had to change, but deregulation was by no means the only option. The era also coincided with a conservative political revival in America and Europe and a deregulatory philosophy in other sectors. Ronald Reagan wanted to get the government off the people’s backs, and the banking sector needed exactly that. But deregulation was not just about Ronald Reagan. A decade later, Bill Clinton finished what Reagan had started. Additionally, other changes occurred in the United States that explain the ideological transformations of the time, such as a historic rise of income and wealth disparity and an economic boom. In the banking sector, deregulation concentrated not just on removing restrictions but was coupled with an underlying shift in thinking.

An ideological capture of key policymakers—Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geithner, Henry Paulson, and others—who had spent their careers marinating in the industry, working in “captured” regulatory agencies, or captivated by extreme laissez-faire ideology, also took place during this era. Agencies also went along with or even pushed deregulation. The OCC and the OTS, agencies funded by their regulated entities (their customers), courted them through lax regulations. The executive branch was also sold on the vision of finance free from state control. Each president, from Reagan to Obama, operated with a similar view about the dangers of overregulation. Each also received significant funds from Wall Street. Agency capture is perhaps one of the most significant aspects of this political story. Because of the increased power and size of these firms, government regulators have become impotent against them—that is, those who have continued to fight. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), one of the most sophisticated of all the banking regulators and the one tasked with overseeing the largest Wall Street firms, illustrates how capture works.

pages: 364 words: 104,697

Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? by Thomas Geoghegan


Albert Einstein, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, collective bargaining, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, dark matter, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, ending welfare as we know it, facts on the ground, Gini coefficient, haute cuisine, income inequality, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, McJob, minimum wage unemployment, mittelstand, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, pensions crisis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce

Well, he found the lights, and he assured me the Hotel B. was nice. We could go out to eat here, in Friedenau, famous for its war widows, etc. “Okay,” I said, “but let’s go somewhere else.” “East or west?” “East!” I said. I knew it had advanced beyond a wannabe Mister Softee truck, and I felt the thrill of going into the “Communist” darkness, but we still ended up at a yuppie-type trattoria. The East was under construction. When Reagan said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this Wall,” he spoke on behalf of real-estate developers from all over Europe. I never saw so many construction sites: big cranes bobbing like Big Bird even at midnight in Berlin. They had overbuilt. Whereas once the East-was-Red, now the East was in the red, in a way unimaginable for Germans, and in the years to come, many people like my friend Father L. would say: “Berlin is broke.”

If the right wins an election, that proves Europe-is-going-to-be-like-America. And if the socialist left wins, that also proves the same thing, too. Why? Here was the chain of reasoning when Gerhard Schroeder became the German chancellor: (1) he’s really just like Tony Blair, (2) Blair is really just like Clinton, (3) Clinton is really just like Bush (the first one). And the first Bush was like Reagan. So when Schroeder was elected, it just showed Europe was going to the right, and they were all more or less like Reagan. “Wait: isn’t Schroeder a socialist?” Yes. They’re all socialists! That’s why Europe is collapsing! It’s collapsing. It’s collapsed. Everyone is unemployed. It’s becoming just like America anyway. I knew a bit more than that. As a union-side labor lawyer, I wanted social democracy to succeed. The vision I had in Zurich was, like many a story about conversion experiences, one that I was unconsciously getting ready to have.

pages: 313 words: 100,317

Berlin Now: The City After the Wall by Peter Schneider, Sophie Schlondorff

Berlin Wall, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, young professional

And so, in the end, in its shift from vertical to horizontal, the Wall turned out to be good for something after all. EPILOGUE In early March 2013, a demonstration at the East Side Gallery brought about an unexpected turn of events. Unlikely slogans could be heard near the section by Mühlenstraße in the Friedrichshain district: “The wall must stay,” groups of demonstrators shouted, while others chanted, in English, “Mr. Wowereit, don’t tear down this wall!”—a play on Ronald Reagan’s famous call from 1987, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The reason for the demonstration was an investor’s attempt to cut out a sixty-two-foot-long section of the East Side Gallery to clear the way for the entrance to a new apartment tower. The plans called for the removed sections of the Hinterlandmauer to be set up again at another location. The investor had a valid contract in hand, signed by the district’s mayor, a member of the Green Party.

pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith


Bretton Woods, BRICs, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

The U.S. president Gerald Ford escaped two assassination attempts (one by Charles Manson’s murderous henchwoman Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme), the Khmer Rouge had taken over Cambodia, and the movie Godfather II ran away with six Academy Awards, including one to the Italian-American actor Robert De Niro. Our fifth billion came in 1987, now just twelve years after the fourth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 2,000 for the first time in history and the Irish rock band U2 released their fifth album, The Joshua Tree. Standing outside Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, U.S. president Ronald Reagan exhorted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” The world’s last dusky seaside sparrow died of old age on a tiny island preserve in Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort. A self-absorbed college sophomore at the time, I only noticed The Joshua Tree. Our sixth billion arrived in 1999. This is now very recent history. The United Nations declared 1999 the International Year of Older Persons. The Dow Jones climbed above 11,000 for the first time in history.

Up until the demise of the Bretton Woods monetary regulatory system in the early 1970s, it presided for three decades over what some have called the “golden age of controlled capitalism.”29 But by the 1980s, “controlled capitalism” had fallen to a revolution of “neoliberalism”—the deregulation and elimination of tariffs and other controls on international trade and capital flows. The neoliberalism movement was championed by British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and U.S. president Ronald Reagan, but was rooted in the ideas of Adam Smith. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the IMF, WTO, and World Bank aggressively pursued agendas of liberalizing (deregulating) trade markets around the world, vigorously urged on by the United States.30 A common tactic was to require developing countries to accept neoliberal reforms to qualify for IMF or World Bank loans. This practice was exemplified by the “Washington Consensus,” a controversial list of hard-nosed reforms including trade deregulation, opening to direct foreign investment, and privatization of state enterprises.31 In the United States, presidents from both political parties also worked to dismantle international trade barriers.

Pasqualetti, Martin Patrushev, Nikolai Pearce, Fred permafrost: and carbon storage; and climate change; continuous permafrost; and glaciers; and global warming and lake formation; and load bearing capacity; and U.S. policy photovoltaics Pika, Aleksandr plant biomass plug-in electric cars Poland polar bears politics: and Arctic resources; and Arctic transportation; and ethanol subsidies; and expert political judgment; and global warming; and human settlement; and inertia of global forces; and the North Pole; and oil supplies The Population Bomb (Ehrlich) population growth. See demography; specific countries Portugal Powell, James Lawrence Primorsky Territory Prince Edward Island Pripyat, Ukraine protectionism Prudhoe Bay Putin, Vladimir Qatar Quantification Settlement Agreement Québec Queen Elizabeth Island radiation railroads rain forests rainfall Reagan, Ronald RechargeIt initiative regional corporations renewable energy resources. See also specific energy types Republic of Korea reserve-to-production ratios reservoirs resource demand. See also specific resource types: and aboriginal peoples; and the Arctic economy; connection to other global forces; and the economic slowdown; and electric vehicles; and Far East Russia; as global force; historical debate on; and human settlement patterns; and hydrocarbon cities; and inertia of global forces; mineral depletion rates; and prospects for NORCs; and proven resource levels; and renewable energy; and reserve levels; and the resource curse; and the Russian Far East; and traditional resources; and urbanization; and water consumption; and West Siberian Lowlands Resource Wars (Klare) Reykjavik, Iceland Ricardo, David ringed seals Río Negro Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Klare) risk assessment rivers.

pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson


Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk,, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

The wealth they created was not something they hoped would happen, but one which they seized. The moments which stand out in their lives are those of bold pronouncements and plans to realize them. In 1962, President Kennedy defined the future of space exploration and a country rallied behind him. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”63 President Reagan defined the future of a unified Germany: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Martin Luther King had a dream and marched on the nation’s capital to make it a reality. We have abdicated this responsibility. Thiel sees this in the proliferation of “wealth re-arrangers” in today’s society. Massive industries, from law to finance, are dedicated not to creating more wealth but to simply moving money around in a circle. While we believe everything will improve (otherwise we wouldn’t invest) it’s unclear how.