Exactly 30 years ago – on Nov. 9, 1989 – the occupants of Berlin tore down the wall that divided their city, marking the beginning of the end for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and nearby nations then known as its communist satellites.
Within two years, the world’s largest socialist economy would also crumble in Russia, and the satellites gradually fell out of orbit and abandoned socialism as well. East Germany and East Berlin ceased to exist when a united Germany and united Berlin were created.
The millennial generation is the first to come of age since that time without personal memories of these events. And if our current political environment is any indication, the lessons we learned are fading.
For many progressives, the Soviet Union’s collapse was an unmitigated disaster. For decades, they had invested their credibility in the Soviet vision of a socialist “workers’ paradise” that never materialized.
Rather, an oppressive group of elites governed impoverished masses who suffered the equality of misery and desperation. Those living in tall buildings in East Berlin could look over the wall to see their prosperous free-market West