Commanding Heights Part 2 The Agony of Reform
Commanding Heights Part Two: The Agony of Reform "As the 1980s begin and the Cold War grinds on, the existing world order appears firmly in place. Yet beneath the surface powerful currents are carving away at the economic foundations. Western democracies still struggle with deficits and inflation, while communism hides the failure of its command economy behind a facade of military might. In Latin America populist dictators strive to thwart foreign economic exploitation, piling up debt and igniting hyperinflation in the process. In India and Africa bureaucracies established to end poverty through scientific planning spawn black markets and corruption and stifle enterprise. Worldwide, the strategies of government planning are failing to produce their intended results. From Bolivia and Peru to Poland and Russia, the free-market policies of Thatcher and Reagan are looked to as a possible blueprint for escape. One by one, economies in crisis adopt "shock therapy" -- a rapid conversion to free-market capitalism. As the command economies totter and collapse, privatization transfers economic power back into entrepreneurial hands, and whole societies go through wrenching change. For some the demands and opportunities of the market provide a longed for liberation. Others, lacking the means to adapt, see their security and livelihood swept away. In this new capitalist revolution enlightened enterprise and cynical exploitation thrive alike. The sum total of global wealth expands, but its unequal distribution increases, too, and economic regeneration exacts a high human price.