Greece anti-austerity protest Andreas Solaro/Getty Images

When Things Fall Apart

Democratic capitalism is an evolving system that responds to crises by radically transforming both economic relations and political institutions. The time for a new phase has come, regardless of whether "responsible" politicians are prepared to admit it.

LONDON – All over the world today, there is a sense of the end of an era, a deep foreboding about the disintegration of previously stable societies. In the immortal lines of W.B. Yeats’s great poem, “The Second Coming”:

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity…
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

Yeats’ wrote those lines in January 1919, two months after World War I ended. He instinctively felt that peace would soon give way to even greater horrors.

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