Epitafio para la Tercera Vía

En gran parte del mundo, los últimos cincuenta años han visto el fin de la política ideológica. Primero vino el apocalíptico colapso del fascismo, cuando Hitler hizo que Alemania se uniera a él en un suicido colectivo. Al derrumbe del fascismo le siguió la desintegración, más gradual, del comunismo tras la muerte de Stalin y la revelación de sus crímenes por parte de Kruschev. Las fallidas revoluciones en Hungría en 1956 y Checoslovaquia en 1968 fueron el presagio de la caída final del imperio soviético en 1989.

Si bien estas seudo religiones colapsaron, en gran parte de Europa predominó una benevolente ideología socialdemócrata. Su elemento central era la creencia de que el estado podía proporcionar tanto un crecimiento económico estable como beneficios de seguridad social que protegieran contra los efectos negativos de los mercados libres. No todos se sumaron a esta teoría, pero por varias décadas fue la fuerza política más potente de Occidente. Los partidos democratacristianos, e incluso los conservadores, adoptaron sus postulados.

Pero para mediados de la década de los 80, la socialdemocracia se había agotado a si misma. Sencillamente, había sido demasiado exitosa como para seguir siendo una fuerza de cambio. Más aún, había creado nuevas rigideces, particularmente una mayor burocratización y ese mortífero fenómeno de los años 70, la estanflación: estancamiento económico y alto desempleo acompañados de una inflación galopante.

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