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anyway you want, but with all respect, I don't find this credible:
Western social reforms happened with the backdrop of the Soviet Union. The connection is rather clear in the case of the US New Deal2 (where indeed the New Deal, the FBI and the bad news from Russia combined to root out social movements), and fascisms (which often defined themselves in contrast to Bolshevism). The waves of reforms after both World Wars, especially after the second, when the welfare state was implemented Europe-wide by either Social Democrats or Christian Democrats, happened with comparatively little resistance from the elites - at any rate, much less than before the wars. (After all the violent death of expansive fascism3 made that a less attractive alternative.)
The result of these reforms was a society no more fitting classic Marxist theory: the new majority became the middle class.
I think most historians would put the New Deal more in the context of a reaction to the Great Depression.  There was a serious economic need for these programs, particularly with the movement of farm labor to an industrial setting.  The development of a middle class was a natual evolvement of industrialization and growth--the need for middle management, the growth of many auxillary parts of American industry to support industry growth (stock markets, banking, legal firms), and thus the natural growth of a middle class.

Restarting the class war, I don't think this fits with Western society as it has evolved--certainly not in the States.  This is the language and the thinking of the Cold War.  

I don't follow the logic of the following comment

undoing hundred years of social progress.  Thus was national health care defeated, the Greenspan bubble economy set off
You say that hundreds of years of social progress were undone, and your first example is the defeat of national health care?  I'm sure you know we have never had national healthcare, so it wasn't undone.  This was defeated in a period of a Democratic president, a democratic House, and I'm not sure of the Senate, but I think it was also Democratic.  The Democrats lost the House in the election following that healthcare debacle, and other than Clinton's victory for his second term, have lost ground in every national election since--for the House, Senate, and Presidency.  While I think there are some good ideas to be built into the American system from European nationalized health care, IMHO, Americans will not buy what has come with those systems--waiting lists for surgical procedures, use of "gate keepers" to determine if you really need to see a specialist, etc.  

And how does "the Greenspan bubble economy set off" relate to undoing of social programs?  I didn't like the bubble either, but it was proceeded by the longest period of growth in the country's history--10 years--followed by, in historical terms, a relatively mild recession, and then the beginning of the economic growth engine again.

While there is room for discussion of economic measurements, calling them "flunky statistics" is a little over the top.  We're going to have a hard time talking to anyone outside of our ET group if we aren't willing to dialogue about GDP, GDP growth, unemployment rates, etc.  In fact according to some of the articles we are reading about the French troubles, they are saying that underperformance in these areas may be the cause of the problems--not I say some, not all, articles.  

"Even if the coming collapse of the credit-based US economy is worse than generally expected".  You describe this as guaranteed to happen, and the only issue is how bad?  But I don't find that generally expected among the economists that I read--I know there is a large "no growth" crowd at ET, but I think it would be only fair to wait for it to happen, before using it as an agrument.  As you perhaps saw, 3rd quarter growth numbers were higher than expected, and many expect that to continue.

(Some of you won't like it. If I was bold enough, most of you won't :-) You can flame me.)
Actually I loved your diary, because I found it very interesting, and vey challenging to my thinking.  I don't agree with a lot of it, maybe most.  And I hope I didn't "flame you".  My intent is to respectfully disagree.
by wchurchill on Tue Nov 8th, 2005 at 02:10:14 AM EST
by wchurchill:

... While I think there are some good ideas to be built into the American system from European nationalized health care, IMHO, Americans will not buy what has come with those systems--waiting lists for surgical procedures, use of "gate keepers" to determine if you really need to see a specialist, etc.  

snip

There are no waiting lists and no gate keepers to determine anything.

I'm insured with the most common health insurance company in Germany and can chose to go to whatever gp, specialist, dentist, hospital, clinic I like.

Please don't compare the underfunded UK system with ours.

"The USA appears destined by fate to plague America with misery in the name of liberty." Simon Bolivar, Caracas, 1819

by Ritter on Tue Nov 8th, 2005 at 07:57:48 AM EST
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Thank you for correcting him promptly.
The myth of "waiting lists" is dear to the US elite.  Of course, here in the US there are no waiting lists - just 50 million people who would love to be on a waiting list of any kind...
by cambridgemac on Tue Nov 8th, 2005 at 10:55:25 PM EST
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