A few posts ago I mentioned that I would be writing a post on 1989 and why it's the greatest year in modern history (and it's not because it's the year I was born).
Well, I did write a piece on it and I was planning on posting it on November 9 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The older I get, and the more delightfully-yet-oh-so-painfully-intellectually stimulated I am in my Croft classes, I believe more and more that November 9, 1989 is the most important date in modern history; simply put: the fall of the Berlin Wall granted all Europeans access to democracy, and the economic integration that followed suit is completely unprecedented and contradicts the tendency of mankind to pursue self-interests, as is reflected in centuries of warfare in Europe. 1989 marks the greatest discontinuity in the lives of Europeans: it is the triumph of democracy in Europe and made successful European economic integration a realistic goal. Furthermore, the failure of communism in eastern Europe after 1989 was felt all around the world, especially by smaller communist states which so heavily depended upon the support, militarily and economically, of the USSR.
So now it's November 15th and I never published that post, the reason being that I was in the most rural region in France with my grandparents and had zero access to internet for three days (more on that later...). Honestly, it was very refreshing...I'll be the first to admit that I am on facebook way too much. However, now that it is no longer November 9th, I don't really feel like posting the piece I wrote for the 20th anniversary. But--I am going to leave you with two excerpts from one of the best articles I've ever read. These are taken from The Economist (Nov. 7th-13th) "So much gained, so much to lose." I cannot agree more with everything that was said in this article.
"The destruction of the Iron Curtain on November 9th 1989 is still the most remarkable political event of most people's lifetimes: it set free millions of individuals and it brought to an end a global conflict that threatened nuclear annihilation. For liberals in the West, it still stands as a reminder both of what has been won since and what is still worth fighting for....
...Recognising the political shortcomings of globalisation should redouble Western liberals' determination to defend it: to close the gap in the right way (referring to the gap between economic progress and political progress since 1989). That involves a myriad of things, from promoting human rights to designing better jobs policies. But it also requires defending the enormous benefits that capitalism has brought to the world since 1989 more forcefully than the West's leaders have done thus far. And above all perhaps, taking nothing forgranted."
I hope those excerpts moved you as much as they did me. It is true: we should take nothing for granted.
Ps- Y'all are probably wondering what this has to do with my "adventures in Europe"...being in Europe for the 20th anniversary has been special. It's been on the news the entire month, and it is neat being with Europeans for something so monumental in their history. AND...I am going to Germany next weekend and cannot wait!! So, I guess I've been thinking about the Berlin Wall a lot because of all that.