Two anniversaries we mark this year — the centenary of the Russian Revolution and the decade since the start of the global financial crisis — have more in common than is apparent at first sight. Both events are self-evidently momentous. The October Revolution ushered in a dictatorship that would loom over the 20th century as one contestant for hegemony against fascism (in the first half) and democratic market liberalism (throughout). The global financial crisis, meanwhile, shook to its foundations the model that had emerged victorious from the Cold War. The stultifying communism that the Soviet bloc had evolved to by the 1980s collapsed under the weight of its own economic and political contradictions. The political turmoil of the last year demonstrates that we are now watching to see whether open market economies will suffer the same fate. But the similarities run deeper than merely the historic scale of the two events. The content, too, of the current threat to democratic market l...

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