I had a blinding flash of the obvious the other night, and pondering it, extended its reach.
We have witnessed several Great Falls of Socialism in the last 100 years.
The first Great Fall of Socialism occurred between 1943 and 1945. This was the end of Italian Fascism and German Naziism, and their offspring in Europe. The contemporary "corporatist" socialism of Generalisimo Franciso Franco survived until his death in 1975. The offspring of that regime have had their ups and downs in Latin America, but strains live on in modified format.
The second Great Fall of Socialism occurred around 1989 with the historic fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Ulrich regime in East Germany, the reuniting of the two Germanies, and the end and break-up of the Soviet Union. This Great Fall obscures the fact of the first Great Fall, along with the legacy of propaganda and international political alliances from the WWII period that have hidden that Italian Fascism, German Naziism and Spanish Corporatism were all hard socialist transformationalist operations of the same root and branch as Soviet Communism. Indeed, miscasting these socialisms as somehow being "right wing" (i.e. hard conservative) has served the Marxists of all levels of ideological intensity and their fellow-travelers very well for almost 80 years.
And here is the kicker: we are now witnessing the slow third Great Fall of Socialism. This is the soft socialism of the Europeans and the parallel American version known as the Welfare State. As Margaret Thatcher has been paraphrased as saying, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people´s money." Enter the Eurozone monetary crisis of 2011 and the related American economic crisis of 2008 that is still with us.
But these are not just economic crises like panics, recessions and depressions we have had in the past. A great part of what is in front of us is related to the direct and indirect "redistribution of wealth" by various government means. In other words, socialism.
And what we are witnessing is the third Great Fall of Socialism.