Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr

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Capitalism conquered the eastern bloc. That’s why liberal politics alone won’t defeat today’s populism

Finnish TV and toilet paper did as much to undermine the USSR as the nuclear deterrent, an Estonian friend once explained to me. He grew up in Tallinn, under Kremlin rule but within antenna range of American soaps broadcast from Helsinki. What Dallas did for eyes that craved glamour, a smuggled supply of soft tissue did for bums rubbed raw by Soviet-issue bog roll. The Balts had too much exposure to what they were missing to be reconciled to the privations of communism.

Related: The fall of the Berlin Wall: what it meant to be there | Timothy Garton Ash

As illiberal forces arise in democracy’s heartlands, liberals find themselves frighteningly short of rhetorical tools

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Link : Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr

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