Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of Word War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic and security infrastructure of the postwar world has accelerated in recent weeks. The bad news: As the legacy of the twentieth century recedes into the past, the only twenty-first century alternatives on offer come from an authoritarian surveillance state.

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