Here we are 24 years later, after President Ronald Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev, "Tear down this wall!" And in November 1989, it came down and was technically the end of the Cold War. In the years thereafter, the US enjoyed the magic of the Peace Dividend when defense spending was cut and magically, with revenues increasing, the budget deficit turned into a budget surplus that shocked the world. John Templeton, one of the most clairvoyant observers I've ever seen said it was "the third most important day in the history of the world." Just look at Eastern Europe today versus back then. No place on earth is Utopia, but today's status of places like East Berlin is a testimonial of what Democracy and Capitalism does for countries.
Then last week, out of the blue, massive disruptions in Egypt began shaking the world. It came from the bottom-up, just like Thomas Friedman told us in 1998 when he described the magic of the Technology Revolution. Transparency makes long-term tyranny impossible. The demonstrations in Iran in 2009 were squashed, but I'm laying my money on an eventual change in that country. And today, just after demonstrations began, what did Egypt do first? They cut off the Internet. Ed Yardeni had a great point recently. You can place Facebook as the founding seed of that demonstration. And now, after what's been happening in Egypt, what is in the news this morning? The King of Jordan dismisses his cabinet and promises reform.
The word is out - not from the US, but from the people. "King Abdullah, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!"
What happened in November 1989 didn't immediately create a great environment for East Germany, but very methodically, Democracy and Capitalism evoled across Eastern Europe. In a similar fashion, today's events are not going to immediately change the Middle East, but the message is there, and every citizen of every country can read the progress (one way or another) on Facebook and all over the Internet.
Ladies and Gentlemen, you are seeing history being made. In my opinion, Capitalism, in an interwoven economic Flat World, is the best recipe for peace we have. And with a sprinkle of the free access provided by the Internet to top it off, the recipe's being brought to a boil.
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