United States, Reagan Revolution, reaganism, American domestic affairs, foreign policy agenda, neo-conservatives, military strength, communism, Cold War, non-government groups, globalization, Washington
Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980.
It was a return to more liberalism, to more individual responsibility, a move towards deregulation of the economy in a more and more globalized world.
Reagan was convinced that this return to liberalism was the only way to overcome the combination of inflation and stagnation which had slowed down the US economy since the 70s ("Stagflation"). Actually, afterwards, the US economy, with ups and downs, embarked on a path of growth much quicker than Europe's.
This is often called the "Reagan Revolution". It happened not only in the US: Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain at the same time went in the same direction, as did, generally speaking, Asia, up to a point in South America, even Europe (even in France we experienced a large privatization of many State corporations or public utilities since the 1990s).
[...] That's maybe the most important. But there are differences with today: They relied less on actual military action (more prudent). They thought of a way out of crisis situations, of exit strategies, even for the adversary. It was not a perfect policy (many failures in details even if basically it succeeded) but it was a more coherent one, and better integrated, than the current policy followed in Washington. One would add today that in retrospect some disquieting tendencies of current US policy and foreign policy originated under Reagan: Fiscal irresponsibility, deficits and heavy foreign borrowing, with huge effects for the US and world economy. [...]
[...] In time of crisis, he was actually quite prudent, for instance when in December 1981 the Polish government decreed a state of siege to control Solidarity. There was an implicit deal with the Soviets: they would not invade Poland (that was not acceptable) but Washington would tolerate the proclamation of a state of siege. His first term was devoted to the restoration of American power. Then, after 1984, he negotiated with Moscow on a sounder and more balanced basis, from a position of strength. [...]
[...] The United States and the World - The Reagan Revolution Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980. He promoted two big agendas: In American domestic affairs, a reaction against the "New Deal" of Roosevelt and the interventionist policy of the Federal Government in the economy and the social system, policy followed since the Thirties by Roosevelt and his successors. In other words, Reagan reacted against the Welfare State, which was seen as leading to monetary inflation and a lack of innovation and competitiveness, at a time when trade competition from Europe and Asia was rising. [...]
[...] It was a firm, but more prudent policy, advocated among others by Kissinger himself, now retired from active politics but still very mediatic and active behind the scenes. That line was represented at Government level by Vice-president George Bush (the father). The Republicans who are now opposing George W. Bush come from that part of the spectrum. The actors and terms of the current US debate appeared at the time of Reagan. II. Reagan's strategy It was very pertinent also to today's situation and the policy of the current Administration. [...]
[...] A strong tendency to unilateral American action. A strategy relying heavily on regime change as a major aim and tool of US policy. The role of non-government groups, like foundations, but in agreement with Washington, to promote democracy: evident now in the Caucasus, in Ukraine (the "coloured revolutions"). The choice to promote globalization, to organize the US economy and influence in that new context, much more than in the framework of NATO, and other regional alliances, and so on . [...]
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