Greg and Mike end their review of the Cold War by diving into the overwhelming intellectual and ideological impact of the Cold War, including its impact on the organization of higher education, cultural discourse, and the horizons of political possibility. With greater conceptual clarity in hand, they then more precisely cleave social democracy from democratic socialism.
Greg and Mike explore the Cold War from the perspective of the East, describing how it turned into a nightmarish dictatorship but also how the American (or Western) view of that dictatorship developed. They then turn to further discuss the actual ideological and political battles, particularly as waged in the ‘Middle West’—grappling with a legacy of fascism much larger than Germany and Italy—and the ‘Third World,’ ending on some of the surprising legacies we can see today.
Greg and Mike delve right in to the Cold War—or rather, the Cold Wars, laying out the four major world regions of the time and examining how the opposition between the ’West’ and ‘East’ operated ideologically, economically, militarily, and culturally.
Greg and Mike delve into the historical conditions that permitted the birth of capitalism and the ways in which it was contested from the beginning, contrasting this with the traditional Marxist view that socialism comes after capitalism as a response. Then, Mike begins to recast the history of the 20th century as a series of three different responses to the problems of capitalism—communism, fascism, and ameliorated capitalism—that vied for power and control, before starting to clearly establish a distinction between social democracy and democratic socialism.
Greg and Big Mike discuss the way stories, fictional or not, influence how we think about the world, how we think about what is possible in the world, and how we need to shift our stories to shift what we think is possible.