Arguably the crisis will turn out to be more significant for us and other developed economies than the collapse of communism.
A New Capitalism is likely to emerge from the rubble, one which may well seem fairer and less alienating than the model of the past 30 years.
But for once, though the article is worth a read, I don't find myself agreeing with the broad conclusions, much as I would like to. For one, the collapse of communism really was the end for particular economic and political model that has not, Nepal excepted, shown any sign of re-emerging as a serious force. In contrast, capitalism is not really under threat, what we are witnessing (as Pesto says) is a rebalancing of the relationships within it. There will be a greater role for the state, there will be less faith in market solutions in some areas, but does anyone seriously (or anyone serious) expect us to tilt the balance back as far as it was during the post-war consensus, for example?
I'm not even convinced that we will necessarily enter an era of kinder, gentler, fairer capitalism, though I hope we will. If we were really going down this route I would expect much more and much deeper analysis of what work is valuable, how we analyse who actually does the important work (ie the relative contributions of management vs grunts), and how we reward people. It's nice to see that a few bankers have decided that they won't take bonuses this year, but does that really indicate anything other than peer pressure, and the desire not be attacked in the street? We will see a year or two of retraint on executive pay, and fund managers may decide they need to vote against management a bit more often. But unless we lock in some changes this will be but a temporary blip, and the trend of increasing inequality will reassert itself.
Whilst this may sound a bit negative, I'm just trying to keep a sense of proportion. I still think the current crisis presents a huge opportunity for change. But just because the crisis is big does not mean that it will kill off the types of ideas that helped to form it.