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Opinion
John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

Putin and Xi Exposed the Great Illusion of Capitalism

Unless the U.S. and its allies mobilize to save it, the second great age of globalization is coming to a catastrophic close.

Goodbye globalization?

Goodbye globalization?

Photos via Getty Images; Illustration by Jessica Karl/Bloomberg

A book published in 1919 on “The Economic Consequences of the Peace” isn’t the obvious starting place for understanding the economic consequences of the current war in Ukraine. But it’s worth taking a little time to read John Maynard Keynes’s famous description of the leisurely life of an upper-middle-class Londoner in 1913 — just before the Great War changed everything:

Keynes then describes how this Londoner could speculate on the markets and travel wherever he wanted without a passport or the bother of changing currency (the gold standard meant that his money was good everywhere). And then the famous economist delivers his coup de grace by going inside the privileged Londoner’s head: