Scott Sumner wrote, “On or about December 1978, the world’s ideology changed,”explaining that “this quotation from Joan Robinson did not seem insane in 1977”:
Before the last Korean war in 1950, the North was home to most of the country’s heavy industry. As late as 1975, its income per head still exceeded the South’s, according to Eui-Gak Hwang of Korea University in Seoul. “Obviously, sooner or later the country must be reunited,” wrote Joan Robinson, a Cambridge economist, in 1977, “by absorbing the South into socialism.” (From The Economist, here.)
Sumner elaborates his thesis and then jumps to the more speculative issue of whether the dominant ideology is changing again. Or rather, not whether it is changing, but question of the direction of change. I’m not so sure about any of these claims, but the Robinson remark certainly sounds striking to observers looking backwards.